Is the ACT-UK really a case for research?

2014-04-25T08:52:03Z (GMT) by Robby Soetanto Stephen Austin
Advanced Construction Technology Simulation Centre (ACT-UK) was established at Coventry University, to provide an innovative facility for training future construction managers, enabled by semi-immersive virtual reality model of construction sites. In a typical training session, the trainees will face one snap-shot of construction site situation, called ‘scenario’ with the presence of various actors who will introduce site problems. By referring to information presented to them and interacting with the actors, the trainees will need to make decisions, and will receive feedback once the session ends. This innovative training presents a significant case for research, especially due to many less well understood factors of the formation of skills afforded by this approach and the impact on performance in the workplace. The focus on ‘soft’ skills (rather than ‘hard’ technical skills) further heightens the complexity of understanding and ‘measuring’ the efficacy of this training. To support the case for research, the paper presents a critical synthesis of key literature in related domains. A conceptual framework for enhancing a greater understanding of the emerging research issues has been developed and presented. The framework integrates several research themes for harnessing the utility and realising efficacy of this innovative learning approach. It provides a reference and platform to develop relevant research activities which will help to widen opportunities for the use of the ACT-UK in the future.