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Visualization In Construction Science And Engineering Education

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Technology in Classrooms - Construction Engineering Perspective

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1435.1 - 11.1435.8



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Paper Authors

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Mohammed Haque Texas A&M University

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

Visualization in Construction Science and Engineering Education


With the rising reliability and serviceability of IT technology in recent years, science, engineering, and technology classes have begun to vastly assimilate IT technology as an effective tool for classroom reform. The widening gamut of IT applications has come to include the development of web based “virtual learner-centered classrooms,” allowing typical classrooms to reach more extensive student populations. As the archetypal engineering and construction science classroom is highly dependent on the instructor, developing students’ critical thinking skills becomes a challenging task for even the most inspired of educators. Nonetheless, these skills are a continual necessity for any student planning to venture into the engineering or construction science profession. Despite the excellence of the various textbooks available for engineering students, the associated rigorous theories and rhetoric make it a tedious academic hurdle for numerous students. However, through the implementation of IT technology, theories are exemplified in a virtual environment--replacing the dullness of written theory with rich multimedia, animation, interactivity, virtual walk-through, and manipulated image visualization. These educational advancements substantially improve students’ conceptual understanding. This paper demonstrates various design and construction visualization techniques that would act as critical improvements in the educational sphere of the typical engineering and construction science classrooms. Technologies such as image visualization/ animation, virtual reality image manipulation, design animation, and walk-through virtual navigation are exhibited throughout this paper. These techniques, demonstrated through virtual construction models of steel structures, can potentially be valuable tools not only in the classroom, but also as effective self-directed tools for open learning by facilitating the expansive power of the World Wide Web.

Introduction and Background

The traditional methods of classroom teaching are often supplemented by alternative methods, to enhance the understanding of the students. These include field trips, use of 3D drawings and physical models. Although field trips are the best way to expose students to actual construction methodologies and sequences, they present difficulties of logistics and cost. Besides, the site may not be at a particular stage of construction, or the construction may not be fast enough to explore the various aspects of the process within a short duration of time1. In addition, the risks involved in field trips may be a deterrent in arranging more site visits for the students by the educational institutions.

Although the traditional methods of instruction are very effective in explaining the principles of structure to students, they have limitations that often make their use for instructional purposes unviable. Haque2 is of the view that traditional lecture format teaching methods sometimes fall short of conveying the complex analysis and design principles that need to be mastered in structural design. Enhancing World Wide Web developments, the new opportunities for interactivity and flexible access to various media format (text, sound, static illustrations, 2D and

Haque, M. (2006, June), Visualization In Construction Science And Engineering Education Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--274

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