THE SUSTAINABILITY OF WORK-BASED LEARNING FOR DIPLOMA IN ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGY AS A JOINT VENTURE PROGRAMME AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Zulkefle bin Ismail, Politeknik Sultan Idris Shah (PSIS), Sabak Bernam 45100 Selangor Darul Ehsan. Tel: +603-32136666 ext 2099, 019-3133554 Fax: +603-32136633 e-mail: zzulkefle@yahoo.fr

ABSTRACT

This paper examines and interprets the collaboration or joint venture (JV) of a Work-Based Learning (WBL) for Architectural Technology Programme at Community Colleges under Ministry of Higher Education. The Department of Polytechnics and Community Colleges Education (DPCCE or JPPKK) was established under Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) in 2004 as a driving force for the betterment of the technical education and lifelong learning in Malaysia. This study documents the initial discussions between the parties to establish the programme, the structure of the WBL, the management and the operations of the programme and the community colleges, and the current status of the WBL. Higher learning institutions have extensively used JVs as a vehicle to lead the creation of the Knowledge – Community. Recent collaborations amongst GLC companies and the community colleges in Malaysia have shown that many similarities exist in the structure of an academic JV as compared with those involved with design and construction works. This study examines critical success factors for the successful implementation of an academic and construction interests are crucial to sustain collaborative success in these academic endeavours. A clear vision, a competency standard is necessary in the initial years for the sustainability of WBL in architectural studies. This study indicates that although the requirements of a successful JV are in place, many challenges still lie ahead of lifelong learning.

Keywords:

Architectural Technology Programme, WBL, Knowledge – Community, Sustainability.

Joint Venture,

1

This paper interprets the relationship of joint venture programme between Architect Firm and their task performance through Work-Based Learning (WBL). to participate fully in development. to live and work in dignity. and examining the implementation of a lifelong learning culture within the firms which may lead to improve performance. to improve the quality of their lives. content and learning modalities. According to Yeaxlee. The idea of lifelong learning rests upon integrating learning and living both horizontally study and work and vertically from birth to old age. numeracy and problem solving) and the basic learning content (such as knowledge. values and attitudes) required by human beings to be able to survive. sometimes for each individual learner or group of learners. oral expression. wisdom. Mowday et al. individuals and organizations. 1982).. who are confidently able to handle and make use of them and contribute to their creation and transformations. it is reflected in the knowledge. to make informed decisions. harmony and self-realisation rooted in the practical affairs of ordinary men and women (Yeaxley 1929: 165). 2 . experience. the understanding and concrete response to the question of goals. and to continue learning.. skills. Lifelong learning is a continuous process beginning at birth and providing learning opportunities over a life span to communities. It implies defining in each particular context.‟ Adopting lifelong learning as the new paradigm for education and learning in the 21st century is not adopting a slogan or opting for an abstract „edutopia‟. The focus is on students‟ performance with architect firm as the behavioral predictor (Becker et al. 1990. and how the WBL ability in the programme of Diploma in Architectural Technology affects the relationship between Architect Firm and task performance. to develop their full capacities.INTRODUCTION The Department of Polytechnics and Community Colleges Education (DPCCE or JPPKK) was established under Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) in 2004 as a driving force for the betterment of lifelong learning in Malaysia. In the Declaration of The World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA) „basic learning needs comprise both essential learning tools (such as literacy.

understanding the issues and skills. issues and skills central to sustainable development in each of three components – environment. issues and skills must all be addressed in a formal curriculum that has been reoriented to address sustainability (Zulkefle. the advantages of knowledge – community should be considered during teaching and learning in polytechnics and community colleges. namely Work-Based Learning (WBL). Towards sustainability of architectural studies program. and societal conditions. It involves an iteration and integration of specific subject-based knowledge. economic. its education and sustainability are inextricably linked. is a form of pedagogy that blends classroom instructions with structured real-life working experience which prepares students for a competitive edge in today‟s workplace. All sustainable development programs must take into consideration the local environmental. In order to keep abreast with rapid technological advancements and evolving requirements in industries today. with the aim of applying these to a design project. Department of Polytechnics and Community Colleges Education (DPCCE) has initiated a collaborative programme with the nation‟s key industry players. Indeed. while knowledge. This initiated. Table 1 shows an example of such consideration for the knowledge – community: 3 . This collaborative programme aims at equipping students with up-to-date knowledge and skills required in the globalize economy. economy. Architecture is held to be central to sustainability.ARCHITECTURE EDUCATION TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY Academic Standard for Architecture explained architectural studies requires inquiry and synthesis. and society. and brings to bear a wide range of knowledge. It will need to identify knowledge. 2008).

2008) ENVIRONMENT Technology Low skill and poor productivity The ability to produce students according to competency standard ECONOMY Training Method of teaching and learning The ability to identify the new and effective approach in delivering SOCIETY Conflict Changing method of teaching and learning The ability to think critically about value added and its issues KNOWLEDGE ISSUES SKILLS Competence is defined in Webster‟s dictionary as „fitness or ability‟. but often contribute to institution‟s goals. 1998). The performance has divided into two sections.  A generic attempt to identify. Such definition decreases the change of excluding those behaviours that are not strictly considered a part of task requirements. The institution performance is defined as “the aggregate of the entire individual‟s behaviour within the institution over time” (Mitchell. „proficiency‟ and „skill‟. performance can be defined in terms of the behaviour of individual displays at work. Words given as synonyms or related terms are „capability‟. There are basically three (3) conceptions of the nature of competence as follows:  Task based or behaviourist: Competence is thus. While some researchers define performance in terms of task performance. institution performance and individual performance. „capacity‟. analyze and to map general attributes that are needed to perform a concrete job optimally. „efficiency‟. i. and such behaviours must contribute to an institution‟s goal in order to be considered in the domain of task performance. conceived in terms of discrete behaviour associated with the completion of atomized tasks (Edwards 1996: 247).Table 1: The Important Criteria of Sustainable Education for Knowledge – Community (Source: Zulkefle.e.  A synthesis between these two approaches. 1983). 4 . not all the behaviours an individual displays at WBL are related to the specific tasks. (1993). According to Campbell et al. And the individual‟s performance is simply defined as “all the behaviours an individual engages in while at WBL” (Jex.

clients. the students would flair for drawing. 2008). The graduates of Diploma in Architectural Technology from Community Colleges will have knowledge. employers and society. and be computer literate (Curriculum Development & Evaluation Division. Hence. The following aspects of knowledge and skills are for inclusion in the programme of study:  Ability to understand and produce architectural drawings that satisfy the technical requirements of Uniform Building By Law (UBBL). 5 . graphic illustrator. contractor etc. Community College graduates will acquire wide knowledge and skills in their field of studies. As a team member. CADD operator. patience. skill and attitude that will allow them to make tangible contributions and meet new technical challenges. Careers in architectural and construction industry require a huge amount of scientific knowledge and technical experiences. good eyesight. have good hand skills. building technician. The graduate will continuously enhance their knowledge and skills for adaptable to a new changes at the workplace. they will possess good ethical values and entrepreneurial awareness to commercialize their skills (Curriculum Development & Evaluation Division.DIPLOMA IN ARCHITECTURAL TECHNOLOGY Diploma in Architectural Technology is the skill course to draw and understanding plans for buildings according to specifications. The students would understand an extensive knowledge of building construction before they could understand the plans. In addition.  Understanding the scope of work as a draughtsman in architectural society such as building construction and services. they can venture successfully in the following careers such as draughtsperson. ability to translate concepts. Upon completion of this programme. site supervisor. the graduates will also communicate effectively and interact responsibly with colleagues. an eye for detail. 2008). be able to visualize three dimensionally object accurately. Besides that.  Adequate knowledge in translating design into buildings and integrating plans.

skills and attitudes for better outcome. 6 .  Adequate knowledge of the industries. knowledge.  Adequate knowledge of geometrical and working drawing.  Provide necessary draughting skills to meet the requirement within the constraints imposed by cost factors and building regulations. organizations.  Desire for life long learning and intellectual and professional growth. Possess entrepreneurial skills to commercialized their architectural skills. PLO and Domain of Knowledge and Skills for Programme of Diploma in Architectural Technology at Community Colleges (Source: Curriculum Development & Evaluation Division. regulations and procedures involved in WBL. 2008).  The ability to adapt knowledge with new technical challenges. Table 2 shows the mapping between Programme Educational Objective (PEO) in compliance to Programme Learning Outcome (PLO) and Domain of Knowledge and Skills. Table 2: The Mapping of PEO. and skills involved in the CADD.  Participate and communicate effectively as a team member.

and Turner. government legislation. expand and share knowledge. It also involves closer integration and recognition that each party has something the other needs. 2005) Others such as follows risk reduction. JV between institutions and firms is important to determine the successful of the efforts towards sustainability of the architecture education. Each JV entities will benefit from each other and contributes towards achieving the objectives. assets or attribute needed. Consequently the following self evaluation are formed 7 . 2006). act as conduit for the advancement of integration and trade relations.JOINT VENTURE AS A POTENTIAL SOLUTION According to the Economic Planning Unit. skill needed. JV will be an alternative to help the DPCCE encourage more companies to venture into WBL. 1995) In architectural studies and construction industries. 2003 in Khairuddin. co-opting or blocking competition. METHODOLOGY OF RESEARCH A series of observation and informal discussions as well as semi-structured interview with Architects. 2005. Lecturers at Community Colleges. “Joint-Venture (JV) means a business agreement or relationship under which two or more parties join together for a set of activities and agree to share the profit” (EPU. Officers at Curriculum Development and Evaluation Division of DPCCE and students were conducted. The arrangement will bring various parties to joint forces and work together as a team. (Ohnishi. etc. Promote interactions and cooperation between institution and industry. and encourage growth and expansion (Mazlan & Torrance. explore. to:      encourage growth and advancement of small and medium scale industries or institution. Khairuddin & Kobayashi. The objectives for JVs include. experience and expertise in trade and industries to realize potential strengths and privileges.

planning or any other aspects of the curriculum. Interior Design or Landscape Architecture allied to the built environment. its may improve the quality of student in report-writing. 8 . Concerning the students‟ performance. it could be added some extra training to students by re-styling it as a Diploma in Architecture (in polytechnics) to better reflect the advanced nature of the work carried out. students frequently make the request „Can we do this kind of thing earlier on in our WBL?‟. technology. By way of general interest. All students who undertake a WBL are required to submit a report describing their work experience which is. of itself. This is that architect cannot start too soon in inculcating the broad concept of an architectural training be it related to draw. Additionally the future collaboration should be considered by in the form of joint courses and possibly a joint diploma in Project Management. architects have complained that the grades of the students at the entry level are near the worth of the scale of grade. Notwithstanding. Turning to the actual workplace activity. Indeed. My feeling is that this would be premature but there is some validity in the students‟ point of view. in its recent documentation the MQA has raised the question of the health and safety of students when engaged in WBL. It also believe that the curriculum have improved student motivation during WBL. the curriculum should be improved towards health and safety before its implementation.SELF EVALUATION The JV concept in architectural studies offers a good measure of control over what students do. In addition. the collaboration with colleagues in practice has improved. I have since analyzed the distribution and have concluded things should stay as they are – students of Community Colleges good in draughtsmanship! Concerning the studies course. a valuable learning outcome. It could be learn from the curriculum of Mechanical Engineering which has similar concerns in workplace learning. Construction Technology. WBL is integrated much better into the academic curriculum to the extent that the students expose about 50% towards the real on-job training. This has also strengthened the partnership with practice. design.

a better quality of integration is achieved between practical training and more formal academic studies. 9 . Melaka:  By combining WBL within the academic structure of Diploma in Architecture at polytechnics.  By requiring students to write a report about their placement experience. All those who beckon to its calling must trudge down Ruskin‟s „stony path of learning‟. the students‟ work is preserved in the departmental library where it can be consulted and serves as a guide to other students when they are planning their own work-experience  Curriculum and teaching and learning procedures in polytechnics should be revised towards closer working relationships with the architectural practices who participate in WBL scheme. each member of staff involved has a direct hands-on contribution to make to student learning when the student is away from the department.CONCLUSION Perhaps the ultimate test of the success of the ideas and concepts implicit in this paper is the record of student achievement in the Portfolio in their final semester. By way of a summary. allow me to conclude by saying that architecture is a demanding profession. the following is a listing of the general benefits that have been achieved through the implementation of WBL allied to Diploma in Architectural Technology in Community Colleges of Jasin.  The written reports that students submit at the end of their studies have raised the quality of student work related to WBL. The adoption of distance-learning procedures (notably e-mail) enables students to keep in touch with their tutor and thereby to resolve issues that require tutorguidance and input. In addition. students are obliged to reflect analytically upon their work in architectural practice and to critically evaluate their practical-training achievements. The Greek physician Hippocrates had the same idea when he observed ars longa vita brevis which for our purposes can be taken to mean „The life so short the craft so long to learn‟. With this in mind.  By acting as the tutor to a group of students.

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