ITcon Vol. 13, pg. 212-223, http://www.itcon.org/2008/15

Using web-based knowledge forums to internationalize construction education

submitted:April 2007
revised:February 2008
published:May 2008
editor(s):Anumba C
authors:E. A. Obonyo, Assistant Professor
Rinker School of Building Construction, University of Florida
e-mail: obonyo@ufl.edu

W. Wu, Doctoral Student
Rinker School of Building Construction, University of Florida
e-mail: vjwwlc@ufl.edu
summary:This paper is based on research exploring the potential of using Web-based knowledge forums to support knowledge sharing among geographically dispersed graduate students. The paper focuses on establishing a case for using knowledge-based forums to support graduate research on international themes. The paper’s introduction explains the need for internationalizing the curriculum, and also argues the potential of using Knowledge Management (KM) to augment the education of students who never participate in study-abroad programs. The paper then presents the problem statement: most graduate students do research on local topics. A discussion of the methodology for the study as well as the key findings constitutes the main body of this paper. The adopted methodology involves: 1) reviewing published theses and dissertations to establish the extent to which students explore international themes in their research; 2) conducting a comparative study between research by a local student and a foreign-based student on a similar problem statement; 3) administering a survey aimed at establishing the potential effect of using a Web-based academic knowledge forum to aid the selection of dissertation or thesis topics, and; 4) holding an informal workshop, based on the use of a conceptual knowledge forum, to establish the students’ expectations and requirements. The paper establishes that there are potential benefits from using KM approach to create a common pool of knowledge in international themes, and that this could further the internationalization of college education.
keywords:Web-based Knowledge Forums, Internationalization, Construction Education
full text: (PDF file, 0.351 MB)
citation:Obonyo EA, Wu W (2008). Using web-based knowledge forums to internationalize construction education, ITcon Vol. 13, pg. 212-223, http://www.itcon.org/2008/15