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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Journal of Information Technology in Construction, Volume 23, June 2018, Pages 138-156.

The published version is available at Copyright © Deniz


As the construction industry is moving towards collaborative design and construction practices globally, training the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) students professionally related to CAD and BIM became a necessity rather than an option. The advancement in the industry has led to collaborative modelling environments, such as building information modelling (BIM), as an alternative to computer-aided design (CAD) drafting. Educators have shown interest in integrating BIM into the AEC curriculum, where teaching CAD and BIM simultaneously became a challenge due to the differences of two systems. One of the major challenges was to find the appropriate teaching techniques, as educators were unaware of the AEC students’ learning path in CAD and BIM. In order to make sure students learn and benefit from both CAD and BIM, the learning path should be revealed from students’ perspective. This paper summarizes the background and differences of CAD and BIM education, and how the transition from CAD to BIM can be achieved for collaborative working practices. The analysis was performed on freshman and junior level courses to learn the perception of students about CAD and BIM education. A dual-track survey was used to collect responses from AEC students in four consecutive years. The results showed that students prefer BIM to CAD in terms of the friendliness of the user-interface, help functions, and self-detection of mistakes. The survey also revealed that most of the students believed in the need for a BIM specialty course with Construction Management (CM), Structure, and Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) areas. The benefits and challenges of both CAD and BIM-based software from students’ perspectives helps to improve the learning outcomes of CAD/BIM courses to better help students in their learning process, and works as a guideline for educators on how to design and teach CAD/BIM courses simultaneously by considering the learning process and perspectives of students. © 2018 The author

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.