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Technology Skill Assessment Of Construction Students And Professional Workers

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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

Accreditation and Assessment Concerns in Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1192.1 - 13.1192.12



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Paper Authors


Thuy Nguyen University of Texas at Austin

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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.

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Kathy Schmidt University of Texas at Austin

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KATHY J. SCHMIDT is the director of the Faculty Innovation Center for the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. The FIC’s mission is to provide faculty with effective instructional tools and strategies. In this position, she promotes the College of Engineering’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.

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William O'Brien University of Texas at Austin

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

Technology Skill Assessment of Construction Students and Professional Workers


In recent years, technology has been introduced to the construction jobsites at an increasingly rapid pace. As a result, there is a pressing need to increase the technology awareness and skill level of these practitioners and of those who are in academia. This new focus on technology education has to be incorporated first of all in the general curriculum and specific pedagogy of civil engineering programs at the university level as these are the source of next generations of leaders for the industry. In order to address this issue, we were awarded a NSF-funded project with two objectives: to identify the student and workforce learning characteristics in general, and to conduct an assessment of the current technology skills and knowledge of construction and engineering students and professional workers. These baseline data are being used to identify the needs of technology education for the construction workforce. More importantly, these findings are guiding the design and testing of prototypical technology-enhanced learning. This paper presents our initial findings from engineering students in our on-going research on effective pedagogy for technology-based construction education. In the paper, we will describe the design of the baseline data collection instruments that assess student technology skills and use of the learning module prototype, the most important findings from the data collected, as well as a discussion on the learning modules designed as a validation tool for our framework.


Advanced cyberinfrastructure – particularly in information integration and sensor networks – is increasingly being developed to support the civil infrastructure of roads, bridges, buildings, etc. In particular, there is a call for the intelligent job site (IJS), which can be considered a domain specific instance of broader visions for ubiquitous computing.1 The intelligent job site seeks to revolutionize construction practice in terms of safety performance and productivity through distributed computing and deployment of a variety of sensors. A wide range of research and field trials are being conducted using IJS cyberinfrastructure, and specific applications have shown the potential of sensor and computing devices to affect practice. For example, earth moving has shown a significant increase in productivity by the use of terrain scanning, GPS, and laser devices directing equipment operations.2 Broad dissemination, however, of these technologies to the engineering and construction workforce has been painfully slow. There is a pressing need to disseminate IJS knowledge to practice, through both a novel pedagogy and by leveraging existing partnerships.

The intelligent job site (IJS) envisions the use of sensors, wireless networks, and mobile devices to augment capabilities commonly provided by centralized planning tools. Such augmented construction environments are relatively standard examples of ubiquitous computing, and many technical solutions cross domains other than construction. The basic rationale for IJS technologies is that improved state awareness will enhance productivity and safety. The development of inexpensive sensors and wireless devices (in particular, motes or devices designed with the intent of internetworking collections of sensors) makes deployment of the

Nguyen, T., & Schmidt, K., & O'Brien, W. (2008, June), Technology Skill Assessment Of Construction Students And Professional Workers Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4314

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