Date of this Version
2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Paper ID #18096
Many academic programs utilize simulation applications to supplement higher education, but there are only a few applications responding to the need in construction curricula, particularly with a focus on project management. Project management is an interdisciplinary area of study, crosscutting multiple fields including the construction, information technology, and business sectors. This paper presents the design, development, and test of a research project entitled Project-oriented Educational Research Fostering Excellence in Cyber-infrastructure Teaching (PERFECT). It investigates the effect of a construction project management simulation on construction management students’ engagement and perceptions at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
The goal of PERFECT was to develop and study the efficacy of a simulation for construction project time management. This is a common knowledge area in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) standard published by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PERFECT was a pilot module created in a simulated environment and allowed students to be interactively engaged in time managementrelated processes. Participants played the role of a project manager and were required to make management decisions throughout the simulation. Processes like input, tools and methods, and outputs in PERFECT were designed in accordance with the PMBOK standard. The fully developed application was tested with two groups of 30 construction students: the first group included students with prior project time management knowledge (Group A) whereas the second group consisted of students without any prior knowledge (Group B). The students’ data were captured and retrieved automatically without any human interaction. A quantitative research method was used for analyzing the data and a retrospective post- survey was conducted to obtain participants’ perceptions of the application. The results indicated the effectiveness of PERFECT and supported the expansion and further development of similar simulation applications. This type of evidence-based learning system not only enhances the validity and reliability of the application, but has a potential for incorporation into the academic arena particularly in construction.