Monday, 28 May 2007

Research comes alive for quantity surveyors

To harmonise and streamline the teaching efforts of the University’s Department of the Built Environment, a new approach to the subject Research Methodology was implemented this year.

Since January the subject has been aligned across campuses, with the same submission dates and identical assessments. The subject comprises of two components. These are formal lectures and a hands-on research project in which the theory taught in the formal lectures is applied. For the first time the theoretical part of the subject was presented in an intensive, one week block release which took place during the first week of lectures. These lectures were presented by visiting Professor Dr Andreas Hartmann (TU Twente - Netherlands) and Mr Ludwig Martin from the Cape Town campus.

The aim of the block release was to cover the basics of research and allow the students, now equipped with the necessary knowledge, to start tackling their individual research projects at an early stage of the year. Previously structured lectures were held throughout the first term, thus leaving less time for the students to actually experience and do their research.

Students are introduced to the terminology of research, research tools, approaches and paradigms in research, planning of research projects, as well as writing proposals and reports. In these workshops students were given assignments ranging from finding information in the library and off the internet, interpreting research designs of presented journal articles, and justifying their own approaches to given research problems.

A rotational team leader had to present the respective team’s work each day. A draft research proposal, a presentation thereof, a final research proposal, a draft research report, and a final research report with a presentation on the work done is required from students.

Supervisors are assigned to each student. Mr Rudolph Zietsman and Mr Ludwig Martin will fill this role on the Cape Town campus.

Written by CPUT News