Case Studies

The Office: authentic learning in civil engineering (full series)

Find out how James Norman created his own ‘company’, complete with its own office space in order to teach his Timber Engineering unit. Students worked on real briefs and projects as ’employees’ throughout this authentic and unique learning experience.

For the last year I have been on a BILT fellowship looking into learning space. I have travelled far and wide to see different teaching spaces, I have read numerous papers and I have written a few blog posts on the way. But also over ...
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The Office opens for business (learning) Last Thursday evening as I sat on the train heading home I reflected on my day. It had been a variety of things, exhausting, exhilarating, extraordinary, just another day at work, surprisingly straightforward and above all else not a ...
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What the flip is flipped teaching? I love lecturing. It’s awesome. I get that nervous excitement beforehand, like an actor or musician about to perform – it fires up my imagination – I think of new ways to say the same old thing. And then ...
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students working the office space
'Space... ' At some point in Spring 2018 I went for an interview to be a BILT Fellow in Assessment and Feedback. All went well and I was offered a two-year Fellowship. But on reflection, I wasn’t sure if I really should be doing Assessment ...
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students working in the just timber office
Authentic Learning So, this week I want to talk about Authentic Learning. Hopefully you had a chance to look at the paper I mentioned by Marilyn M. Lombardi on ‘Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview’ (Educase 2007) which provides a really nice, simple ...
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'All kinds of feedback' A few months ago, I was sat in a conference when I got an email from one of the heads of department asking me if I was around. Without thinking, I replied that I was working but not in the office. ...
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'Funding' This week in my blog I would like to talk about funding. How have I funded my office project? Now, before we go any further, I would like to be honest; I have very little experience in funding. I have never applied for a ...
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covers of the books james has read in 2019
'A reading week special’ Depending on when you are reading this it is either reading week, or it is the Friday before reading week. Either way happy reading week*. Now I don’t know what your plans are for reading week but I really hope you ...
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Amy Palmer, Toby Roberts and Marnie Woodmeade all visited James Norman's 'The Office' project and have shared their experiences below. Amy's reflection: I’d been looking forward to visiting James’ ‘Just Timber’ office since before the concept had even come to fruition. Last year, while catching ...
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Emerging Engineers So before we go any further, a serious health warning, if you are the sort of person who feels the need to reach for the sick bucket whenever you hear self-congratulation then you may prefer to skip this episode all together, because over ...
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Work-Life Balance So this is the penultimate episode of The Office! As we draw towards the seasons finale I want to examine a hot topic – work/life balance. And I want to look at it from two perspectives – the students (employees) and my own ...
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'And that's a wrap...' “I'm just sitting here, I ain't saying much I just think And my eyes don't move left or right they just blink” I thought I’d start my 11th and final episode of the blog series with a Dizzee Rascal quote, because ...
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students working in the office
A few weeks ago I was asked to give a 5 minute presentation on ‘The Office’. I have re-recorded here. Whether you are new to The Office or have followed the posts religiously I hope that this will be a great starting/ending point for you. ...
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