Ricardo Eiris Named Runner-Up for Best Paper

Assistant Professor Ricardo Eiris (CEGE) and collaborators were awarded the Runner-Up for Best Paper distinction at the 58th Annual Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) International Conference in April 2022.

The paper, titled “Virtual Collaborative Spaces for Online Site Visits: A Plan-Reading Pilot Study,” is available online. Co-authors of the paper are Yuan Sun, Gilles Albeaino, and Masoud Gheisari.

Eiris is a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems’s (ICC) Center for Human-Centered Computing (HCC).

Paper Abstract: Site visits or field trips are widely recognized by construction educators to engage students in active learning, supplement traditional lessons, and achieve better student learning experiences. However, site visits pose significant logistical and accessibility challenges for educational institutions and teachers, limiting the number of students who can benefit from them. Moreover, the restrictions on site visits have widened recently, as the reality of COVID-19 public health concerns have compelled instructors to fast-transition to online course delivery, canceling most site visits. The purpose of this study is to present construction students with online site visits to supplement contextualized learning in risky, unsafe, or impossible-to-achieve situations. In this project, Mozilla Hubs® was used to establish a virtual collaborative environment that resembled a real-world site visit to a building facility. A pilot study (i.e., a plan-reading assessment) was employed within the virtual environment that provided affordances involving an in-depth learning experience through collaborative communication. The findings demonstrate that virtual collaborative site visits give unique chances to deliver spatiotemporal contexts of sites online and provide an effective remote alternative when these learning opportunities are unavailable