June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.700.1 - 24.700.11
Utilization of Estimating Software in a University Construction Course: A Case Study The use of technology in the construction industry has been increasing, and hasdramatically improved over the past several years. Consequently, this new technology is alsostarting to be used in the classroom, albeit at a delay from the industry’s adoption of particularsoftware. However, an industry person’s and a student’s use and perception of the software ismuch different. Industry people may have years of experience that provide them with theintuition to know what the correct solution is to a problem. They generally use software as away to decrease task completion time and become more profitable. A student, however, does nothave this experience: their knowledge of a particular task or construction activity is based solelyon the pedagogy of academia. Therefore, assessments based on a student’s proficiency withsoftware may not measure their overall capability as a construction professional. The authors conducted a study of an undergraduate estimating course at a majoruniversity in the U.S. Several previous studies were reviewed, and found that comparative dataon student performance was not included. This exploratory paper isolates student performanceas a result of using estimating software. Student performance is a combination of several factors:variance from the actual takeoff quantities, student satisfaction with the software, and time tocompletion. This approach is unique from previous studies due to its reliance on quantitativedata (versus just qualitative observations). The authors’ general research methodology was designed to gather as much comparativedata as possible. First, the class of approximately 35 students was divided such that their overallperformance in the class up to this point (all assignments prior to introducing the takeoffsoftware) was nearly equal. Each group completed two timed assignments (Lab 1 and Lab 2)within a two hour period. Group A completed Lab 1 using the takeoff software, and Group Bcompleted the same lab with manual takeoff (calculators, rulers, hard copy plans). At thecompletion of the allotted 45 minute time limit, both groups switched. Group A completed anew assignment (Lab 2) using manual takeoff, and Group B completed it with the software.Both labs required students to calculate total concrete and rebar for select footings and slabs onthe plans. The results showed that for simple takeoff tasks, student completion time and accuracywas nearly the same between both groups and both labs. The paper provides further insight onthe integration of technology in the classroom, and provides recommendations for educators onpotential best practices. Instructors may find marginal benefit utilizing software, butattentiveness must be given to student understanding on more complex tasks.
Smithwick, J., & Mischung, J. J., & Sullivan, K. T. (2014, June), Impact of Quantity Takeoff Software on Student Performance in a University Construction Estimating Course: A Case Study Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20592
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