Employing an Energy Audit Field Context for Scenario-Based Learning Activities

Robert M. Leicht, Sarah E. Zappe, Kirsten S. Hochstedt, Michael Whelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an overview of how scenario-based learning was implemented in an architectural engineering course focusing on building construction principles, energy auditing, and building retrofits. In completing the scenario, students were able to visit two on-campus buildings, one of which was in the process of being renovated, interact with workers and managers on-site, and experience real-world applications of the principles used in-class. After completing the site visit, students were then asked to complete an assignment, which required them to develop a feasibility report regarding the assessment of a future renovation project. This paper will discuss the assignment in detail and then provide an overview of the evaluation of the student experience. Guiding research questions for the evaluation focused on direct measures of student learning, students' self-efficacy from 37 students, for tasks relating to energy auditing, and students' perceptions of the activity. Overall, students had a positive perception of the activity. Responses on exam questions included statements that students would have only learned from the activity, rather from other classroom experiences. Students' interest in energy auditing significantly increased following their participation in the activity. Other instructors who would like to include more relevant and real-world activities for students may wish to consider creating scenarios that allow students to better understand what engineers in industry actually do and to see course principles being enacted in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1047
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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