Overview

In this case study activity, students use their knowledge of the National Building Code to examine classrooms in their school. Students are given assigned readings on the National Building Code as homework. Individually, students pick a classroom they want to assess and visit the classroom when it's unoccupied. They take notes about what they observe (e.g., if the room follows the Code, its design, the function of the space, etc.). Students then take their notes and produce a small presentation (~5 minutes) which they will present in class. Students take turns presenting their summary (observations and opinion) of the classroom ...

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In this case study activity, students use their knowledge of the National Building Code to examine classrooms in their school. Students are given assigned readings on the National Building Code as homework. Individually, students pick a classroom they want to assess and visit the classroom when it's unoccupied. They take notes about what they observe (e.g., if the room follows the Code, its design, the function of the space, etc.). Students then take their notes and produce a small presentation (~5 minutes) which they will present in class. Students take turns presenting their summary (observations and opinion) of the classroom they visited, and the class discusses their observations. Because of the limited size of a school, multiple students may pick the same classroom to visit, or will have picked classrooms of similar design. After the presentations, the instructor divides the class into groups based on the classrooms/similarity of classrooms the students visited. In these focus groups, students work together to answer more specific questions based on the National Building Code as it pertains to the classroom design they visited. Groups submit their answers to these questions for evaluation by the instructor.

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Objectives

Students should learn observational and critical thinking skills.
Students will gain a deeper understanding of the National Building Code through hands-on assessment of classrooms in their school, and also through problem-solving in focus groups.

Context and requirements

Level Grade 12-U0
Discipline Applied Arts
Activity Content National Building Code
Technological Requirements Laptops
Best Use Case Study

Author’s Notes

Benefits

Students enjoy the hands-on work rather than sitting and memorizing information from the National Building Code. This activity improves student engagement and retention of the key concepts they are expected to know from the National Building Code.

Challenges

Some students might not do a very thorough job of examining the classroom they’ve picked.

Tips

By putting students into focus groups where they have to work together to answer questions, students who may not have worked as hard on their classroom visit/presentation will nevertheless learn more about National Building Code than they would if they hadn’t performed the activity.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Research

Students pick a classroom to visit and take notes, observing anything from the room’s design, function and usability through to if it adheres to the National Building Code. Students use this information to create a short (~ 5 minute) presentation that summarizes their notes on the classroom.

Present

In class, students present their summary, which is then openly discussed with the entire class.

Problem-Solving

Based on their classrooms, students are placed into focus groups. These groups are tasked with answering specific questions about the National Building Code as it relates to the classroom(s) the students visited.

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