Design Block Week as an effective learning environment for students on Architectural Technology Courses

Project Details


For the wide variety of the expertise and disciplines involved, learning and teaching in architectural technology is a very unique and complex process. It is important to ensure that students are assisted in and equipped with different skills in making connections between information, knowledge, technical skills and the requirements of their professional career in the future.

Learning from examples can be developed into a process of learning by doing which is aimed at during the study case of the current research. The activity week, a week of non-traditional learning activities for students, is normally scheduled into the academic calendar for the division of Built Environment and Civil Engineering, at the University of Brighton. For Architectural Technology programme, the activity week was turned into to a block study week where elements of design are emphasised and applied.

This research operational hypothesis is therefore specifically asking if by focusing on a particular targeted task delivered during a limited time period, students will be able to learn specific skills which can be transferred to meet other learning objectives in the Architectural Technology design curriculum.

The aim of this study was to evaluate a one week intensive block teaching and learning programme as an effective environment for students to acquire and apply knowledge relevant to the practice of Architectural Technology.

The aim was achieved by:

>examining existing materials on block week teaching pedagogy for design and non-design related courses.
>designing and delivering a one-week design intensive programme on Architectural Structures for second year undergraduate Architectural Technology students
>observing and evaluating the effectiveness of the design block study programme (retention and translation to other projects) to promote learning by conducting short and medium term quantitative and qualitative studies (at the time of the design week and at the end of the academic session).
>analysing quantitative and qualitative data and concluding based on findings
>disseminating findings in the report, good practise summary and journal papers.

Key findings

The results of data collected during this research reveal important and interesting trends. Despite the decrease in levels of confidence in key skills, all participants thought that the experience has had positive effects on them and have improved as a result. Students are somewhat more realistic about their skills and competence and can work towards improving them.

This project was concluded with a good practice guide for HEA CEBE (The Higher Education Academy Centre for Education in the Built Environment).
Short titleDesign Block Week
Effective start/end date1/01/0931/12/10


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