June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.740.1 - 15.740.11
Innovative and Transformative Learning Environments in Construction Engineering and Management Education
Most of today’s students have grown up with technology including computers, the Internet, video games, digital recorders or players, and mobile phones. Consequently, it can be argued these students are fundamentally different from previous generations in how they learn. Today’s students prefer instantly seeing, simultaneously interacting, and constantly communicating with learning environments. They learn actively, rather than passively, by taking advantage of technology.
Traditional construction engineering and management (CEM) education follows the Cartesian view of mind-matter dualism where the learner and the learning context are detached. Under this paradigm, concepts are presented as fixed, well- structured, and independent entities. Learning activities are divorced from their authentic context resulting in fragmentation and specialization of courses and educational experiences. This fragility can be observed in school when students neither retain nor are able to utilize knowledge allegedly acquired in previous courses. These problems are not exclusive to CEM education, but shared by most higher education models.
Traditional CEM education models, based on precisely well-defined problems and formal definitions, may not be satisfactorily fulfilling their mission of educating the leaders of tomorrow. Indeed, most students who use digital technology in daily life still come to class, sit in front of the lecturer, and memorize concepts without the proper context. Several efforts have been undertaken to develop learning environments to cope with the limitations in traditional learning paradigms which set up a dichotomy between the learner and the learning context. A variety of advanced educational tools such as games and simulations using innovative technology are examples of these efforts. This paper discusses the need and use of games and simulations as educational tools in construction engineering and management while proposing alternatives to the traditional educational paradigm so that students experience concepts embedded in their proper context promoting learning within the nexus of the activity.
Over the last few decades, technology has been rapidly developed and disseminated. Most of today’s students have grown up with technology including computers, the Internet, video games, digital recorders or players, and mobile phones. The current generation of students is often called digital natives since they use technology for social networking, blogging, communication, information,
Lee, N., & Rojas, E. (2010, June), Innovative And Transformative Learning Environments In Construction Engineering And Management Education Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16410
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