The sort of assignments we're doing at school

Just out of interest - because I know some of you are interested in this - I will put here a couple of examples of the sort of assignments I'm doing as part of my quantity surveying studies at Southern Institute of Technology.

In a class called "Contract administration", for example, we are going through the process of managing contract paperwork. Every student, basically, "pretends" that they are a project manager working for a construction company, and we go through the process of extending a high school library.

It's a real library, by the way. A couple of years ago a building extension was put in Wakatipu High School block D library, and now we are using all the real paperwork and architectural drawings from that project to "pretend" that we are doing it again.

We send letters to the local newspapers to advertise that we are looking for tenderers.

We create fictional companies who then apply for those contracts.

We deal with tender variations.

We deal with subcontractors.

It's not a complete gallery of assignments I'm putting here: there's loads and loads more. But what the school is basically trying to do, is equip us with a life-like material so that when we finish school and start working for an actual company, we have 1) gone through the process once already, even if it's just fictional, and 2) have folders full of .pdf examples we can rely on.

The teacher is not giving us examples - he's making us create all this paperwork ourselves. But he does look through our assignments so that if he thinks we've submitted something that wouldn't pass as acceptable in real life, he's making us re-do until everything is good enough - and that's how, basically, we're ending up with a sort of a "library" of documents we can then later look back on, when we have to start dealing with this stuff in real life.

In another class called "Materials" we are learning about materials used in construction, and how they function.

We are having to put in almost weekly assignments of "10 potential problems with metals", "10 potential problems with timber", "10 potential problems with..." etc. It's time-consuming, but dare I say it: very effective, I think. At least I find it is.

By the time I've trawled my brain and the internet to find in what ways a material can fail, how to recognise it, how to fix it, I get pretty well versed in understanding what this material does.


So, yeah, just in case someone's interested :)

And I'll go back to typing up another assignment now. I've got behind on them with all this chickenpox and school change saga... So I should really do some school work, instead of blogging about school work.

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