June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.105.1 - 14.105.16
A simulation approach to Construction management education
Construction management requires decision-making skills. Main approaches to teach decision- making skills to construction management major students are: (1) analyzing sample situations involving decision-making; and (2) teaching logical decision-making procedures. The absence of ‘pressure’ factors in these approaches has significant negative impacts on the success of the education. The approaches also lack ‘dynamic’ effects that help create a spontaneous plan for construction projects where unforeseen changes and interruptions may occur. To minimize the adverse effects of the existing approaches, this paper proposes a framework for developing a web-based training system. The application is delivered as a game involving decision-making on the student’s part in response to developments at the job-site, and where one student competes against another in an attempt to simulate a real-world scenario.
Construction education, decision-making, process simulation, web-based system.
In the real world, one of the most natural ways of acquiring knowledge and experience is to be immersed in relevant situations and to practice. However, construction students often have few opportunities for direct exposure to practical issues involved with real-world construction management scenarios. Case studies in a class-room setting and construction site tours are less interactive and efficient than the mode of learning-by-doing. Simulation gaming has been successfully introduced to construction education by many researchers since the late 1960s. These games have been shown to provide practical decision-making and management experiences to students8. They immerse students in a simulated environment where student can collaborate, compete, and create synthetic solutions for various situations utilizing techniques they learned in the classroom.
A number of simulation games have been developed to address various aspects of construction management that a project manager will face with, such as bidding and cost analysis, contract negotiation, trade coordination, and operation design and analysis. In the area of bidding and cost analysis, there are Construction Management Game3, CONSTRUCTO5, Superbid1, and VIRCON6. For contract negotiation, Dubziak and Hendrickson4 developed a game that involves role-playing by the participants in negotiating various contract issues. Tommelein et al. 12 presents a game, Parade of Trades, for the learning of crew coordination and effect of variability. Nassar8 and Sawhney et al. 11 developed games for construction equipment and material processes. Virtual Coach10 was developed to enable “what if” analyses by the participants.
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