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Is Summer Semester Effective Enough in Studio-based Construction Programs?

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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 4 - Pedagogy & Accreditation I

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Saeed Rokooei Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16

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Saeed Rokooei is an assistant professor of Building Construction Science at Mississippi State University. Saeed obtained his bachelor's degree in Architecture and then continued his studies in Project and Construction Management. Saeed completed his Ph.D. in Construction Management and a master of science in Management Information Systems. Saeed's main research interests include simulation and serious games, project management methodologies, construction education, data analytics, creativity and innovation in construction.


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George D. Ford Mississippi State University

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Dr. George Ford P.E. is the Director of Mississippi State’s Building Construction Science (BCS) program. Dr. Ford has 15 years of industrial experience including corporate work, and 16 years of teaching experience at the post-secondary level.

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Tori Thompson Mississippi State University

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Lecture and lab course formats are still the dominant forms of course delivery in higher education. However, universities and international colleges are increasingly providing courses usually lasting one to eight weeks during summer semesters. The definition of intensive course formats lends some key terms such as time-shortened, compressed, condensed, and block courses. Some research shows that quality of the learning in courses in which various creative teaching methods are employed and students’ performance and outcomes are attentively assessed is comparable to methods when the same subject matter is taught in a traditional format. Yet, there are some studies that show while the learning outcomes from both traditional and intensive formats were perceived to be similar, students found the intensive method more interesting, and rated this format higher overall. On the contrary, some researchers have expressed their concerns about the negative impacts of intensive courses. They believe academic quality is compromised by the efficiency of time and cost. Additionally, another issue reported about intensive courses is their intrinsic requirement for a high level of self-discipline and self-regulation which impacts the success of students without self-management skills as compared with traditional course formats. However, there are not ample research studies addressing the preference of courses with physical activities and hands-on experiences in an intensive format over offered in a regular semester. In this narrower area, two opposite arguments still contradict each other. One side positions itself with a claim on the benefit of physical activity continuation and believes physical activity accomplishments in more frequent and longer sessions, as common in intensive courses, help students to continuously be involved in such activities and ultimately learn more and better. On the other hand, the opposing group argues the short-term learning period does not allow students to fully comprehend a full semester course content. The XXX program at XXX is one of the only two construction programs in the United States with a studio-based curriculum. The program provides a project-based learning environment in which collaborative learning activities are designed and accomplished within the construction department and also between the construction department and other educational units in the college. The backbone of XXX curriculum is eight consecutive six-credit hour studios, each of which is offered in one semester. The major topics of construction programs such as construction equipment and methods, estimating, scheduling, contracts and regulations, and BIM technology are iteratively introduced and practiced through several activities and projects. However, the chain of studios hinders students to pursue their degree completion in a shorter period. The XXX program offers the first two studios in summer so that students can take those and decrease their program duration. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the summer studios, the performance of two groups of students was compared over the course of four years. This paper briefly addresses the outcomes of a quantitative research method used to show the similarities, differences, and correlations between the subjects in traditional and intensive course formats.

Rokooei, S., & Ford, G. D., & Thompson, T. (2019, June), Is Summer Semester Effective Enough in Studio-based Construction Programs? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33031

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