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How should we teach BIM? A case study from the UK

conference contribution
posted on 18.06.2015, 10:42 by Zulfikar Adamu, Tony Thorpe
Growing industry demand and the United Kingdom (UK) government’s 2016 ‘BIM deadline’ have provided a clear impetus for enhanced BIM teaching in UK HE institutions. This paper reports on the approach taken in a large multi-disciplinary School of Civil and Building Engineering. From a number of options, the approach to embed BIM into existing modules was chosen and three categories of BIM Learning Outcomes (BIMLOs) were identified including: knowledge and intellectual aspects; practical skills; and transferable skills. A three-year implementation plan (2014 – 2016) was developed in which 26 priority modules had their existing learning outcomes upgraded to meet the BIMLOs. Partnership with BIM technology providers and practicing professionals, contemporary and research-driven topics as well as guidance and strategy documents e.g. BS1192-2007, PAS1192, BIM Protocol and Government Soft Landings determined the contents of these BIMLOs. Many priority modules were taken by mixed cohorts of students drawn from various programmes, so group work via problem-based coursework was typically used for assessment. Guided self-learning through web-based video tutorials has been adopted across the School using commercially available and in-house produced content. These have helped students with problem-solving and modelling skills. New BIM-dedicated modules were developed on collaborative working through common data environments (shared workspaces) as well as the auditing and coordinating of BIM models. This approach required long-term vision, leadership, BIM championing and the cooperation of academic peers who were extensively consulted. A feedback mechanism was put in place to capture students’ experiences regarding BIMLOs, access to computing facilities and effectiveness of video tutorials.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

9th BIM Academic Symposium & Job Task Analysis Review


80 - 87 (7)


ADAMU, Z.A. and THORPE, T. 2015. How should we teach BIM? A case study from the UK. IN: Issa R.R. (ed). Proceedings of the 9th BIM Academic Symposium and Job Task Analysis Review, 7th-8th April 2015, Washington DC, pp. 80 - 87.


National Institute of Building Sciences


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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Washington DC