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Construction and constructivism: learning contract management and administration via simulated transactions

Agapiou, Andrew and Maharg, Paul and Nicol, Emma (2010) Construction and constructivism: learning contract management and administration via simulated transactions. Centre for Education in the Built Environment Transactions, 7 (2). pp. 37-54. ISSN 1745-0322

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Abstract

The higher education sector is being confronted with a confluence of radical changes including rapidly evolving bodies of interdependent knowledge and skills, growing numbers of students, decreasing funding, and demand for flexible and individually tailored pedagogical frameworks. Some of these changes are antithetical with other changes whereas some call for radical rethinking of traditional teaching and learning strategies. To address the challenges of wider educational change and our local conditions, Strathclyde University has developed an approach to professional simulations called SIMPLE (SIMulated Professional Learning Environment). One aspect of the project focuses on developing an interactive digital learning environment to enable postgraduate Architecture students to learn some aspects of the Management, Practice and Law syllabus. This syllabus is arguably rather abstract in its content, and our hypothesis was that the development of a simulation environment could provide a more effective and engaging method for learning professional knowledge and skills. This paper describes the design, pedagogical structure, implementation and evaluation of the SIMPLE simulation within this module.