Is Technology and Built environment transforming higher education?

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Is Technology and Built environment transforming higher education?

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Joined: 05 Mar 2021
Sometimes, higher education faces tremendous challenges in identifying the best delivery method to achieve the defined learning objective and outcome while maintaining the combination of theory and practical. Consequently, many universities adopted different modes and tools to keep their academic standards high to give the best student experience. This resulted in creating more challenge across the higher education landscape.

Unlike management institutions, engineering universities felt an added challenge as they have to keep students motivated to work professionally on the machines, meeting all standards. The Ministry of Education labs' initiative for engineering, introducing virtual labs, was created through a simulation with the description. These simulated tests contained an assessment at the end of each experiment.

However, virtual labs, remote control labs, or video-based labs are considered good options when students cannot physically stay on-campus or in management education. This is completely different and maybe simpler as most labs use the software.

On the other hand, specialized MBAs, such as Quantity Surveying and Construction Project Management uses special software for planning, scheduling, cost management.

Importance of Technology in the Modern World
With increased focus on leaner, efficient matrices, and smarter solutions in the business world, solid technological changes are a must to move towards a sustainable and resilient future. Also, emerging and advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, drones, and virtual reality have hugely impacted the built environment industry. Currently, AI is one of the most powerful and ground-breaking technologies, working towards transforming the world.

In a similar way, AI is transforming the built environment sector by introducing chat-bots and helping in forecasting loan defaults, construction automation, investor analytics, deal matching, property management, etc.

Furthermore, technology solutions such as 3D Printing is assuming to change the construction process over the next decades. Currently being in its early stage, 3D Printing is anticipated to replace or modify a substantial amount of construction work across major segments, be it residential, commercial, or retail.

Three Pillars of Higher education: Practical hands-on experiential learning, Theoretical knowledge sharing, and Research

Imparting theoretical knowledge: Teaching theoretical concepts via online modes are considered to be the easiest as current software (Zoom Webinars, Zoom Meetings, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Google Meet, and others) has the features to properly support this teaching method. These simple-to-use platforms enable faculties to transition from on-campus classroom sessions to online lecture delivery mode without any difficulties.

These platforms support two-way communication, high student engagement, content sharing, and compliance. In fact, some platforms allow online class recording, so students can conveniently access them later for reference and recap.

Online practical’s and experiments: It sometimes becomes difficult to manage the all-important lab experiments and hands-on practical’s, essential for skill development.

However, higher education institutes imparting knowledge catering to the Built Environment sector, such as RICS School of Built Environment had already on-boarded advanced technologies, Virtual Lab platforms offered by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, much before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Hence, RICS SBE managed to provide seamless education to their students in real-time.

Research requirements: Higher education still needs more resources and equipment for seamless learning. Learning management software (LMS) allows fruitful academic; student integration in terms of content availability, pre-and post- online class sessions, and a platform for conducting online tests.

The LMS platform, integrated with Turnitin, support the students with their original content, enhance their skills, and promotes a culture of originality. Online subscription databases help students to access the best of the research papers and other content from their local systems to improve their research capabilities.

The built environment is set for more significant growth in the future. With the adoption of advanced technologies, there will be many exciting jobs and development opportunities. Also, there are institutes in India offering specialized courses in built environment from RICSSBE to help prospective candidates to make a good career in the industry.

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