International Collaborative Construction Management Course: A Teaching Case Study

Soibelman, L,
Akinci, B,
Ozcan, G,
Dikmen Toker, İrem
Birgönül, Mustafa Talat
In order to cope with the changes emerged as a result of globalization, civil engineers need to be equipped with advanced communication, management, leadership and social skills to work effectively and lead multi-cultural teams that are not co-located and that work both synchronously and asynchronously. Currently, universities are facing the globalization challenge and in need of revising existing curricula so as to fulfill the requirements of the global construction market. This paper introduces a unique course on International Collaborative Construction Management (ICCM) targeting improving cross-cultural communication skills and awareness of civil engineering students on construction practices in different parts of the world by using a collaborative and projectbased learning approach. The primary aim of this course is to increase the ability of students to function within and lead multi-cultural teams by exposing them to a real international collaboration experience. The course is intended to provide hands on experience on facility planning process and project management techniques. Students are required to prepare schedules, cost estimates, risk management plans and design production systems working with joint venture partners that provide the required knowledge about local construction methods, costs, productivity rates, standards etc. Students collaborate with each other from remote locations via the Internet taking maximum advantage of information and communication technologies. This course was offered for the first time in Spring 2007 and had participants from Carnegie Mellon University at US, Middle East Technical University at Turkey, Technion Israel Institute of Technology at Israel and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul at Brazil. The specific focus of this paper is on describing the experiences of the Turkish-US student joint-venture team that prepared a bid package for the Eskisehir Light Rail Transit Project in Turkey. Analyzing the weekly logs, minutes of meeting and final presentations that were done by the students, we will discuss the performance of this course in meeting its objectives. We will also present major shortcomings of the ICCM course as reported by the students themselves. Finally, a set of strategies will be proposed to address the shortcomings and to enhance the performance of the course in forthcoming years. The lessons learned in this course provide valuable information for other institutions that aim at educating globally-savy engineers and that perform research on international construction and project management.
Citation Formats
L. Soibelman, B. Akinci, G. Ozcan, İ. Dikmen Toker, and M. T. Birgönül, “International Collaborative Construction Management Course: A Teaching Case Study,” presented at the 5th International Conference on Innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (25 - 28 Haziran 2008), Antalya, Turkey, 2008, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: