Construction Research Fundamentals Course to Support Graduate Student Built Environment Thesis and Dissertation Research and Writing
2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Construction Management (CM) programs are increasingly awarding graduate degrees. Many of these university programs require some combination of standardized classroom teaching and independent research as part of the graduate level plan of study. Unlike traditional engineering degrees which test theory from a quantitative or positivist position, CM programs often relate to issues that are more difficult to measure using strictly quantifiable metrics. Because the managerial issues faced by CM
... ues faced by CM graduates deal with human interaction and behavior, research in the built environment often resembles social science research to a greater degree than traditional scientific research. As graduate programs in CM expand, students need opportunities to gain experience with a range of research methodologies that are available to complete valid research on construction management issues. Previous research indicated that educators active in graduate education for the built environment support the idea that student should experience and learn about the general overarching fundamentals of research applicable to a diversity of challenges in the built environment 1 . Small programs can rely on the individual mentorship of students or on student opportunities to serve as research assistants, but as student populations grow, a more formalized approach is needed to support education in a variety of research methodologies as graduate students complete their thesis or dissertation obligations. This paper describes the experience of a CM program at a large Midwest research university during the first four years of a course in 'Construction Research Fundamentals' created to support student thesis and dissertation research and writing across a variety of technical, managerial, and social research on the creation or operation of the built environment. This case material will be useful for others wishing to increase the understanding of fundamentals of research appropriate for graduate research in construction related programs. 17. Hallowell, M.R. and Gambatese, J.A. (2010) Qualitative research: application of the Delphi method to CEM research. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 136 (1), 99-107.