Seifan, M., Dada, O. D., & Berenjian, A. (2020). The effect of real and virtual construction field trips on students’ perception and career aspiration. Sustainability, 12(3), 1200–1200. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031200
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13441
To adequately prepare students for engineering practices, it is imperative that institutions adopt innovative methods of teaching, learning, and assessment. One such approach is the use of real field trips (RFT) to construction sites, which can enhance students’ perceptions of related careers. Although virtual field trips (VFTs) have emerged as a viable alternative—or supplement—to traditional field trips, little is known about their potential to provide the same or similar career exploration advantages. Using responses from a self-reported questionnaire administered to university students who participated in an RFT, this study sought to examine the usefulness of site visits in developing essential skills required for civil engineers. It also examines student perceptions on the use of VFTs as part of their university experience and the extent to which it could replace RFTs. The results indicate that students consider VFT as an enjoyable way to learn, given the possibilities facilitated by the new technology. However, notwithstanding its success, the students commonly opined that VFT was not a substitute for a RFT. From a holistic perspective, the issue is not whether VFTs can replace traditional field trips or not; it is rather the focus on identifying an integrated approach that combines lectures, and virtual and real field trips in a manner that supports a social constructivism mode of learning. Ultimately, this combination will enable students to effectively construct multiple links between lectures given in a hall and the real world outside.
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