Educating Students for the Collaborative Workplace: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning in Construction Courses

Alex MacLaren, Mark Wilson, Rachel Simmonds, Alison Morven Hamilton-Pryde, John Paul McCarthy, Andrew Milligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


This paper addresses the provision of interdisciplinary learning opportunities for students enrolled on Built Environment, Design and Construction courses in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), drawing from a variety of case studies based in the UK. The paper cites published literature from across disciplinary
boundaries, demonstrating a need for, and an interest in, interprofessional collaborative learning. Case studies of seven projects from four UK HEIs are reviewed and strategies compared. The studies demonstrate the value of such teaching; the context within which the teaching is provided; some examples of good practice; of disincentives and of barriers; and student feedback. Key shared characteristics begin to suggest a taxonomy of collaborative projects. The paper concludes with suggested actions and/or strategies that could be employed by Schools, HEIs and/or Institutions to further incentivise such teaching.

The genesis for this paper was the proceedings of a highly valuable cross-institutional seminar, held at Heriot-Watt University in August 2015, generously funded by CHOBE (Council of Heads of Schools of the Built Environment, UK).
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Education and Research
Early online date13 Feb 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2017


  • collaborative learning
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Built Environment
  • interprofessional learning
  • Professional accreditation
  • Professional Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Education
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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