By Ray Vidler
Last month’s ‘Back To The Floor’ Continuous Professional Development CPD day, I attended a site meeting requested by a medium size electrical contractor. Present at the meeting was the client’s project manager, architect, surveyor, mechanical & electrical consultant and site manager. It was a very well structured meeting and therefore was an excellent platform for all concerned, to showcase their technical knowledge which highlighted their high level of ‘Professional Practise’. This was my Lightbulb moment and I decided to make this a lesson.
The CPD experience enabled me to evaluate and reflect on how the curriculum I delivered over this academic year relates to current industry practise, innovation and professionalism. The two areas that could be developed were Innovation and professional practise, so referring to the curriculum and the scheme of works, I looked at where these two areas could be advanced. Being a vocational industry where professional standards and values underpin technical design & practise, I decided to use my recent CPD experience to advance these two areas.
Lesson planning consisted of referring to my group profile and student seating plan to create our own ‘site meeting’ with different table groups being nominated a subject to research as a team and deliver to a ‘Project Management Team’ with a view to having their presentation analysed by the project team who intends to report their findings to the client i.e the lecturer, me.
Each table group was given a different renewable energy source to research with appropriate literature and computers to enable them to put forward a proposal to the ‘Project Management Team’ who would then forward their proposal to the client i.e myself.
All students were engaged in independent learning with researching their renewable energy source. This involved teamwork empathising the organisation and analysing of data. This enhanced professionalism on how they delivered their presentations. The ‘Project Management Team’ was exceptional in researching each form of renewable energy source and analysing the positives and negatives and shaping their decisions after each table gave their presentation. The ‘Project Management Team’ then professionally presented their findings to the client i.e me and their recommendations.
From the feedback I gained from the students I was satisfied that they were happy having their presentations scrutinised by an independent team and they all appreciated the importance of professional values.