Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Mehrtens, V. (April, 2011). Winning Work: An Action Research Approach to Improve Experiential Learning through Industry Simulation in a Construction Management Course. Paper presented at 36th Annual Conference for Australian University Building Educators, Bond University, Gold Coast.


This paper reports an action research enquiry undertaken to improve experiential learning in a construction management course through the implementation of an industry simulation. The first cycle of action research is described and discussed. Theoretical literature relating to action research and experiential learning is reviewed as it influenced the process. The planned action drew upon industry input to simulate in the classroom the procurement process undertaken by a construction company in preparing a tender submission for a building project. In the context of a broader study of the procurement of projects in the construction industry students participated in teams in a staged scenario entitled Winning Work. An industry guide tutored students at each stage of the process as they prepared specific deliverables. Each student also wrote in their learning journal reflecting upon their experience of preparing the tender submission with the industry guide. Evaluation of the planned action took multiple forms and indicated that student engagement was enhanced by learning based on experience. Implications for future teaching strategies and action research are discussed.



This document has been peer reviewed.