The Effects of Augmented Reality Integrated Coursework on the Psychological Learning Constructs of Construction Management Students

Anthony E. Sparkling, Ph.D, LEED AP BD+C, CGP
Purdue University – Polytechnic Institute
West Lafayette, Indiana

Jacob D. Reyes
University of Texas at San Antonio – Dept. of Economics
San Antonio, Texas

Today’s construction industry faces the unique challenge of industry wide labor shortages. Researchers and industry leaders have proposed many solutions to help grow the number of new workers entering the field. This is reflected in a growing amount of research focused on attracting more students to construction management (CM) programs. Continued efforts should be made to ensure the retention rates of these students are increased within CM programs. These efforts could benefit greatly from the increased use of immersive digital environments brought to life through augmented reality technology.

This proposal is meant to develop the case for further studying the effects that augmented reality (AR) may have on a students’ level of commitment, attitude, motivation, and confidence, the psychological constructs associated with successfully completing construction education. AR’s unique technological characteristics may impact the traditional learning experience in such a way that these constructs will be significantly positively affected. By adopting the Construction Training Attitudes and Intentions Scale (CTAIS) this proposed research can track the effects that AR may have when integrated into CM education.

This research will draw from the CTAIS to test the effect of AR integrated coursework on the psychological learning constructs of CM students. A case study experiment group will receive an AR enhanced instruction while the control group encounters traditional content. Further data analysis using structural equation modeling (SEM) will be used to expand understanding of the relationships between CTAIS and AR augmented learning strategies.

In addition to academic performance increases, previous research has shown AR has the ability to impact student learning in three ways: 1) Contextualization of abstract concepts 2) Allowance for hands on learning through digital replication 3) Decrease of student’s cognitive load and increase of working memory. It is hypothesized that when AR enhanced coursework is integrated into the classroom, these additional impacts will reinforce the constructs vital to increasing student retention rates in CM. Thus, Students receiving AR integrated education will record greater levels of the psychological constructs then students receiving traditional education.

This proposal developed the case for exploring how AR can indirectly increase CM program retention rates by positively affecting the psychological constructs of students that are closely associated with successful completion of construction education. The proposed research could provide educators in construction with a new tool to assist students with low levels of these constructs without negatively affecting other students. Possible areas of future research include finding the ideal level of AR integration in the classroom by tracking the psychological constructs proposed in this study and academic performance in a longer-term longitudinal study.


  • Elliott, J., & Lopez Del Puerto, C. (2015). Development of an attitudes and intentions scale for construction skills training programs. Journal of Employment Counseling, 52(3), 131–144.
  • Hou, L., & Wang, X. (2013). A study on the benefits of augmented reality in retaining working memory in assembly tasks: A focus on differences in gender. Automation in Construction, 32, 38–45.
  • Shirazi, A & Behzadan, A. (2014). Design and Assessment of a Mobile Augmented Reality-Based Information Delivery Tool for Construction and Civil Engineering Curriculum. American Society of Civil Engineers.

Keywords: Construction education, Construction management, Augmented reality, Learning constructs, Learning pedagogies, Immersive digital environments