Sunday, August 10, 2008

Continuing Education Learning Units for Professionals

The publication Architectural Record provides articles for American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education learning units . Members read the article (in the paper edition with some materials online) and answer test questions. A recent topical article is "Inside Beijing's Big Box of Blue Bubbles", (Joann Gonchar, July 2008), about the technology in the Beijing 2008 Olympics water cube swimming stadium.

US requirements for architects are for between 8 and 12 hours of Mandatory Continuing Education per year (varies by US state). The Beijing article is about 5 A4 pages (50% illistrations), with ten test questions.

The AIA scheme is much like continuing eduction programs of other professional bodies. However, most do not require a test, just completion of the education activity. As an example, the ACS's Computer Professional (CP) Program requires of thirty hours development a year. Many of the events listed in the ACS calendar qualify, but most do not have a test. The CPEP also has online learning modules with formal assessment, but these are full semester long course units, not something you can do in an hour or so.

Perhaps something between just reading an article or attending an hour long talk and a full formal semester unit is needed. This could be a form of blended learning, with a face-to-face talk and an online component and test. Those not wanting the points could still attend the live event, or read the articles.

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