Measuring and enhancing the emotional intelligence of built environment students
thesisposted on 27.01.2010, 09:27 by Yi Yi Mo
Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been viewed as a critical factor influencing students' academic achievement, ability to work, and potential to succeed. Previous research has shown that students with high EI perform better academically than those with low EI, as well as being better equipped for their professional careers. However, despite the acknowledged importance of EI, little work has explored the construct within the context of built environment education and relatively little is known about how built environment curricula should be designed to enhance EI. This research explores the EI levels of built environment undergraduates and its relationship to their specific programmes, and investigates the types of pedagogic interventions which appear to influence EI in a positive way. This research adopts a multimethodological research design and a mixed methods approach, involving a combination of both quantitative and qualitative datasets to explore students' experiences and learning enhancements. These include a questionnaire survey of 420 respondents, a secondary examination of built environment programmes, interviews with construction professionals and 45 in-depth interviews with placement students and other undergraduates. The results reveal that the existing built environment education inhibits students' EI development, but that EI is shown to increase during industrial placements. The results also reveal that EI development differs by the types of programme taken, with students studying on Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering & Design Management programmes showing a propensity for higher EI scores in comparison with those studying on a Commercial Management & Quantity Surveying programme. An analysis of the modular content of programmes, together with the mode of teaching, learning and assessment used, reveals the types of pedagogic intervention which can enhance EI development. Group work and student-centred learning in particular were found to have a positive effect on EI development. These findings form the basis of recommendations for how current built environment education can be enhanced in a way to develop students' EI. It is suggested that a better understanding of students' EI levels and the ability of such programmes to influence students' EI may help to produce graduates better able to meet the future requirements of the construction industry.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering