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Peer Assessment Of Team Work And Collaborative Learning In Construction/Civil Engineering

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engineering Education I

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.969.1 - 13.969.10



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Paper Authors


Enno Koehn Lamar University

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Enno “Ed” Koehn is Professor of Civil Engineering at Lamar University. Dr. Koehn has served as the principle investigator for several research and development projects dealing with various aspects of construction. He also has experience in the design, scheduling, and estimating of facilities. He has authored/co-authored over 200 papers in engineering education, as well as the general areas of civil and construction engineering. Dr. Koehn is a member of ASEE, AACE International, ASCE, NSPE, Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and is a registered Professional Engineer and Surveyor.

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James Koehn Chadron State College

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James F. Koehn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business and Economics at Chadron State College, Nebraska, where he is also the Director of the Nebraska Business Development Center. Koehn currently serves on the Education Advisory Committee of the Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Accounting degrees from Rice University and earned a Juris Doctor from Baylor University. Koehn has worked for an international accounting firm in both their Houston and New York City offices, and he practiced tax and corporate law in Austin, Texas. Koehn is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the State Bar of Texas.

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

Peer Assessment of Teamwork and Collaborative Learning in Construction/Civil Engineering Recently, employers have indicated that they are not totally satisfied with the individualistic approach of the average engineering graduate. This may be due to the fact that in many companies team goals, team contributions, and team rewards often supersede individual actions. The findings of a past study suggest that students have accepted the concepts of collaborative teaching and learning, as well as team projects. In fact, many believe that these concepts develop critical thinking and leadership skills. However, this investigation of the peer assessment process suggests that not all students are doing their share in team work projects. Unfortunately, this is a problem with team assignments that may be difficult to solve. Nevertheless, comments indicate that a course utilizing the concepts of collaborative learning and teamwork was interesting, informative, and could be of assistance to respondents in future endeavors. This paper discusses these concepts.


Presently and in the past, engineering faculty often utilized the lecture method for classroom instruction. However, classroom discussion, collaborative learning/teaching, and team experiences are generally thought to be required for the enhancement of critical thinking and leadership skills. Nevertheless, the concept of group learning and especially discussion may, at times, be difficult to initiate, because students have generally competed against each other since the first grade. However, today teamwork is often more important than individual actions in many companies.

This paper reviews the importance of communication skills, the concept of collaborative learning/teaching, and presents the results of an investigation of student peer assessment of team projects. The data for the study were obtained from a survey of students enrolled in civil/construction engineering courses that were taught for a number of years.

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning may be described as an intellectual endeavor in which individuals act jointly with others to become knowledgeable of some particular subject matter. Unfortunately, collaboration may sometimes be called cheating. However, upon graduation most individuals become part of an industrial or university team and are required to collaborate with the members of the group. Today, teamwork is especially important to engineering students. A recent paper indicates that there are challenges related to group learning10. It was found that “It was more difficult teaching the students how to function effectively as a team than it was teaching them some of the more advanced technical tools.” Another study suggests that students indicate only moderate support for group or team work13.

Koehn, E., & Koehn, J. (2008, June), Peer Assessment Of Team Work And Collaborative Learning In Construction/Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3890

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