The Construction Game - Using Physical Model Making to Simulate Realism in Construction Education

Centre for Education in the Built Environment
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal for Education in the Built Environment, 2009, 4 (1), pp. 57 - 74
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A conundrum exists between teaching construction principles in the classroom, and an applied understanding of what actually happens on building sites. This paper explores and reports on using a physical model making game as a means of applied learning in construction technology courses. The link between model making, games and learning theory is discussed. A structured approach to model making involving a 1:10 scale model of a house was developed and implemented (referred to as the Construction Game). It aimed to foster a tactile appreciation of converting a design into physical construction, plus a first-hand understanding of the organisational dynamics involved in managing the process. As part of this, students experienced the dynamics of group management, subcontracting, communications and time scheduling. Findings regarding the success of the Game are based on feedback from tutor and student survey results. Feedback from the students was positive and identified targeted areas for improvement. The overall approach is posited as being an achievable means of simulating real construction processes in a way that enlists high levels of student participation and can be executed as a parallel stream to reinforce lecture content.
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