June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1236.1 - 23.1236.10
The Sustainable Building Field Trip – Real vs. VirtualWhen studying sustainable building techniques — can virtual field trips be a substitute for realfield trips? Field trips have long been used to supplement coursework, offer students firsthandknowledge and provide them an opportunity to gather data “in the field.” Albert Einstein said,“The only source of knowledge is experience.” Faculty routinely share their experience andknowledge with students through in-class activities such as lectures and discussions, but out-of-classroom activities such as field trips offer new dimensions in learning. By visiting asustainable building, students can see sustainable construction techniques, building materials andequipment that may not be otherwise available to them. Students learning about the constructionand design fields in 2012 need sustainable building knowledge. This is necessary to meet theincreased public interest in saving money in building lifecycle costs, preserving the environmentand meeting sustainable/energy conserving requirements as set by many permitting agencies andcodes. Although there are increasing numbers of sustainable buildings completed and beingbuilt, a real field trip to one may not be an option. Factors such as the building’s proximity to thestudents’ campus, access to the building, cost of travel, and time constraints may be deterrents togoing on a field trip to a sustainable building. An alternate to the real field trip is the virtual fieldtrip, where for example students can take a virtual tour of a sustainable building online and learnthe information that would be given to participants on a real tour of the facility. The goal of thispaper is to quantitatively examine students’ learning from a real field trip to the QueensBotanical Garden Visitor and Administrative Center, Flushing, New York, an award-winning,sustainable building, and compare it to students’ learning from a virtual field trip on the QueensBotanical Garden website. Two groups of Architecture and Construction Management studentswill be pre-tested on their knowledge of basic sustainable construction techniques found at theVisitor and Administrative Center sustainable building on the field trip, then either taken on areal field trip of the sustainable building or instructed to take a virtual tour of the same facility.Following their field trips, both groups of students will be given the same post-test and theirrespective learning will be assessed and compared. Students will be given a qualitative survey toassess their assigned field trip type. The results of this study will provide faculty with anunderstanding of the relative benefits of integrating a field trip, real or virtual, into their courses..
LoPiccolo, O. S. (2013, June), The Sustainable Building Field Trip – Real vs. Virtual Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22621
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