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Integrating Electrical Contracting Industry Into The Architectural Engineering Educational Setting To Promote Learning

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Professional Practice and AEC Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.755.1 - 14.755.14



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Paper Authors

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Mahmoud Alahmad University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Jamie Tills University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Steven Swanson University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating Electrical Contracting Industry into the Architectural Engineering Educational Setting to Promote Learning


Reception and processing of information are the elements of learning. How the information is presented is a critical element in student comprehension. In most engineering institutions, theory and fundamental concepts are taught with passive lectures and “recipe” labs. A balance must be provided between engineering science and engineering practice to prepare students for the real world. This preparation is already underway in the architectural engineering (AE) field at some universities. To build on this foundation, in the electrical and lighting option within AE, developing a relationship between the academic community and the electrical construction industry will help bridge the gap between fundamental engineering principles and practical installation experience. This relationship is currently being implemented between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), its research foundation ELECTRI International (EI), and AE students at the University of Nebraska. Building this alliance will provide an additional element of proficiency that is essential to the students’ practical understanding of systems in the built environment and interaction with industry professionals. The proposed project will develop a series of workshops and seminars consisting of demonstrations, lectures, hands-on activities, and construction site visits conducted and attended by contractors, consultants, faculty, and students. This paper will present background information regarding the different learning styles of engineering students, distribution of learning style surveys to AE students and electrical apprentices, and analysis of those results. Based on the analysis of the learning surveys, a description about how to implement key learning concepts into classroom settings and the workshops will be provided. Expected outcomes and the organization of this project will conclude the presentation of this paper.

1 – Introduction

Learning is considered a two-step process that includes reception and processing of information1. Information is first received externally and then immediately interpreted internally. It is interpreted internally by instantly reacting to the information being received and then drawing conclusions based on those reactions. This first step only lasts as long as the material being presented. The information is sorted by material that is retained and material that is not. After information is received and some of it processed, students have different ways of keeping that information stored for later. This may include discussing the material with professors or other students, memorizing the material, or analyzing the material. The second step takes anywhere from a day to an entire semester and occurs when the information is either learned or not learned.

The information may be provided in a number of ways including lectures, demonstrations, hands-on activities, etc. Each student responds differently depending on their innate

Alahmad, M., & Tills, J., & Swanson, S. (2009, June), Integrating Electrical Contracting Industry Into The Architectural Engineering Educational Setting To Promote Learning Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5527

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