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eTour for Construction Management Education

Yupeng Luo & Wei Wu

California State University, Fresno

Course Name & Description: CM7S Construction Materials and Basic Building Systems and CM18 Construction Graphics

Project Abstract: In this project, we propose an enhanced virtual field trip (VFT) solution with multi-user virtual reality technology deployed over a cloud-based open platform to facilitate experiential learning experience for construction management students. The proposed solution, called “eTour”, unveils innovative learning and teaching opportunities that are not possible in traditional field trips or early VFTs. eTour allows both instructors and students to access desired field trip experience anywhere they have access to the internet.  It provides an immersive environment constructed with 3D models, 360-degree images, video and audio recordings, and direct interaction with these assets to promote multimodal learning experience. Due to the open-access nature of eTour, it is also possible to have collaborative virtual field trips among students, faculty and industry professionals from multiple institutions and organizations to promote authentic multidisciplinary learning experience.

Keywords/Tags: Virtual Field Trip, Virtual Reality (VR)

Instructional Delivery: Online

Pedagogical Approaches: AR/VR

About the LIT Redesign (Stage 1)

Background on the Redesign

Why Redesign your Course?

Field trips to actual construction sites or manufacturing facilities are a large part of the lab section of CM7S (taught by Dr. Luo) and CM18 (taught by Dr. Wei Wu). These visits provide students with real-world experience and valuable exposure to a wide range of design solutions, construction materials, and building assemblies  they learn from classroom. However, due to the increasing enrollment and limited local sites, it has been difficult to organize these trips. In addition, there is the need to consider job site safety, transportation, weather, and other logistic challenges. Therefore, virtual field trips (VFTs) are proposed here as an alternative with several potential advantages: 

  1. They can replace or enhance background lecturing/information transmission and so increase the time spent by students exploring specific issues in a more ‘inquiry-based’ manner both in the field and on campus. 
  2. They can provide flexibility and cost-effectiveness in production and update, and greatly enhance student accessibility at different scales. 

High Demand/Low Success/Facilities Bottleneck Issues

  • There were about 60 students in both CM7S and CM18 in Spring 2019 (each course had two sections)
  • In the past three years (2017-2019), the % of students receiving repeatable grades (DFW) ranged from 10% to 31.4% for CM7S and from 0 to 12.8% for CM18. 

Course History / Background

  • Both courses are offered to first-year CM students. 

CM 7S_Syllabus_SPR19 (Luo).docx

CM18_Syllabus_Spring 2019.docx

About the Students and Instructor(s) (Stage 2)

Student Characteristics

  • The students in CM7S and CM18 are typically freshmen or 1st year transfer students. They have very limited knowledge about construction. The only CM class they may have taken is CM1 (Intro to Construction Management)

Advice I Give my Students to be Successful

  • Both CM7S and CM18 use “Specifications Grading”. This means that students will achieve various grades by successfully completing all requirements for that grade level. Thus students need to read the syllabus carefully at the beginning of the semester and fully understand these requirements and keep track their progress throughout the semester.

Impact of Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives (SLOs) on Course Redesign

  • CM7S SLOs
    1. Complete basic construction safety certification.
    2. Describe the typical uses of common building materials and basic components of building assemblies.
    3. Apply a working knowledge of construction techniques for building assemblies.
    4. Categorize the project delivery methods used on various construction projects.
    5. Recognize basic principles of sustainable design regarding building materials. 
  • CM18 SLOs
    1. Explain and present design concepts, construction drawings components, bid documentation and specifications with appropriate vocabulary and terminology.
    2. Identify, interpret and correlate naming conventions, drawing components, material specifications and system assemblies.
    3. Create virtual design/construction mock-up models using building information modeling applications.
    4. Develop work plans and manage design and construction process in project based learning.
    5. Perform design and management tasks efficiently via collaboration with other members in a multidisciplinary team environment.

Alignment of SLOs With LIT Redesign

  • The proposed eTour can address CM7S SLOs#2, 3, 5 and CM18 SLOs #1 and 3. 

Assessments Used to Measure Students' Achievement of SLOs

  • Each eTour comes with an exit-quiz (post-assessment) with questions addressing different SLOs the tours are used to assess.

Accessibility, Affordability, and Diversity Accessibility

  • The technology used in the proposed eTours intend to support more students than traditional field trips would. Students with most disabilities (including mobile and auditory disabilities) should be able to access eTours. However students with visual disabilities may not be able to.

Affordability

  • Both CM7S and CM18 are DISCOVERe courses. For CM7S, there is a required textbook. However students can choose the eText option.  CM18 does not have a required text. The instructor provides course lecture notes and video tutorials on software training. Instructions are given in Canvas. There's no additional student fee for the eTours created through this LIT project, which would potentially save cost on transportation. 

Diversity

  • The pedagogical strategies support students' learning with diverse backgrounds and learning style preferences (the proposed eTours will be used as supplementary field trips). 

About the Instructors

Dr. Yupeng (Vivien) Luo

Dr. Wei Wu

  • Dr. Yupeng (Vivien) Luo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Construction Management of the Lyles College of Engineering at California State University, Fresno. She holds an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Her main research interests include sustainable building solutions, technology use in the construction industry and education, service-learning and community engagement. Dr. Luo is a LEED AP BD+C and a CM-BIM holder.
  • Dr. Wei Wu, LEED AP, GGP, CM-BIM, A.M. ASCE, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Construction Management in Lyles College of Engineering at California State University, Fresno. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Built Environment and Equipment Engineering from Hunan University in China in 2004, Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management from University of Oxford in the UK in 2005, and Doctor of Philosophy in Design, Construction and Planning from University of Florida in 2010. Currently, Dr. Wu teaches courses in Construction Graphics, Design Build, BIM for Construction. Dr. Wu’s research interests include building information modeling, construction graphics and visualization, green building and sustainable construction, workforce development, cyber-learning and educational technology, construction and engineering education. Dr. Wu has published more than 40 articles and conference proceedings in these areas. Dr. Wu’s research has been funded by regional and federal agencies including a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) grant on investigating Mixed Reality (MR) for career-specific competency cultivation among construction management and engineering students. 

Curriculum Vitae

LIT Redesign Planning (Stage 3)

Implementing the Redesigned Course 

What are you now doing or planning to do through the redesign of your course? 

  • We are developing virtual field trips as an alternative for traditional field trips in the lab sections of CM7S and CM18. 
  • Scenario 1- Demonstrate a guided virtual tour of the Jordan research center on our campus. The building was photographed using a 360-degree camera. The tour introduces a number of unique building features with building plans preloaded for referencing purposes. This scenario is created to simulate a design critique session for an architectural design class. Here is a preview of the tour: JRC Tour
  • Scenario 2 - Demonstrate a guided tour to a construction site introducing (1) procedures of common field practices such as pouring concrete and framing steel; and (2) safety precautions during these practices. The field activities will be recorded using a 360-degree camera ahead of time.  A 3D model of the building will be provided. Building plans and OSHA checklists need to be preloaded for referencing purposes. This scenario is created to simulate a traditional field trip for a construction materials & methods class. Here is a preview of the tour (not 100% complete): CCMC Tour

What technology strategies have you adopted and why? Explain how you have incorporated the technology to enhance your course redesign.

  • The proposed virtual field trips provide an immersive environment constructed with 3D models, 360-degree images, video and audio recordings, and direct interaction with these assets to promote multimodal learning experience.

What professional development activities have you participated during your course redesign?

  • Attending the LIT monthly meetings to learn from other colleagues' progress on their LIT projects. Studying online tutorials for technology involved in this research, such as use of 360-degree cameras, HoloBuilder, Unity, etc. 

Which Additional Resources Were Needed for the Redesign?

  • We have been testing two online platforms to host the virtual field trips. 

LIT Results and Findings (Stage 4)

LIT Redesign Impact on Teaching and Learning

  • How has the course redesign strategies affected your instruction and your students’ learning? Did your redesign strategy solve the issues that motivated you to redesign the course?
  • Describe how your students mastered the student learning outcomes. Were the students more successful in the redesigned course than in previous courses? Explain.
  • Did you experience unexpected results after teaching the redesigned course? If so, what were they?
  • Consider attaching a more in-depth report describing the impact of your activities and experiences during the course redesign as a document/link/image. If possible consider including samples of students' work that reflect the impact of the redesign.

This part will be completed in the fall as we were not able to do assessment in Spring 2020 due to Covid-19.

Assessment Findings

  • Use table and chart template to report course data (required).

CM7S Grade Distribution (Count)




(Spring 2020) Pre Redesigned Course N=31(Term & Year) Redesigned Course N=
A9
B6
C3
I7
D0
F6
W

WU

Total31
Notes: 

1. A large number of students received an I grade because they were not able to finish some mandatory requirements (such as service-learning) due to Covid-19. They were given an extension to complete.

2. We were not able to implement the redesigned activities in Spring 2020 due to Covid-19, so there's no data in the redesigned course. We plan to provide the data this fall.



CM18 Grade Distribution - Count




(Spring 2020) Pre Redesigned Course N=44(Term & Year) Redesigned Course N=
A14
B15
C11
C-0
D1
F3
W

WU

Total
44

Note:   

We were not able to implement the redesigned activities in Spring 2020 due to Covid-19, so there's no data in the redesigned course. We plan to provide the data this fall.


  • Upload table and chart from your template (required) and reflect on your findings with a short description. You must include a course grades comparison of pre/post student achievements.
  • Share how your students achieved the learning outcomes? Describe how they mastered the learning outcomes compared to previous courses?

This part will be completed in the fall as we were not able to do assessment in Spring 2020 due to Covid-19.

Student Feedback

  • What did your students say or how did they respond to the redesigned activities? Consider including your students' comments about their learning. Include survey results if you are able to capture them. Include student video feedback (optional).

This part will be completed in the fall as we were not able to do assessment in Spring 2020 due to Covid-19.

Challenges my Students Encountered

  • What challenges did the students encounter in the redesigned activities? E.g., technical challenges, organization of course, and redesigned activities.

This part will be completed in the fall as we were not able to use the eTours in Spring 2020 due to Covid-19.

Lessons Learned & Redesign Tips

Teaching Tips

  • What advice do you have for others who might want to use this redesigned course?

We will provide tips this fall as we were not able to try out our eTours in spring classes due to Covid-19. We would like to compare the learning effectiveness between a self-guided eTour and an eTour guided by instructors or industry professionals.

Course Redesign Obstacles

  • What challenges did you confront and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge we encountered was the significant delay caused by COVID-19. We were in the process of documenting the second project when everything was shut down. We had to go back to the site a week after the spring semester was over to collect more field data. We didn't get as many footages as we had hoped. Scenario #2 needs some improvements.  We plan to build another eTour for scenario #2 this summer and fall. 

This also affected the assessment we planned to do in the spring as all in-person instructions were cancelled. We were not able to take our classes to the two sites as planned (we wanted to compare the learning outcomes between traditional field trips and eTours). 

We are doing an initial test in a different class this summer to collect feedback. We will modify the two tours based on the responses and conduct assessment this fall in CM7S and CM18. 

Strategies I Used to Increase Engagement

  • What pedagogical strategies did you use in your new redesigned course to engage students?

These eTours are meant to be used as an alternative for traditional field trips in the lab sections of CM7S and CM18. We plan to implement them this fall. Since technically you don't need a guide in an eTour, we think it would be helpful to give students a brief intro of the project ahead of time, highlighting features that are worth checking out so students can be better prepared when they visit.

Sustainability

  • How do you plan to sustain the LIT redesign beyond the funding period?

Our plan is to have future CM students create eTours as part of their assignments in the CM193I Internship class. We have developed a manual to guide students on how to build an eTour. We will need to secure more funding to purchase a few more 360-degree cameras for students to rent out. 

Instructor Reflection

  • Reflect on your participation in redesigning a course, development of an ePortfolio, participation in CSU Course Redesign Professional Learning Community Share any plans to disseminate/publish the findings of your course redesign activity.

Spring 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to all of us. We weren't too pleased about the progress we made in our LIT project. However, we also saw the silver lining of the situation: It makes what we're doing even more important and urgent. Our redesign (eTour) would better prepare us if we had to switch to virtual instructions again in the future. 

Overall our experience with the development of the ePortfolio and the monthly PLC meetings were very positive. Although many of us came from different disciplines, exchanging ideas, learning from and inspiring each other kept us engaged in this past year.

Once we have finished the assessments this fall, we plan to publish the findings at several engineering and construction management conferences (such as ASEE, ASC, etc.).