Simulation for Education in Construction and Construction Management
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Construction is a complex industry. It is particularly important to educate and train people in the procedures and management of the industry. Such training needs to be very broad in order to provide maximum benefit. It also needs to facilitate faster and more reliable learning than the traditional "learning on the job? which used to be the way of initiating fresh graduates to construction management.Traditional education and training can only improve some aspects, but simulation has been introduced to broaden the spectrum of and improve the effectiveness of learning to cope with more complex issues that face engineers in the industry. Typically simulations are computer-based and designed to tackle the management of technical aspects of construction. The authors have many years of experience of running courses at various levels using such simulations. However, this type of simulation can lead to a false understanding of the effectiveness of the methods being considered. For example, a simulation designed to „teach? planning and control will almost certainly neglect the human influence or model it in a simplistic manner. The learner is then likely to acquire a biased or partial view of the effectiveness of the techniques and not appreciate actions that are necessary to use them in practice.This paper discusses how a computer-based simulation has been used in practice in a number of institutions around the world (U.K., Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand) using simulation. It is based on many years of experience of developing and using IT and non-IT based simulations and examples currently being used are provided to illustrate the arguments. It concludes by suggesting areas for future IT-based development of simulations for education and training.
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