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Lessons Learned from a Simulation Project in Construction Education

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Construction Education Topics

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1083.1 - 26.1083.11



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Paper Authors

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Saeed Rokooei University of Nebraska, Lincoln Orcid 16x16


James D. Goedert University of Nebraska

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James D. Goedert is an Associate Professor in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the University of Nebraska’s College of Engineering. His Ph.D. is in the Interdisciplinary Area of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska. His MBA is from Indiana University and his undergraduate degree in Construction Engineering Technology is from the University of Nebraska. Dr. Goedert is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Indiana and Nebraska. His entire career has been dedicated to the construction industry beginning in a family owned construction company. He spent eight years in the residential and commercial construction industry before joined academia. He taught construction engineering and management courses at the University of Nebraska for twenty three years and was Department Head for eight of those years. His current research interests include project-based education, educational gaming, building energy modeling, sustainable construction practices, and energy conservation. He is particularly interested in the impact of his research on humanitarian initiatives particularly socially and economically disadvantaged populations both here and abroad. He was the founding President of Engineers without Borders Nebraska Professional Chapter. He regularly travels to Haiti designing and constructing composting latrines, schools and health clinics. He has traveled abroad to Egypt, Uganda, Mali, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Togo looking for opportunities to leverage his research and service interest in developing countries.

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Lessons learned From a Simulation Project in Construction EducationAbstractVirtual Interactive Construction Education (VICE) is a simulation designed for constructioneducation. The purpose was to provide the traditional lecture-based construction contents alongwith supplementary instructions in a project-based learning environment. Six modules wereproposed as a curriculum delivery guideline including: single span bridge, residential building,light commercial, heavy commercial, highway, and segmental bridge. The single span bridge wasthe first module used for prototype development providing an opportunity to design, analyze,implement, and test for effectiveness. This paper describes the design steps and findings of thisthree year research project considering the participants’ feedbacks. VICE-Bridge had several mainactivities and each activity needed different resources such as personnel, equipment and material.The diversity and amount of required resources for each activity made numerous possible scenariosfor each of which an animation or real situation video was simulated. In addition to constructioncontents, graphical aspects and flow of simulation were other important factors considered in theVICE development. Complexity of design plus the effectiveness of interactive features of VICEwithin a limited timeframe and budget shifted the predictive approach to application developmentlife cycle to an adaptive one. Different iterations were tested during development and used foranalysis, design changes and implementation using feedback from participants to augmenteddevelopment process. VICE project has three elements: Pre-Quiz, main simulation and Post-Survey. VICE was tested several times during the development process by more than 100participants. A mixed methodology of both quantitative and qualitative methods was used in thisresearch. The data gathered from Pre-Quiz and main simulation were analyzed to show theeffectiveness of VICE. The results from the Post-Survey that VICE had on participants’ interest ineach of STEM disciplines. Participants also indicate to what degree their performance insimulation is impacted by different factors, including prior knowledge from experience, priorknowledge from classroom instruction, instructions within the simulation, "ask a consultant"feature, instructional videos, and learning from mistakes. In addition, the participants’ beliefsabout using simulation-based learning and project-based learning method as a part of integratedconstruction program curriculum are analyzed. Moreover, the weaknesses and strengths of VICE,asked as open-end questions, are categorized and qualitatively analyzed for all participants. Thesevarious feedbacks were further developed then utilized in subsequent iterations. Since theparticipants’ population consists of college and high school student containing both genders, acomparison is used to show any possible difference in each group for aforementioned questions.

Rokooei, S., & Goedert, J. D. (2015, June), Lessons Learned from a Simulation Project in Construction Education Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24420

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