Journal of architectural and planning research
This paper offers a pedagogy for teaching post-occupancy evaluation (POE) research, which emphasizes learning by doing and offers an efficient division of labor. One of the two major assignments of a primary human factors course, the POE is assigned to 150 students in a single semester. Research is divided into six researchable questions to be answered by sections, of 25 students each. Each section is then broken into 5 teams, and each team is assigned one of the following 5 social science data collection techniques: (1) direct and indirect observation, (2) interviews, (3) questionnaires, (4) photo elicitation, or (5) archival analysis. This results in a matrix of questions and answers; each question is answered by 5 different data collection techniques, providing a comprehensive analysis with minimal effort from each student. This paper outlines class planning, student survey results, and the strengths and limitations faced in such assignments. The research project gives students hands-on experience, allows comparison and contrast for each data collection technique, and gives insights regarding user response to various building designs. At the same time, students are engaged in a public service as they are collecting data about a local building.
This article was originally published in the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research http://www.lockescience.com/.