Applicability of non-modular assessment in construction management and allied undergraduate programmes: perspective of the academics involved

Gayan Wedawatta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Undergraduate programmes on construction management and other closely related built environment disciplines are currently taught and assessed on a modular basis. This is the case in the UK and in many other countries globally. However, it can be argued that professionally oriented programmes like these are better assessed on a non-modular basis, in order to produce graduates who can apply knowledge on different subject contents in cohesion to solve complex practical scenarios in their work environments. The examples of medical programmes where students are assessed on a non-modular basis can be cited as areas where this is already being done. A preliminary study was undertaken to explore the applicability of non-modular assessment within construction management undergraduate education. A selected sample of university academics was interviewed to gather their perspectives on applicability of non-modular assessment. General acceptance was observed among the academics involved that integrating non-modular assessment is applicable and will be beneficial. All academics stated that at least some form of non-modular assessment as being currently used in their programmes. Examples where cross-modular knowledge is assessed included comprehensive/multi-disciplinary project modules and creating larger modules to amalgamate a number of related subject areas. As opposed to a complete shift from modular to non-modular, an approach where non-modular assessment is integrated and its use further expanded within the current system is therefore suggested. This is due to the potential benefits associated with this form of assessment to professionally aligned built environment programmes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 223-236
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Volume42
Issue number2
Early online date28 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Further and Higher Education on 28/11/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0309877X.2016.1224330

Keywords

  • assessment
  • built environment
  • construction management
  • non-modular assessment

Cite this

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abstract = "Undergraduate programmes on construction management and other closely related built environment disciplines are currently taught and assessed on a modular basis. This is the case in the UK and in many other countries globally. However, it can be argued that professionally oriented programmes like these are better assessed on a non-modular basis, in order to produce graduates who can apply knowledge on different subject contents in cohesion to solve complex practical scenarios in their work environments. The examples of medical programmes where students are assessed on a non-modular basis can be cited as areas where this is already being done. A preliminary study was undertaken to explore the applicability of non-modular assessment within construction management undergraduate education. A selected sample of university academics was interviewed to gather their perspectives on applicability of non-modular assessment. General acceptance was observed among the academics involved that integrating non-modular assessment is applicable and will be beneficial. All academics stated that at least some form of non-modular assessment as being currently used in their programmes. Examples where cross-modular knowledge is assessed included comprehensive/multi-disciplinary project modules and creating larger modules to amalgamate a number of related subject areas. As opposed to a complete shift from modular to non-modular, an approach where non-modular assessment is integrated and its use further expanded within the current system is therefore suggested. This is due to the potential benefits associated with this form of assessment to professionally aligned built environment programmes",
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