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Use of Student Self-Evaluations to Reinforce the Project Control Cycle

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Construction Project Delivery and Control

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1644.1 - 26.1644.10



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Paper Authors


MaryEllen C. Nobe Colorado State University

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Dr. MaryEllen C. Nobe is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University. Her primary areas of research are construction education, human dimensions of construction management, and sustainable construction.

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Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez Colorado State University

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Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University. He is committed to advancing research and teaching in the sustainability of infrastructure projects. He believes that educating the next generation of professionals will play a pivotal role in making sustainability a standard practice.

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Use of Student Self Evaluations to Reinforce the Project Control CycleThe project control cycle has seven basic steps: (1) develop project plan, (2) establishbenchmarks, (3) monitor project performance, (4) identify deviation, (5) evaluate correctiveoptions, (6) make adjustment, and (7) document, report and evaluate (Jackson, 2010). Whenattempting to teach this project control cycle, the importance of ‘evaluate’ is difficult to conveyto students. This paper represents a qualitative case study conducted with freshman studentsenrolled in CON 101: Introduction to Construction Management on how to convey theimportance of evaluating project performance – regardless if the project was a success or not.The purpose of this course is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of theconstruction industry including: different industry sectors, different career paths, and thefundamental skills need to design, estimate, plan, and build a construction project. The projectcontrol cycle is taught as part of ‘building a construction project’ under the subheading‘monitoring project performance’. As stated in the literature, the hardest step of the projectcontrol cycle to implement is the last step of document, report and evaluate. Of these, theevaluation portion is even more difficult for a team to accomplish. One of the reason for thisdifficulty is that members of the construction management team are often burnt out with respectto the project they have just finished and are eager to start on a new project. In order to instill instudents early in their degree program the importance of evaluation both to constructionmanagement and to their individual success, a case study was developed and implemented withstudents enrolled in CON 101.Throughout the course, analogies were made between the successful management of aconstruction project and an individual student’s successful completion of their constructionmanagement degree. For example, one of the determinants of success for a construction projectis how well the resources available to build the project (e.g. money, labor, materials, equipment,and subs) are managed. With respect to a student’s degree, their success is also dependent onresource utilization. For example, they have limited funds to cover their schooling expenses andliving expenses. They have limited time for work, classes, studying, and socializing. At the endof the semester, students were asked to evaluate their semester. This paper presents the lessonslearned by students during their personal evaluation phase.Evaluating is to identify and share information about what worked and what didn’t work duringthe project (Jackson, 2010). In the context of CON 101, students were asked to treat theirsemester of courses as a project that they would evaluate. Each student wrote a 1-2 page papersummarizing their evaluation. In total 47 students completed the assignment. Thematic analysiswas conducted on the students’ papers. The emerging themes from these evaluations will bepresented in this paper. This information will provide insight into students’ overall evaluation oftheir success during their first semester – which is a critical semester in students’ college careers.

Nobe, M. C., & Valdes-Vasquez, R. (2015, June), Use of Student Self-Evaluations to Reinforce the Project Control Cycle Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24981

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