CEM210-People, Information and Technology

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Ian Ewart

Email: i.j.ewart@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The proliferation of digital data, and the rapid development of tools and technologies to collect, analyse and disseminate it, are opening up new opportunities for the Architecture Engineering and Construction sectors (AEC). However, this is set against the need for information that is relevant, accessible and useful at a human scale. Balancing developments in digital technologies with specific user requirements, forces us to think about why and how data is collected, and how it can be presented in useable ways.

Blending social science methods with modern digital technologies, we will examine the relationship between people and the information that circulates in an AEC setting. Students will learn about and use digital tools and technologies to produce models and representations of the built environment, whilst also engaging with the built environment as perceptive human beings.


To gain a basic experience of using a range of modern digital tools, and processing the data produced. To learn how to analyse the built environment from a human perspective, using approaches from anthropology and sociology. To consider how these two perspectives compliment and complicate the construction of useful information.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Understand and articulate the difficulties in producing and disseminating useful data.

  • Produce a digital representation of a small part of the built environment, using a variety of hardware and softwares.

  • Carry out an evaluation of a small part of the built environment using social science methods.

  • Combine data from digital tools and human experiences to produce information that is useful, relevant and accessible.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience of practical, transferable skills in the use of digital tools and technologies, and the research methods commonly used in social science research.

Outline content:

  • An overview of digital tools and technologies and their role in the production of data.

  • Discussion, explanation and hands-on experience of a range of modern technologies, such as digital surveying and environmental analysis tools.

  • Processing data to produce representations of the built environment (e.g. 3D models from laser scans)

  • Perception and experience of the built environment, using social science methods.

  • Identifying and presenting information in ways that are useful and relevant.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The taught element of the course is a mixture of lectures from academics and industry practitioners, walking tours around the Whiteknights campus, guided use of digital tools and softwares. Students will also be given time to complete a group assignment, augmented by in-class discussions and presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9
Tutorials 9
Supervised time in studio/workshop 3
Fieldwork 3
Guided independent study 76
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 60
Oral assessment and presentation 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Group work will be assessed as a presentation with associated information and a Q&A session, at the end of the module week.

Individual projects will be submitted and assessed according to deadlines announced during the module week.

Formative assessment methods:

Comments and advice to be given in class during tutorials.

Feedback from the assessed group presentations will be take into account the work that is required to convert this work into individual projects.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 11 June 2018


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