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Industry-based Learning Experiences in Project Planning and Scheduling

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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

Industry Collaboration in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.740.1 - 24.740.13



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Paper Authors


Marcel Maghiar Georgia Southern University

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Marcel Maghiar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University teaches Construction Management courses at junior and senior level in the Civil Engineering and Construction Management department. His research experience includes development of computer syntaxes to unequivocally describe construction activities and development of a consistent methodology to explicitly classify and quantify construction methods (emerging taxonomy of construction methods). Marcel’s main expertise is in computer modeling of construction processes. His doctoral work allows the profiling of each journeyman’s affinity for productivity, quality and safety. By analyzing the behavior of framers from various industry companies, he found that safety is held at the same level of importance as productivity. He is also interested in educational contributions and research opportunities towards integrating field-level construction knowledge in BIM models and exploring their benefits in classroom environment with feedback from jobsite project managers.

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Industry-based learning experiences in Project Planning and Scheduling Guest speakers are notorious in bringing value to classroom through current and updatedinformation and best practices implemented in companies they are working for. Sharingknowledge this way benefits everyone. Specifically, it enables students to learn byacknowledging updated business practices. Going out in the field and investigatingcollaboratively all the pertaining issues regarding these practices motivates students to go intodeeper understanding of all related class topics because they are transposed into real scenarios.Also, exchanging communication with Superintendents (SI) and Project Managers (PM) willclarify certain topics or questions if they are having difficulties understanding the materialspresented in Planning and Scheduling classes – options that weren’t really available in the pastwithout the help of industry video materials. The complementary live industry-based educationalmodel is intended to validate the concepts learned in class. Through a series of interviewquestions, SI and PM are imparting knowledge about majors topics learned in class: ProjectDescription and Details of Activities with their Durations, Development of Initial Schedule,Maintaining and updating the Schedules during the project, Schedule Changes and their effects,Technology Usage in the respective company setting. Using a reversed model (industry-based)will enable students to account effectively for the challenges and duties they will face in thefuture jobs, therefore becoming more marketable for a difficult job market. Since Technology usage is a major part of this class project, the proposed reversed modelwill bring to the students industry specific experiences using technology and applications theymay or may not have been exposed to in the previous classes. Students will leave college withthe necessary computer skills and collaboration ability that are crucial in our economy. Practicalapproach preferred by industry and the more hands-on experience working collaboratively withothers (including industry individuals) will benefit students in understanding project scheduling.Through the industry project-based educational model, students spend their time learningmaterial from experiential case studies brought to the class in small-size groups. After collectingand analyzing quantitative and qualitative data about real projects selected in the University’sregion, they are preparing the findings to be exposed in class through presentations and smallhands-on demos. These accumulate into a capstone project with all knowledge gained for deeperunderstanding of a scheduler’s job. Their pragmatic preparation would be orientated to success ifthey test the current business practices and/or direct applications of the subject matters in theconstruction jobsite. Real-world learning based on industry project-specific experiences and best businesspractices may make students and their marketability to the industry more successful. Everystudent from each group is sharing comments, opinions, concerns and experiences, field tripnotes, and later these are compiled into an overall assessment tool of the teamwork. Thesefactors will continuously determine the instructor to maintain an industry-oriented course toimpart knowledge about the skills that employers are looking for and implement theirrequirements directly in the classroom. Further scholarship can be sought from industry practicesapplied directly to student education based on findings of these projects.

Maghiar, M. (2014, June), Industry-based Learning Experiences in Project Planning and Scheduling Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20632

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