Measurement of quantities is a core skill which must be inherent in all graduates from Quantity Surveying courses. Many students find this subject difficult to grasp, and the learning experience can be problematic especially in the first semester of first year. This is not unique to measurement as in many cases first year students are in the process of adapting to a new stage in their life, along with attempting to master many new subjects (Cottrell, 2008). This is reinforced by Johnston (2010) who highlights the many challenges being experienced by first year students and observes that “ entering first year is one of the most powerful elements of the university experience” (Johnston 2010, p4). The method of delivery generally favoured by lecturers on measurement modules focuses on traditional manual measurement techniques, which some may argue, contradicts current work practices. In industry, the widespread utilisation of computerised systems has to a great extent made the labour intensive manual processing of dimensions redundant. Many commentators within the Quantity Surveying profession question the efficacy of traditional lectures for students who will eventually be employed in a computerised environment. Blight (2000) investigates the merits and deficiencies of traditional lectures, and points out that “lecturing is the most common method when teaching adults, in spite of opportunities for innovation provided by changing technology.” (Blight 2000, p3).This paper sets out to establish the student’s perspective on teaching methods currently in usage on measurement modules, and their views on the relevance of learning traditional manual techniques. My underlying philosophy is in line with (Macfarlane 2004 p.7) “University lecturers are often involved in preparing students for the demands of professional life”. As my lectures deal with a practical technical discipline, there is a close relationship with industry. Using a quantitative methodology, I have compiled and analysed student’s views with regard to teaching on measurement modules, and it’s relevance to current practice in the Irish construction industry. My findings illustrate an overwhelming support amongst students for retention of traditional teaching methods, enhanced by better access to current measurement software.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/fiacra_mcdonnell/2/