Interaction Networks within Student Teams Learning Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Rodrigo F. Herrera, Felipe Muñoz-La Rivera, Juan C. Vielma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Building Information Modeling (BIM) allows the integration of work teams, collaboration, and the generation of intelligent parametric digital models. Therefore, because BIM is a collaborative working methodology, it is not possible to effectively teach BIM without the use of collaborative teamwork. Traditionally, teaching at universities has promoted individual student learning and development through lectures and examinations. The objective of this paper was to analyze the interactions in student teams when project- and team-based teaching methodologies are applied. To evaluate the interactions, we used the technique of social network analysis (SNA), and to evaluate the students' effort, we measured the number of hours dedicated to individual work and teamwork over 15 weeks. This research highlights the importance of collaborative work in the process of training students for careers in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry in BIM technology environments. The work was performed practically using real construction projects that were completed by student teams. The measurement of interactions was carried out using SNA, which allowed us to determine the density of interactions within each group. Teams that work more hours collaboratively than individually become better integrated, which is a feature that is also recognized in the individual achievements of their members.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0000032
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Collaborative work
  • Engineering students
  • Interaction networks
  • Student teams


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