Experiential learning in building physics: The icebox challenge

Robert S. McLeod, Christina J. Hopfe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This pedagogical note presents a novel learning activity (the icebox challenge) that was designed to facilitate deep learning of building physics energy transfer principles through a planning, prediction and analysis process following the Kolb learning cycle. The success of this strategy was evidenced by students relating and collating their knowledge and theoretical ideas and applying them to successfully solve a series of complex and inter-related practical building physics problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Building Physics
Issue number3
Early online date26 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • constructivism
  • Experiential learning
  • icebox challenge
  • peer-to-peer learning activity
  • small groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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