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Bijleveld F R and Dor_e A G (2013) Method-based learning: a case in the asphalt construction industry . 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, 599–609.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: asphalt, experiential learning, feedback, operational strategies, quality control
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-7-6
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2013-0599-0609_Bijleveld_Doree.pdf
  • Abstract:
    As in many domains in the construction industry, traditional working practices lean heavily on the onsite experience and craftsmanship (tacit knowledge) of operators and teams. This results in implicit individualised learning and lengthy learning cycles. To develop a deeper insight into construction processes, this tacit knowledge needs to be made explicit to instigate a change towards explicit method-based learning. For the asphalting industry, Miller (2010) developed a framework to make processes that take place on the construction site explicit when implementing new technologies. To change to explicit method-based learning, the experiential learning model of Kolb (1984) was introduced into current practices and 'explicating the process' was added to the learning cycle. Further, 'reflective observation' and 'abstract conceptualisation' were explicitly incorporated into current asphalting practices using feedback sessions with an asphalting team. This learning cycle was introduced during an actual construction project on a highway in the Netherlands. The adopted learning framework was found to be applicable and useful in the quest for improved process and quality control. By explicating the construction process 'as constructed', it became possible to have a meaningful discussion with operators in a feedback session and unravel their intentions and reasoning with the chosen strategies. Explicit method-based learning, as here, leads to improved quality awareness, better understanding of the processes and their interdependencies, and improved communication with and within the asphalting team.