What is the point of assessing Built Environment Law?

Tim McLernon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The Construction Industry is a dynamic, hands-on and exciting one that demands teamwork, understanding, communication and compromise. It is significantly important to the economy. It represents over 8% of UK GDP; there is an annual output of over £110 billion with over 270 thousand enterprises employing some 3 million people (source: Timms 2007). A significant proportion of students choose the Built Environment disciplines with the expectation that programmes of study will mirror the dynamic nature and excitement of the construction industry. The majority of students of the Built Environment disciplines receive legal education as part of the curriculum of their respective programmes of study. It is important that they do so because, whilst we live in an increasingly litigious society, the construction industry is subject to a greater array of liabilities than comparable industries. Law is a textual subject. It requires a significant amount of reading. The university environment has changed dramatically over the last two decades. The student body has different demands placed on it. Some students are not prepared, or unable owing to work commitments, to carry out the requisite reading. University learning is, arguably, not driven by a desire to learn, but rather by the exchange value of the degree. There is a perceived, growing culture of: ‘If it ain’t assessed, it won’t be done’. Learning is becoming, or has become, assessment-led. A noticeable consequence of this culture of assessment-led teaching and learning is that the parameters of the curriculum are narrowing. Students focus on the central confines of summative assessment and tend not to widen the application of their acquired knowledge. This paper examines this phenomenon using learning theory, data from Built Environment students, data from Built Environment Law tutors and from documentary evidence. It proposes answers to the questions: “Should Built Environment Law be assessed?”, and if so: “How should it be assessed to encourage independent learning?”
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the COBRA conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 4th – 5th September 2008, DIT, Dublin, Ireland
    PublisherRoyal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
    ISBN (Print)978-1-84219-434-8
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 5 Sept 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Paper and summary presented to the “Legal Education in Property and Construction” stream of the COBRA conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and published in the Proceedings of the COBRA conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 4th – 5th September 2008, DIT, Dublin, Ireland.
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    • Built Environment Law
    • Assessment
    • Learning
    • H.E. Environment


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