Case-study for small groups

The exit level outcomes Landscape Technology Management 3B course include:

  • completing accurate and detailed costing
  • prepare documentation and adhere to requirements of the tender process
  • preparing practical work schedules for project implementation
  • compiling maintenance contracts, work schedules and detailed costing

The course is therefore directly related to the professional landscape tender process:
1. the landscape architect compiles a bill of quantities based on the landscape design
2. the landscape contractor completes a pricing schedule and prices the bill of  quantities.
3. In practice, in a competitive tender, tenderers would submit a company portfolio and a proposed work schedule.

Because graduates of the Diploma in Landscape Technology can work in either the design (landscape architecture) or installation (landscape contracting) fields, it is important that the course addresses the landscape tender process from each point of view.

Students were also given the opportunity to attend the Cape Green Forum Open Day in Stellenbosch to source products for their specifications and pricing.

Instead of teaching the components of this course in individual sections, the course will be taught as a mock landscape tender i.e. a case study.

As a class we visited the site in order for the students to meet the landscape contractor and ask questions about site procedures and info required for pricing.

The students were given only a project brief, and landscape architectural plans, with the intention that they must do their own research and complete the project in phases. Information is supplemented by study notes and lectures which take the form of group discussions, a site visit and interactions with suppliers at a trade open day.

As a class we visited the site in order for the students to meet the landscape contractor and ask questions about site procedures and info required for pricing.

This was the case study task that was handed out to the students.

This was the case study task that was handed out to the students.

Notes & comments:

As a case study, instead of reading through notes on “How the tender process works”, the project is designed with the following aims in mind:

  • the students holistic view of the tender process as they each work through the case study step-by-step
  • students actively participate in their own tender process experience and include all the activities that a landscape architect would typically perform in an office
  • instead of being spoon-fed information, students are given a problem outline and guidance on how to source their own information (which they will have to do in a landscape practice)

I believe that the case study was a more engaging process than traditional theory lectures but a potential improvement would be to group students in mock “offices” and run the project as in a landscape practice. This will enable students to experience the relationship between the various role-players.

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