Presentation on theme: "Rosalie Goldsmith Student Learning Unit University of Western Sydney Sid Newton Faculty of the Built Environment UNSW."— Presentation transcript:
Rosalie Goldsmith Student Learning Unit University of Western Sydney Sid Newton Faculty of the Built Environment UNSW
Acknowledgements Support for this research has been provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the ALTC.
Where this question came from: ALTC LTAS project: to define academic standards in a number of disciplines: A discipline scholar for each discipline, and a project officer Architecture/Building and Construction: discipline scholar Ass Prof Sid Newton (UNSW) Project officer Rosalie Goldsmith
How the project worked WhatWith whomWhy Consultations Australia-wide about academic standards With accrediting bodies; Heads of Program; peak industry bodies and academic committees Awareness-raising and encouraging buy-in 1 st Round Workshops Australia-wide 3 key Stakeholder groups: faculty/academic staff; industry reps; students & recent graduates Discussion and selection of 5-7 TLOs per workshop 2 nd round workshops in 3 capital cities Combined stakeholder groupsRefining selection and wording of TLOs Final draft TLOs circulated All members of construction discipline community interest group Final consultation/comment
1 st round workshops (audio- recorded) 1. Discussion about what the stakeholders considered to be threshold learning outcomes (TLOs) for graduates 2. pyramid discussion with a prepared set of 64 TLOs from a range of disciplines 3. Post-pyramid discussion feedback Workshop discussions then transcribed and analysed
Communication as defined in the TLOs: interpret and negotiate building and construction information, instructions and ideas with various project stakeholders
Disciplinecommunication as a TLO Accounting (communication & teamwork) Bachelor graduates: justify and communicate accounting advice and ideas in straightforward collaborative contexts involving both accountants and non-accountants. Architecture (work habits) Graduates of Master of Architecture will be able to: communicate with a variety of audiences in appropriate ways. Engineering & ICT (coordination & communication) Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to: communicate and coordinate proficiently by listening, speaking, reading and writing English for professional practice, working as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, using basic tools and practices of formal project management.
Geography graduates will be able to: communicate geographical perspectives and knowledge effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences using appropriately selected written, oral and visual means. Law (communication & collaboration) Graduates: a) communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences, and b) collaborate effectively. Science (draft) graduates will be able to: communicate scientific results, information, or arguments, to a range of audiences, and for a range of purposes.
How the Construction discipline participants defined communication: the ability to communicate verbally, in writing, professionally, with confidence (University A) I think its mostly written, but also being able to stand up and talk to people (University E) I think in construction its primarily a socialisation of knowledge, and within the construction industry its verbal skills and professionalism (University F) (no definitions from industry or student workshops)
Differences between the stakeholder groups: Hard to say: as much diversity within as between the groups Many construction discipline academics have had a background or experience in industry (much less the case in a discipline such as Engineering) We talk about social responsibility, we talk about leadership, we talk about communications and then we have to demonstrate that in every course. (university D) So when RICS says teaching teamwork and problem solving, but AIB talks about communication some other way, we align that. (university C)
Differences continued Industry A focused on plan reading: I want them to be able to read a drawing for example and a lot of them can't. Obviously there has to be some plan reading skills that come through at that stage. Industry B focused on the broader aspects of communication:. And given the amount of written dialogue that happens through emails;... both written and verbal communication skills for me is a pretty important learning outcome as well; the ability to communicate with an architect at the same time as a lawyer at the same time as an accountant, a tradesperson,
As for the students... And so communication practices and how to manage people is of primary importance. (students A) there should be more emphasis on getting people together, communicating, getting confidence, just being around people and feeling comfortable. (students B)
How the participants saw communication/skills As presentation skills: presenting the capstone project to a client (university) As talking to people: talking to subbies [sub-contractors]; talking to a client (university) – like I know its stupid, but you have to teach people how to be confident: (student) As negotiation skills: you need to be able to sit at a table with 5 or 6 people and know how to facilitate a general discussion and come up with an outcome; (student) As reading skills: I want them to be able to read a drawing for example and a lot of them can't; (industry)
As writing skills: its not just being able to write a good report, its writing a good report for our type of clients and organisations that are going to consume it. (university) As critical thinking: that ability to actually process information in a high level way so for me reading a financial statement...(university) As command of English: some of the challenges we have faced, going through our recruitment process, is around the verbal skills, and the written English skills; (industry) As team work: you need to be able to work within a project team, go to site meetings, and deal with tradies all the way up to financiers from day one. (university) As generic skills: but I also do expect them to be able to present themselves, to be able to communicate, to write well and to present themselves in a professional manner; (industry)
Shared understanding? Not from the looks of things...Why? In the construction sector, communication is seen to be about the transfer of information between people: the skills that project managers need to deal with individuals, small groups, large groups, organisations... Compare this with: I think in construction its primarily a socialisation of knowledge, and within the construction industry its verbal skills and professionalism (University F) I think we understand that the ability to communicate effectively is critical for their future success, but even they dont think its important: the students, I mean. So we impose it on them. (University E)
How is this to be done? That was a point that was made by the students: the main people theyre communicating with is the subbies [sub- contractors], and thats a very different kind of communication from talking to a client, and yet thats what theyre having to learn the process of. So it comes back to: is it reasonable for us to include that kind of training or that kind of outcome in our degree program? (University F)
Who is responsible for teaching this range of skills and abilities? ? Needs further investigation on a national and a local level
What does this mean for ALL advisers? Be aware of the complexity and multi-faceted nature of communication skills within the construction discipline Be aware of the already crowded curriculum in the discipline Contextualise as much as possible Team teach and/or integrate within the current units of study
TLOs for the construction discipline: Knowledge integrate and evaluate the fundamental principles and technical knowledge of building and construction technology, management, economics and law Judgement identify and resolve typical building challenges with limited guidance, employing appropriate problem-solving and decision-making methodologies Self-Development critically and creatively reflect on personal behaviours and capabilities in the context of entry to the profession Communication interpret and negotiate building and construction information, instructions and ideas with various project stakeholders Innovation research and develop emerging methods and strategies for the procurement and delivery management of contemporary construction work Engagement experience and demonstrate an integrated understanding of both the theory and practice of building and construction