Integrated Experiential Learning-Based Framework to Facilitate Project Planning in Civil Engineering and Construction Management Courses

Jingxiao Zhang*, Haiyan Xie, Klaus Schmidt, Bo Xia, Hui Li, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


The competence of leveraging Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology in the early project stages is critical to drive its efficacy throughout the project life cycle. However, a review of the literature indicated a lack of research into upskilling undergraduate students in civil engineering and construction management (CECM) majors, particularly with respect to such competencies as using BIM in design, planning, processing, managing, and communicating complex projects. To better facilitate the skills for undergraduate students, this study formulated an innovative framework using Kolb's experiential learning (EL) with tailored BIM capstone course activities for project planning and implementations. This framework includes concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. It provides the necessary integration of EL, the BIM planning guide, and pedagogies of capstone courses. It helps instructors to monitor and control learning activities based on the BIM planning guide and to test hypotheses through experiments. The framework includes features of group work involvement, connection with practical information, and student-centered learning. Subsequent surveys of students and teachers provided further evidence of the framework merits, specifically in terms of the improved formation of student cognition of BIM-based project planning (90% improvement), in addition to enhanced capabilities in process mapping (70% improvement), software operation (80% improvement), and information exchange (100% improvement). The proposed framework sets an innovative pedagogical rationale to which university-based BIM education can refer and upskills undergraduate students, expanding their capabilities in information and communication technology in the context of EL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05019005
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


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