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Real World Approach To Construction Education: Phase 1 Construction Graphics

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.341.1 - 2.341.7



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Paper Authors

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Scott J. Amos

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James L. Otter

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

Session 2348

“Real-World” Approach To Construction Education: Phase 1 -- Construction Graphics

James L. Otter, Scott Amos Pittsburg State University/Weber State University

INTRODUCTION What happens when successful professional construction company practices are directly integrated into an established four-year construction education program? Hopefully, the result will be a highly skilled and educated construction professional prepared to respond to the ever changing fast-paced world of construction. This desired result can be accomplished by creating an academic program that simulates a "real-world" construction environment within an academic setting. In essence, throw away the traditional "lecture and release" approach to higher education and create an experiential, real world "learn by doing" approach to construction education.

This particular construction education concept was initiated by a group of construction faculty from Pittsburg State University with a variety of professional backgrounds in construction, architecture, engineering and construction management with a goal to develop a new academic approach to construction education. The approach is relatively simple. Instructors would no longer focus on traditional lecturing, classroom activities, grading and assignments. Instead, they would focus on leading, guiding and mentoring groups of students in design, operations, methodology and management in a simulated construction company environment. This process would require students at each level, first year through graduate, to become part of a multi- faceted, multi-functional construction design/manage/construct organization inside a university environment. Faculty would become company officers, CEOs, senior project managers, department managers, etc. First year students would assume introductory roles (plan reviewers, as-built and shop drawing developers, quantity takeoff surveyors, etc.). Each year a student would move up to a different more advanced role. Field engineers, material testers and estimators at the second year level. Senior estimators, project engineers, superintendents at the third year level. Project managers, contract managers, etc. at the senior/graduate year. Project teams would be developed from a cross section of the various levels of students. As the semester/year progressed, special workshops and training sessions would be required for the various jobs and responsibilities (legal issues, ethics, safety, CAD, design concepts, etc.). Students needing to attend traditional courses like English, History and Calculus would in essence be attending a meeting for that period of time each day. The students would be required to be "at work" in some sense a minimum of 8-9 hours each day.

The faculty involved in this project recognized the difficulty of incorporating this model into a traditional academic environment in one quantum leap. They decided to start with a freshman level graphics course to assess potential pitfalls, identify successes and failures, and determine student attitudes and interests relative to this construction education approach. The primary concerns of the group for this initial phase included: 1) how well students would function in an environment where grades were determined both subjectively and objectively, and 2) how well the students would learn fundamental concepts.

Amos, S. J., & Otter, J. L. (1997, June), Real World Approach To Construction Education: Phase 1 Construction Graphics Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6758

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