Students’ perceptions of BIM education in the higher education sector: A UK and US perspective

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Journal Article
Industry and Higher Education, 2017, 31 (5), pp. 293 - 304
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© The Author(s) 2017. The use of building information modelling (BIM) has increased in the global architecture, engineering, construction and owner-operated (AECO) industries. This increased use has contributed to a recognition by project stakeholders of its importance across the building life cycle, leading higher education institutions to rethink their AECO provisions. There has been much debate about how BIM should be employed in undergraduate curricula: should it be included as a stand-alone subject in a programme or as an underlying theme across the programme? Research has also been conducted into theories of practice with regard to BIM education. This article builds on previous research in the codeBIM project and describes students’ perceptions of current practice in the United States and the United Kingdom. The article begins with a literature review of current theories of BIM teaching in AECO and a summary of good practice. The use of focus groups is described and the findings from focus group sessions held in the United Kingdom and the United States are discussed. The authors identify six key areas required for BIM to be inclusive in higher education: collaborative curricula, space, teamwork, relevance to the industry, technical/technological skills and the role of the professor or lecturer. Each of these areas is discussed in light of the findings from the focus groups.
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