Architecture curriculum on final year students' design: do gender and mode of entry matter?
Curriculum evaluation being fundamental to sustenance of quality standards of education, this study presents an evaluation of the architecture curriculum, not reviewed since its implementation in 2012 at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Specifically, the paper presents the student perspective regarding the impact of courses on design, employing Likert scale ratings of the courses in the new curriculum. Results were analyzed using SPSS v.21 for descriptive statistics as well as Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests for differences in course ratings along two variables, gender and mode of entry. Results reveal that practical courses such as SIWES, Building Construction, CAAD, Sustainability and Architecture, amongst fourteen courses, highly impact design in the final year class. Overall, departmental electives (M 3.71) were rated more highly than theoretical cognate courses (M 3.61) designed to complement core courses (M 4.34) in the architectural curriculum. Additionally, gender and mode of entry on average had no significant influence on ratings of courses highly impacting design. The study recommends frequent evaluations, reduction on credit hours for the final year class, a paradigm shift from traditional teaching styles to outcome-based educational systems, attracting funding for practical site visits, encouraging students to become proactive learners as well as boosting female students' morale towards design and creative programs.
Keywords: Architecture, Curriculum, Design, Gender, Mode of Entry