Eight universities provide training resources online, for free
In a major new initiative, eight UK universities led by the Centre for Education in the Built Environment (CEBE) at the University of Salford have made over 2,000 hours of built environment learning materials available online, free of charge.
Under a scheme known as Open Resources for Built Environment Education (ORBEE), a huge range of expertise in areas such as sustainability and building information modelling have been placed online for the use of companies, individuals and other organisations within the sector.
Each module of the 42 currently available is packaged as a notional 50 hours programme which is designed to be easily learned online. All of the modules are those used within the universities currently to teach students right up to postgraduate level.
Broadly split into core knowledge, specialisms and future skills, the objective of the ORBEE scheme is to improve the skills of the UK construction sector by making the collected knowledge of universities more widely available.
At Salford, which has the UK’s premier school for built environment research, submissions include fully explained and self-assessed modules on using building information modelling and even disaster resilience planning.
The ORBEE website has been created in direct consultation with the wider industry and will be continually updated by academics and practitioners. And since its launch in late 2011 a few hundred people have registered.
Aled Williams from the University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment said: “There is an increasing demand for universities to make their knowledge freely available to academics, learners and wider industry. ORBEE a great example of how institutions can come together with national reach to put their resources in the built environment online and it is a powerful tool.
“It would be fantastic if the sector could try the system and feedback to us on how it’s working for them.”