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Delivering Multidisciplinary Experiences in Education: A Study of Construction Program Practices to Meet Accreditation Requirements

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

ConstDiv Technical Session 5 - Pedagogy & Accreditation II

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Tom Michael Leathem Auburn University

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Tom Leathem is an Assistant Professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University where he teaches courses in Estimating, Construction Documents, Scheduling, and Project Delivery. He has 11 years industry experience in commercial construction management, holds a Ph.D. in Education, an M.S. in Integrated Design & Construction, and a B.S. in Construction Management. His areas of research include construction education, assessment, accreditation, instructional technology, and active learning.

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Eric M. Wetzel Auburn University

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Delivering Multi-Disciplinary Experiences in Education: A Study of Construction Program Practices to Meet Accreditation Requirements

This paper will present findings of research intended to identify how construction programs are approaching accreditation requirements related to multi-disciplinary collaboration by the American Council for Construction Education. Construction education is seeing an increased emphasis in demonstrating student achievement of learning outcomes. The recent move to outcomes-based accreditation by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) requires programs to utilize assessments to demonstrate student achievement of specific student learning outcomes (American Council for Construction Education 2016). The standard dictates that at least one of these must be a direct assessment. This has caused many construction programs to consider different types of assessments to meet accreditation requirements. In order to execute the student learning outcomes for a given class, the instructor of record is charged to create a direct assessment that correlates to the cognition level required in the outcome. Arguably, the most difficult outcome to assess from the ACCE requirements falls under SLO #9: Apply construction management skills as a member of multi-disciplinary team. The vague nature of the requirement has led many schools to approach the execution of this SLO in a multitude of different directions, causing visiting teams to evaluate programs inconsistently during accreditation reviews. Recent ACCE meetings have given particular attention to this specific SLO – providing training workshops and discussion sessions to consider appropriate and possibly inappropriate methods for addressing this SLO. Despite these efforts, there is still a great deal of question among construction programs about how to address this outcome. What is known, is that many schools are attempting to address this SLO in manners they see fit based on their interpretation of what SLO #9 means. This paper presents research that analyzes the method in which ACCE schools are attempting to address teamwork and construction related accreditation requirements. The goal was to identify “best-practices” as means to develop learning modules and related assessments that can be used as guide for schools to address the SLO. Further, the findings are hoped to be used to develop learning modules that provide multi-disciplinary learning experiences authentic to what students will encounter in their construction career. This research is expected to benefit programs accredited by ACCE through expanding understanding about how SLO#9 is being approached, along with related advantages and disadvantages. This is a significant contribution to the construction education community given ACCE is one of the largest accrediting body for construction education programs in the United States. There are currently 86 programs accredited, and 18 programs seeking accreditation by the organization. Beyond construction education, outcomes of this research will also be beneficial to the engineering and architecture disciplines as their accreditation models also follow an outcomes-based approach that also contain requirements for addressing multi-disciplinary collaboration. The research will also help identify programs that do collaborate with these disciplines as a means to address SLO#9.

Leathem, T. M., & Wetzel, E. M. (2019, June), Delivering Multidisciplinary Experiences in Education: A Study of Construction Program Practices to Meet Accreditation Requirements Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32581

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