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Assessing Comprehension With Student-Developed Construction Games

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Assessment in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.200.1 - 24.200.13



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Paper Authors

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Claire L. A. Dancz Arizona State University Orcid 16x16


Kristen Parrish Arizona State University

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Kristen Parrish is an Assistant Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University (ASU). Kristen’s work focuses on integrating energy efficiency measures into building design, construction, and operations processes. Specifically, she is interested in novel design processes that financially and technically facilitate energy-efficient buildings. Her work also explores how principles of lean manufacturing facilitate energy-efficiency in the commercial building industry. Another research interest of Kristen’s is engineering education, where she explores how project- and experience-based learning foster better understanding of engineering and management principles. Prior to joining ASU, Kristen was at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-11) and then a Scientific Engineering Associate (2011-2012) in the Building Technologies and Urban Systems Department. She worked in the Commercial Buildings group, developing energy efficiency programs and researching technical and non-technical barriers to energy efficiency in the buildings industry. She has a background in collaborative design and integrated project delivery. She holds a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Civil Engineering Systems from University of California Berkeley.

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Melissa M. Bilec University of Pittsburgh

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Dr. Bilec is an assistant professor in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Bilec’s research program focuses on sustainable healthcare, the built environment, and life cycle assessment. She is interested in improving the overall environmental performance of buildings while connecting the occupants in a more thoughtful manner. She is the Principal Investigator in a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research project, NSF EFRI-Barriers, Understanding, Integration – Life cycle Development (BUILD). She has worked in the sustainable engineering arena since 2004. As the assistant director of education outreach in the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, Pitt’s center for green design, she translates research to community outreach programs and develops sustainable engineering programs for K-12 education.

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Amy E. Landis Arizona State University

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Dr. Landis recently joined ASU in January 2012 as an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. She began her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, after having obtained her PhD in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago under the supervision of Dr. Thomas L. Theis.

Dr. Landis’ research focuses on Sustainable Renewable Biomaterials and she is highly engaged in Innovations in Engineering Education. Learn more at

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  Assessing Comprehension with Student-developed GamesTo train the next generation of construction professionals, we must address teaching approachesso students can have the best opportunity to excel on multidisciplinary teams. Currentundergraduate construction curricula is faced with several challenges including, but not limitedto, providing contextualized classroom and field experiences, teaching students with diversecapabilities, refining students’ effective communication abilities and improving assessments ofcourse learning outcomes. Addressing current challenges requires construction educators toincrease their use of approaches that enhance students’ education. Employing a team-basedapproach, as suggested by research, promotes active and collaborative learning whilesimultaneously advancing individual accountability, personal responsibility, and communicationskills. Experiential and active learning are two well-known pedagogies that benefit from a team-based approach. Experiential learning engages students in a real, as opposed to an abstract,experience. Active learning enhances students’ ability for lifelong learning by placing thelearning responsibility on the learners themselves. Adopting these pedagogies into constructioncurricula allows educators to address students’ needs via exposure to and interaction with real-world multidisciplinary problems that require multiple levels of communication with manystakeholders.Faculty and researchers are piloting an assessment method for a freshman through senior levelintroductory construction class entitled Building Construction Methods, Materials andEquipment. The assessment employs student-developed games to achieve course learningobjectives, including mastery of 140 construction-oriented terms, and has the potential to replacethe previously assigned field trip report in which students summarized how these terms wererelevant to real-world construction projects. The team-based game approach was conducted inthree stages: (1) introduction to game design through by playing a non-construction gamefollowed by a game elements and learning objective discussion and a brainstorming period forstudents to develop a new construction game idea, (2) analysis of game design through peer-review testing of game rules and underlying learning objectives and revision of rules/learningobjectives where appropriate, and (3) game play day where students trade games in class andplay their peers’ games as a educational tool to demonstrate mastery of the course learningobjectives and terms.This paper presents an assessment of the games developed in this course via evidence ofBloom’s levels of intellectual behavior in game design and accuracy in connecting courseconcepts to one another. Preliminary results show that students’ reaction to learning objectiveassessment via game design days is overwhelmingly positive; students have met the game designmaterial and activities with enthusiasm and passion and have already shown excitement indemonstrating mastery of concepts through the team-based, active and experiential learninggame design approach. All classroom game development instructions developed during thisproject will be made available to download and use in classes at other universities. This workwas supported by the ASU Gary and Diane Tooker Professorship for Effective Education inSTEM and the National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM(TUES) Type 2 program- DUE Award Nos 1323719 and 1323190.

Dancz, C. L. A., & Parrish, K., & Bilec, M. M., & Landis, A. E. (2014, June), Assessing Comprehension With Student-Developed Construction Games Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20091

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