The development of expertise in early stage cost estimating through experiential learning

D J Lowe, M Keeping (Editor), D Shiers (Editor)

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Abstract

The importance of experience to the early stage design cost estimator is well established within current literature. It is believed to be acquired over time and has been associated with the development of knowledge, familiarity, feedback, professional judgement and estimating expertise. Despite this, however, relatively little is known of how practitioners use their experiences in developing expertise in estimating. The aim of this investigation was, therefore, to establish how practitioners learn from their experiences within the work environment, the nature of that experience and their assessment of its importance to the development of expertise in early stage design cost estimating. This paper distinguishes between learning styles (stable or fixed characteristics), measured using a revised version of Kolbs (1985) Learning Style Inventory (LSI 1985), and approaches to learning (task specific strategies), measured by an approaches to learning at work inventory specifically developed for this project. Findings from a fully structured interview survey, using a multi-sectional questionnaire, of experienced early stage design cost estimators (quantity surveyors, n = 84) are presented. They confirm the perceived high importance attributed to experience in the development of expertise in early stage design cost estimating. Moreover, they support the perception that early stage design cost estimators learn by doing (Experiential Learning). Descriptive statistics are presented to illustrate the estimators estimating experience, performance and practice, while project specific experience and its effect on the way estimates are prepared is examined. Further, subscales of Kolbs LSI 1985 and factor scores for the approaches to learning questionnaire are correlated with measures of time as an estimator to investigate their relationship with age and tested for homogeneity within the sample.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the RICS Construction and Building Research Conference
EditorsM Keeping, D Shiers
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Pages83-101
Number of pages19
Volume1
ISBN (Print)1-873-640-23-4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
EventRICS Construction and Building Research Conference - Oxford Brookes University
Duration: 1 Jan 1824 → …

Conference

ConferenceRICS Construction and Building Research Conference
CityOxford Brookes University
Period1/01/24 → …

Keywords

  • quantity surveyors, design cost estimating, expertise, experiential learning, learning styles, approaches to learning

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