June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
19.32.1 - 19.32.10
Successful Academic Partnership in the Development of an International Construction Practices CourseAs in many other industries, globalization is having a significant impact on engineeringeducation and the construction industry. In some cases, major projects require the contributionsof virtual global teams made up of members located around the world. These teams oftenfunction across multiple time zones, multiple cultures, and sometimes multiple languages. Theyalso can take place synchronously or asynchronously. The challenge of working effectively withmulticultural teams will continue to grow in importance. Students graduating fromengineering/construction programs need to be functional in this global environment. To addressthis need, this paper discusses a successful partnership among several international universitiesto develop a construction practices course designed to prepare engineers for the globalworkforce. The course specifically focuses on sharing global construction engineering andmanagement practices and includes partnerships primarily with universities located in the U.S.,China, India, Canada, and Chinese Taipei and has been offered twice thus far.Development of this course involved not only esteemed internationally known faculty andprofessionals in the field of civil engineering from countries such as Germany, Ireland, Panama,Singapore, and South Africa. In addition, the course involved professionals in other fieldsincluding librarians with special copyright expertise, engineering distance education programadministration, strong teaching assistant support, video communication experts, and aninstructional designer. Students are presented with a critical body of knowledge related tointernational construction management practices (e.g., bidding/procurement, safety, finance,leadership, communications, legal aspects, dispute resolution, and sustainability) and develop anappreciation for designing and building projects in a multinational, multicultural, andmultilingual environment. Content is delivered using a combination of live and pre-recordedlectures or presentations.Development challenges confronted by the leadership team pertained to planning and logisticalissues (e.g., identifying partnership opportunities with international institutions, addressingdifferent semester schedules and time zones, determining appropriate content, identifyingsuitable domain experts, addressing intellectual property rights, and securing the necessaryfunding) and technology issues (e.g., working with different technology platforms and teachingin both synchronous and asynchronous modes). Feedback from students and faculty has beenpositive for both offerings of this course and there is anticipation of future offerings as well.Particularly, engineering students gained tremendous knowledge about construction practicesand issues in other countries and got a taste of what it will be like when they work in the realworld and are faced with communication issues on multi-national teams. Support staffs at allinstitutions were challenged by the demands of this course and rose to the occasion, therebyincreasing their internal capabilities. The significance of this paper is to provide lessons learnedto help others better understand the challenges of developing a successful partnership amongmultiple international universities.
Jaselskis, E. J., & Valdes-Vasquez, R., & Kalidindi, S. N., & Krute, L. D., & Guo, H., & Comiskey, D., & Nelson, D. M. (2015, June), Successful Academic Partnership in the Development of an International Construction Practices Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE International Forum, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/17155
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