CASE STUDY AS AN ACADEMIC INNOVATION IN A CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: A MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS
The School of Civil Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) launched a Master degree program in construction management in 2007. Its purpose was to offer training and education for future professionals not only from a production point of view, but also from a business perspective. This academic year the School updated the syllabus taking as a reference a theoretical model previously developed by the authors; this model maps managerial competencies in construction. This updated syllabus was developed according to the Bologna process, as well as the policy of the Spanish government. Its structure was designed around four basic subjects: project assessment; construction site administration; management of construction companies; and innovation and quality in construction. Each subject is composed of several different courses; some flexibility is permitted to modify courses within subjects. Elective courses complete the contents of the program. This year, a single common project is used as a case study for most of the courses at the first semester. This project deals with the design, tendering and execution of a road infrastructure. We tested the success of this new syllabus, as well as the acceptance of this new approach by the students, through questionnaires. A multivariate statistical analysis was developed using the principal components technique. This way, responses of the students can test if the goal is met. After exploitation of data, results confirm the success of some aspects of this teaching and learning methodology, and also show the way to further improvements for future updates. This analysis also validates the use of our model as a benchmark tool for designing syllabuses in construction management.