Integrating Simulation Games into Construction Curricula-the VCS3 case study

Dragana Nikolic, Sanghoon Lee, Sarah E. Zappe, John I. Messner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In recent years, in response to higher construction industry standards for project design and delivery under budget, time and safety constraints, technological advances have dramatically changed how design and construction information is represented and managed. To prepare students to respond to these new industry demands approaches to teaching dynamic construction planning and management practices are changing. As a result, simulation games are gaining interest as an approach to providing students with learning experiences better aligned with complex problems in the areas of construction bidding, planning and management. However, while the use of simulation games in teaching construction shows some promising results, it remains sporadic due to high development costs, implementation challenges, and uncertainty of their effectiveness as learning tools. To address this gap, we developed and evaluated a free and open-source construction management game-the Virtual Construction Simulator (VCS)-that involves teaching a more holistic decision making process to planning and managing construction projects. This paper discusses the learning objectives that guided VCS3 development, implementation and assessment, and concludes with findings and recommendations for its broader implementation and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1661-1677
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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