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"Off-piste pedagogy" : construction site visits for undergraduate civil engineers

Murray, Michael and Tennant, Stuart (2016) "Off-piste pedagogy" : construction site visits for undergraduate civil engineers. In: Sixth International Symposium of Engineering Education, 2016-07-14 - 2016-07-15, Sheffield.

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Undertaking construction site visits with undergraduate civil engineers can assist students to acclimatise to the realities of construction contracting practice. Construction site visits allow students to meet project personnel and observe the construction technology whilst benefiting from additional learning associated with risk and commercial issues in real-time. Whilst the provision of construction site visits can present various logistical problems related to the site and university custom, they do provide a number of educational benefits. The data collection required students to complete post visit questionnaires designed to elicit both positive and negative attributes associated with each visit. This paper provides an analysis of the questionnaires returned by the students enrolled on a civil engineering course. Recommendations are made for academics and practitioners on what may be done to ensure a successful site visit and the authors discuss opportunities for contextual learning before, during and after construction site visits are undertaken