3/23/09

Global Education Never Sleeps


What is the cost of teaching a group of international students to manage a construction project together?

For civil and environmental engineering associate professor Lucio Soibelman, the cost is sometimes sleep.

When project deadlines approach, according to Soibelman, that’s when the cultural barriers come down and the 2 a.m. Skype sessions begin.

Soibelman teaches International Collaborative Construction Management (ICCM), a course in which students manage a construction project from remote locations (including Brazil, Turkey, Israel and the U.S).

Managing time differences, juggling deadlines and learning cross-cultural collaboration have made the course challenging — and popular — among students. Carnegie Mellon researchers are also studying how the course changes students’ cultural perceptions.

A slew of novel global courses such as ICCM were originally supported through a gift to the President’s Discretionary Fund.

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