Asee peer logo

Technology Enhanced Instructional Design In Construction: Framework And Case Study

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovation in Construction Engineering Education II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1171.1 - 14.1171.17



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Thuy Nguyen University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

THUY NGUYEN is a research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing her PhD studies in the program of Construction Engineering and Project Management. Her research
interests include project management, instructional design, human resource management and educational psychology.

visit author page


Fernando Mondragon Solis

visit author page

FERNANDO MONDRAGON is a Ph.D. student in the program of Construction Engineering and Project Management in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Southern Methodist University and a B.S. from Monterrey Technological Institute in Mexico. He is currently part of the research on a construction workforce technology education project. In addition to several civil projects he has served as a teacher in two Distance Education online programs for low-income communities.

visit author page

author page

William O'Brien University of Texas, Austin


Kathy Schmidt University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

KATHY J. SCHMIDT is the Director of the Faculty Innovation Center for the Cockrell School of
Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. In this position, she promotes the School's
commitment to finding ways to enrich teaching and learning. She works in all aspects of education including design and development, faculty training, learner support, and evaluation. Contact

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Technology-Enhanced Instructional Design in Construction: Framework and Case Study Abstract

Teaching construction at the university level is a challenging task due to the complexity of construction activities and the logical/temporal/spatial interdependencies among them. Technology-enhanced instruction, if properly designed, has a great potential for helping students to reduce the tremendous amount of cognitive load when learning about the construction process and keeping them actively engaged for high level tasks such as evaluation and decision-making. This paper outlines a design framework that can be used to develop technology-supported teaching tools that will help achieve the desired learning objectives for any subject matter. The framework is built by integrating the existing well- established literature in instructional design with the commonly accepted strategies in active learning and interaction design. Its student-centered approach to design is reflected in the incorporation of students’ learning style within the design process. To illustrate, the framework was applied to develop hypothetical software that would be a material management learning module. This was then compared to an independently created learning module that used mobile technologies – tablet PCs and sensors – to simulate a virtual jobsite and served the same learning objectives as those of the hypothetical module. Evaluation of the learning module was performed using a small but representative sample. The evaluation includes student performance data, student feedback, and our observational data. The paper will also conclude with lessons learned and considerations for additional development of mobile technologies for instruction.


Construction as a discipline is difficult to teach in the traditional classroom as much pedagogy concerns spatial reasoning about the layout of job sites, materials flows, work areas, etc. Furthermore, construction projects are large, always changing, and, at least for students, inherently unsafe for much more than a field trip. With the advancement of modern technology, this challenge can be overcome by creating a learning environment that virtually expands the classroom beyond the walls of the engineering school building. A simulated jobsite on a computing device equipped with good visualization and manipulation capabilities will provide students with virtual but meaningful learning experiences. Such a technology-and-content-rich environment is also a great condition for active learning – an instructional approach that has been warmly embraced by and desired among educators due to its teaching effectiveness.

The promising potential of an effective technology-supported classroom only becomes reality if properly designed instruction is in place. This requires not only effective pedagogical design but also an efficient and innovative interface design. Instructional design in itself is a difficult task, especially for a domain complex as construction where any learning goal is a multifaceted goal that requires students to understand both the various components of the physical environment and the way these components relate to and react with one another in space and over time. Technology adds one more dimension

Nguyen, T., & Mondragon Solis, F., & O'Brien, W., & Schmidt, K. (2009, June), Technology Enhanced Instructional Design In Construction: Framework And Case Study Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4727

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015