Virtual Design and Construction Cooperative

Industry and Community Partners

Various

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University

Curtin University

Innovative Features

  • Engaging multiple disciplines
  • Coach or mentor elements
  • Co-designed with industry or community
  • Engagement of alumni

Enablers

The key enablers of the VDC Cooperative include:

  • A pilot study of the unit was supported by the faculty which allowed an initial trial and the time to align the unit outcomes with existing units across disciplines.
  • The initiative utilises existing relationships with industry partners, particularly alumni.
  • Mutually beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders is a key enabler.  This is achieved by working collaboratively with industry partners to “shape” the projects and with students to support their learning and monitor their engagement with industry partners.
  • With enrolment numbers limited, students have to compete for a space. Students are advised of the expectations and level of commitment prior to enrolling in the unit. This ensures students are motivated and prepared for the rigours of working with industry partners.
  • Access to computers and the necessary software is essential. To enable this, students are provided with a dedicated space in an industry setting where they can work collaboratively on their projects.
  • The learning area (i.e. virtual design and construction / digitisation) is currently an area of  industry demand.
  • The subject area of the unit aligns with the academic’s research interests.

For more information

Please email Associate Professor Jane Matthews Jane.Matthews@curtin.edu.au
The Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Cooperative was established by the School of Built Environment at Curtin University. It is designed to prepare students to meet the changing demands of the digital construction industry. In partnership with high profile companies, a multidisciplinary team of students collaborate with industry partners to determine solutions to real-world problems.

The VDC Cooperative provides students with mentoring opportunities from industry leaders, who provide suggestions and feedback to students on their projects.

The VDC Cooperative is a credit bearing work-integrated learning experience for students. It is a multi-disciplinary model involving civil engineering, surveying, architecture, construction management, interior architecture and urban planning students. Sixteen students enrol in the Cooperative in Semester 1 or Semester 2. Students must commit two days per week (with some flexibility) to the project. The Virtual Design and Construction Cooperative intends to grow student numbers as partnerships and processes are streamlined.

Impact / outcomes

Students: students connect and network with industry. The mentoring element of the VDC Cooperative supports and builds students career pathways and aspirations. Students enhance their knowledge across disciplines and experience working in multidisciplinary teams on real-world projects. The VDC Cooperative creates a sense of accountability and responsibility for students’ personal learning and development.

Industry: industry benefits from the student generated outputs on various projects. The VDC Cooperative provides industry with a space to share their knowledge in a neutral forum, fostering a community of practice.

Teaching Staff: Through the VDC Cooperative, teaching staff refresh their practical knowledge and skills in what is a readily evolving and emerging disciplinary landscape, hence maintaining workplace currency and profile.

Student Assessment

Students are assessed on three pieces of work:

  • An initial proposal.
  • A portfolio of progress.
  • A final showcase – sometimes hosted by an industry partner.

Quality Indicators – Evaluation

A questionnaire is administered to students to ensure continual improvement of the VDC Cooperative student experience. In addition, case studies are undertaken to investigate the learning experiences and employability outcomes for students.

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