Extended-form Case Study

Vocational skills training: the ICZ way

Published on August 29, 2018   17 min

Other Talks in the Category: Management, Leadership & Organisation

Vocational Skills Training: The ICZ Way. I'm Simon McLean. I'm a chartered building surveyor. I'm also the Program Director for Building Surveying at the University of Salford.
What is ICZ? ICZ is a term which has been penned by the University of Salford, which is to describe what it classes as its main strategic goal: The development of industry collaboration zones (ICZ), is our single strategic priority. ICZs will provide new ways for our students, colleagues, and industry partners, to co-create and experiment and learn together. Being a university populated by academics, and academics like to use words. The principles of ICZ and how they are to be actioned are the subject of a considerable amount of pagination, which in respect of tuition can fortunately be summarized. All courses offered by the University of Salford are vocational. They don't do art courses which don't have a vocational ending. All the courses must be delivered in collaboration with partners from the profession that they service regardless of what that profession maybe.
Ten principles of ICZ were penned by the University of Salford. They demanded all their programs are inclusive, which basically means that they are suitable for study by a wide range of learner types, including international students, which is not the easiest thing with subjects like "building surveying", which is very colloquially UK-based. The curriculum and delivery are co-created. This basically means that industry are invited to co-create, to get involved, to produce material for delivery. So it's not just tutors deciding what students should get as part of their study diet, but industrial partners are asked to create their views as well. Learning is active and collaborative. The active - it is not just sitting and receiving knowledge in the traditional way, but it's active in that students are encouraged to take their own ownership of their learning, and it's collaborative in that industry are also encouraged to become involved. So you've got learners who are active looking; and you've got industry looking to come in and help in the education. Learning is real-world and experiential. Learning needs to be real to the vocation so that learning needs to be something which is relevant to the learners, in terms of their development towards becoming professionals. The programs should be digitally fluent. Basically they need to use the current IT, they need to use the current equipment. The idea is that, industry will progress and become more digitally fluent by the students that out, and join the practices who are fluent in these technologies. Learners are autonomous, they take ownership of their own learning. Assessment is authentic. Essays are pretty much off the menu. Assessment needs to be authentic in terms of providing industrial experience. In building surveying, a lot of our assessments take the form of industry used documents, like building survey reports, dilapidation schedules, access audit reports. They're just the reports which allow the students to practice industrial documentation as part of an authentic experience. Education should include ethical behavior, and with an institution like, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who very strongly police ethical behavior, this is very important for building surveyors, as it should be with every other profession. But we do do a lot of ethical teaching and put ethical behavior into all of our activities. The curriculum needs to be research-informed. This particular talk is based on research that the author has done in terms of providing ICZ pedagogy for the building surveying course. The results of this will be fed back into providing better activities in the future. Finally number 10, there needs to be a clear path to the profession. That again with building surveying, is something which is outlined from day one - that this is just a step on the pathway to becoming a professional surveyor.

Vocational skills training: the ICZ way

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