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A Warm Welcome from the University of Wolverhampton Evaluation of curriculum design for a Work Based Learning module in construction Paul Hampton . Traditional Industrial links “The Black Country’ Industrial revolution Changing expectations

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A Warm Welcome from the

University of Wolverhampton

Evaluation of curriculum design for a Work Based Learning module in construction

Paul Hampton

proud to deliver accredited rics courses
Traditional Industrial links

“The Black Country’

Industrial revolution

Changing expectations

(Engel, 1997 and Poikela and Poikela 1997) describe as a community expectation that graduates not only have a specific knowledge base, but are equipped with the knowledge to solve complex problems in an effective way

“Proud to deliver accredited RICS courses”
challenges in designing curriculum
Challenges in designing curriculum?
  • Historically - Construction industry barometer for economic position of UK – Current state putting increased demand on students time
  • 24,000 students, over 83% graduates get a job within the first 6 months
  • External Stakeholders
  • Around 3,000 international students
  • World Class Researchers …reputation
  • Employer engagement of curriculum design
  • Academic models
pre requisites module
Pre-requisites - Module
  • Inaugural run - 30 credit, year long module
  • WBL feeds in to the Professional body accredited courses - BSc (Hons) Construction Management,

- BSc (Hons) Building Surveying,

- BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying,

- BSc (Hons) Commercial Management

and Quantity Surveying (not accredited) The students are industry based part-time students


> Pre-consultation with all stakeholders

> Diagnosis of needs and formulation of objectives

> Selection of contents / learning outcomes

> Reflective practitioners – (My aims and objectives)

> Evaluation

pre consultation
Pre- consultation

Professional bodies

  • Competencies
  • APC – Requirements – Pathway
  • Student membership


  • MST (Module Specification Template)
  • Inaugural run


  • Liked portfolio
  • Deeper understanding of individual discipline
  • Working with peers

Employers .........

employer engagement
Employer Engagement
  • Employers subscribed to the notion of group discussion, and engagement of questions and answer sessions, so Kolb’s Socio-constructivist model would be ideal. Both the workplace and the weekly tutorials with myself at the University, would encourage what the model portrays ‘engagement of learning with peers’
my aims and objectives
My Aims and Objectives
  • I wanted the students to experience ‘transformation’ which would entail letting go of earlier, comfortable positions and encounter less familiar and sometimes disconcerting new territory. (Meyer and Land, 2006) Be creative
  • Subject matter of construction related disciplines, predominately involves problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, and skills transfer to new content – Importance in design
  • Address ‘What will students be able to do after they complete the course, or in this case module, that they could not do before’ - Could I embed and encourage autonomy and mastery of knowledge in the curriculum.
  • Engagement of our ‘blended learning strategy’ – Podcasting - ‘Threshold concepts’……
reflection evaluation other considerations
Reflection & Evaluation(Other considerations)
  • Threshold concepts – relevance and suitability of my initial attempt at curriculum design and question its ability to be ‘student focussed’ whilst constructively aligning with my expectations to reach concept threshold, and aligning my students with mastery of subject understanding ‘thinking like a practitioner’
  • Avoiding ‘stuffed curriculum’ (Cousins 2006)
curriculum design
Curriculum Design
  • Designing, planning and formulating curriculum aims and objectives is paramount towards providing clarity and structure for both the teacher, and the learner. To encourage depth of learning, and mastery of subject, requires ‘constructive alignment’ (Biggs, 2003) and creation of new engaging learning environments.
  • Engaging and motivational (Year module) Perhaps Cowan (1998) captures the issue when he defines teaching as ‘the purposeful creation of situations from which motivated learners should not be allowed to escape without learning
  • Nicholls cyclical model
  • Taba’s model for curriculum design – follows 7 steps

Step 1 – Diagnosis of needs

Step 2 - Formulation of objectives

Step 3 - Selection of content

Step 4 - organisation of content

Step 5 - selection of learning experiences

Step 6 - organisation of learning experiences

Step 7 - determination of what to evaluate,

and ways and means of doing it.

potential solutions
Potential solutions
  • Adopt - Taba’s model for curriculum design – follows 7 steps
  • Consultation – With all internal/external stakeholders, including students
  • Reflection – on / in / after (Schon, Biggs,Moon)
  • Outcomes learning strategy – 3 main learning outcomes
  • Evaluation – Re-evaluation … model
  • Key T5 details
  • The project management approach on Terminal 5 was developed based on the principles specified in the Constructing the Team (Latham, 1994) and Rethinking Construction (Egan, 1998) but went further than any other project
  • The construction of T5 consists of 16 main projects divided into
  • 140 sub-projects and 1,500 “work packages” on a 260 ha site;
  • The £4.2bn project includes not only a vast new terminal and satellite building but nine new tunnels, two river diversions and a spur road connecting to the M25;
  • It is a multidisciplinary project embracing civil, mechanical, electrical systems, communications and technology contractors with a peak monthly spend over £80 million employing up to 8,000 workers on site;
  • The T5 agreement is a unique legal contract in the construction industry – in essence it is a cost reimbursable form of contract in which suppliers’ profits are ring-fenced and the client retains the risk. It focuses in non-adversarial style on the causes of risk and on risk management through integrated team approaches.
  • The history of the UK construction industry on large scale projects suggested that had BAA followed a traditional approach T5 would end up opening 2 years late, cost 40% over budget with 6 fatalities
  • BAA selected a consultancy framework for cost consultancy on the T5 project comprising the Turner & Townsend Group and EC Harris Group Ltd (known as TechT).
  • Both companies were selected under the same terms of commission and each provided 50% of the staff. On this project these two major consultancy companies became one team “joined at the hip”. At its peak the cost consultancy team comprised 120 staff, approximately two thirds of which were quantity surveyors.
  • Laing O’Rourke Infrastructure Ltd was selected as the major 1st tier supplier responsible for the civil construction, infrastructure and logistics delivery. Laing O’Rourke were involved in nearly 50 sub-projects with a turnover over the last three years averaging at £20 million per month managed by a team comprising more than 50 quantity surveyors

Professional body competencies

  • Preparing development appraisals
  • 2. Advising clients on project brief, preferred procurement route and cash
  • Flow [T10 – Level 3]
  • Analysing whole life costs
  • Planning the construction process
  • 5. Monitoring control of cost during pre-contract stage
  • 6. Preparing tender and contractual documentation [T062 – Level 3]
  • 7. Advising on payments to contractors, cost control and settlement of final Accounts [T074 – level 3]
  • 8. Controlling the project on behalf of their employer
  • 9. Negotiating with client or subcontractors
  • 10. Reporting on the programme and financial matters [T067 – Level 3]
  • 11. Risk and value management
  • 12. Giving contractual advice in case of dispute

Terminal 5 time-lapse video

See Heathrow Terminal 5 take shape in front of your eyes with this time-lapse video of the construction project.

Watch the video now (WMV format)


  • Curriculum design can be complex – Quality not quantity
  • Review existing academic models
  • Engagement and evaluation with all stakeholders
  • Reflection at all stages
  • Know your subject, and

know your audience

  • Monitoring, returning to start

cyclical, loop,

  • Evaluation evaluation evaluation

‘Thanks for listening’

Any Questions..?