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Assessing Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) for Construction Management Education

10 pagesPublished: May 15, 2022


This paper contributes to the current discussions and research on the use of 3D digital technologies in teaching and learning. It specifically focuses on the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in construction management higher education. There were three objectives: (1) to check the impact of this approach on student learning (2) to determine which factors increased the perception of immersion (3) to assess whether this type of learning could affect cognitive change. A VLE of a construction site and related scenarios were used to develop a set of learning outcomes focused on soft-skills. Utilizing Virtual Reality (VR) to create an immersive environment, the VLE enables a student to work on a construction site, undertaking real life scenarios and interacting with people to enhance leadership, behavioural health, safety, quality, and productivity skills. A series of individual scenarios were developed to help contextualize the learning outcomes. These scenarios were based around a day managing a construction site. The immersive simulations were underpinned with pedagogical tools and structures, namely the Kolb Experiential learning Model and Gibbs Model of Reflection (Kolb, 1984; Gibbs, 1988). The experiential learning allows the student to make decisions and understand the consequences. The learning takes place in a safe environment which negates impact on a real job site and is reinforced through feedback, knowledge sharing, and mentoring. The assessment involved questionnaires designed to evaluate the impact of experiential learning, assess which aspects of the simulation had the greatest impact in relation to the feeling of immersion, and to assess whether this type of teaching could affect cognitive change. The results indicate that the students perceived the method to be effective and highlighted 3 key factors relating to immersion - the actors, the site office, and the site paperwork. The outcome of the third objective was not conclusive and further research on long term cognitive change is recommended.

Keyphrases: Immersive Simulation, scenarios, Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

In: Tom Leathem, Wesley Collins and Anthony J. Perrenoud (editors). ASC2022. 58th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference, vol 3, pages 542--551

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Bradley Benhart and Stephen Austin and Amela Bogdanovic and Janet Campbell and Andy Reid},
  title     = {Assessing Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) for Construction Management Education},
  booktitle = {ASC2022. 58th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference},
  editor    = {Tom Leathem and Wes Collins and Anthony Perrenoud},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Built Environment},
  volume    = {3},
  pages     = {542--551},
  year      = {2022},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2632-881X},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/p422}}
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