The aim of the dissertation is to facilitate learners in their integration of knowledge and learning acquired in all previously completed modules through the completion of a task that addresses a current, programme-related problem or issue that is based in practice.
The dissertation is an individual endeavour. The learner is responsible for identifying a current, programme-related problem or issue, investigating possible solutions by analysing the existing body of knowledge as reported in academic and professional sources, selecting appropriate inquiry methodologies and approaches, designing and implementing a reliable solution, analysing the success of the proposed solution, and reporting the results to a professional standard.
The learner is encouraged to implement the Scrum project management approach to the dissertation. This Agile project management practice enables the learner to identify, schedule and prioritise research tasks in a responsive and transparent fashion. The method is intended to anticipate and accommodate the change that is inherent in the academic research process, and to facilitate and enhance both learner-to-supervisor and learner-to-peer communications.
Prior to commencing this module, learners will have gained approval for their chosen topic, based on the definition, in significant detail, of the problem, some possible solutions to the problem, the intended research and analysis methods, and the schedule of activities to be undertaken by the learner.
The dissertation is executed under the general guidance of the lecturing staff and the chosen research topic must be founded in the BIM / Digital Construction area.
The hallmarks of a good dissertation are:
- It should follow an analytical or investigative approach to solve a posed question or problem.
- The title should convey the nature of a particular BIM / digital construction - related problem or issue.
- It should present a clear relationship between the problem/issue, the evidence, the argument, the data, the analysis, and the conclusions and recommendations i.e. a clear thread of argument/discussion should be evident throughout the final paper and the ePortfolio.
- The results should be presented to a level suitable for submission to a conference in the relevant field of endeavour.
Dissertation versus an assignment:
- The dissertation is not an assignment;
- You will be given academic guidelines;
- You must take responsibility for the choice of topic;
- You could become more specialised than your supervisor;
- It can, but does not necessarily, include new findings;
- In most cases, the rigour of the research and application processes will be of greater importance than the novelty of any findings;
- Negative results are also valid findings where the correct process has been followed.