Understanding progression in the built environment through an interactive student-centred model of progression
thesisposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Josua Pienaar
Student progression is historically dominated by indicators of academic success, denoted by passing subjects and successfully completing qualifications. More recently this university management view of progression has been linked to institutional audit measures with these providing secondary data archives for research into progression. This thesis provides a student perspective on progression. To do so it necessarily encompasses wider student goals and aspirations that extend beyond the university to include career and professional growth. The research uses a sequential mixed methods approach with three main studies (archive, survey and interview) each aligned with a research objective. The first study in the series is an archive study of 1547 university Built Environment student records that were originally collected as part of the requirement for the university to report its work for government audit. The second study was a self-report structured online survey that collected data from a total of 295 students. The student sample was made up of 154 Built Environment students and 141 Engineering students. 97, all Built Environment students, were distance education students and the other 198 students were campus-based students. The final study, the in-depth interview study, used one-on-one interactive conversational interviews with students, graduates, academics, employers and executives from professional organisations. In total 40 interviews were undertaken. A number of influences were found on progression as seen from a student perspective. These include the importance of work-readiness, cadetships and the alignment of qualifications with industry needs and career growth opportunities. The student user perspective also brought into focus a number of the pedagogical assumptions held about and held by students in the Built Environment.