Case Study Narrative in Teaching Construction Project Management: Earned Value Method Examples Academic Article uri icon


  • Teaching construction project management is a challenging task. This difficulty comes from the fact that students typically lack background information (i.e., project experience) to fully understand how newly introduced materials/concepts relate to real project situations. In fact, the lack of background information to relate new concepts acts as both a motivational and cognitive deterrent. For example, if information cannot be related or linked to existing concepts, it will be located on the periphery of memory as an island independent of all other cognitive processes, and as such will have a very short shelf life. The objective of this paper is to present an educational method that can integrate the vast experience of construction industry professionals into effective teaching practices. Hence, this paper proposes an education approach that is based on (1) presenting a construction method as applied by practicing engineers (i.e., a case study); (2) developing a generalized principle of the concepts (i.e., an abstract representation); and (3) illustrating the concept using its manifestations in situations students can easily relate to (i.e., examples from everyday life). Recent studies have shown that critical thinking can come from linking the concept to personal and not directly relevant experience. This educational approach is illustrated for the earned value (EV) method, a commonly used method for control of construction projects, and supported by an industry practitioner's data. 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Damnjanovic, I., & Rispoli, J.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Damnjanovic, Ivan||Rispoli, James

publication date

  • February 2014