Evaluation of Learner vs. Teacher Centered Syllabi in Construction Management Courses: An Initial Investigation

Ben Farrow, Tom Leathem, Amna Salman


Research indicates that retention and performance of undergraduate students increases when they perceive a cooperative and supportive educational community. The course syllabus is one of the first opportunities to influence student perception on their educational experience. Literature on syllabi suggests that learner-centered syllabi yield more positive student perceptions of teachers and the course as compared to traditional teacher-centered syllabi. Current research on the impacts of different syllabi constructs within construction education is lacking, and no studies could be found on whether these perceptions translate to student grades. This study used action research to better understand the impact of a learner-centered syllabus vs. a teacher-centered syllabus in an undergraduate construction management program. Student perception, faculty perception and student grades were measured between the learner-centered class and the teacher-centered class. The data was collected from four different classes, split among two courses, and taught by two faculty over the spring 2020 semester. Results suggested that the learner-centered syllabi appeared to motivate student engagement as well as impact both, the first impressions of the instructor and teacher-student relationship. However, it showed no difference in student grades.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijce.v5i1.5403


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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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