Session A SESSION A INDUSTRY & PRACTICE PERSPECTIVE Session A1 SESSION A1: EMPLOYABILITY This session is designed to generate high level debate about the "employability" of real estate graduates/postgraduates and the responsibilities of the HE Academy, Universities and course teams, employers and students in fostering an integrated approach to producing highly employable graduates. Using perspectives from key stakeholders: 1: The National / HE Academy perspective. Val Butcher - Senior Adviser Higher Education Academy Innovation Close York Science Park 2: The University Perspective Nick Nunnington, Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Development & Society, Sheffield Hallam University 3: The PAM Course perspective - a PAM alumni Dan Gazzard, Graduate Surveyor, Cushman & Wakefield, London 4: The Employers Perspective Paula Lloyd, Learning and Development Director CBRE, London The session will provide provocative insights into each perspective with a view to generating a lively debate. Context Employability is key to the Higher Education agenda, with the potential to be a powerful mechanism integrating pedagogic thinking on student autonomy, personal development planning, reflection and a range of skills. However, evidence from across the sector (ESECT, 2003; SEDA, 2004) and from research (Harvey et al., 2002) suggests that good practice is often seen as embedding only one or two employability features. In contrast the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), 'Embedding, enhancing and integrating employability' at Sheffield Hallam University, offers a holistic model of employability and a view of embedding and integration that can act as a spur to extending practice both within the institution and the HE community. ‘Increasing the employability of our students’ is a strategic objective of Sheffield Hallam’s Vision and Values (2004), built on a long, unique history of employability development . Fundamental to Hallam's culture is a strong sense of responsibility in enabling all students to make a successful transition to the next stage of their lives and in continuing to successfully manage their chosen careers or lifestyles. What is Employability? Employability definitions are on a continuum from those related to job acquisition (First Destinations) to those related to student attributes and continual personal development (ESECT, 2002). Our definition focuses on the enhancement of lifelong employability, reflecting research on the graduate attributes sought by employers: intelligent, flexible, self-aware lifelong learners with communication, interactive and team working skills, who add value to and transform organisations. Our definition sees employability as: 'enabling students to acquire the knowledge, personal and professional skills and encouraging the attitudes that will support their future development and employment’1 (Sheffield Hallam, 2002). Our new Employability Framework (2004) builds on this definition, specifying curriculum features that, together, develop student employability. Its coherent conceptual base draws on a model of employability development and is firmly rooted in relevant literature on: 1 Throughout, ‘employment’ refers to a wide range of potential work activities: paid employment; self employment; creative and artistic work; work in or for the community; family or domestic responsibilities; other lifestyle choices. Session A1 constructivism (Biggs, 2003); experiential learning (Kolb, 1984); skilled behaviour (Elliot 1991); reflective practice (Schon, 1987); transfer (Neath, 1998) and ‘situated’ learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The critical concepts underpinning employability in HE are: transformation, the enhancing and empowering of students through knowledge and attribute acquisition; transfer of this to other contexts. Our pedagogy is underpinned by a distillation of theoretical work about transfer (Thorndike, 1906; Pea,1989; Detterman, 1993) and transformation (Harvey & Knight,1996; Astin, 1985), mediated by our evaluations and research. Transfer is not automatic: it is dependent on context (happening more readily within rather than across ‘domains’) and on ‘skills of transfer’ (being able to analyse contexts, see connections and adapt performance). The essential features of our Framework, integrated and aligned, address both transformation and transfer. This involves the development of skills required to acquire and apply knowledge; their use in contexts mirroring external settings; the development of ‘skills of transfer’ (reflection on using knowledge and skills between contexts; reflection on own performance and action planning in Personal Development Planning; career management skills); the ability to autonomously adapt to situations. These are summarised in the Employability Framework. Essential Framework features 1. Progressive development of autonomy. 2. Skills development (intellectual; subject; professional; Key Skills). 3. Personal Development Planning (PDP). 4. Inclusion of activities reflecting external environments. 5. Reflection on the use of knowledge and skills between contexts. 6. The development of career management skills. 7. Engagement with learning from work (LfW). Additional features for appropriate courses 8. Preparation for professions. 9. Engagement with enterprise. Employability in the Real Estate Sector The MSc. Property Appraisal & Management course at Sheffield Hallam University has been recognised within the CETL as embedding all the elements of the University Employability Framework. It is one of only four courses within the whole University selected as providing "excellent" examples of integration, embedding and enhancement of employability within its design and delivery. The symposium will demonstrate how the MSc PAM course integrates and embeds employability within the curriculum and provide specific examples of initiatives used to achieve inclusion within the CETL bid. Students and employers will discuss the employability issues from their perspective and explore strategic issues for the profession, including: How can skills development, self reliance (autonomy) and other employability factors be integrated in a seamless transition from school to university to employment? Is there duplication between stakeholder provision and how can the transitions be better managed? Does the existing APC / graduate recruitment process provide an efficient and effective route to employment in an increasingly specialised real estate profession? How can the multi-disciplinary nature of the profession be better represented within discrete real estate courses? Session A2 CHANGING THE CULTURE AND STRUCTURE OF FIRST YEAR BUILT ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMMES TO IMPROVE THE STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE. Tim McLernon, School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster at Jordanstown Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland +44 28 90366515 email@example.com INTRODUCTION This is just a brief paper, composed from a personal point of view but using specific evidence as appropriate, to outline some matters in respect of our practices which I think could be improved and through such improvement would make the university experience for students and for staff teaching the students, more enjoyable. BACKGROUND A couple of years ago, I was asked to draft a report to summarise the views of the School on student retention and progression. There were common themes coming through from course committees and individual staff comments. Since then, it has become clear that this is a national issue. I have attended a couple of workshops on student retention and met with a number of people who have historically taken steps to address this issue. Some institutions have been more successful than others. It is not a new issue, but it is one, which will predominate in an under-resourced mass higher education system, particularly as it moves towards a universal system. This paper is not one to directly deal with student retention, but rather one which recommends taking on board some of the mechanisms used to improve student retention with the purpose of making teaching and learning of year 1 students more agreeable to those involved on the process. STRUCTURE OF THE PAPER I’m keeping this paper brief by starting from the conclusions which deal with one specific issue which I believe is particularly pertinent to first year students and which could be dealt with reasonably easily to become embedded practice. I shall use the phrase ‘instilling a sense of belonging in students’ to refer to this one specific issue, which embraces many facets of the first-year learning experience. INSTILLING A SENSE OF BELONGING IN STUDENTS There are numerous factors which impact detrimentally on student performance, and I’m sure we can all think of some, but one common significant factor is this sense of belonging. It includes the following: • Making friends • Affinity for the institution • Affinity for the course These are factors which need to be addressed ab initio and there are some things, which could be addressed relatively easily, thus improving the student, and staff, experiences. How? 1. When a student first applies for Engineering at a particular Scottish university, that university vigorously treat that student as their own student, and from this point they communicate directly with the student, enticing the student to join and treating the student as one of their students, whether or not the student ultimately joins. This process is replicated at many institutions to different degrees, but it is something which immediately connects the student to the institution. 2. From the first point of contact, the process of getting the student on board should be smooth and focussed on the student. e.g. the process of enrolment can long, boring process. Several universities have reported that they lose one or two students each year because those students get lost in the enrolment process and give up. In any Session A2 case, this first formal contact with the university should be a positive experience, instilling a sense of confidence in the university. 3. MOST IMPORTANT! Semester 1 of year 1 should be used to develop in the student a sense of belonging, to introduce them to be confident in their learning abilities and to take a sense of responsibility for learning. Let’s look at some ideas of how to achieve this. (a) Students should be divided into groups of four and students would sit together in these groups of four and carry out group tasks in these groups. Initial friendships will develop and students will be more quickly at ease with each other and more willing to interchange ideas. Any absenteeism is readily identifiable and the cause of absenteeism followed up to determine any cause which requires help and identify ‘at-risk’ students. (b) There should be no formal summative assessment, rather the assessment should be formative, helping the students to understand their own learning traits and to be taught how to develop their learning skills. (c ) The first two weeks could be used to embed a sense of belonging concentrating on team-building activities, group work, study skills and information sources, and learning by doing. Modules could then be taught in weeks 3-12 but with no formal exams but lots of learning by doing. This teaching should incorporate smaller group tutorials and overall contact time should be increased to say, 20 hours per week for this semester. The Christmas vacation would follow this. (d) The exam period is usually a three week period. To facilitate marking and assessment processes, exams are usually scheduled in the first week, particularly the first few days. The remainder of this period is one of disengagement by first year students with their studies. Instead, this period could be used as an extension of the teaching period and could be used as e.g. a practical group-based activity period such as constructing something in the laboratories, practical components such as Land Surveying, or working at CITB, or outdoor team building exercises. A ‘professional skills’ component could also be included: study skills, communication skills, IT skills, quantitative skills etc. These ideas are to instil in students this sense of belonging whilst maintaining engagement in studies. It has been shown that disengagement is a significant factor in students not performing; the modular, semester system contributes to this. (Please refer to appended diagram) This semester would also allow staff to be innovative in approaches to teaching and assessment and to try out different techniques: e.g. ‘think-pair share’ by which students think about a problem, work in pairs and then discuss with the other pair in the group of 4; effort-based grading whereby assessment is based on effort put in rather than outcome and which allows ipsative reflection by individual students. (This format of a 10 credit point J4 module could continue in years 2 and final, to incorporate PDP, study skills, placement preparation, studies advice. It could be called Personal/Professional Development Programme to coincide with the PDP initiative.) 4. Our physical teaching accommodation is designed to prevent any interchange and discussion. Generally speaking, the rooms are oblong with the teacher at the front and the students in lines facing forward. This is fundamentally at odds with inducing a sense of college and creating an environment conducive to conversation and discussion. There are some good examples of ‘teaching clusters’ which help engender more variety in teaching and learning methods. Basic equipment such as radio microphones and OHP’s which do not intrude in the line of sight are absent in many rooms. 5. Some American colleges and some universities in GB use ‘personal response systems’ to assist student engagement in lectures and which also help lecturers to instantaneously gauge student performance and understanding. Cost about £3K. 6. It has been shown that reward systems can act well as encouragers. Some universities reward the top 3 performing students in a particular year by paying for them to attend a relevant overseas conference. Similarly, to encourage innovation in teaching practice, rewards are offered to staff. Session A2 DWEEKS 1&2 Personal Development Module 10 credit points: Weeks 1 and 2 (&3?) (perhaps 3 used to embed a sense of belonging: Team Building; Group Work; Study Skills; also) Personal Development Planning (PDP); Use of Sports Centre; Students Union and Clubs. P Semester 1 modules E R Modules taught weeks 3? – 12 with no formal exams. Lots of S ‘learning by doing’ driven by Problem- Project-Based Learning. O ‘Different’ teaching techniques. N Formative Assessment only, using appropriate assessment A techniques. L 3 (or 4) – D 12 E 50 credit points (This structure may be altered to suit) V E Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 L O P 20 credit points 20 credit points 10 credit M points E N Christmas Vacation T M O *EXAM PERIOD* used to maintain engagement in learning as an D extension of the teaching period. Used, e.g. practical group-based U L 13 - 15 activities and professional skills development based on modules studied E through, perhaps, an integrative project. C Semester 2 Modules O N T I N U 60 credit points (This structure may be altered to suit) E D Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 20 credit points 20 credit points 20 credit points Summer Vacation Period Session A3 THE HIGHER APPRENTICESHIP - A MODEL FOR DEVELOPING TECHNICIANS IN THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR Charles Pickford, Regional Development Manager, Foundation Degree Forward C.Pickford@fdf.ac.uk The presenter will discuss the following issues with the audience: The partnerships involved in developing the model. The model for new entrants The model for progression Timescales for delivery Opportunities for optimising work based learning Funding Pilots The audience will have the opportunity to reflect on how this model (developed within the engineering sector) might be applicable to the Construction sector and how the agenda can be taken forward. Session A4 RECRUITMENT & RETENTION – LESSONS LEARNT FROM UK HIGH PROFILE PROJECTS PROJECT TITLE: A1 DARRINGTON TO DISHFORTH DBFO PROJECT ALEC BRIGGS MSc CEng MICE MIHT Senior Project Leader (The Highways Agency) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0113 283 6303 Alec Briggs joined the Department of Transport in 1975 to work on traffic studies, traffic appraisal and project management of major highway schemes. In 1994, he joined the newly-created Highways Agency. He has been Project Manager of the £214M M1-A1 Link Road DBFO Project, east of Leeds, from inception to opening to traffic, and, more recently, Senior Project Leader for the £245M A1 Darrington to Dishforth (D2D) DBFO Project, also east of Leeds, both of which have been procured under the Private Finance/Public Private Partnerships (PFI/PPP) Initiative. BARRY DREWETT BSc (Hons, Dunelm) CEng MICE Technical Director (Pell Frischmann Consultants Ltd) Barry Drewett: E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01977 688100 Barry Drewett has been employed by Pell Frischmann Consultants since 1988 on a variety of motorway and trunk road projects, specialising in procurement and contractual administration, including a number of highway contracts where he was the Resident Engineer or the Highways Agency’s site representative. Between 1996 and 1999, Barry held the post of Department's Agent's Site Representative (DASR) on the £214M M1-A1 Link Road DBFO Contract. From 1999 to 2003, he was seconded to work with the Highways Agency at its offices in Leeds, where he was Lead Consultant in the Transaction Team, up until Contract-Award, for the £245M A1 D2D DBFO Project. He currently holds the post of DASR on the A1 D2D DBFO Contract. Brief Summary of the Project/Presentation: Following a brief word on the history of PFI and DBFO, Alec Briggs will outline the procurement process involved in the A1 D2D DBFO Project and the key resources and skills employed in this process. He will go on to explain the main features of the D2D Project and how it contributes to meeting the key aims and objectives of the Highways Agency by minimising congestion, improving safety, keeping road users properly informed and respecting the environment. He will also outline the post-contract award organisational arrangements, including the resources and skills provided by contractors and consultants, and the arrangements for and importance of partnering, particularly in a project of this size. Barry Drewett will then explain the roles of the Department’s Agent and Department’s Representative (the Highways Agency’s representatives in the DBFO Contract) in safeguarding the interests of the Secretary of State and the Highways Agency, and in overseeing the delivery of the Project both in terms of design and construction, and operation and maintenance. He will go on to outline the development and operation of the ground-breaking Active Management Payment Mechanism, which actively manages congestion and road safety, and will also present a couple of examples of how the Contractor utilises its skills to maximise the use of resources both in construction and in the discovery of a rare Iron Age Chariot Burial. Session A4 PROJECT TITLE: A650 BINGLEY PROJECT Charles Clark BSc CEng FICE MCIOB FCMI Senior Contracts Manager AMEC Construction Services Project Manager for the construction of the A650 Bingley Relief Road Email firstname.lastname@example.org The A650 Bingley Relief Road was a 4.5 km long road project awarded under a lump sum design and construct contract between the HA and AMEC Capital Projects. The value of the lump sum contract was £47.9m with contract duration of three years to cover the design and construction elements. The primary features of the works was a 4.5km length of dual carriageway with 26 individual structures throughout the length, traversing three peat bogs and threaded between an existing canal and an existing electrified railway line all within a heavily urbanised area. The Project was completed three months ahead of the contractual end date winning a civic award and two British Construction Industry awards (2004) in the process.