The Silesian University of Technology (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 786-794
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0288
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
One of the most important courses of action connected with didactics at Polish institutions of higher education is setting up a form of cooperation between external entities. The target is to educate students by way of solving realistic problems. As part of design-related courses that are run at the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology, a form of cooperation is formed between city or community councils that commission that various architectonic and urban problems be solved. Scientific- and research-based projects whose results had been commercialized could serve as examples.

Apart from courses which are connected with architectonic and urban designing, there are also research-related courses that have the same character as seminars and tutorials (practical classes). As part of those courses, collaboration with external institutions is also established. One of the didactic courses, which also possesses a research-related character, called "Survey Methods of the Quality of Buildings and Urban Spaces", conducted at the Faculty of Architecture of the Silesian University of Technology could serve as an example.

That course was run in cooperation with:
• the Faculty of Architecture,
• the University of the Third Age
• the Foundation: Laboratory of Architecture 60+.

As the profile of the activities performed at institutions invited to cooperation suggests, the subject matter was focused on issues connected with the space for senior citizens. At present, due to the processes of "ageing of the society" architecture and urban planning dedicated to seniors has been rapidly developing. In the course of this research it was undertaken to find out about aesthetic preferences and opinions of seniors on the topic of the functionality of the solutions used on the facades of residential buildings intended for older citizens.

It was assumed that the undertaken series of research were to have a pilot character. The main goal of that was to test out the research procedures as well as draw initial conclusions as to the purposefulness of the research done, as well as the manner in which it was carried out as part of the educational process at the institution of higher education.

In the course of the carried-out research, the method which was found suitable for the qualitative research was implemented (with a view to evaluating the quality of the built environment from the perspective of the needs of users), along with the whole plethora of techniques and research tools, and with author's own modifications (necessary due to the adjustment of that method to the specificity of the undertaken subject matter). When it comes to the techniques that were applied, one could list the following: literature-based research, surveys, interviews and focus meetings with senior citizens. When it comes to tools that were used, one could list these: questionnaires, big and specially prepared boards with photographs and multimedia presentations. All hours of classes, run directly and attended by the members from the University of the Third Age were accumulated in the form of workshops that took place on one of the days, in the course of which student-based research had been planned for.

The paper focuses on the process of research conducted with participation of students along with practical comments indicating strong and weak points of the cooperation between external entities, which was formed within the scope of the educational process.
Architecture, seniors, survey methods.