Service-Learning in an Introductory Course in Construction Management

Authors: , ,


Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development (Jacoby, 1996). The popularity of service-learning in higher education has grown tremendously in recent years, presumably due to the numerous benefits associated with the instructional technique (Collier & Lawson, 1997). Some of the benefits include providing community services, improving the academic institution’s public image, and perhaps most importantly, providing students with many valuable educational experiences that cannot be achieved through the traditional classroom approach to education (Ehrlich, 1996). For instance, it is generally assumed that service-learning develops a strong sense of civic responsibility among participating students, and that the experiential or hands-on learning approach enables students to achieve a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the course material. While the effectiveness of the service-learning approach has been examined in a number of academic areas, the benefits of service-learning in many technical fields, such as construction management (CM), is largely undocumented (Kerka, 1999). The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary examination of the effectiveness of using a service-learning approach in an introductory CM course for enhancing students’ perceived civic responsibility and comprehension of curriculum knowledge.

Keywords: construction|curriculum|ethics|research|research methods|teaching methods

How to Cite: McCrary, S. W. , Peterson, D. K. & Strong, S. (2007) “Service-Learning in an Introductory Course in Construction Management”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. 23(2).