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Ancell D (2013) Construction studies in higher education and the use of digital technology. In: Smith, S D and Ahiaga-Dagbui, D D (Eds.), Proceedings 29th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2-4 September 2013, Reading, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 225–235.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: information technology, education, social networking, disengagement
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-7-6
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2013-0225-0235_Ancell.pdf
The construction industry wants graduate employees skilled in relationship building and information technology and communications (ITC). Much of the relationship building at universities has evolved through technology. Government and the ITC industry fund lobby groups to influence both educational establishments and Government to incorporate more ITC in education _ and ultimately into the construction industry. This influencing ignores the technoskeptics’ concerns about student disengagement through excessive online distractions. Construction studies students (n=64) and lecturers (n=16) at a construction university were surveyed to discover the impact of the use and applications of ITC. Contrary to Government and industry technopositivism, construction students and lecturers preferred hard copy documents to online feedback for assignments and marking, more human interface and less technological substitution and to be on campus for lectures and face-to-face meetings rather than viewing on-screen. ITC also distracted users from tasks which, in the case of students, prevented the development of the concentration and deep thinking which a university education should deliver. The research findings are contrary to the promotions of Government, ITC industry and ITC departments and have implications for construction employers where a renewed focus on human communication should mean less stress, fewer delays and cost overruns.