Enhancing practical pedagogy for construction students with e-learning technologies

  • YEAR
    Williams, Tony
    Sher, Willy
    Simmons, Catharine
    Gu, Ning
    2010 Conference Papers


ABSTRACT: E-learning has increasingly come to the fore as a means to enhance students’ learning in
design education. This is despite academic research warning against putting too much onus on these
technologies as the answer in improved learning experiences for students. This paper explores
whether e-learning technologies have a significant role in linking students’ knowledge, learnt from their
practical placement experiences, to the theory learnt in the building and construction education
curricula. This paper reviews a recently awarded Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)
research grant, which compares work-based learning within the building and construction discipline,
with nursing – a discipline where practical skills and experiences also play an important role. Overall,
the research project aims to explore if new e-learning technologies can engage students by better
connecting and integrating work-based learning and academic studies.

This paper concentrates on the Construction Management (CM) portion of the project. Derived from
the outcomes of our preliminary research, the paper presents a robust framework that could facilitate
and encourage reflective learning during work-based activities through using e-learning technologies,
predominantly electronic (e)-portfolios. Through the development process of the framework, various
challenges in evaluating work-based learning in construction management are discussed. These
range from competency definitions, to strategies and criteria for assessing practical experience within
e-portfolio platforms.


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