Academic journal article Journal of Real Estate Literature

The Cdio Model for Real Estate Curriculum Development

Academic journal article Journal of Real Estate Literature

The Cdio Model for Real Estate Curriculum Development

Article excerpt

University faculty members are traditionally organized into subject matter expert groups who design the courses within their curriculum to reflect this expertise. Surveys of faculty within a discipline tend to produce agreement on some common core knowledge that any undergraduate should master to obtain a degree in the subject. This core knowledge is usually organized into a series of required courses supplemented by electives that are driven by the specializations offered by the program. However, individual courses are often created and modified without adequate consideration about how they fit in the overall curriculum content and sequence.

Meanwhile, experts in skill related areas such as the use of software as well written and verbal communication are usually expected to provide courses not only to serve their own students, but also to develop those skills in students in all disciplines across the university. These courses are often created and taught without consultation with the faculty in other disciplines. Subsequently, the faculty members in other disciplines tend to focus on subject content and fail to integrate practice and development of these skills in the major field.

Employers in many fields, including real estate, are complaining that students graduate with a degree that certifies they have subject matter expertise; however, the graduates lack the ability to integrate necessary skills with their subject knowledge to be successful in the workplace. The silo construction of most university faculties combined with an ad hoc approach to curriculum design has created programs that lack integration and that have no mechanism for ensuring that they are able to continuously evolve and improve.

In this paper, we review the research that attempts to identify generally accepted core concepts that should be included in a real estate curriculum, along with surveys that identify the skills employers want real estate graduates to possess. Then the conceivedesign-implement-operate (CIDO) model is presented as a method for incorporating faculty, employer, and student stakeholder demands into a real estate curriculum. it is illustrated with the revision of the undergraduate real estate degree curriculum at the university of the Witwatersrand and its ongoing review.

Real Estate Curriculum Research

undergraduate degree programs in real estate are housed in a variety of university units, most commonly business or the built environment, or development/construction. Real estate degree programs prepare students for careers across a range of professions. The location of the degree program within the university and the segment of the industry in which most graduates are employed will influence the curriculum content and course offerings, as well as what are perceived as essential skills for success.1 The range of educational programs is discussed in Schulte (2002). Surveys of real estate academics and professionals that have attempted to identify what constitutes the essential subject knowledge that real estate students should master during their undergraduate or postgraduate studies are summarized in Exhibit 1. Surveying students, employers, and academics addresses the need to consider the opinions of all the stakeholders in the curriculum (Brown 1979). Callanan and McCarthy (2003) illustrate how student, graduate, and employer surveys can be used to evaluate a curriculum.

A survey of mainly American university undergraduate programs in 1991 indicated that at that time the majority of programs required coursework in real estate principles, finance, law, and valuation (Epley, 1996). Weeks and Finch's (2003), in their evaluation of undergraduate real estate concentrations at 27 AACSB Internationalaccredited universities in the United States, found the same four subjects still comprised the most commonly required courses.

As early as 1979, surveys and focus groups of academics and professionals have classified and ranked the importance of real estate subjects. …

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