Teaching and Learning Forum 2004 Home Page
Teaching and Learning Forum 2004 [ Proceedings Contents ] [ Home Page ]

Seeking Educational Excellence

All Abstracts


Summative evaluation versus formative evaluation: What's best for the
Confucius heritage culture learners (CHC) - a case on marketing units

Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah
Senior Lecturer, School of Business
Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Miri, Malaysia
Email: shamsul.a@curtin.edu.my

Keywords: CHC learners, formative evaluation, and summative evaluation

Assessment form part of the process in learning; and having students from a diverse background has made assessment one of the challenging tasks. Assessment, as a way to find out and make judgments about what students have learned, is an important element of teaching and learning. Since assessment is directly related to their learning, one way of making them see things differently is through assessment.

Students with different learning styles may response differently to the way we assessed them. Most of the study on the CHC learners characteristics showed that they are considered to be high achiever, hard working, quiet and obviously they are rote learners, which lead them to be the surface learners. In most of the Marketing Units, the assessment is more towards the higher order learning skills, which includes criticising and analysing issues.

This study looks at the Strategic Marketing and Marketing Communication Units offered at Curtin Sarawak Business School. The two units used different assessment that is Summative and Formative Evaluation, which was taken by the same groups of students. The study looks at these two assessments in terms of its contribution to students learning, the effectiveness and also the impact on students' attitudes.

The author is a Senior Lecturer at Curtin Sarawak Business School. Currently teaching the Marketing Units, besides teaching she is also the Chairperson for the Teaching & Learning Committee Curtin Sarawak. Her area of interest is the learning style and the thinking skills of the Confucius Heritage Culture Learners (CHC)

Reflections on using online discussions in distance learning

Karen Anderson
Edith Cowan University

Providing facilities for online discussions helps to overcome the problem of isolation experienced by distance education students. In a course for archivists and records managers, an assessment in which students are required to use electronic discussion boards provides them with opportunities to engage in discussions of professional issues that they might encounter in the workplace. Discussions are most active when problems require students to make a choice and defend it and encourage students to search more widely for resources and examples that would justify that choice. This assessment strategy also provides an opportunity for individuals to gauge the quality of other students' contributions and thus benchmark the quality of their own work. Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning through the discussions and comments have been favourable.


Student perceptions of quality learning: Evaluating PBL in software engineering

Jocelyn Armarego
School of Engineering Science
Murdoch University
Dixon Road, Rockingham WA 6168. Tel: 9360 7118 Fax: 9360 7104
Email: jocelyn@eng.murdoch.edu.au

During 2003 a PBL environment was introduced in the Software Engineering program in an attempt to both address student preconceptions regarding the way they should learn, and enhance student creative potential, a skill considered highly desirable within the discipline.

This paper describes student perceptions of the PBL environment provided in the context of the redevelopment of the Requirements Engineering unit, and discusses the issues raised by introducing such an environment to an unexpected student cohort.

Jocelyn worked for 10 years in industry as a Requirements Engineer before joining the academic staff of first the School of Computing at Curtin University and then the School of Engineering at Murdoch. Her areas of interest include Software Engineering education (in particular issues of flexible delivery), Requirements Engineering (how we do it, how we teach it) and on a different note, light-weight Formal Methods.

The implementation of authentic activities for learning: A case study

David Baccarini
Department of Construction Management
Faculty of the Built Environment Art and Design
Curtin University of Technology
Tel: +61(0) 8 9266 7357 Fax: +61(0) 8 9266 2711 Email: d.baccarini@curtin.edu.au

The situated cognition theory of learning advocates that students should engage in the same types of activities in which expert practitioners in the various disciplines engage. Situated cognition promotes the use of authentic activities for learning and understanding. This paper reports the findings of a case study for implementing and evaluating authentic activities for learning in an undergraduate construction degree program. A key finding is that authentic activities should be introduced early and developed and applied progressively throughout the program in order to maximise effective learning outcomes. Students appreciated the value of learning through authentic activities, particularly the integration of different disciplines and areas of knowledge. However, students initially struggled with the ambiguity of problems to be solved and the range of possible acceptable solutions.


Using mentoring to enhance learning

Dr Craig Baird
Curtin University of Technology
Email: c.baird@curtin.edu.au

Keywords: mentoring, lifelong learning

Mentoring is widely used at Curtin University of Technology (CUT) to support students and staff in their learning and in their professional development. This paper outlines findings from two different surveys taken one year apart to determine the nature and extent of the use of mentoring by academic staff at CUT to support learning. Findings from this research and other planned studies will inform the development of a broad-based mentoring program in multiple discipline areas at CUT.


The challenges of teaching human resource management (HRM) in People's Republic of China

Muniapan Balakrishnan
Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Key words: Teaching challenges, human resource management, PR China

This paper discusses the challenges of teaching human resource management in PR China, especially in Beijing. Among the issues discussed are the use of case studies, the problems with the imported materials, the localisation of the HRM concepts, the Chinese learning culture and developing Chinese based teaching materials. This paper represents the author's personal experiences in teaching HRM for a British university program in Beijing and many discussions with the Chinese academics, students, managers as well as western academics and managers in China. This paper will also provide some guidelines on effective HRM teaching strategies in PR China.

Balakrishnan A/L Muniapan
Lecturer in Human Resource Management
School of Business, Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus
CDT 250 98009 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Tel: 60 85 443852 Fax: 60 85 443838 Mobile: 6 016 4838038
Email: bala.m@curtin.edu.my Web : http://www.curtin.edu.my/
http://www.curtin.edu.my/staff/staff_profile.asp?wr=SOB004

Quality versus quantity: Issues in moving to online only evaluations of teaching and units

Christina Ballantyne
Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 2289 Fax: 9310 4929 Email: C.Ballantyne@murdoch.edu.au

Roundtable discussion. Keywords: Evaluation, online, response rates.

Across Australia, universities are considering the move to online questionnaires for use in the student evaluation of teaching and units. Many institutions are currently using online questionnaires in selected areas but have not yet made the leap to an online only system. In an economically struggling higher education environment, the savings made from moving online are considerable, less administration and data entry or scanning. Current research, however shows that there may be a price to pay in terms of lower response rates. Murdoch University has run online evaluations over a number of years and is currently considering a gradual move over the next four to five years to online only. The presenter will provide background from her own experience of online evaluations and consider issues raised by the current research in the area. Ideas and experiences of participants, whether teachers or those involved in running evaluations, should provide a fruitful discussion.


The relationship between online learning environments and learning styles and approaches

Paula Baron, Eileen Thompson and Carol Newton-Smith
The University of Western Australia

Key words: online learning, learning styles, approaches to learning

Increasingly, universities are utilising online learning environments to supplement face-to-face teaching and learning. Two years ago, staff in the Law School established a WebCT site for a compulsory first year unit Contract Law. In 2003, this site was redeveloped substantially to include a variety of content modules, class materials and links to cases, case summaries and other materials. WebCT records show there was a marked variation in usage of this site amongst Contract Law students: while some students chose not to utilise the site at all, others engaged with the site on a daily basis. This paper investigates the reasons for this variation in usage. In particular, the paper examines the potential link between learning styles and approaches and student use of an online learning environment.

Associate Professor Paula Baron, M253 Faculty of Law
University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Phone: 9380 7011 Fax: 9380 1045 Email: pbaron@law.uwa.edu.au
Ms Eileen Thompson, Instructional Designer, UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia
Ms Carol Newton-Smith, Medical and Dental Librarian, The University of Western Australia

Bridging cultural differences in the classroom

Colin J. Beasley
Murdoch University
Christine Hogan
Consultant

Key words: cultural dimensions, cross-cultural communication, multicultural groups

One of the many challenges for tertiary educators today is the increasing student diversity in Australian university classrooms with significant numbers of local and/or international students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Apart from issues of English language proficiency, different cultural understandings, values and expectations can have both advantages and disadvantages for both staff and students in the learning situation. A number of authors, including Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner (2000), Hall (1990), Hofstede (1991), and Abdullah & Shephard (2000), have attempted to delineate a number of cultural dimensions thought to underpin key behavioural patterns of people from different cultures. This presentation and workshop explores eight cultural dimensions and their manifestations in tertiary educational settings. The authors employ the MBI (Map-Bridge-Integrate) model of Distefano & Maznevski (2000) to enable lecturers to map and understand differences, build bridges, and integrate and devise useful strategies for bridging cultural differences in the classroom.

Participants will be actively engaged in small group discussion, with each group investigating a different cultural dimension and devising creative ways to bridge cross-cultural differences in understanding and behaviour at university. Lecturers will be provided with examples developed by the authors and encouraged to develop further strategies to suit their own lecturing styles and teaching situations. These activities can be easily adapted for use with students to enable them to interact and integrate more effectively in large and small group learning situations.

References
Abdullah, A. & Shephard, P. 2000, The cross cultural game, Brain Dominance Technologies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Distefano, J. J. & Maznevski, M. L. 2000, 'Creating value with diverse teams in global management', Organizational Dynamics, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 45-63.
Hall, E. T. 1990, Understanding cultural differences, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, Maine. USA.
Hofstede, G. 1991, Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind, McGraw Hill, Maidenhead, England.
Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. 2000, Building cross-cultural competence, John Wiley and Son, Chichester, UK.

Colin J. Beasley, Senior Lecturer in English as a second language
Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150
Tel: 9360 2355; Fax: 9310 8480 Email: C.Beasley@murdoch.edu.au

Dr Christine Hogan, Consultant
174 Swan St, Guildford, WA 6055
Tel: 9279 5523; Fax: 9279 8778 Email: groups@hogans.id.au


From concept to reality: One researcher's journey towards
the creation an industry/ education partnership

Dawn Bennett
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: partnerships, collaboration, communication

The Australian music sector is currently under-researched, inadequately defined, and lacks sector-wide communication. Music is a specialist field that demands exceptional skills and is unlikely to offer rewards commensurate with effort. Rapid change within the industry and related technologies has led to significant revisions in education and training programs. How can continual change be addressed in order to maintain the relevance of these programs? This research sought to establish the potential for a community of practice across the music and education sectors to facilitate the pro-active management of in order to maximise the employment potential of graduates. Whilst the research focused exclusively upon the music industry, it was anticipated that the process and findings would have significant relevance to other disciplines.

A lack of primary data resulted in the development if a virtual musician, who undertook tasks such as forming a band and organising a concert. 'Clari' discovered that she had to be multi-skilled in order to remain active within the industry, and she needed access to legal, business, marketing, management and technology expertise. Having established the type of assistance that musicians may require, the research examined ways in which business/education partnerships can best be developed and maintained as positive, rewarding collaborative ventures.

The author proposes to describe the experience of partnership establishment, and to share lessons learned in terms of overcoming institutional 'firewalls', establishing networks and dispersing network ownership.

Dawn Bennett, Lecturer (Music/Education), Curtin University of Technology.
Contact address: 35B Second Avenue, Claremont, WA 6010
Tel: 08 9286 1365 Mob: 043 999 0467 Email: d.bennett@curtin.edu.au

Dryland salinity: Who is teaching the basics?

Jonelle Black
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: dryland salinity, instruction, student learning.

Dryland salinity is a serious environmental threat facing Western Australia. Clearing bushland for broad acre agriculture has upset the water balance - rising water tables are moving salts the ground surface, which in turn, are causing problems for agricultural productivity, biodiversity, rural infrastructure and water supplies.

The University of Western Australia is at the forefront of research relating to dryland salinity. As early as 1917, the University reported to a Royal Commission on the implications of clearing the mallee lands of Western Australia. Despite giving a clear warning of the impending land degradation, the University's advice was refuted as being "scientifically prejudiced". This did not hinder the research efforts of the University, who now hosts a Cooperative Research Centre for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity.

However, research is not the sole focus for any tertiary institution – academic instruction is also a crucial and valued responsibility. According to the University Act (1911), UWA is required to engage in "further instruction in those practical arts and liberal studies which are needed to advance the prosperity and welfare of the people …" Dryland salinity is adversely impacting on WA's prosperity and welfare: by 2050, at risk will be 6.5 million hectares of agricultural land, 1.8 million hectares of bushland, 29 towns and 28,000 kilometres of road network.

At UWA, instruction in the area of dryland salinity generally falls within the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Whilst stating on its website that "WA provides a unique laboratory for the study and understanding of natural and agricultural sciences", it is clear from a survey of academics and students that opportunities exist for developing a targeted and coordinated teaching program in the area of dryland salinity. This will hopefully address some of the deficiencies that were discovered in the general knowledge of students regarding this issue.

Jonelle Black
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Tel: 9380 3491 Fax: 9380 1098 Email: jblack@agric.uwa.edu.au

Getting in, breaking in, settling in: Seeking excellence in inducting new teaching staff

Vivienne Blake, Renata Owen and Kenn Martin
Organisational and Staff Development Services
The University of Western Australia

Induction is a group process visited on the individual in an effort to facilitate the process of 'they' becoming part of 'we'. Operating at various levels within an organisation, sometimes with varying degrees of structure and formality, induction helps a new staff person to know what 'we' know and care about what 'we' care about. It is an apprenticeship for being accepted and productive within a new group. Induction aims to help teaching staff master the requirements of their new job, understand the policies and procedures of the organisation, be aware of and subscribe to organisational values and ethics and to establish good social relations. The failure to achieve these outcomes carry high costs for both the organisation and the individual. This paper describes impending changes to addresses shortcomings in the existing induction process at the University of Western Australia. The changes include an online framework to guide induction, enhanced orientation sessions at central and local level, a 'peer' system to assist the socialisation process and provides for monitoring to be done for quality assurance purposes. The intention is to provide an effective, compassionate and reliable induction process that will meet the needs of the new staff member and the University.


Nursing practice, education and IT: Seeking excellence

Anna Bosco and Catherine Ward
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Curtin University of Technology

From an educational perspective, discovering new approaches in teaching is always a challenge for the classroom facilitator. Psychomotor skill (physical assessment) development in nursing education has followed traditional methods of lecture, video viewing, and demonstration. This approach may be useful for some aspects of psychomotor skill acquisition, however in order to challenge students and encourage adult learning principles in this very specific aspect of nursing development. Thus a CD (as a demonstration tool), with support from WebCT was developed to enable a portable method of teaching and learning.

Current students are more familiar and at ease with learning via new technologies. Acknowledging this we decided to explore how teaching physical assessment could be approached in a different way. Pre-existing videos of physical assessment were edited and burnt onto CD; a website created to support the CD. At the beginning of each semester each student will be informed how to access the study unit online and will also be provided with a Health Assessment for Nurses CD. The web site was created to provide a colourful, fun and interactive teaching learning style. Key features of the website include a discussion board which will be further developed to exchange information, discuss clinical experiences and inform peers of other relevant websites related to physical assessment. Optional on line quizzes (formative and summative), critical thinking exercises, and interactive websites enable students to progress and evaluate learning outcomes in a safe and secure environment. Colour was used purposefully to engage students in their learning endeavours; to assist in reinforcing aspects of physical assessment cartoons, key learning features and icons are presented. This presentation will demonstrate how the website and CD were constructed, the links between the CD to the online features; and significantly the student's evaluation of this innovative learning tool.

Ms Anna Bosco, Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: (08) 9266 2221 Fax: (08) 9266 2959 Email: A.Bosco@curtin.edu.au

Dr Catherine Ward, Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: (08) 9266 2087 Fax: (08) 9266 2959 Email: C.Ward@curtin.edu.au

Assessing the entry level English literacy skills of a group of
first year business students: Just how much diversity is there?

Carmela Briguglio and Doug Atkinson
Curtin Business School
Curtin University of Technology

Key words: tertiary literacy, literacy assessment, tertiary English

A desire to have concrete data on the literacy standards of students led staff in the School of Information Systems in the Curtin Business School (CBS) to design a task to assess the English literacy entry levels of students. We were particularly interested to gauge whether there was much difference between the literacy levels of international and local students, males and females, and mature age entrants and school leavers.

Staff from the School of IS working with colleagues from the CBS Communication Skills Centre (the language and study skills support unit of the Division) worked together to design a diagnostic assessment task based on the unit Information Systems 100. A six-point scale (which takes into account a variety of other existing language scales) was developed to assess the writing of some 600 students.

This paper describes how the task was designed, administered and assessed and presents a brief analysis of the findings. It also describes some other unintended effects of implementing such a project. The results of this project should be of interest to academic staff and also to those involved in the evaluation of English language entry criteria for university admission.

Carmela Briguglio, Manager, Communication Skills Centre
Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845
Dr Doug Atkinson, School of Information Systems
Tel : +61 (08) 9266 3079 Fax : +61 (08) 9266 3096 Email: briguglc@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845
Tel : +61 (08) 92667437 Fax : +61 (08) 9266 3076 Email: atkinsoD@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Challenging, developing and valuing general staff: The Action eXchange Learning Program

Claire Brown, Ann Backhaus and Cassandra Colvin
Edith Cowan University

Universities are complex if not at times contradictory organisations. On the one hand, they offer courses in a range of disciplines that provide cutting-edge pedagogy in the theory and practice of various disciplines. On the other hand, when it comes to actually applying the same cutting-edge theory to their own workplace professional development (PD) practices, there is sometimes a gap between the practice and the rhetoric. One example of this gap has been in the area of PD for general staff. Coaldrake and Stedman make the point that general staff "comprise nationally the majority of university employees". The paper describes an inevitable blurring of roles between academic and general staff as being a consequence of this change to the traditional roles that have previously delineated them. It makes sense then that investing in quality, better targeted PD for more than half of a university's staff is not only sensible, it is essential. In this paper we introduce the Action eXchange Learning PD Program (AXL) – an interactive, collaborative PD program that is based on the concept of Practitioner-Based Enquiry and uses an action-learning model. We describe the development of the model and its action-learning component. With the first implementation of the model currently underway, we describe the initial responses to the pilot study and explain how the model fits ECU's Quality Review cycle. We describe the evaluation model that will be used to further improve and refine the AXL program. Finally, we place the issue of PD of general staff in the context of universities as Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and how it is therefore incumbent upon universities to model best practice PD for its own staff.

Claire Brown, Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Ann Backhaus, Professional Development @ Learning & Development Services
Cassandra Colvin, ECU International
Edith Cowan University
Contact person: Claire Brown, Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Edith Cowan University, 2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley WA 6050
Tel: 9370 6801 Fax: 9370 6664 Email: c.brown@ecu.edu.au

Group assignments as a strategy in multi-disciplinary teaching

Peter A Bullen
Department of Construction Management
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: collaborative teaching, cross-disciplinary, active learning.

This paper reviews the progress in developing a multi-disciplinary teaching and learning unit in the Faculty of the Built Environment at Curtin University of Technology. Designated as a special topics unit the aim of the unit is to link students from the departments of architecture and construction management on a group project assignment. It is felt that this type of innovative teaching and learning strategy will help to remove barriers that are created between the various professionals in industry. These barriers were possibly encouraged traditionally as a result of designing courses around discrete units and separate study streams. The belief is that a culture of collaborative teamwork, that students will carry with them into industry, can be encouraged by using a more rationalised approach to teaching. It was therefore decided to base the new unit on a collaborative teaching and learning strategy incorporating a problem-based learning exercise for students to undertake in groups. A survey of students was carried out to assess how the unit has contributed to developing a community of teaching and learning within the faculty.

Peter A Bullen, Lecturer
Department of Construction Management, Faculty of the Built Environment, Art and Design
Curtin University of Technology. Email: p.bullen@curtin.edu.au

Finding a balance as a new tutor: Spoon feeding versus responsibility

Caroline Bulsara and Alison Bunker
The University of Western Australia

Round table discussion. Keywords: sessional tutoring, supporting new staff, personal reflection

The experience of being a new tutor can be both exhilarating and intimidating for many people. Issues arise during the first semester as to 'am I expected to know everything that there is to know about this topic?' and 'how much familiarity is too much?' As a new tutor, I was eager to guide students to value the task at hand and furthermore to develop an enthusiasm for the topic. It became apparent to me that tutoring was not just about delivering the subject matter but developing a closer working relationship with the students in my group. It is useful and relevant to reflect back on the difficulties and triumphs facing a new tutor in terms of what is expected of that person from students, other tutors and course coordinators. Often there is conflicting advice from those more experienced in small group teaching and ultimately the tutor must find their own balance.

In this round table, these experiences will be presented for discussion. Through discussion of these and other issues it is hoped that tutors, those working with new tutors and those employing new tutors can understand more fully the issues and concerns experienced by many new and inexperienced tutors. This will hopefully guide future policy and practice in terms of supporting those involved in leading small group work at a tertiary level.

Caroline Bulsara, PhD student and research officer
Survey Research Centre, School Population Health (M435)
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009
Email: cbulsara@dph.uwa.edu.au
Alison Bunker, Higher Education Development Lecturer
Centre for Staff Development
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley 6009
Email: abunker@csd.uwa.edu.au

Teaching portfolios: Two views, multiple agendas

Alison Bunker and Monica Leggett
Edith Cowan University

Keywords: teaching portfolio, reflective practice, quality assurance

The literature on teaching portfolios contains many comprehensive statements about their roles and uses. Teaching portfolios are claimed to be effective mechanisms for encouraging reflective practice, as such they are recommended as key elements in tertiary teaching courses. They are also recommended as a mechanism for demonstrating effective teaching and as such are often required for quality assurance processes and for promotion and teaching awards. The rhetoric of academe thus presents the teaching portfolio as a multipurpose tool, but what is the associated reality?

Our research has found that, faced with multiple agendas and pressures, staff at different levels and with varied career projections have a range of views and practices around teaching portfolios. This session/ paper/ workshop will introduce you to six fictional staff members. These players will share with you their confusion, idealism and pragmatism. They will tell you about their portfolios (or lack of portfolios) and the roles these play in their teaching and career progression.

This research raises some important issues about the very different benefits of writing a teaching portfolio within a mentoring relationship and as an isolated activity in response to demands of accountability. It also juxtaposes the experience of writing an initial portfolio with that of updating an existing one. These insights raise questions about the optimum use of the teaching portfolio to nurture and encourage new staff and also of facilitating the emergence of truly exceptional academic leaders. These issues and questions will be discussed.

Alison Bunker, Staff Development Officer, Learning and Development Services Centre, Edith Cowan University, Bradford Street, Mount Lawley 6050. On secondment to Organizational and Staff Development Services, The University of Western Australia (July 03 - Nov 04). Ph: 08 9380 2603 Email: abunker@csd.uwa.edu.au
Monica Leggett, Senior Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup 6037. Ph: 08 6304 5561; Email: m.leggett@ecu.edu.au

An approach to managing diversity in student team projects

D. Caspersz, J.Skene, M. Wu and M. Boland
The University of Western Australia

The increasing internationalisation of Australian university student populations juxtaposed against what current research highlights as issues in handling multicultural teams, stimulates a challenge in managing cultural diversity in student team projects. Addressing this requires attendance not only to the development of generic team work skills in students; but also to issues of inclusive curriculum and matters of learning styles. The aim of this paper is to describe an approach which is under trial at the University of Western Australia Business School, and some tentative conclusions emanating from evaluations.

Contact person: D. Caspersz Email: dcasperz@ecel.uwa.edu.au

A systematic approach to triple feedback systems for teaching enhancement

E. Chang, R. Morien, K.L. Chin and C. Cheah
Curtin Business School
Curtin University of Technology

This paper identifies issues that arise from traditional university feedback systems. Traditional university feedback systems are undertaken as annual student surveys in areas including curriculum and teaching which may be conducted by the academic development unit, student union or at faculty or school level which generate statistical results. All universities around the world have such feedback systems. Some universities take the results seriously at senior management level, some only at academic teaching staff level and some only at a student level. A common problem is that these teaching survey results may only be seen by teachers, it doesn't matter whether the results are good or bad.

The questions arise; How much value can be gained from seeking feedback annually rather than routinely? How to measure the significance on those who utilise the survey results to enhance teaching? How can one utilise these anonymous results to enhance service not just at subject level or from the teachers' point of view but for the entire curriculum? How much effort has to be put in by teachers to use it for teaching improvement? How much effort has to be put in by senior management to use it for monitoring, supervising and controlling the standard of teaching performance, standard and incremental educational improvement?

We note that there is another kind of feedback which has not been addressed systematically nor dealt with efficiently, that is the feedback from Academics who deliver the teaching materials. This kind of feedback has been dealt with in an ad-hoc fashion among many universities. Some universities use a sub-group of staff or elected teaching staff, others rely on senior management, or carry out periodic meetings that may be un-productive because matters are not followed up or disagreement during the meetings result in wasted time and in little change. This is caused by ad-hoc management of the specialised academic expert.

Normally, an academic's teaching area is the same or related to their research area. Naturally, the academics in a particular teaching area are recognised as being more advanced than others. Academics understand that teaching is informed by research. Therefore, any feedback from specialised academics should not be dealt with in an ad-hoc fashion and their feedback on the subject or curriculum is as vital as student feedback.

We also note that many universities utilise industry advisory panels. In many universities, they only meet once a year. However, we found only ad-hoc management of such feedback exists and no measurement has taken place on how the industry panel and their input has been applied. What are the effective ways of utilising the connection between course development and education improvement?

In this paper, we illustrate a dynamic curriculum development architecture, which systematically collects triple input or feedback from learners (students), teachers (academics) and industry panellists. We provide an incremental management approach to use these as a basis for new course development and strategic management of the improvement process of course development, as well as a matrix on the measurement of how one utlises the triple feedback for teaching and learning improvement and the value output from the triple feedback system.

E. Chang, R. Morien, K.L. Chin, C. Cheah
School of Information Systems, Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology
Email: change@cbs.curtin.edu.au, morienr@cbs.curtin.edu.au, chink@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Modelling learning quality management in Australian education

C Cheah
Curtin University of Technology

This work is part of a research that aims to define an activity-based quality management model for Australian education. The purpose is for designing an ontology-driven, knowledge based and service-oriented system solution, for creating and sustaining learning quality in higher education.

Analysing the descriptions of quality and management canvassed by Standards Australia and International Organisation for Standardization infer that

Using such principles, the Australian education system is viewed as a quality management meta-system of enterprises operating curriculum provisioning and delivery activity flows.

These curriculum activity flows are supported by regulatory compliance and management functions that oversee policy compliance, consumption and processing of enterprise knowledge and resources, and stakeholder interactions.

The effectiveness of such a quality system can be further enhanced by:


Capitalising on university students' metacognitive qualities

Gail Chittleborough, Mauro Mocerino and David Treagust
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: metacognition, chemistry, learning

A study of first year university non-major chemistry students found that many students expressed an understanding and awareness of their own learning. The students in this study, some with no chemical background were confronted with learning basic chemistry when chemistry was not necessarily their greatest passion. Despite this some students were observed to make rapid progress showing motivation, application and enthusiasm. The results of the research provided an insight into students' opinions about what and how they were learning. University students responsible for their own learning made choices that were influenced by internal factors such as their prior chemical and mathematical knowledge, their modelling ability, their use of representations and their motivation to learn chemistry, and external factors such as the unit structure, assessment requirements, time management, teaching resources, and learning strategies.

Responses to interview questions and an online survey provided evidence that many of the university students taking the introductory chemistry units were: aware of the learning processes that they were undertaking; understood the representational nature of the chemical symbols, appreciated the value of particular learning strategies; and acted intentionally and mindfully when learning. These qualities are characteristics of the intentional learner (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1989).

The data revealed a high level of metacognitive awareness by some individuals of their personal learning. Students with greater metacognitive awareness are better situated to have a rewarding learning experience. The results of this study support the framework of intentional learning described by Pintrich & Sinatra (2003). Although metacognition occurred spontaneously in some students who were extremely focused, and experienced learners - just not experienced in learning chemistry, there is the possibility of introducing and developing this trait in other students to enhance learning.

References
Bereiter, C. & Scardamalia, M. (1989). Intentional learning as a goal of instruction. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning and instruction: Essays in honour of Robert Glaser. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Pintrich, P. R. & Sinatra, G. M. (2003). Future directions for theory and research on intentional conceptual change. In P. R. Pintrich & G. M. Sinatra (Eds.), Intentional conceptual change (pp. 429-441). Mahwah, New Jersey, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Gail Chittleborough (presenter), Science and Mathematics Education Centre
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845
Email: G.Chittleborough@curtin.edu.au Tel: 9266 3791
Mauro Mocerino, Department of Applied Chemistry, Curtin University of Technology
David Treagust, Science and Mathematics Education Centre, Curtin University of Technology


Teaching psychiatry: A new language to the medical undergraduate

Johann Claassen

Medical students do a Psychiatry rotation during their first clinical year, which is usually their fourth year of a six-year training program. During this rotation they spend up to eight weeks attached to an in-patient service that consists of a multi-disciplinary treating team.

Introducing and teaching Psychiatry for the first time to medical undergraduates is teaching a new language with expectations of the students being able to speak more than just a "dialect" after completion. The possible differences of teaching psychiatry to students than teaching other medical subjects; is the possible bias of students towards psychiatry. Students express a variety of opinions about Psychiatry which ranges from " it is not scientific", 'it is too scientific" to " I saw One flew over the Cuckoo's nest".

Teaching small groups of students take on different formats. Tutorials are divided into didactic sessions; problem based sessions or a hybrid of the two. Most tutorials have the goal of becoming an interactive learning session.

Educators should have an understanding of the domains that interact during the teaching period, an overview of the group of students rotating at any time, as well as a best possible individual profile of the students in the group. These domains of teaching would include the student's background, the teacher's background, the curriculum, the system and setting in which teaching is taking place, society's unwritten expectations of Psychiatric teaching/practice, and the timing of the teaching. It is important to teach towards giving the student an empathic stance, the ability to grasp concepts and have a syndromal approach.

The individual's profile can again be as diverse as ranging from the "dismissive sceptic", to the "dependant rescuer" to the student who might himself/herself have a mental illness.


Extending the classroom: The use of a study tour and student
journal writing in an international economics and finance course

Marilyn Clark-Murphy and Ray Boffey
School of Accounting, Finance & Economics
Edith Cowan University

Study tours and student journals, although popular in other disciplines, do not appear to have been widely used in finance and economics courses. We report on an international study tour offered within a business degree to students majoring in finance and economics. By taking the study tour, visiting a range of countries and institutions, students are given an opportunity to see the application of theory in global markets. Such tours support the internationalisation of the curriculum, giving students a broader context in which to locate their studies. The addition of student journals as a learning tool is discussed. We find that writing a journal encourages and facilitates effective learning by causing participants to reflect immediately on what they learn during the study tour, to crystallise their thoughts and to unite their experiences with classroom theory. While demanding, the study tour has proven a popular learning experience for both staff and students.

Marilyn Clark-Murphy, School of Accounting, Finance & Economics
Ray Boffey, School of Accounting, Finance & Economics
Edith Cowan University
Contact details for principal author:
Postal address: Faculty of Business & Public Management
100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, Western Australia 6027
Tel: 08 6304 5565 Fax: 08 6304 5271 Email: m.clarkmurphy@ecu.edu.au

Embedding a graduate attribute (professional approach to
learning and work) in a first year psychology unit

Lynne Cohen, Diane McKillop and Julie Anne Pooley
School of Psychology
Edith Cowan University

Keywords: graduate attributes, psychology, assessment

Graduate Attributes (GAs) have recently made an appearance on the education agenda of many Australian universities. The GA framework allows universities to determine their own GAs which balances the top – down directives initiated by the Australian Federal Government, Australian Vice Chancellors Committee (AVCC), and university hierarchies. From these external forces the Australian Federal government has encouraged Australian universities to adopt a graduate attributes framework as part of their core business. Edith Cowan University (ECU) has made a commitment to a broad GA framework which includes its guiding themes of service, professionalism and enterprise. The importance of GAs at the coalface is that students need to be of the highest quality in their discipline in order to optimise their ability to obtain employment once they have graduated. As a School of Psychology (SoP) we are interested in the experience of the student in tertiary education. The adoption of the GA framework was a natural progression from our existing support programs as it allows us to embed the focus on student-centred processes into the core business of teaching and learning in the undergraduate curricula. Professional Orientation was selected as the most appropriate GA to adopt for the pilot investigation. It was decided to initially embed this GA in a first year unit in Social Psychology because the content and context of social psychology lends itself to dealing with individuals and their interactions with others. This paper will outline the process taken by the SoP in implementing assignments and content relevant to the professional orientation attribute in a unit on social psychology.

Details: Dr Lynne Cohen (presenter)
Undergraduate Coordinator, School of Psychology, Edith Cowan University
100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027
Tel: 6304 5575 Fax: 6304 5834 Email: l.cohen@ecu.edu.au
Dr Diane McKillop, Edith Cowan University
Ms Julie Anne Pooley, Edith Cowan University

Marketing university construction courses: Is it all in the name?

Peter R. Davis
Faculty of the Built Environment Art and Design
Curtin University of Technology

Key words: construction courses, university, marketing strategy, relationship marketing

There are several strategies that construction courses must consider if they intend to remain viable. Marketing is one of them. Many 'new-age' industries command high levels of enrolment interest together with associated quota allowance, but offer little at graduation in terms of employment continuity from a professional perspective. Construction quota appears hard to fill but graduands are in demand by diverse associated industries well prior to course completion. Marketing construction through high school career evenings, liaising with professional and TAFE institutions has little influence on school leavers. Lobbying employer organisations produces little impact. So what is the answer? Change the name of construction courses to one more interesting and inviting. Portray a broader scope and content that describes 'new' diverse career opportunities that are currently available. In marketing terms one should consider the 4Ps from a service marketing perspective add service value and particularly re-evaluate the channels of communication currently used to market construction courses. The paper reviews some pertinent marketing literature and evaluates strategies undertaken to market construction courses. Some useful marketing tools are provided that may well assist diverse and associated courses.

Peter has been teaching at Curtin University for 10 years and has actively pursued his interest in teaching research over the period, presenting papers at many Teaching and Learning Conferences. Peter is currently Chair of AUBEA (Australasian Universities Building Education Association) and convened the 25th AUBEA conference on Teaching and Learning, Perth 2000. In 2002 Peter was appointed as the Divisional Teaching and Learning Associate for Humanities and represents his Faculty on Divisional Teaching and Learning Committees.

Peter R. Davis, Senior Lecturer
Faculty of the Built Environment Art and Design
Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, WA 6854
Tel: +61(0) 8 9266 7350 Fax: +61(0) 8 9266 2711 Email: p.davis@curtin.edu.au


Plagiarism: What's really going on?

Jeanne Dawson
Learning Support Network
Curtin University of Technology

This paper describes preliminary research into what motivates students to plagiarise. Its hypothesis is that most cases of what is identified as plagiarism - faulty referencing, poor paraphrasing, and excessive cut and pasting - are symptoms of students' difficulty in engaging with academic discourse and finding an authentic scholarly voice. The paper presents an analysis and discussion of data from a survey and focus groups. On the basis of this preliminary research, it suggests that what is needed to address plagiarism is not better detection and punishment but teaching that stimulates engagement and helps students develop an appropriate scholarly voice.

Dr Jeanne Dawson is Manager of Curtin University's Student Learning Support Unit. She has lectured in literature and cultural studies in Curtin's Humanities Division and communication management and ethics in the Curtin Business School. She created, managed, and taught in business courses in South-East Asia and Hong Kong, and has a special interest in learners from Confucian Heritage Cultures. Her current research interests are internationalising the curriculum and transition issues for non-traditional students.

Dr Jeanne Dawson, Student Learning Support Unit
Learning Support Network, Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box 1987 Perth 6845. Tel: 9299 2290. Fax: 9266 3051 Email: j.s.dawson@curtin.edu.au


The developmental needs of higher education academic leaders
in encouraging effective teaching and learning

Shelda Debowski and Vivienne Blake
Organisational and Staff Development Services
University of Western Australia

While teaching and learning is an increasingly valued component of university work, there has been limited recognition of the role university leaders play in encouraging good teaching and learning. This paper reviews the teaching leadership responsibilities of various academics in universities, identifying the range of leadership roles which might be assumed. It argues that effective academic leaders draw on educational principles and leadership skills to encourage good teaching. The complexity of these responsibilities is clearly evident when the different educational roles are considered more closely. A course coordinator, for example, requires a different leadership focus to a head of school. A detailed examination of these roles is undertaken, leading to a review of how developmental support for these teaching leaders might be undertaken. We argue that academic roles need to be more clearly defined, and supported more specifically, so that the different leadership roles can be better developed. The need to more strongly support academics who lead teaching is identified as a critical priority for Australian universities.

Contact person: Professor Shelda Debowski, Director
Organisational and Staff Development Services
The University of Western Australia, Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009
Tel: 08 9380 3845 Fax: 08 9380 1156 Email: Shelda.Debowski@uwa.edu.au

Teaching international graduate students online

Sharon Delmege
Media, Communication and Culture
Murdoch University

Keywords: online learning, international students, graduate students

I want to present my experiences with teaching two consecutive online units to a graduate cohort, comprised of media professionals in Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Sri Lanka. I will identify the varied problems students faced, how these were addressed for the second unit and why and how the retention rate for a number of 'new' students who entered the subsequent unit fared no better than the first unit.

Sharon Delmege, Lecturer
Media, Communication and Culture, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 6249 Email: S.Delemege@murdoch.edu.au

"iPod, therefore they learn"*: iPods in the Higher Ed Classroom

Leitha Delves
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Western Australia

Does doing it with technology necessarily mean doing it better? Those of us who are educators committed to promoting the use of technology in the classroom must necessarily negotiate our way around this question in order to accommodate the so-called "millennial generation". Sometimes, however, we make assumptions about our students attitudes toward technology, that don't necessarily match the reality.

In first semester, 2003, 25 second year Communication Studies students at UWA were each offered the loan a 20 Gigabyte iPod to aid them in the completion of digital media projects which formed a core part of their unit work. The idea of bringing a popular MP3 player into the classroom attracted the attention of both the national press, and the international computing community. The justifications for this ranged from practical to pedagogical: it would solve problems of storage and portability, while exposing the students to both the reality and the complications of intellectual property, copyright, and the unreliable nature of Internet content. Unexpectedly, this turned out to be an interesting experiment in assessing the attitude/expectations of students towards high-tech gadgetry in the classroom. A number of trends came to light concerning responsibility for expensive equipment, surprising gender differences in enthusiasm toward its use, network storage and legal issues over the downloading of music, insurance concerns, and attitudes towards ease/difficulty of use.

This paper will outline the 'experiment' from conception to completion, report on the results of a survey of students participating in the unit, and look at the experience in the context of the notion that students in a technological age expect and embrace technology as an integral part of excellence in education.

*"iPod, therefore they learn", by Tracy Peacock, The Australian, 12 March 2003.

Leitha Delves, Student Projects Officer
The Multimedia Centre, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Tel: 9380 3047 Fax: 9380 1182 Email: Leitha.Delves@.uwa.edu.au


I am a lecturer, not an info-tainer: Developing an effective approach to
lecturing for a student base which is enamoured with dot points

Dell Dennis
UWA Business School
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: demand, lecturing approach, change

Students are increasingly demanding more of lecturers not only in content related information, but also in how that information is presented and the means of access to that information. Yet with this increasing demand, there is a dichotomy in that students want 'more', but they want it presented in a simpler format, ideally in a series of dot points on glossy PowerPoint presentations with accompanying handouts.

We know that the traditional approach to lecturing is changing, but not all lecturers are coping. In an effort to understand this quandary, this session aims to facilitate a discussion which explores a range of questions relating to developing an effective approach to lecturing for a student base who wants 'more from less.'

Dr Dell Dennis, Lecturer, UWA Business School
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Tel: 9380 3516 Email: ddennis@ecel.uwa.edu.au

Insights from the six month evaluation of UWA's Rural Clinical School

Harriet Denz-Penhey
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia initiated a strategy to improve rural health care by developing nine new Rural Clinical Schools. The University of Western Australia set up the Rural Clinical School in May 2002. The School was to take 21 students, in four rural areas: Kalgoorlie, Broome, Port Hedland and Geraldton. The curriculum, internal assessment and final examinations were to be the same as the city based students. Only the delivery was to be different with the delivery to be in rural Western Australia.

This paper discusses one aspect of the UWA RCS internal evaluation. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Students were asked what had worked, and not worked during the year, how they found various aspects of the curriculum and it's delivery, some questions about their general living experience in their rural area and if they had any advice for future students.

The School became aware that students in one center, had less anxiety than the other three centers and that this impacted strongly on the number of hours they spent learning. During the interviews and subsequent qualitative analysis for themes, some reasons for this were identified: the impact of group dynamics; the need to structure the "unstructured" environment of rural learning; the number of learning tasks students focused on at any one time; whether students shared their learning on each topic with at least one other student; how well each site coordinator knew the curriculum and transmitted this information to other teachers at their site. Additional aspects included the Rural Clinical School needed to clarify which assessment processes were flexible and which were "fixed"; the medical school needed to clarify what curriculum content was essential, what was desirable and what was additional; issues of workload and burnout needed to be monitored and good work practices encouraged and supported including the opportunity to take up learning in a different environment as a break during the year.

Harriet Denz-Penhey PhD, Research and Evaluation Coordinator
Rural Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Tel: 9346 7361 Mob: 0400 221 032 Email: hpenhey@rcs.uwa.edu.au

Do tertiary students in an information technology program
follow project management principles?

Arnold Depickere, Shri Rai and Maria Rojas
School of Information Technology
Murdoch University

IT projects are driven by time, budget, skills and human resources. While the development of product is seen in any other project as the project progresses, in IT projects, the product may not be visible till the project is complete due to the nature of software code. Therefore, project management principles are followed very closely in IT projects. Despite the claim that this is happening, many IT projects tend to fail in some form. In almost all IT courses in Australian tertiary institutions, project management is taught. Despite this, it appears that students are not properly utilising this concept in their projects. This paper provides details of a study that is examining the role of project management in the IT School at Murdoch University. The study is in its early stages and this paper provides discusses the need for proper project management principles in an IT program, an evaluation method that is going to be utilised and the instrument design. The results will be discussed in the TLC Forum as the data collection is being done at the time of writing this paper.

Contact person: Arnold Depickere
Arnold Depickere has over 20 years of experience in project management. Currently he is the Head of School of Information Technology at Murdoch University. His project management experience includes his senior role in the Malaysia Airport Project and a number of projects at Shell. He is currently investigating the role of project management for third year IT students and the preliminary components are discussed in this paper. Email: a.depickere@murdoch.edu.au

Tiered mentoring: Engaging students with peers and professionals

Jane Fowler and Tammy Muckert
Griffith University

This paper reports on the benefits of a Tiered Mentoring Program (TMP) for upper year level students who were simultaneously involved as mentors of first year students and mentees of professionals in their field of study. The TMP was trialled across three schools at Griffith University and involved 19 upper level undergraduates, 21 first year students, and 19 mentors from relevant professional fields. Results indicated a range of benefits for the upper level students from their dual mentoring experience. Of particular interest in the current study was whether the experience of being involved in one tier of the mentoring relationship enhanced the experience of being involved in the other tier. Indeed, results indicated that this was the case. Implications of the findings are briefly discussed.

Dr Jane Fowler is a lecturer in the School of Human Services at Logan campus of Griffith University. She is currently on secondment to the Griffith Institute of Higher Education to develop and implement support programs for students. Jane was a recipient of an AAUT in 2002 for the development of 'Common Time' an innovative and practical support program for first-year students. She is convenor of the professional skills stream of the undergraduate program in human services. Griffith Institute of Higher Education, Mount Gravatt Campus, Griffith University, Nathan QLD 4111
Tel: 07 3875 6816 Fax: 07 3875 5998 Email: j.fowler@griffith.edu.au

Dr Tammy Muckert is a learning adviser at Griffith University. She has been co-coordinating the Tiered Mentoring Program with Jane Fowler. Tammy's doctoral research investigated the efficacy of peer mentoring programs in assisting first-year students with the transition to university. This has developed and strengthened her interest in creating a supportive academic environment for undergraduate students.


The use and abuse of software tools

Lynne Fowler, Vivian Campbell and Geoffrey G Roy
School of Engineering
Murdoch University

Keywords: programming, usability, learning

Today most students use software tools to aid their studies. These range from basic word processors to more specific tools such as statistical and accounting packages in a variety of application domains. Our observations show that often the software tool is not used wisely but abused. That is the students often use the tool as if it will do the thinking for them. This has led us to ask the question:

"How should we use software tools and technology to achieve success and excellence?"

This question is relevant to all disciplines where software support tools are used. In this research we are specifically looking at student use of software for programming although some of the conclusions are relevant to students 'using' or 'abusing' most software tools.

Retention of first year students is also an issue because all our engineering students have to complete the two first year Java programming units. We feel our engineering students need good programming skills even if it is for writing only small macros or programs. P-Coder is a CASE tool, developed by the third author on this paper, within the School of Engineering Science, and is aimed as a support tool to assist in the teaching of novice programmers by supporting and emphasising the design process.

This research is supported by analysing students learning styles. This has led us to question whether certain learning style traits lead to greater success on our programming units.


A success scholarship model for Maori and Pacific learners

Daniel Fuemana
School of Building Technology
UNITEC, Auckland, New Zealand

A major concern UNITEC Applied Technology Institute (UATI) had in 1998 was the high attrition rate for Maori and Pacific Island students. Senior management had to face the pressing issue of why Maori and Pacific Island students would complete their first year pre employed carpentry course and seldomly return to complete their National Certificate in Carpentry. To complete the theoretical component of the National certificate in Carpentry students are required to return for a second year block course and continue to work in the building industry for a further three years. The implications of students not completing the second year block course is twofold. Maori and Pacific Island builders become semi-skilled labourers who remain in the lower paid jobs and are unlikely to obtain managerial positions or own their own building businesses. The implication for Unitec is the high attrition rate suggests Unitec is failing to successfully serve the education needs of the Maori and Pacific Island community.

This paper identifies the key issues and offers recommendations to the UATI senior management team. The main issues concerned were located in the organisation's structure, management style and implementation of the programme regulations. Findings will be reported to the management with recommendations to review management style, programme regulations and implementation of appropriate enhancements to ensure retention and success of Maori and Pacific Island students.

Daniel Fuemana is a senior academic lecturer at UNITEC Applied Technology Institute, School of Applied Technology and Head of Discipline - Building. He has 10 years of teaching experience in the Private Training Establishment (PTE) and Tertiary Education Institution (TEI) teaching adult learners. Daniel has written eight carpentry technical books and developed the building curriculum for the institute. He coordinates the Maori and Pacific carpentry scholarship programmes in Kaitaia and Mt Albert Campus, Auckland, sponsored by UNITEC.

School of Building Technology, Applied Technology Institute (UATI), UNITEC, Auckland, New Zealand. Email: dfuemana@unitec.ac.nz


Web based online learning and assessment of mathematics

G. Gamble and V. Rehbock
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Curtin University of Technology

There are several factors driving the need for online tools in the teaching and delivery of undergraduate mathematics: decreasing mathematical skill and knowledge levels in the student cohort, increasing class sizes and demand by students for increased flexibility. The last few years have seen the development of a range of web-based tools that offer a flexible, easily-accessible and interactive environment. In this paper we report on one such tool used in the online learning and assessment of mathematics, known by the acronym AIM.

Contact person: G. Gamble Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845
Tel: (08) 9266 3482 Fax: (08) 9266 3197 Email: gregg@maths.curtin.edu.au

Portfolio possibilities: Trialling portfolios with first-year engineering students

Veronica Goerke, Jane Grellier and M G Zadnik
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: portfolio, reflective practice, engineering

What happens when reflective practice and portfolios are introduced to a group of first year civil engineering students? This presentation discusses the outcomes of a research trial that explored the process of creating a reflective portfolio with twenty-four first year civil engineering students. The structure of the portfolio was determined after taking into consideration the future needs of the Engineering Faculty; the outcomes of the unit in which the portfolio was housed; and the research findings from the growing literature in the area. The portfolios showcased the students' progress as they contained work samples from various engineering units with accompanying written reflections. The results so far indicate that the portfolio gave students the opportunity to articulate their ideas about learning and, more importantly, to further understand the process of becoming a professional engineer. This presentation will reveal the outcomes of the trial, outline the structure of the unit, including assessment issues, and also exhibit some student work.

Veronica Goerke, Lecturer
Faculty of Media, Society and Culture, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: 9266 7739 Fax: 9266 3166 Email: v.goerke@curtin.edu.au
Jane Grellier, Lecturer
Faculty of Media, Society and Culture, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: 9266 7739 Fax: 9266 3166 Email: j.grellier@curtin.edu.au
Professor M G Zadnik, Dean of Teaching and Learning
Division of Engineering, Science and Computing
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987, Perth Western Australia 6845
Tel: +61 8 9266 2326 Fax: +61 8 9266 2602 Email: m.zadnik@curtin.edu.au

Technology transfer calls for stronger links between higher education and industry

Masoud Aliakbar Golkar
Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia
Email: masoud.g@curtin.edu.my

Links between higher education and industry are of vital economic importance. These links provide the environment for innovation and technology transfer and are crucial for sustaining competitiveness, reinventing organizations, creating new businesses, fighting unemployment, and accelerating development programs. Recently, many countries realized theirs deficiencies in the areas of education and technology, and major efforts are being made to enhance theirs international competitiveness. The most recent proposal is for the establishment of a "University for Industry."

University research in many countries is based on a tight relationship between University and economic activity. In Europe and South America, although less commonly than in the USA, there's already a large amount of experiences related to the creation of "on campus" or "spin off" companies based on the results and knowledge obtained from research in University departments and R&D centers financed with public funds. The virtual base of this results in communication technologies enables private use and the appropriation of the benefits by their authors. European model, historically widely separated from private companies, has produced high quality basic research, but it has failed to obtain profit from technological development. Research funds happen to be basically public. University institutions and faculties should think about their current ethic convictions to create a new Industry-University model in the context of a global economy.

Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers on industrial R&D laboratories are small academic centers designed to foster technology transfer between universities and firms. Since Research Centers depend on industry support we expect them to further the research of member companies. These Research Centers promote industry-university technology transfer. This article discusses the background in which the development of links between higher education and industry and the University for Industry will be made.


Developing students' understanding of the discourse of their disciplines

Jane Grellier and Veronica Goerke
Faculty of Media, Society and Culture
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: writing, redrafting, discourse

This paper explores a discipline-focused approach to teaching communication skills at Curtin University of Technology. At Curtin student development of skills in information literacy, writing and oral communication is facilitated through a number of purpose-designed first-year half units, constructed to address the particular needs of various discipline areas. These units are implemented in courses in the Division of Engineering, Science and Computing, and the Faculty of the Built Environment, Art and Design.

In 2003 communication skills staff began two interconnected projects designed to improve students' writing skills and to develop their understanding of and competence in the discourse of their disciplines. Students were given the opportunity to redraft their written assignments in the unit, and teaching was redirected to specifically address student errors in order that the students might then resubmit their assignments for reassessment following editing. Those students who had met all outcomes with their first drafts were exempted from these redrafting classes and invited to participate in an independent learning project on the discourse of their discipline. This involved their compiling a glossary of language and an annotated bibliography on a sub-topic within their discipline; interviewing a professional in the discipline; or compiling a brochure advertising the activities of the discipline's professional association. The two projects were evaluated through written surveys administered to students, and focus groups of both students and staff. Results from analysis of data thus gathered have been used to refine the projects for future years.

Jane Grellier, Lecturer
Faculty of Media, Society and Culture, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: 9266 7739 Email: j.grellier@curtin.edu.au
Veronica Goerke, Lecturer
Faculty of Media, Society and Culture, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: 9266 7739 Email: v.goerke@curtin.edu.au

Excellere: Seeking what?

Elizabeth M. Grierson
Auckland University of Technology

This paper addresses the meaning and limits of excellence and the processes whereby such meanings might seek legitimation. It promulgates the relations between discourses of excellence and of education in the university setting. The paper engages a poststructuralist mode of questioning, referencing the work of Bill Readings (1996, 1997) and Jean-François Lyotard (1984). Questions are raised, such as: what is this excellence that we are seeking, from whence is it derived, and how is it framed? In a globalised knowledge economy it would appear that excellence has become a unifying métier through which knowledge is legitimated as an informational transaction. Building on research in Grierson (2000), the paper argues that any implicit meaning and value of excellence must be continually put to the test as the contexts and values of 'knowledge' undergo change in the transformations of higher education.

Dr Elizabeth M. Grierson, Associate Professor
Head of Research & Staff Development, School of Art & Design
Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1020, New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 917 9999 Fax: +64 9 917 9916 Email: elizabeth.grierson@aut.ac.nz

Strengthening cultural awareness in the classroom: A case in point

Saras Henderson
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Curtin University of Technology

In an era where education has permeated through all corners of the world, teaching and learning has taken on a new dimension. Teachers no longer just impart knowledge nor students just learn what is being imparted. The classroom has become a global village with students from different parts of the world. Teaches do not always view this context as an excellent opportunity for strengthening cultural awareness among students, beyond the superficial level of political correctness. Recently, whilst involved in a classroom discussion about community building, I found myself in a situation where racial tensions escalated among the students with indications of the situation becoming volatile. As the students were about to start their rural community practice, the teaching team decided that a tutorial topic such as "Rebuilding East Timor" would be appropriate. The discussion started off well enough with students identifying various concepts that encompassed community building. Suddenly, however, I noticed that a group of students began to express angrily their disapproval of Australia's involvement in going into East Timor. This created a counter reaction from another group of students and the situation became explosive with harsh phrases being flung across the classroom between the students. I sensed that cultural differences and values were underpinning the students' negative discourse. I became aware that what was occurring had the potential to turn into something far worse. I could have stopped the session and redirected the students to work on another topic. Instead, I chose to take the lead and guide the debate towards a positive outcome. I commenced a discussion based on the issues at hand that promoted cultural awareness. This settled the students. The aim of this paper is to use the above experience as a case in point to discuss how cultural awareness can be strengthened in the classroom.

Dr Saras Henderson, School of Nursing and Midwifery
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845 Tel: 8 92662070 Fax: 8 9266 2959 Email s.Henderson@curtin.edu.au

Values education: A foundation for sustainability

Amzad Hossain and Dora Marinova
Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Murdoch University

The paper emphasises that integrating values education into Australian university curriculum is crucial for the sustainability agenda. It is anticipated that the acquisition of moral values by students will help produce eco-citizens who will be culturally involved in the practice of sustainability.

The main message of this paper is: "Values are acquired, not learnt" and the role of the educator is to help develop/implant values, related to the social, economic and environmental facets of sustainability, in the hearts of students. The paper outlines a model of the teaching-learning processes, which complies with this concept. It is imperative that students first understand why a certain value should be acquired before actually learning about its meaning. Values have to be integrated and taught in a manner which enables students to intrinsically acquire them. The mere knowledge of values cannot ensure that people endorse them in their actions, which is fundamental in achieving sustainability.

The paper argues that theories, concepts and methodologies can be taught, however values cannot just be taught, they need to be implanted in the hearts of students; as the art of cooking cannot just be taught through texts and lessons but needs to be demonstrated and practiced. The conventional teaching-learning strategies alone are not sufficient for achieving the desired outcome: eco-citizens.

The paper concludes that the curriculum framework should provide students at all levels of education with opportunities to appreciate the indissoluble relationship between knowledge and values on the one hand, and eco-citizenship and sustainability on the other.

Contact person: Amzad Hossain, ISTP, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
Tel: +61 8 9360 2913 Fax: +61 8 9360 6421 Email: ahossain@murdoch.edu.au

Flexible learning: Extending students' language learning experiences online

Laura Hougaz
Italian and European Studies, School of Business
Swinburne University of Technology

The paper outlines some of the ways in which the Italian Studies section at Swinburne University of Technology has utilized the web interface delivery system to increase the students' learning experience and how this has been incorporated into the teaching program.

Laura Hougaz, Italian and European Studies, School of Business
Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Vic 3122
Tel: +613 9214 8050 Fax: +61 3 819 0949 Email: lhougaz@swin.edu.au

Online lecture recording: A student assessment

Huong Minh To
Department of Accounting and Finance
The University of Western Australia

Online lectures or iLecture Recordings have become a popular delivery channel at the University of Western Australia. Despite the popularity of iLectures, little research has been done in regards of the student's perception on this relatively new learning aids. This research seeks to investigate a number of aspects about iLectures from the student's point of view. A questionnaire relating to the Corporate Financial Policy unit (CFP 222)'s iLectures during semester 2, 2003 has revealed a number of useful points both to the lecturer of the unit and staff from the Arts Multimedia Centre. The majority of students taking part in the questionnaire had used and found it relatively easy to get access and follow iLecture Recordings. However, most students suggested that there is a significant room for improving the quality of iLectures, especially the inclusion of video recordings, and the provision of iLectures for all the other units where iLectures are not yet available. In short, the majority of students place some value in iLectures. Furthermore, although face-to-face lectures are still preferred to iLectures, if the quality of iLectures is significantly improved in the future, it is expected that iLectures can emerge as a substitute to face-to-face lectures.

Huong Minh To, PhD Candidate/Teaching Intern
Department of Accounting and Finance, School of Economics and Commerce
The University of Western Australia
Mob: 0412 513 230 Email: mhto@student.ecel.uwa.edu.au or Huong_Minh_To@bankwest.com.au

Learning in labs

Sally James
Faculty of Science
University of New South Wales

Keywords: laboratory sessions, problem based learning, CD, CD-ROM

The interactive and "hands-on" nature of science laboratory sessions gives them great potential to be interesting and engaging. How many students do not experience at least some initial curiosity about the unusual and varied objects found in the laboratory environment, and how many are reluctant to abandon their pens, paper and lecture halls to explore them? Yet although the laboratory environment naturally lends itself to high quality learning by "doing", there are many reports of science laboratory sessions falling far short of this potential, and questions are being raised as to the type and quality of learning gained by students taking part in them.

Several modules within the laboratory program of a third year university course, Environmental Microbiology, were remodeled into a "problem-based learning" format with a view to increasing student engagement and the quality of learning taking place in the areas of problem solving, experimental design and data interpretation. A CD-ROM containing selected course content and movie clips previewing observations through the microscope and scientists performing experimental techniques was also developed in order to complement and enhance learning in the laboratory. Several compromises were made in order to control the logistics and expense associated with allowing the students increased choice in experimental design.

The impact of these changes upon student learning was evaluated by contrasting their performance in assessment tasks before and after the laboratory re-design and by contrasting modified and non-modified laboratory modules within the same year. Student feedback on their positive and negative experiences and perceptions of the new laboratory format revealed a number of issues of interest to anyone considering a review of student learning in the laboratory environment.

Dr Sally James, Project Officer (Education)
L2 Dalton Building F12, Faculty of Science
University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052
Tel: (02) 9385 7929 Fax: (02) 9385 7920 Email: Sally@unsw.edu.au

Developing digital professional portfolios with preservice teachers to
increase their understanding of graduate attributes and teacher competencies

Jenny Jay
Kindergarten through Primary Program
Edith Cowan University

Keywords: digital portfolios, graduate attributes, teacher competencies

During this session I would like to describe a digital portfolio framework developed through a University Teaching and Learning grant. In conjunction with Alistair Campbell and trialed by a small group of second year education students I have designed a framework which builds on the technology skills developed by the students in an ICT unit in the second semester of their teacher-training program. The framework is designed to assist students to digitally store and present evidence of their work as learners and teachers in a professional digital portfolio. Students collect evidence from University units and teaching practices. By learning to choose and match specific pieces of evidence to the framework, students develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of both the Graduate Attributes and the Teacher Competency Framework. Evidence is converted into digital files and using Dreamweaver and a web site concept the portfolio is created. During this workshop students who are developing their digital portfolios will present their 'work in progress' and discuss the challenges they have faced.

Ms Jenny Jay, Lecturer, Kindergarten through Primary Program
Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027
Tel: 6304 5125 Fax: 6304 5850 Email: j.jay@ecu.edu.au

What is a graphics calculator and what is it for?

Marian Kemp and Barry Kissane
Murdoch University

Keywords: mathematics, technology, calculators

Most students who enter university via school these days both own and can confidently use a graphics calculator, which are used extensively in all TEE mathematics units. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore some of the capabilities of graphics calculators, with a view to understanding their possible significance for undergraduate study. A common misconception of newcomers regarding graphics calculators is that their use is restricted to graphing. However, other areas of likely interest include descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, numerical work in calculus, equation solving, numerical recursive methods, matrices and financial computations. The workshop will be tailored to the particular needs and interests of the participants, and will not assume any prior experience with graphics calculators. We expect that a major workshop outcome will be an appreciation of the potential for students to continue to use their graphics calculators to help them learn quantitative aspects of their early undergraduate work and the potential for teachers to use graphics calculators effectively in lectures and tutorials.

Marian Kemp, Lecturer, Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 2854 Fax: 9310 8480 Email: kemp@central.murdoch.edu.au
Barry Kissane, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 2677 Fax: 9360 6296 Email: kissane@murdoch.edu.au

Blurring the boundaries between teaching, learning and assessment in a
social constructivist framework: The use of rubrics as an educative tool

Susan Krieg, Sue Sharp and Alistair Campbell
School of Education
Edith Cowan University
Joondalup Campus Perth/Western Australia

The current context for teaching and learning in Australian undergraduate university courses often involves working with large classes and many sessional tutors. A commitment to educative assessment, when working within this context, creates the need to examine the processes more closely, if assessment is to be authentic, valid and reliable. Assessment issues such as marking loads, providing quality feedback in a reasonable turn around time, moderation and quality control across the large, diverse group of students is more difficult than that experienced in smaller classes with few tutors This paper describes how an IT researcher working alongside a teaching team developed technology to support our work, addressing some of the assessment issues we encountered. The subsequent design, development and implementation of assessment processes, including rubrics, modelled constructivist learning, and in the process facilitated collaborative, practical and educative outcomes for students, tutors and unit coordinator


Teaching and learning using mind mapping concepts in an accounting unit:
A case study at Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Campus

Anbalagan Krishnan
School of Business
Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Campus

Keywords: teaching strategy, tutorial and mind mapping

The most successful lecturers develop a systematic approach to lecturing (Eamon Murphy 1998, p 5). A systematic approach to lecturing involves teaching strategies that help the students to understand the learning objective. I am using mind-mapping concept to teach accounting unit for first year undergraduates. One of the reasons is that the nature of the subject covers a broad range of managerial, investment and financial accounting issues with emphasis on their practical application in the real world.

The lecturing approach is very much similar to the traditional approach; however, the focus of discussion during the lecture is sharing experience in learning. The learning outcome is emphasized again during tutorial using Mind Mapping concept developed by Tony and Barry Buzan. I spend about ten minutes going through the important concept learned during the lecture using the mind-mapping concept. The objective of using the Mind Map during tutorial rather than at lecture is to enhance their understanding with assumption that the students already do at least their first reading. Since this is my first trial of teaching accounting using the Mind Map concept especially during the tutorial session, I would certainly want to know the effective of it and how the students perceive this approach. My teaching approach using the mind map is that they are given the Mind Map prior attending the tutorial. The Mind Map is incomplete and students are welcome to complete base on self-reading from the textbook or some other materials. At the end of the semester, questionnaires will be distributed to know the learning outcome and the effectiveness of teaching approach using the mind map.

Anbalagan Krishnan, Lecturer, School of Business
Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Campus
CDT 250, 98009, Miri, Sarawak, East Malaysia
Tel: + 60 85 443844 Fax: +60 85 443838 Email: anbalagan.k @ curtin.edu.my

Online learning versus face to face learning: What is the difference?

Richard K. Ladyshewsky
Graduate School of Business
Curtin University of Technology

There has been considerable debate about the use of information technology in higher education and whether the technology delivers good educational outcomes. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of 'controlled research', which examines outcomes in online learning (OL) and face to face learning (FTF). This study compared final grades of postgraduate student performance in nine units offered in both FTF and OL mode over the course of two academic years. The influence of age and gender on student outcomes was also considered in this study. Postgraduate students, on average, did better in the OL mode, although, at the individual unit level there were minimal if any significant differences. Students that completed units in both the OL and F2F mode, on average, had significantly higher grades in the units completed online. Age and gender did not appear to moderate performance in any way except for those students under 33 who did better, on average, in the OL mode. The implications for teaching and learning in virtual mediums are discussed.

Dr Richard Ladyshewsky is a Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business and a Foundation Fellow of the Higher Education and Research Development Society of Australasia. He has been central to the development of the online learning programs at the Graduate School of Business since joining the School in 1999. He has also developed and teaches a fully online unit called Managerial Effectiveness and has done so for the past two years.

Dr Richard K. Ladyshewsky, Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Business
Curtin University of Technology, 78 Murray St, Perth, Western Australia 6000
Tel: 9266 3832 Fax: 9266 3368 Email: ladysher@gsb.curtin.edu.au


Developing an online outcomes-based skills training framework
for teaching information literacy: The STIL project

Simon Lewis and Kael Driscoll
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: information literacy, skills

Increasingly academic reference librarians are being asked to be part of the teaching process in the area of information literacy skills. Most Universities see information literacy and life-long learning skills as an essential attribute for successful graduates, and there is a strong desire for it to be embedded within course structures. Librarians, with their skills in information management, are uniquely positioned to design and perform information literacy teaching. However, practical teaching and learning skills are not covered in the usual curriculum of librarian training. Even for those librarians who have received formal teaching training, the changing scenario in the tertiary scene - such as the move to outcomes-based education - requires the continual updating of teaching skills. Adding to this is the complexity of catering to students with a variety of backgrounds and a wide range of skill levels. Each group will have different requirements for professional development that must be addressed by the teaching librarian.

This paper will describe the Skills Training for Information Literacy (STIL) Project developed by the University of Western Australia Library. STIL takes the form of a web-based framework, specifically designed to enable librarians to develop their teaching skills. This online resource covers a range of outcomes that have been developed by librarians, supported by links to useful learning resources and suggested methods of self-assessment. The design of STIL facilitates self-paced development, and it will be constantly updated as new resources come to light. We intend to demonstrate the STIL web pages as part of the presentation. The STIL framework is now being collaboratively developed by four University libraries in Western Australia, and is being examined as a model for other online outcomes-based training.

Simon Lewis, Reference Librarian, Mathematics & Physical Sciences Library
The University of Western Australia, M210 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Phone +61 8 9380 3494 Fax +61 8 9380 1139 Email: slewis@library.uwa.edu.au

Kael Driscoll, Reference Librarian, Business Library
The University of Western Australia, M209 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009
Phone +61 8 9380 7056 Fax +61 8 9380 1888 Email: kdriscoll@library.uwa.edu.au


Will lecturers from minority ethnic backgrounds be perceived as less
effective in teaching? A comparative study on students' perceptions of teaching

Fang Liu
Business School
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: teaching, ethnicity and perception

There has been a wealth of studies on how to teach in a diversified university student body, however little research has been done to explore issues associated with a diversified teaching body. Australia is a multi-cultural society and in recent years, the number of academic staff from minority ethnic backgrounds is increasing dramatically in most Australian universities. When the university student body is still dominated by Caucasian students, will academic staff members from ethnic minority backgrounds (i.e., Chinese, Indians, Malaysians) be perceived as less effective in teaching? Moreover, will students from ethnic minority backgrounds have significant different perceptions about the same lecturer's teaching from their Caucasian classmates?

Ethnic similarity may lead to liking, trust and cooperative behavior in teaching and learning environment. It is proposed that students from minority backgrounds will have better perceptions towards a lecturer's teaching than their Caucasian classmates if the lecturer has a minority ethnic background. Moreover, these students will be more motivated in learning. This preliminary study is conducted to explore the effect of ethnicity in the higher education environment. It will apply both qualitative and quantitative methods to verify those propositions. It is hoped that findings from this study can make universities be more aware of the particular challenges that lectures from ethnic minority backgrounds are facing. It is also hoped that this study can stimulate discussions as how to deal with those challenges.

Fang Liu, Associate Lecturer, Business School
The University of Western Australia, M261 35 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands WA 6009
Tel: +61 8 9380 3506 Fax: +61 8 9380 1055 Email: fliu@ecel.uwa.edu.au

Developing a university school partnership: The nexus between, and
benefits for, university and schools in the early stages of partnership development

Bev Yardley and Graeme Lock
Edith Cowan University

Relationships between initial teacher education providers, schools and teachers have shown a dramatic shift in the past decade. Through reviews of education, such as Ramsey (2000), there has been strong focus to restoring this link. One strategy encouraged in current research is the development of partnerships between universities and schools.

This paper examines Edith Cowan University's (ECU) partnership with schools within the Swan Education District of Perth and how this partnership, in its initial stages, has demonstrated ECU's ability to remain at the forefront of educational reform, meet the needs of its student teachers, schools and teachers.

Evaluative comments, obtained from school principals and/or school practice coordinators in semi-structured interviews are discussed. The paper concludes by discussing the implementation of strategies to strengthen the functioning of the partnership and to attract new partnership members.

Bev Yardley, Coordinator Professional Practice (Primary), Edith Cowan University
Graeme Lock, Edith Cowan University

Student learning in isolated communities

Vanessa Lockyer-Stevens and Moira Maley
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
The University of Western Australia

Australia has a long history of the 'School of the Air' designed to meet the teaching and learning needs of its young in rural and remote communities. Medicine has a short history of schools of medicine in the rural and remote areas of Australia. Student learning in isolated communities over prolonged periods is therefore new to medicine. Existing approaches to educating undergraduates in the assessment and management of members of isolated groups range from "learning from them by seeing them as patients", to "home visit" programmes, to "using representatives as teachers". In contrast, embedding students in an isolated community results in intense experiential learning where team skills and the practice of reflection, personal awareness and empathy are enforced.

The purpose of this paper is two fold. Firstly, it discusses the perceptions of medical students in an isolated practice caring for young adults with special physical or intellectual limitations during a "special challenge" voyage at sea. It focuses on how students assimilated perceptions while supporting and caring for those in this unique setting. Secondly, it explores the context of isolated practice in the bush and draws on comparisons between each encounter. The outcome of this discussion is to elicit teaching and learning strategies unique to both settings that can complement the learning outcomes of those working in isolated clinical practice settings.

Mrs Vanessa Lockyer-Stevens
Education Centre and Rural Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009
Tel: +61 8 9346 7241 Fax: +61 8 9346 3120 Email: vlsteven@rcs.uwa.edu.au

Dr Moira A. L. Maley, Education Centre, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009
Tel: +61 8 9346 7316 Fax: +61 8 9346 3120 Email: mmaley@cyllene.uwa.edu.au


Teaching and learning international relations in Australia

Sam Makinda
Arts, Politics and International Studies
Murdoch University

Educational excellence in International Relations in Australia has been hampered by several factors. The first is that some International Relations teachers and research students do not afford the opposing viewpoints procedural fairness before proceeding to dismiss them. This has reduced the scope for intelligent inter-paradigm dialogue. The second is that it is increasingly difficult to gauge excellence in the teaching of International Relations because there are no national standards by which to measure it. There is no national mechanism for setting standards, exchanging ideas and through which teachers can comment on each other's teaching materials. As the student demand for International Relations in Australia has grown, university teachers, irrespective of how little they know about the discipline, have seized the opportunity and set up degrees in the discipline. The result is that there are some people who bear International Relations degrees from Australian universities, but who know very little about the subject. Finally, few International Relations teachers are willing to accept that paradigms other than their own might have something of value to offer. This has unfortunately produced graduates with a cult-like mentality, determined to promote and defend their narrow perspectives. This paper suggests ways of overcoming these problems in order to pursue educational excellence in International Relations.

A/Prof Samuel Makinda, Arts, Politics and International Studies
Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150. Email: S.Makinda@murdoch.edu.au

Bridging the gap in remote medical education: Using the web and IT to support student learning

Moira Maley
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Australia

By placing undergraduate medical students in a geographically remote location for a year of their clinical studies, universities need to ensure that student learning is not compromised by lack of access to core resources. The current educational emphasis on self-directed learning and the acquisition of life long learning skills means that actual teacher-student contact time is reduced and that technology is used to deliver some core teaching material. Thus for the learning opportunities to be perceived as equitable between students studying in large city-based locations and those in remote areas, adjustments needed to be made to fill the gap created by the isolation.

At the University of Western Australia, the 22 students enrolled in the new Rural Clinical School complete their entire fifth academic year in subgroups of 2-9 students at remote, rural centres up to 1000km away from the major teaching hospitals where their remaining 100 student peers are taught. As the web is an integral part of communication, formative assessment and the delivery support material for short term clinical attachments in our curriculum, and as a number of key whole year teaching sessions occur throughout the academic year, the "gap" had to be bridged. A combination of an innovative adaptation of the web curriculum resource to an identical copy served locally from CD on the students' laptop computers, along with the recording and subsequent streaming of city-based, key, synchronous teaching sessions has enriched the remote students' learning and appears to have overcome perceived disadvantages for the rural students.

Dr Moira A. L. Maley, Education Centre, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009
Phone: +61 8 9346 7316 Fax: +61 8 9346 3120 Email: mmaley@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

A transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning sustainability: A pedagogy for life

Dora Marinova and Natalie McGrath
Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Murdoch University

The increased incorporation of sustainability in the higher educational system is emphasized by UNESCO's decade of Education for Sustainable Development. An enhanced understanding of the principles, values and ethics that underlie sustainability is needed. This requires a concerted and committed focus within Universities. An education in sustainability increases awareness of the complexity and interrelationships of environmental, economic, social, political and technical systems which can be achieved through a transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. The Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University is presented as a case study of trandisciplinarity in education for sustainability based on the four pillars for education in the 21st century, namely learning and teaching to know, to do, to live together and to be.

Contact details: Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy, Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150, Australia
Tel: +61 8 9360 6103 Fax: +61 8 9360 6421 Email: D.Marinova@marinova, N.McGrath@murdoch.edu.au

Mentor: Really annoying. but quite helpful

Andrew Marriott and Bruce Shortland-Jones
Curtin University of Technology

Note: title is correct with lower case b in the word "but".

The paper also outlines the learning paradigms used in, and summarizes the evaluation of, 3 case studies of University students' perception of the Mentor System to see how effective and useful it was to them in their university studies. The Mentor System is a Java-based client-server system designed to be a learning assistant to help students in their studies. The system uses Perl5 Regular Expression (RE) pattern matching for Natural Language Parsing (NLP) along with a state-based Dialogue Manager and a Knowledge Base marked up using the Virtual Human Markup Language (VHML). This paper also details the architecture and some implementation issues of the system.

Andrew Marriott is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computing at the Curtin University of Technology - Perth Western Australia. He is developing the Mentor System - a Java-based client-server system designed to be a learning assistant to help students in their university studies. Postal Address: Department of Computing, Curtin University of Technology, Hayman Rd, Bentley, Western Australia 6102. Tel: +61 8 9266 7675 Fax: +61 8 9266 2819 Email: raytrace@cs.curtin.edu.au

Bruce Shortland-Jones is the Director of the Learning Support Network (LSN), within the Office of the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at Curtin University. The LSN provides leadership and support for teaching and learning through its activities in academic professional development, curriculum design, open and flexible learning, and student learning support.


Coordinated curriculum renewal: A whole of school approach

Lorraine Marshall and Kate Lowe
Teaching and Learning Centre
Murdoch University

Keywords: curriculum, graduate attributes, flexibility;

In a climate in which budget cuts impact on teaching quality and there is an increasing need for accountability, Murdoch University has begun an institution-wide teaching and learning project that links existing structural university processes to curriculum development and renewal.

This initiative, the School Development Process, involves the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) in a coordinated, whole-school approach to enhancing teaching and learning. Every five years, each School of Study undergoes a review and in the year prior to this review the TLC is now undertaking a range of activities designed to assist the School in curriculum development and collection of data for the review. The process of curriculum renewal and/or development involves:

While the School Development Process addresses broader strategic planning issues, the focus for the TLC is curriculum renewal and development. This entails promoting and integrating several existing initiatives: mapping graduate attributes across a degree program, alignment of curriculum, conversion of units to a flexible unit model, and conducting focus groups with employers.

This session outlines the stages of the School Development Process, the approach taken by the TLC in developing and implementing the process, issues related to its adoption and the strategies used with established and new Schools of Study.

A/Professor Lorraine Marshall, Head of Learning Skills, Teaching and Learning Centre
Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch WA 6150
Tel: 9360 2441 Fax: 9310 8480 Email: L.Marshall@murdoch.edu.au

Kate Lowe, Educational Designer, Teaching and Learning Centre
Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch WA 6150
Tel: 9360 2441 Fax: 9310 4929 Email: K.Lowe@murdoch.edu.au


Orienting health promotion course structure to maximize competency development

Bruce Maycock, Linda Jackson, Peter Howat, Sharyn Burns and Jenny Collins
Department of Health Promotion
Curtin University of Technology

This paper outlines how nationally identified health promotion competencies have been used to guide the development and review of the Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion at a leading Australian university. This research is unique in that no other University in Australia has used the competencies in this way.

Each unit within the Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) was assessed to determine the extent to which it contributed to the development of health promotion competencies. The range of competencies was mapped and gaps identified. Student and expert advisory committee feedback was sought and compared to the mapping results. This process led to changes in course content, the sequence of units and the processes of assessment and class interaction. Students were orientated to the concept of reflective practice and have been encouraged to map their own competency development through the use of an evidence guide.

The changes resulted in enhanced student outcomes and changes in student and staff culture. It resulted in improved synergy between units and a focus on developing competent practitioners. The use of identified national competencies has enhanced the content, sequence and processes used in the training of health promotion professionals.

Students graduating from this program are able to demonstrate to employers the competencies desirable in a health promotion practitioner. Further the exposure to the concept of reflective practice should ensure they are life long learners. Consideration should be given by other trainers to ensure that graduates of health training programs meet minimum competency requirements.

Contact person: Dr Maycock is a senior lecturer at Curtin University. He has a history of dedication to teaching which has been recognized by numerous university awards and is fortunate in that he is surrounded by colleagues who are as dedicated to student success as he is. He is experienced in the delivery of public health programs internationally and has worked in Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, and Singapore.
Dr Bruce Maycock, Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845
Tel: 08 9266 7988 Fax: 08 9266 2958 Email: b.maycock@curtin.edu.au

Using action research to embed systems thinking concepts in postgraduate IT teaching

Donald C McDermid
School of Computer and Information Science
Edith Cowan University

The paper discusses the results of an Action Research study whose aim was to improve the quality of teaching systems concepts by using a software program that actually executes the models in order to re-inforce the concepts being learnt. The conclusions reached were that using such software in a structured learning environment did indeed improve the quality of teaching and had an impact on the ability of students to model problems more systemically. Further, lessons were learnt in the mechanics of how to structure laboratory exercises to support this goal.

Donald C McDermid, School of Computer and Information Science
Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Perth, Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 6304 5190 Fax: +61 8 6304 5144 Email: d.mcdermid@ecu.edu.au

Achieving excellence in teaching through scaffolding learner competence

Catherine McLoughlin
Faculty of Education
Australian Catholic University

How do teachers best support learning and ensure that students become self-directed learners? Traditionally, the most common form of supported learning has been an apprenticeship, where a novice learns through active participation in a task, initially only peripherally and then assuming more control and ownership. Originating in socio-cultural theory and developed by later theorists, the concept of scaffolding has been extended by practical applications and research in technology-based environments. As the World Wide Web becomes increasingly integrated into the delivery of learning experiences at tertiary levels, the concept of scaffolding needs to be redefined because it is not readily translated into contexts where the teacher is not present, as in online environments. The aim of this paper is to provide practical dimensions and examples how scaffolding can be implemented, to provide examples of how learners can be supported in the processes of constructivist inquiry, and to a categorization of learning supports that tertiary educators can apply across a range of instructional settings.

Catherine McLoughlin, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University
c.mcloughlin@signadou.acu.edu.au

Embedding a large first year course into an online learning environment

Beverley McNamara, Raelene Wilding, Brian Polekyett, Ilza Jonekis and Martin Forsey
School of Social and Cultural Studies
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: online learning environment, outcomes based education, information literacy

As part of a review of the two first year anthropology and sociology units at the University of Western Australia, the team most involved with teaching the units joined forces with library specialists to help embed the revised courses into a single on-line learning environment. Conscious of the need to maintain the standards of excellence already achieved in the first year courses, our primary aim was to ensure that we used the online learning environment to enhance our courses. Both units are taught to a mixture of Perth-based students and off-campus students based at university centres in Albany and Geraldton. This paper focuses mainly on Anthropology and Sociology 101 Online, a unit of study that was designed to complement rather than replace face-to-face teaching. Incorporating Outcomes Based Education principles, it aims at flexibility of learning from both on and off the campus by providing opportunities for students to enhance their information literacy skills, as well as their essay writing and research skills. The online learning environment also offered students numerous opportunities for self-evaluation, mainly through the use of quizzes written especially for the unit.

In this paper we discuss our experiences in designing and implementing Anthropology and Sociology 101 Online. We also draw upon various forms of student and tutor evaluation to reflect on what we have learned through the process of embedding a large first year course into an online learning environment.

Contact person: Dr Beverley McNamara, Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Cultural Studies, The University of Western Australia. Email: bevmc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au
Other presenters: Dr Raelene Wilding, Mr Brian Polekyett, Ms Ilza Jonekis and Dr Martin Forsey.

Interrogating western knowledge systems in the class: What we get from
international students that we never really appreciate

Martin Mhando
Murdoch University

In this paper I shall foreground knowledge systems theories to reflect on my appreciation of the multi-cultural environment of teaching derived from the education industry. Through that reflection I hope to suggest some pitfalls of knowledge and discourse, constructed through a pedagogy that favours one system of knowledge creation. I believe that this pedagogy in many ways undermines learning and denies Western knowledge systems opportunity to further develop through the process of hybridity. I wish to argue that as we drill our students into imbibing the formats, structures and conventions of western knowledge we are not only further undermining some other knowledge base but also failing to challenge how we have come to know that which we know.

I begin from the premise that knowledges are based on pre-obtained perceptions and inferences from what is immediately known.

This is where cultural studies is crucial. In the 70s, argues Wallerstein, cultural studies "attacked the views of the dominant strata in the world-system that generalised their realities into universal human realities and thereby "forgot" whole segments of humanity, not only in the substantive statements but in the very epistemology of their research".

We can only understand knowledge when we are capable of recognising that many of our universally held assumptions hold back our capacity for understanding the multiplicity of human endeavour. Our understanding of the world in the academy has until now been certainly Eurocentric. This is not surprising as " Eurocentrism is constitutive of the geo-culture of the modern world".

The multicultural class present opportunity for teachers and learners to forge new relations and derive value from the meeting of cultures As it is in our universities students from all cultures are either rewarded or punished based on their ability to adapt to a specific cultural sensibility. This needs questioning.

Dr Martin Mhando, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch WA 6150

A new medical course for Western Australia: The MBBS course at the University of Notre Dame

Barbara Miflin, Adrian Bower, Jennifer McConnell, Mark McKenna, Donna Mak, Angelita Martini and Tamara McCloskey
School of Medicine
The University of Notre Dame Australia

Key words: medicine, graduate entry, problem based learning

In 2005, the School of Medicine, the University of Notre Dame Australia, will introduce a four-year graduate entry course, with a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. In this presentation, the team of teachers involved in developing the course will explain the School's aims, how these are expressed in the objectives for the medical course, and how admissions procedures and the PBL curriculum model are designed to achieve these aims.

Presenting team: The School of Medicine, The University of Notre Dame Australia
Adrian Bower, Head of School
Jennifer McConnell, Deputy Head of School and Chair, Communication and Clinical Skills Domain
Mark McKenna, Chair, Personal and Professional Domain Committee
Barbara Miflin, Head, Medical Education Support Unit (Coordinator of presentation)
Donna Mak, Chair, Population and Preventive Health Domain
Angelita Martini, Clinical Program Developer
Tamara McCloskey, Project Officer
Contact person: Dr Barbara Miflin, School of Medicine
The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle WA 6160 Tel: 9433 0794 Fax: 9433 0790 Email: bmiflin@nd.edu.au

An analysis of the performance of students entering Edith Cowan University undergraduate degrees

James Millar and Trish Formentin
Edith Cowan University

An initial study showed a high rate of 'attrition' of students from TAFE (43%) compared with ECU's University Preparation Course (9%). Further investigation compared the performance of students who entered ECU from TAFE with a Certificate IV and a Diploma or Associate Diploma. The data showed that students from TAFE with a Certificate IV performed relatively poorly compared to students from TAFE with an Associate Diploma/Diploma and also compared to University Preparation Course entrants who entered the University over the same period. The mean Course Average in July 2003 of students who entered ECU from TAFE on the basis of a Certificate IV was CA 51.7 and may possibly reflect academic difficulties related to study at University. For both groups, the most common reason for pulling out of university was classified as 'factors unrelated to university', e.g., financial, personal or work related factors (Certificate IV 46% and Associate Diploma/Diploma 42%). Unfortunately, ECU does not have comparative figures for other intake groups. Course-related issues, particularly moving to another university to study, accounted for 14% Certificate IV and 35.5% Associate Diploma/Diploma students who withdrew of deferred their study. Implications of these findings for ECU are examined.

Dr Jim Millar is Director of Edith Cowan University's Learning and Development Services. He provides leadership in the development of teaching and learning resources, professional development of academic staff and the delivery of ECU's University Preparation Course and associated Aspirations project.
Contact details: Learning and Development Services, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley Campus, 2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley WA 6050. Tel: 9370 6547 Fax: 9370 6333 Email: j.millar@ecu.edu.au

Dr Trish Formentin is Manager University Preparation at ECU. In that role she has carried out evaluation studies of students entering the University through alternative entry pathways and tracked the progress of representative groups.


CD alternatives to lectures

Tony Luha and Jill Luha
Katamanti Media
Jenny Mills
Veterinary Clinical Studies
Murdoch University

Keywords: Mediator program, PowerPoint, CDs

How effectively can microscopic recognition skills be taught off campus? The experience of developing two interactive CDs to provide instruction in microscopic and interpretative skills in veterinary cytology will be presented. Microsoft Power Point and Matchware Mediator programs were used and their respective merits will be demonstrated. The evolution of the project from instructor based material through to student centred learning material will be discussed in the context of the availability of technology to generate high quality image, video and audio segments at low cost. Issues of user-interface, performance bandwidth, delivery medium and overall ease of use will be addressed in relation to the intended student audience of undergraduate on-campus and postgraduate distance students. The value of a team approach involving subject specialist, instructional designer and multi-media technologist, as a means of achieving high quality teaching material, will be emphasised.

Presenters: Dr Tony Luha, Consultant Technologist, Katamanti Media, http://www.katamanti.com.au/
Tel: 9332 8775 Email: tony@katamanti.com.au
Jill Luha, Instructional Designer, Katamanti Media
Dr Jenny Mills, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pathology, Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies
Murdoch University. Tel: 9360 2646 Fax: 9310 7495 Email: J.Mills@murdoch.edu.au

Combining peer assessment with group work to achieve educational excellence

Angus Morrison-Saunders
School of Environmental Science
Murdoch University

Keywords: peer assessment, group work, effective teams

In a climate of trying to do more (teaching) with less (resources) it is tempting to resort to group work assignments. Whilst this may be good for academics (less marking) it is sometimes unpopular with students. The main problem appears to arise when marks are automatically going to be equally shared by all group members which often results in the motivated and stronger students ending up 'carrying' the weaker or less engaged students. Can this situation be turned around to create a win-win situation, whereby students and academics alike benefit from group work? In this presentation a peer assessment process that I have used successfully within student groups over the last eight years will be explained. Students are introduced to the challenges of group work and the role of individuals within groups, including the different ways in which people can contribute to an effective team. At the end of a group work activity, students are asked to assess their own contribution to the group and performance and that of their team mates. Marks are provided to individual students based on a ranking derived from this peer assessment matched against the overall assessment of the group assignment. In this way high and low achieving students alike receive the marks they deserve. Interestingly though, in nearly all cases, group members end up receiving the same mark, indicating that they functioned as an effective team. It seems that simply knowing in advance that they will be subject to peer assessment improves student cooperation and performance in group work tasks. Hence this approach helps to achieve educational excellence by developing effective group work skills (often identified as an important attribute for university graduates) whilst also meeting content based assessment task objectives associated with the assignment task.

Dr Angus Morrison-Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Assessment
School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 6125 Fax: 9360 6787 Email: A.Morrison-Saunders@murdoch.edu.au

Thinking critically about critical thinking: Direct versus indirect approaches

Jane Mummery
School of International, Cultural and Community Studies
Edith Cowan University

Critical thinking. This is one of the key terms that crops up over and over again in discussions about the role of the university and tertiary education. In particular, it manifests in discussions about graduate attributes – along with specific disciplinary content and skills, we hold to the belief that our graduates should emerge from their tertiary studies with abilities in such generic areas as critical thinking, decision making, problem solving, logical reasoning and so forth. Indeed, excellence in teaching and learning is somehow seen to be tied to students' development of these skills. So, given that the development of these skills seems to be an essential part of students' university experiences, what are they and how do we actually go about introducing and fostering them ? This paper is thus an exploration of this issue. Divided into three main sections, I first clarify these skills themselves. What are they and why are they so important? Secondly I focus on methodology. How do we actually introduce and foster these skills? And here I will draw on both best practice and actual practices. Finally, I explore some of the pros and cons of actual practices I've been involved with in teaching these skills, both directly and indirectly, at Murdoch University, Curtin University of Technology and Edith Cowan University. In other words, what actually works and what are some of the typical problems that can be encountered.

Dr Jane Mummery is a lecturer in philosophy at Edith Cowan University, teaching the large core unit PHR1102 Critical Thinking. Between 1998 and 2003 she has been employed across three Perth universities (Murdoch University, Curtin University of Technology and Edith Cowan University) to teach in a range of philosophy and humanities units, with a specific focus of teaching in the area of critical thinking. Email: j.mummery@ecu.edu.au

Using action learning principles for professional development: The Waikiki School experience

Karen Murcia
School of Education
Murdoch University

Keywords: action, learning, reflection

Action learning principles were the methodological foundation of the Department of Education Science and Training funded and Murdoch University directed, numeracy research conducted at Waikiki Primary School, Perth, Western Australia. Action learning projects were used to explore innovative teaching strategies for improving student numeracy outcomes.

The structured method for reflective practice used in this research acknowledged and built on the teachers' prior professional experiences and expertise. It provided the teachers with a way to learn from their actions by taking time to plan, implement ideas, observe, question and reflect. This process contributed to the development of a sense of critical reflection or questioning of existing perspectives of teaching and student learning. Combined the teachers projects provided collective reflection, which lead to the identification of shared issues, challenges and concerns. As a result, possible ways forward in both teaching and student learning were developed.

The collegial nature of the action learning approach enabled individuals to receive support from their colleagues in directing their own professional growth or development. It provided teachers with an opportunity to develop a broader and more critical view of their practice. As a result they had increased knowledge and potential for adapting to change. This project recognised the role action learning can take in the professional development of educators. It found that time needs to be given for new ideas to become incorporated into thinking and practice. Furthermore that teachers' development can be enhance through professional reflection and opportunities for collegial sharing of learning experiences.

Ms Karen Murcia, Project Co-Director, School of Education, Murdoch University
Tel: 9354 2595 Fax: 9354 2593 Email: k.murcia@central.murdoch.edu.au

Emotional intelligence: A survey with Malaysian school teachers

Ramlee Mustapha, Siti Rahayah Ariffin and Noriah Mohd. Ishak
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Employers have long recognized that the competency associated with emotional intelligence is crucial. Emotional qualities such as adaptability in the face of setback and obstacle, personal self-management, confidence, motivation to work towards goals, group and interpersonal effectiveness, teamwork, skills in negotiating disagreement and leadership potentials are needed more than before. This paper will report a study conducted to examine correlation among emotional quotient (EQ) domains suggested by Goleman (1995). The domains are self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills. Fifty-five teachers teaching at a Malaysian's boarding school participated in the study. The findings suggested moderate to high positive correlations among the EQ domains. The highest correlation was found between social-skills and empathy (r = 0.800) and the moderate correlation was between social-skills and self-awareness (0.491). Regression analysis suggested a 59% contribution of self-regulation, and empathy towards self-motivation.


The design of outcomes based project units within engineering courses

Douglas Myers
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Curtin University of Technology

A feature of engineering courses for many decades has been the requirement for students to undertake a significant final year project representative of professional practice. Project units are quite different to other units in several respects, including that the major issue in their design is framing a management policy. This is difficult, as it needs to be detailed and extensive, and that creates a reluctance to alter any existing practices.

The move to outcomes-based courses is a significant development, but because of the role of project work within a course and its clear links to graduate outcomes, there has been a tendency to see these as the easiest to adjust. This paper challenges that assumption. A typical set of outcomes for project units is proposed. Then key elements of project units are examined that influence the design of a management policy. This shows that current management practices are not tenable and must significantly change if the units are to be in keeping with the paradigm.

Douglas Myers, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987 Perth WA 6845
Tel: 9266 7912 Fax: 9266 2584 Email: d.myers@ece.curtin.edu.au

Analogue in an online world

Adam Newcombe and Peter Hosie
Edith Cowan University

Keywords: tradition, history, digital

The dramatic onset of online global communication has fundamentally changed the way information is accessed and organized. Films such as Johnny Mnemonic and Disclosure present futurist idea of a fully immersive 'meta-information organization', with differing ways and means of navigating and accessing information.

This New World of digitized information is situated within a global structure that is still very much embedded in pre-digital, industrialized matrixes and paradigms. Ironically the World Wide Web is reliant on telephone systems, a nineteenth century technology. This duality of context and technology is particularly true of both tertiary graphics education and the design industry. As a direct result of technological advances in both the communications industry and the print industry, a great deal of the history and important non-digital methodology has been swept away from tertiary design curricula.

Much of this movement away from traditional analogue paradigms and methodologies has been politically driven. In the eyes of non-practising designers it appears more productive, cost efficient, clean, orderly and logical to have students sitting in sterile computer labs designing than it is to walk into the seeming chaos of a wet room full of paint, mess, glue, paper and scissors.

A vision of 'lab rats' is perhaps more comprehensible to non-creative non-designers than the wet room scenario. However, by throwing out long-established and proven methodologies, much has been lost in the intellectual, creative, historical and skill base of design education. This presentation and paper will look at two examples of course work that moves from a series of analogue exercises into a digital outcome. In the process it will illustrate the way in which this pedagogical paradigm allows students to gain confidence and ability in their design work.

The presentation will also look at a project in development, which uses digital media as a visually rich adjunct to traditional lecturing and teaching formats. This project has been developed in conjunction with Learning and Development Services@ECU.

Adam Newcombe, Coordinator Graphics and Design and Coordinator online education, School of Contemporary Arts, Edith Cowan University. Tel: 9370 6605
Dr Peter Hosie, Learning Development Services, Edith Cowan University. Tel: 9370 6761

Assessment for learning: some insights from collaboratively constructing
a rubric with postgraduate education students

Lesley Newhouse-Maiden and Terry de Jong
School of Education
Edith Cowan University

Learning to work collaboratively is an important component of successful middle schooling practice (Jackson & Davis, 2000). In their preparation to become middle years teachers, students completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Middle Years) at Edith Cowan University (ECU) are required to engage in a range of collaborative group processes. An example of this is a small group-based project in the "From Alienation to Engagement" unit which necessitated students investigating and presenting their findings on the services offered to adolescents by youth-focussed agencies. As part of this project, students had to reflect upon their individual contribution to the group process. To help facilitate this, students were required to construct an assessment rubric and use this instrument to inform their reflections. This paper describes the rationale for and process used in constructing the rubric. It discusses four key themes of student learning identified from the students' reflection papers.

Both authors are part of the academic team which developed, and currently lecture in, the Postgraduate Diploma of Education (Middle Years). Terry de Jong is the Director of the Program and Lesley Newhouse-Maiden coordinates the Practicum. Both have a strong passion to educate their post-graduate students to meet the needs of young Australian adolescents in the present social climate.

Dr Lesley Newhouse-Maiden and Dr Terry de Jong, School of Education
Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6050
Tel: 6304 5485 (University) Fax: 6304 5850 Email: l.newhouse_maiden@ecu.edu.au, t.dejong@ecu.edu.au

Education through policy engagement: A case study from the
development of the State Sustainability Strategy

Peter Newman
Director, Sustainability Policy Unit, Department of the Premier and Cabinet; and
Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy, Murdoch University

A unique educational experiment was conducted in 2001-3 as part of the development of the State Sustainability Strategy in Western Australia. This Strategy is the first by any state in the world and required skills and knowledge not easily available to the public service. Under supervision students were asked to participate in the policy development process directly with all their papers and case studies being published for the Strategy. The innovative nature of the topic and the lack of resources in the public sector thus provided the students with a unique learning experience. Over 50 undergraduate and postgraduate students (mostly from ISTP) were involved in the project. The process will be discussed in terms O'Riordan's idea of 'civic science' and its application to the 'sustainability transition'. The educational benefits and the potential for institutionalising such learning opportunities are pursued.

Professor Peter Newman
Director, Sustainability Policy Unit, Department of the Premier and Cabinet
197 St Georges Tce, Perth. Tel: 9222 9823 Mob: 040 793 5133

Training Bachelor of Psychology students in professional teamwork skills

Angela O'Brien-Malone, Suzanne Dziurawiec and Pauline Arnold
School of Psychology
Murdoch University

Key words: teamwork, training, psychology

Students in their fourth year of enrolment in the Bachelor of Psychology degree are required to complete a group research project. Many BPsych groups work effectively together to achieve their joint and individual research goals but occasionally problems arise within their group processes that frustrate both students and their supervisors. To address these difficulties, we developed a workshop on effective teams which has been incorporated into the BPsych curriculum.

Our aims in this workshop were that students (1) develop further understanding of how effective teams are formed and work together; (2) learn about people- and task-related problems, and how to manage or resolve these; and (3) anticipate the problems they might encounter and make a plan for resolving them. We expected that successfully meeting these aims would enhance the BPsych students' command of the generic skills encompassed in teamwork, skills useful in both university and employment settings.

Workshop materials were developed based on interviews with volunteer BPsych students from the 2001 cohort. Workshop and teaching materials were piloted in March 2002 with 21 students who voluntarily attended the workshop. Feedback from attendees at this pilot workshop was extremely positive.

This year, we enhanced the workshop's professional image by using specialist-printed teaching materials. We considered that this might be an important factor in encouraging students to take charge of the processes internal to their individual groups, and to manage those processes in a way that maximizes their learning outcomes. The workshop was incorporated into the BPsych curriculum and was run with the project groups across two 3- hour sessions. Preliminary student evaluations of the workshop were again very positive. Further evaluation of The Effective Teams Project will be undertaken following completion of the group research projects at the end of this year.

Angela O'Brien-Malone, Senior Lecturer
Suzanne Dziurawiec and Pauline Arnold
School of Psychology, Division of Health Sciences, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 2290 Fax: 9360 6492 Email: A.OBrien-Malone@murdoch.edu.au

Improve your lectures by enriching it with fancy diagrams

Ruza Ostrogonac
Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
The University of Western Australia

The amount and complexity of information we collect is increasing constantly. Methods of communication have moved from words and numbers towards pictures or images. Images make comprehension and analysis of information easier and more efficient. Approximately eighty percent of our sensory input comes from our visual system. Therefore, much of what we learn and experience is through images. Visual symbols are the most powerful of the sensory communication tools.

Diagrams and illustrations are more and more used to translate information into form that is simple to comprehend, meaningful and memorable. They are no longer perceived as supplement tools to text or as mere decorations. They are syntheses of art and science. They offer unique opportunities for communication, explain complex facts with the aid of visual tools, are capable of delivering messages quickly and transcend language and cultural barriers.

Diagrams and illustrations can be used as:

Learn in this workshop how to improve your teaching: your lectures and tutorials, by implementing innovative and aesthetically pleasing graphs, charts and illustrations.

Ruza Ostrogonac, Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Nedlands WA 6009, Australia

The impact of teachers' beliefs on online discussion forums

Mary Panko
Unitech, New Zealand

This paper examines ways in which diverse beliefs of teachers can be identified and found to be effective in online discussion forums, using the Pratt (1998) framework of teaching perspectives as a method of exploring the intentions and actions of e-moderators. It also highlights potential traps for the unwary e-moderator. Research results showed that aspects of Pratt's five teaching perspectives (Transmission, Apprenticeship, Developmental, Nurturing and Social Reform) could all be recognised in teachers' design plans, interactions with students, and assessment. The extent of subsequent student engagement with the learning process indicated that e-moderators from any perspective were potentially able to create successful learning environments and this was frequently related to the extent of scaffolding provided by teachers. Despite this, it was also found that students' online contributions were frequently driven by assessment criteria and grading schemes, regardless of the depth of their approach to learning It is recommended that institutional professional development plans recognise the major influence that teachers' prior experience as online learners has over their actions, and that their underlying ability to reflect on their own practices has an equally profound impact on the success of their teaching strategies. The paper concludes with a plea directed at tertiary institutions for them to allow their staff the freedom to develop a diversity of e-moderation techniques, using their existing strengths.

Mary Panko, Programme Leader, Graduate Diploma in Higher Education, Unitech New Zealand. mpanko@unitec.ac.nz

Language learning WebQuests

Dilip Parekh
Department of Languages and Intercultural Education
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: language, webquest, web

The numerous resources available on the Internet provide a rich environment for language teaching. However, too often students and teachers are overwhelmed by the mass of materials in the target language, or use the Internet in a unstructured manner leading to loss of focus. The WebQuest, which is currently in use in many schools based courses, offers a structured, productive way of harnessing the resources of the Web for language teaching purposes. Essentially, it is an inquiry-based, integrated activity where students are set a guided task requiring them to search for information, analyse it, transform it and finally demonstrate their understanding by presenting it in a specified format.

In this session, there will be an overview of the use of WebQuests for language teaching. The main areas to be covered will be:

Dilip Parekh, Department of Languages and Intercultural Education, Curtin University of Technology
Tel: 9266 4229 Fax: 9266 4133 Email: d.parekh@curtin.edu.au

Attitudes towards plagiarism amongst transnational postgraduate students
in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia

Lee Partridge and John West
Graduate School of Education
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: plagiarism, international students, postgraduate, transnational, off shore education

The Graduate School of Education conducts a number of transnational postgraduate degree courses including Master of Education, Master of Educational Studies, Master of Educational Management and Doctor of Education. These degrees are currently available to students off-shore, with courses being delivered in Hong Kong and Singapore. The occurrence of observable plagiarism evident in the submitted assessments from these courses has caused concern in recent times. While the level of plagiarism may be no greater than occurs amongst on-shore students, the instances are perhaps more apparent in the transnational population where for some students, English is a second language.

A survey is currently being conducted amongst students enrolled in the Graduate School of Education programs in Singapore and Hong Kong to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing the degree of plagiarism among transnational students. At the same time, assessments submitted will be monitored for evidence of plagiarism. A tally of the frequency of offences will be recorded. The study will seek to determine whether the perceptions of issues surrounding the notion of plagiarism amongst transnational students differ from those of their on-shore peers.

Preliminary results from the study will be presented.

Presenter: Lee Partridge, Doctor of Education candidate
Graduate School of Education, The University of Western Australia
Mob: 040 113 5563 Fax: 9388 6060 Email: Lee.Partridge@uwa.edu.au
John West, Graduate School of Education, The University of Western Australia. Email: John.West@uwa.edu.au

Tutors reflect: A discussion paper

Sally Paulin and John Davis
Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Murdoch University

Part-time casual tutors play an important role in the effective delivery of university education. A peer-based skills development forum allowed us to reflect collectively on the key issues for maintaining and improving the quality of tutorial based education. The importance of tutoring experience for postgraduate students is affirmed. The quality of education through tutorials can be improved through attention to recruitment and training of a cadre of tutors, peer based skills development and developing skills for teaching students of non-English speaking background.

Contact person: Sally Paulin, Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Murdoch University, South St, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150
Tel: (08) 9360 2913 Fax: (08) 9360 6421 Email: spaulin@murdoch.edu.au

Developing beginning teachers-as-researchers

Dawn Penney and Bridget Leggett
School of Education
Edith Cowan University

Keywords: teacher research, beginning teachers, teacher education

This session focuses on our concerns as teacher educators to develop 'beginning teachers-as-researchers'. We report on developments made in 2003 that have sought to provide final semester students with the skills, knowledge and interest to establish research as an integral and ongoing element of professional practice and professional development. In 2003 we brought students from two different research units together at the end of semester for a student conference, simulating the conference experience and presentation expectations. The presentation includes a discussion of the challenges associated with trying to achieve authenticity in teaching and learning processes in units focusing on teacher or action-research. The dilemmas arising in unit design when attempting to balance short-term university study requirements with longer term professional interests are highlighted. In conclusion directions for future developments are considered.

Dr Dawn Penney, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley 6050, Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 9370 6802 Fax: +61 8 9370 6215 Email: d.penney@ecu.edu.au
Dr Bridget Leggett, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley 6050, Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 9370 6473 Email: b.leggett@ecu.edu.au

Challenging the primacy of lectures

Rob Phillips
Teaching and Learning Centre
Murdoch University

The Australian Higher Education System is under increasing pressure as funds decrease, workloads and staff/student ratios increase, and as students demand more flexibility. At the same time, Information and Communications Technology has enabled alternative approaches to teaching and learning to be considered. These two factors have provided a driver for reform of curriculum within universities in Australia, as they aim to become more efficient, and better meet the needs of students and employers.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, this reform has taken the form of an unreflective replication of existing activities. I will argue in this conference session that it is valuable to re-examine fundamental assumptions about how universities work. I will commence by analysing the influence of the pre-modern, modern and post-modern periods on how universities viewed knowledge, considering how this informed views about the nature of university teaching. From this starting point, I will critique the traditional, lecture/ tutorial/ examination approach to teaching at university, in the context of empirical research results about how people learn. This analysis indicates that there is a disjunction between research about effective teaching and learning (the Espoused Theory) and existing teaching practice (the Theory-in-Use). This contrast is expressed in several dimensions in Table 1.

Table 1: Characteristics of a learning environment according to the Espoused Theory and the Theory-in-Use


Espoused TheoryTheory-in-Use
Pedagogical philosophyconstructivistinstructivist
Approach to learningdeepsurface
Approach to teachingstudent-centredteacher-centred
Course designoutcomes-basedcontent-based

The contrast illustrated in Table 1 leads us to question why the Theory-in-Use is so different from Espoused Theory in tertiary education. It cuts to the core of the effectiveness of universities and exposes questions about the fundamental role of the institution. In particular:

The answers to these questions are fundamental to effective university teaching in an era of mass participation in tertiary education, and there is scant evidence of their consideration in practice or in the research literature about tertiary education.

Dr Rob Phillips, Educational Designer, Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University. Email: r.phillips@murdoch.edu.au

A qualitative evaluation of an online e-moderating course: Listening to the voice of the participants

Anne Pratt
PD@LDS
Edith Cowan University

This paper provides an overview of the qualitative responses of academic staff who participated in and completed an e-moderating course. The e-moderating course was devised by Jilly Salmon, and is under licence for five years to ECU (2002-2007).

Attrition rates in on-line courses are common. It is usually expected that one-third will read and complete, one third will read only, and the other third will do neither (Jilly Salmon, 2000). If that is the average, then statistically at least, this offering was successful, with more than two-thirds of the academics (the target group for the course) completing the course and finding it useful. This workshop will provide information on how those who completed the course viewed the content, activities, and most importantly, their learning experiences.

It will also describe and summarise a range of recommendations that were implemented based on the feedback of the participants. These included reviewing the e-tivities with representation from former participants and subsequently extensively modifying the course, developing a checklist of frequently asked questions for participants, and offering a two-hour face to face introductory model with the moderator(s) to ensure a smooth transition to the course.

Anne Pratt, Staff Development Officer, PD@LDS, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley Campus, 2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley WA 6050. Tel: (08) 9370 6106. Email: a.pratt@ecu.edu.au

Objective assessment in product design education: Addressing the issue of marker variance

Greg Pritchard and Rozz Albon
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: assessment, product-design, tertiary

It appears the variation of marks between multiple assessors of tertiary design projects is so great it requires an investigation to ascertain possible reasons for the discordance and how they may be reconciled. During a recent student project assessment by four independent lecturers a variation of up to 75% was noted between grades requiring judgements to be made within subjective areas. Within the context of product design the consideration of form and aesthetics is paramount and equally subjective leading to differences of opinion and therefore differences in grades for students. In this paper an experimental research approach has been taken to firstly confirm initial findings and secondly to compare data from alternative forms of assessment of peer- and self-assessment. Reasons for the results are proposed and discussed in light of the subjective nature of the assessment. The paper concludes with a proposal for the development of an alternative approach to assessment in design.

Greg Pritchard, Stream Coordinator - Product Design, Curtin University of Technology. Email: g.pritchard@curtin.edu.au
Rozz Albon, Postgraduate Lecturer, Department of Education, Curtin University of Technology. Email: r.albon@curtin.edu.au

Bridging an integrated course: Evaluation and outcomes

Sally Reagan and Gina Arena
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: bridging, problem based learning, evaluation

At the University of Western Australia, students studying medicine enrol in a six year undergraduate course. In 2000, curriculum change saw the introduction of a new three year problem based learning (PBL) course, integrating material originally taught by four separate disciplines. Though enhancing student learning, these changes created problems for students transferring from other national and international universities. The issue of prior learning and granting of credits became complex.

The dilemma for us was how to recognise previous learning and enrol the students beyond the first year when they had not completed the integrated course. Credits could only be granted for discipline specific units. Equally difficult was how to enrol a student in year one, after he or she had been studying medicine for three years in a university overseas. The solution was to permit students to enter medical school at a level that recognises most of their prior learning and provide them with a parallel bridging course to allow them to acquire the knowledge, skills and learning practices they did not possess.

In 2003, eight students from diverse countries and backgrounds and three different years of study completed the parallel bridging course. During this presentation we will discuss the reasons for the course, the challenges of development and implementation and its evaluation. Student outcomes and feedback will be included.

Contact person: Sally Reagan, Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate Course Coordinator
School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009
Tel: 9380 1224 Email: sally@sph.uwa.edu.au

Rural health partnerships and the development of a rural clinical school in Western Australia

Phil Reid
Rural Clinical School (Kalgoorlie)
The University of Western Australia

Since its introduction in January 2003 the Rural Clinical School of University of Western Australia has led the way in the development of rural and remote health partnerships. As the only clinical school in Australia with students widely distributed some 1800 kilometres north and south and School headquarters situated in the bush, the way forward for meaningful rural health partnerships has been established. The aim of this paper is to share and reflect on ways in which the establishment of the Rural Clinical School has embedded a culture of commitment to rural and remote medicine at undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development level.

Dr Phil Reid, Rural Clinical School (Kalgoorlie)
School of Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
The University of Western Australia, PO Box 1654, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 6433
Tel: +61 8 9021 5366 Fax: +61 8 9021 4366 Email: preid@rcs.uwa.edu.au

Learning from failure: Why did summative assessment fail to motivate student learning?

Leonora Ritter
School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies
Charles Sturt University

Excellence in learning and teaching requires continual reflection and a readiness 'to change views in the light of new information' (Brew, 2003, 14). Unsatisfactory outcomes offer an opportunity to acknowledge and learn from the things that don't work out as planned. This paper focuses on a failure that challenged some basic tenets of my teaching and learning regime (see Trowler and Cooper, 2002).

The assumptions that were challenged were that learning could be effectively achieved through empowering students as self-teaching agents encouraged by self-assessed formative tasks and motivated by a final summative assessment. These assumptions were founded in the literature and seemed validated by a successful attempt to combine student focused learning with summative assessment to encourage students to take responsibility for acquiring basic knowledge in an introductory politics subject for communications students (POL101). This success led to a more ambitious application of the same principles to the learning of grammar, spelling and punctuation in an introductory communications subject for policing students (JST107). The second application failed in as much as in the summative assessment, half the students did not demonstrate the acquisition of the required knowledge at the specified level. The students in JST107 were surveyed to turn the failure of the approach into a learning experience. The results of the survey challenged a number of the tenets that were embedded in of my teaching and learning regime.

Author biography: Currently Head of the School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies and Sub-Dean Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Arts. Recognition in area of learning and teaching includes: listed on ACE National Register of Highly Accomplished Educators and recipient of 2001 NSW Minister for Education and ACE Quality Teaching Award. Has a number of publications in the area of learning and teaching, with particular interest in assessment and related issues.

Associate Professor Leonora Ritter
School of Social Sciences and Liberal Studies
Charles Sturt University, Bathurst NSW 2795
Tel: 02 6338 4347 Fax: 02 6338 4401 Email: lritter@csu.edu.au


Seeking educational excellence: Developing self assessment for analytical essays

Debbie Rodan
Media Studies
Edith Cowan University

The aim of the project was to design, pilot and evaluate self referenced assessment tools, which will minimise the opportunity for the inappropriate use of materials and foster the development of reflective learners who understand and respect the process of knowledge creation. I was seeking educational excellence through the development of an understanding for the process of creating knowledge. The first objective was to develop innovative and authentic tasks, which will be individualised for each student. The second was to develop self-assessment tools in order for students to reflect on their learning and output. I found that students who already had very good analytical skills evaluated their strengths and weaknesses. Students who had poor analytical skills tended to over-value the strengths in their work, but often recognised the weaknesses in their work. Within the context of this research, while all of the students participating in the study were third years, some had not written a theoretical or analytical essay since first year. In future, students would need a trial run in which learning is reinforced with evaluation and feedback. I concluded that self assessment is likely to work with students at third year level and later who have similar analytical, theoretical and critical thinking background. In this paper I will briefly discuss the findings of the main writers/researchers on student self assessment, the method employed in this research and the findings from my research.

Dr Debbie Rodan, Lecturer, Media Studies
Edith Cowan University, 2 Bradford Street, Mount Lawley WA 6050
Tel: (08) 9370 6415 Fax: (08) 9370 6668 Mob: 041 308 6356 Email: d.rodan@ecu.edu.au

An ethic for working with difference as a reflexive academic

Dyann Ross
Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Campus

Keywords: reflexivity, dialogue, relationships

Seeking educational excellence can comprise many philosophies, practices and discourses. This is one example that centres on the importance of the academic's willingness to be reflexive about their work in the classroom. This reflexivity needs to be exercised from within an ethical rigour that I shall refer to as critical cross culturality. Here reflexivity goes beyond the popular notion of "reflection on practice" to include all types of self-disciplining, compassionate activism across differences of knowledge, power and identity. The moment by moment aim is to model, practice and learn anew how to engage in non-exploitative relationships as the basis for enabling education for freedom (Hooks, 1994).

A key part of this reflexivity is to de-centre those aspects of self as an academic that are counter-productive to dialogic relationships with students and colleagues. Dialogue is the opposite to exploitation and exclusion and is the space from within which educational excellence can be co-created.

Elements of dialogic practice are identified and some examples of what these might involve at a micro teaching level are presented. I hope this will demonstrate the power of embodied, emotional and contextually mediated knowledge and the power of collaborative relationships from within contested and uncertain academic spaces.

Dr Dyann Ross, Research Fellow, Centre for Regional Development & Research
Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Campus, Robertson Ave, Bunbury, WA 6230
Email: d.ross@ecu.edu.au Mob: 042 873 3470

Using simulation as a learning tool in civil engineering: The dam game

David Scott and Joan Gribble
Division of Engineering, Science and Computing
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: simulation, civil engineering, professional practice

A pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of using a dam construction simulation game in the Civil Engineering course at Curtin University of Technology has been conducted. In particular the development of professional skills and other qualitative learning outcomes were assessed.

The study used a variety of methods (observations, student assessment tasks, and questionnaires) to gather information and revealed, in the main, that students believed that the simulation game was an effective learning tool for them. Students recognised that the simulation game helped them to develop skills in applying their fundamental engineering knowledge to a civil engineering construction project. They also came to understand how their engineering decisions affect the workplace, people, and the environment. Students were confident that the game taught them much about working as part of a professional team.

The game/simulation exercise was run with third year engineering students. They had to plan, monitor, and report on a civil engineering project (dam construction). In this presentation the different perspectives and observations of the teaching team, [of an engineer and a teacher] on the teaching and learning process will be discussed. While the simulation game is an effective learning tool, we believe that it must be used in conjunction with supportive face-to-face teaching practices.

Further research will be conducted on the simulation game based on developing an enriched teaching context to maximise the effectiveness of the simulation game in students' learning.

Professor David Scott, Head of Department, Civil Engineering
Division of Engineering, Science and Computing
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845
Tel: (08) 9266 7573 Fax: (08) 9266 2681 Email: d.scott@curtin.edu.au
Dr Joan Gribble (Session Coordinator), Teaching Associate
Division of Engineering, Science and Computing
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845
Tel: (08) 9266 3890 Fax: (08) 9266 2602 Email: j.gribble@exchange.curtin.edu.au

The recent developments in portable voice recording of
lectures to support flexible learning

Brenda Scott-Ladd, Richard Joseph and Timo Vuori
Murdoch Business School
Murdoch University

Keywords: voice recording, flexible learning

Rapid advances in technology offer significant benefits for educators wanting to improve flexible access for student learning. The push to improve education standards has correlated with increasing diversity in student populations, resulting from differences in language, ethnicity, age, work and family demands to name a few. Subsequently, higher education is seeking ways to not only improve access to knowledge, but to do so in a way that is convenient, user friendly and allows the student to maximize their study time.

This paper reports the preliminary findings of a study investigating student satisfaction with access to streamed lecture materials that have been generated using the latest portable voice recording technology. While the existing technology is popular with students, improving on the technology will give considerable advantages over existing alternatives. Apart from lowered cost, smaller and easier to transmit files will give students improved access, particularly if off campus. Voice files are easy to edit or add to, thus quality can be improved, and have the potential to be relatively quickly transcribed into text for future use as notes, or to provide equity access.

Dr Brenda Scott-Ladd, A/Professor Richard Joseph and Dr Timo Vuori Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University WA 6076 Tel: 08 9360 6274 Fax: 08 9310 5004 Email R.Joseph@murdoch.edu.au

Modular teaching and flexible assessment

S A Siddiqui and M G Zadnik
Department of Applied Physics
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: modular teaching, flexible assessment, WebCT

Physics 113/114/115 is an introductory physics unit offered to a wide range of first year science students in various disciplines across the university. The full unit is offered in 6 modules. Since the students come from a wide range of academic backgrounds, learning attitudes and work commitments, they can opt to take 3 modules per semester (slow track) or 6 modules per semester (fast track).

The assessment is based on module tests, laboratory work and a final examination. The main feature of this unit is the flexible assessment in module tests using WebCT. Each module test is available to students in the Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Laboratory on WebCT from 8 am to 5 pm over a period of one week, following the completion of lectures in each module. The supervised environment of the CAA Lab provides a secure environment for testing while giving students greater time flexibility.

The unit has been running for the past two years. This paper will discuss various aspects of the unit in terms of implementation, outcomes, student feedback and demand on staff time.

Dr S A Siddiqui, Associate Lecturer, Department of Applied Physics
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845
Email: S.Siddiqui@curtin.edu.au Tel: (8) 9266 7193 Fax: (8) 9266 2377
Prof M G Zadnik, Dean, Teaching & Learning
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845
Email: m.zadnik@curtin.edu.au Tel: (8) 9266 2326 Fax: (8) 9266 2377

A holistic approach to achieving learning outcomes

Zora Singh, John Janes and Gary Hepworth
Muresk Institute
Curtin University of Technology

Keywords: Curriculum development, holistic approach, flexible learning

Our goal is that our Institute will make a significant contribution towards the University's Teaching and Learning goals and be at the forefront of excellence and innovation in higher education in Australia and the region. Curriculum development involving our stakeholders and the LSN (formally CEA) is seen by us the basis of excellence in teaching and learning. The stakeholders were involved in scenario and strategic planning and they provided the basis for the development of an agribusiness industry model that was translated in the educational model that provided the framework for the course and unit outcomes and content. A key element of the framework was the development of a cognitive, professional and generic skills matrix developed in association with staff, students, alumni and industry and this underpins the educational process. The industry and educational model and the associated matrix are seen as an ongoing evolution of Muresk courses adapting to the ever-changing industry and educational environment. The implementation is of the institutes educational program reflects the collaborative leadership of the team through the Muresk Teaching and Learning Committee.

We have common values and beliefs based on integration of all aspects of teaching and learning including a holistic approach in which learning is more effectively achieved if the whole is related to the parts, and student centred learning, flexible learning, innovation and life long learning are the elements of the student experience. In order to assist students achieve the course outcome there is alignment between course and unit outcomes, the learning environment engendered by the teacher and student assessment. Timely and quality feedback is an integral part of the learning process for students and as the basis of reflective practice by staff.

Zora Singh, John Janes and Gary Hepworth
Muresk Institute, Division of Resources and Environment
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845 Tel 08 9266 3138, Fax 08 9266 3063, Email: Z.Singh@curtin.edu.au

Rewarding teaching excellence: The development of an innovative
index to reward teaching activity in higher education

Heather Sparrow
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Edith Cowan University

In the contemporary world context, tertiary institutions and academic staff are constantly required to demonstrate their excellence. There is evidence to suggest that academic excellence in research is rewarded more highly than excellence in teaching: Researchers are perceived to have higher status and better career advancement opportunities. In Australia, successful research activity is also rewarded explicitly through the application of a Research Activity Index (RAI), which provides funds that may be used by academics to support their work. This is highly valued by staff. This paper reports on the early stages of new initiative in one university, to develop a parallel and complimentary Teaching Activity Index (TAI), to acknowledge excellence in teaching. It describes the conduct and findings of a small scale research project exploring relevant perceptions, and beliefs of academic staff, for example: The value of a TAI; the principles that should underpin a TAI; the kinds of teaching activities, and qualities that they would like to see rewarded. The insights gained through the study have supported the development of a pilot TAI which is being implemented in the second semester of 2003.


Bilingual, monolingual or semilingual students with more than one language

Rosemary Suliman
University of Western Sydney

A significant number of people living in Australia use another language at home alongside English and have cultural values and traditions different from those of Anglo-Celtic Australians. In 2001, Australia's overseas-born residents comprised 23% of the total estimated resident population and in 2001-02, 54% of Australia's population growth was from net overseas migration and (2001 Census). The 2001 Census has also indicated that, although 63% of the overseas-born population lived in either New South Wales or Victoria, Western Australia had the highest proportion of overseas-born residents in its population (29%).

More than 250 languages other than English (150 Indigenous Australian Languages and more than 100 languages of immigrant origin) are spoken daily in Australia (Lo Bianco, 1997). This means that there is a significant number of children growing up in Australia who come from homes where another language is used daily, and that there is a significant number of students in schools who use more than one language; one being the language of the home and the other being English.

A question that is the focus of much research and debate among linguists and educationalists is the level of proficiency of these children in both the language of the home and in the dominant language of the host country and the relationship of these to school achievement.

This paper presents the findings of a recent study conducted by the author on the Language Proficiency and School Achievement of a significant group of migrant students in Australian schools in south-western Sydney discussing whether these children are bilingual, monolingual or semilingual and the positive and negative implications of this language situation on school achievement. The paper will also address some of the pedagogical and educational issues in relation to language acquisition and language learning.


Mechanics online

Geoff I Swan
Physics Program, School of Engineering and Mathematics
Edith Cowan University

Mechanics quizzes were created using WebCT and integrated into a first year physics unit at Edith Cowan University in semester 1, 2003. The online environment allowed students to attempt the quiz from home or university and to receive immediate detailed feedback upon submission. Students were able to act on this feedback for a second attempt with a modified version of the quiz.

Students who attempted the quizzes overwhelmingly believed that they were easy to access, relevant to the unit content, improved their understanding of physics and helped them develop problem solving skills. However, the participation rates were disappointing with almost one quarter of all students not attempting any quizzes. These students achieved poor overall grades in the unit.

Geoff has been teaching physics to engineering, aviation, science, and education students at Edith Cowan University since 1994. He has also taught physics, general science and mathematics in Victorian secondary schools. Geoff undertakes research in physics education and is particularly interested in the use of modern technology as it relates to the learning process.

Geoff I Swan, Physics Program, School of Engineering and Mathematics
Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027
Tel: 6304 5447 Fax: 6304 5811 Email: g.swan@ecu.edu.au


Experiences and innovations in language teaching: In pursuit of educational excellence

Bonnie Thomas
European Languages and Studies
The University of Western Australia

Keywords: interactive language teaching

This paper explores a range of techniques which work effectively in the foreign language classroom. Drawing on the author's own experiences, the discussion focuses on the relationship between current pedagogical theory and its practical application in teaching. Themes explored include the importance of creating a safe atmosphere for learners, the necessity of contextualizing lessons and linking them to students' own experiences, the value of an interactive classroom and the role of the intercultural domain. The paper also looks at potential problem areas and gives a variety of practical tips which could be adapted for any classroom.

Dr Bonnie Thomas, Associate Lecturer
European Languages and Studies, University of Western Australia
Postal: 15 Edinboro St, Mt Hawthorn WA 6016
Tel: 9444 7486 Fax: 9385 1404 Email: rbarna@iinet.net.au

Providing students with flexible access

Rhondda Tilbrook and Rick Cummings
Murdoch University

Keywords: flexible, access, model

Historically Murdoch University has delivered units in three different modes - internal, external and online. Often a Unit Coordinator maintained three different versions of a unit and students studying in different modes received different materials and content. External students often received tapes of lectures from a previous teaching period.

A Working Party was established in 2001 to review the future of the External Studies section and Online study and recommend how a flexible learning/delivery environment could be implemented. The key recommendation was that Murdoch should continue to be a flexible provider of education, but that it should "do flexibility differently". The Flexible Learning Implementation Committee and several other working parties were established to develop a new unit model and review unit enrolment options/modes and the methods of providing student services.

A major feature of the flexible learning initiative is a change in emphasis from delivering to accessing unit materials. A flexible unit contains the following elements:

Templates have been developed for the Unit Information and Learning Guide and for a WebCT unit as WebCT is the centrally supported online learning management system.

During 2003 forty-six units were converted to the flexible model and the University trialled the iLecture system as a method of providing near real time online recordings of lectures. From 2004 all new units are to be developed to the flexible unit model and the goal is to have 90% of units converted by 2007. Details of the implementation process and feedback received will be presented in this session.

Rhondda Tilbrook, Education Development Officer, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 6269 Email: r.tilbrook@murdoch.edu.au
Dr Rick Cummings, Director, Teaching and Learning Centre, Murdoch University
Tel: 9360 2354 Email: r.cummings@murdoch.edu.au

Teaching mathematical thinking to CHC learners through paradox: An exploration

Tiong Kung Ming
Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Campus

Keywords: CHC learners, mathematical thinking, paradox

Foundation students at Curtin Sarawak are mainly Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) learners. Results from case studies at Curtin Sarawak (Krishnan et al, 2002; Abdullah et al, 2002) regarding CHC learners' learning style show that CHC learners are factual, logical and systematic learners with emphasis on memorization. Numerous researches on CHC learners around the world show similar results. What are the implications in terms of students' mathematical thinking? This paper discusses attempts to teach mathematical thinking to these CHC learners through mathematical problems that are paradoxical in nature. The problems deal with two types of cognitive conflicts in their mathematical thinking: (i) conceptual knowledge vs. procedural knowledge, and (ii) common sense versus mathematical "proof". Three interesting problems were used: (i) the hippopotamus problem, where two unequal weights are "proven" to be equal, (ii) the infinite sum for a geometric series with 1 - = r is [Editorial note: characters lost due to PDF file conversion errors], and (iii) -1 is "proven" to be equal to 1. The process and nature of mathematical thought of both the Foundation Engineering and Commerce students are outlined to see how the students deal and resolve these paradoxes. From the generally positive response of the students towards these mathematical thinking exercises, we suggest that the introduction of problem based learning (PBL) in Foundation Mathematics might be a feasible option.

Tiong Kung Ming, Associate Lecturer
Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Campus
CDT 250, 98009 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Tel: +60 85 443853 Fax: +60 85 443837 Email: victor.tiong@curtin.edu.my

Use of teaching techniques that increase student interest and involvement
in large classes to increase retention and learning

Ravi P Tiwari
School of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology
Murdoch University

Keywords: large classes, use of technology in teaching, student involvement

Lecturers are increasingly challenged with the task of teaching large classes where teacher–student interaction lessens generating a non-interactive environment. The attention span of students lowers rapidly and their brain engages in other interesting aspects of their lives. Here I'll present the technique I have been using successfully in large classes (~120 students) to keep students engaged in learning. I break my lecture into two parts of 20 minutes with a 10 minute interval. During the interval, students are challenged with short answer questions that are based on real life situations that require a good understanding of the subject material covered in the lecture. It usually generates a stimulating discussion among students. This technique (1) takes care of the low attention span, (2) involves students in learning and (3) provides me with feedback. The shortfall of this technique is that it leaves less time for the lecturer to cover the subject material. I am able to get around this by using technology that helps me in delivering the same or even more content in less time. The lectures are delivered through PowerPoint presentations and the notes are provided to students in their unit manual, so that they can concentrate in understanding the lecture without spending time in taking notes. The use of animations and short movies also helps in explaining the difficult concepts in a lesser amount of time. My experience is that students prepare for examinations by going through past examination papers and usually leave out the topics that they think are least likely to be asked in exams. I place sets of questions on WebCT with hints for answers. Answering these questions require a good understanding of the concepts covered in the unit. Student surveys and comments regarding the effectiveness of this technique will also be presented.

Dr Ravi P Tiwari, Lecturer, Molecular Biology
School of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology
Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150
Tel: +61 8 9360 2202 Fax: +61 8 9360 6486 Email: r.tiwari@murdoch.edu.au

Males' academic motivation

Roger J Vallance and Caroline F Mansfield
University of Notre Dame Australia

This paper surveys our present understandings of academic motivation. Much of the research relates to school level education as well as higher education classes. It is argued that the motivational needs and styles of adolescent males are different in quality to those of females. From a motivational goal theory perspective, this paper proposes that males may be more likely to pursue performance approach goals rather than task mastery goals. Performance approach goals are considered to be effective learning goals that are not necessarily opposed to mastery goals and can be as effective motivators towards high achievement outcomes. Some ways that performance approach goals may be used in higher education learning environments are discussed.

Roger J Vallance, Centre for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Notre Dame Australia
Caroline F Mansfield. Email: Caroline.mansfield@westnet.net.au
Contact person: Roger Vallance, CRAGS, PO Box 1225, Fremantle WA 6959
Tel: 08 9433 0861 Fax: 08 9433 0869 Email: rvallance@nd.edu.au

Proposing a model to address issues of plagiarism in Australian tertiary education

Timo Vuori, Richard Joseph and Raj Gururajan
Murdoch University

For the classroom teacher, student plagiarism has become a major issue, especially with the availability of much material on the Internet. Plagiarism is also associated with the public and marketing image of educational institutions, many of which fiercely protect these reputations with policies and posturing that claim the problem is under control. This paper explores some of the challenges facing tertiary education in Australia due to plagiarism. First, the notion of plagiarism is discussed and this is placed in the context of recent debates about it in Australian universities. Second, some of the implications of how Australian universities are approaching the problem, using Murdoch University as a example, are discussed. Third, three different conceptual standpoints on plagiarism are compared. The results of this comparison lead to the proposal of a model framed around the elements of risk, reward, morality and management. These elements are described briefly and some issues arising from them are identified, This paper makes the observation that plagiarism is not a simple matter of rule-bound definition: culture, circumstance and changing attitudes to the management of education interact to exacerbate the scope of the issue. Present policy responses favour short-term solutions, to what is, potentially, a problem deserving a considered, long-term response.

Timo Vuori, Murdoch Business School
Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch WA 6150 Email: T.Vuori@murdoch.edu.au Tel: 9360 6703 Fax: 9310 5004 Richard Joseph, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University
Email: R.Joseph@murdoch.edu.au
Raj Gururajan, School of Information Technology, Murdoch University
Email: R.Gururajan@murdoch.edu.au

Hot learning and cool knowledge: Event-benefit analysis as a tool for assessing instruction

Eric Wignall
Purdue University Calumet, USA

This paper combines two research areas as a basis for instructional assessment. I suggest event-benefit analysis as a framework for educational assessment, describe its components and provide examples of it as a tool to evaluate and plan instructional events in traditional, online, and blended educational settings. Cost-benefit analysis converts effects into monetary terms and describes the costs for some additional gain. Event-benefit analysis is a description of the information processing costs associated with an instructional event and the gain in knowledge, disposition or performance in the learner.


The Cummins Model: Helping foreign nursing students cope in a Baccalaureate course

Janet Williams
School of Nursing
Auckland University of Technology

Keywords: foreign nursing students, Jim Cummins, coping

There has been an increasing number of foreign born nursing students in New Zealand, and it is important to research ways to help these students cope with the expectations of this training program. The aim of the present study is to explore the ways foreign students adapt culturally to the expectations within the baccalaureate-nursing programme, and to identify the students' perception of their cultural identity, cultural difficulties and any effects such difficulties have caused. The purpose is to assist students to gain control over their learning and increase their ability to cope with their clinical assessments by helping them to find their voice. The study was based on Cummins (2000) 'interactive/experiential' model, using collaborative critical inquiry, which helped the students to relate the content to their individual and collective experience and to identify individual difficulties, in small co-operative teams. The intervention successfully facilitated the identification of individual challenges, the planning and actioning of suitable strategies and enabled the students to cope better with their clinical nursing experience. The participants were 21 foreign student nurses, who were divided into two separate groups. One group, of 8 students, underwent an adaptation of the Cummins programme, in weekly tutorials, over four weeks, in place of clinical tutorials. A comparison group of 13 students had the usual clinical tutorials. Members of both groups completed a questionnaire, on 3 separate occasions. Interviews were conducted with the 6 lecturers involved with the students who took part in the Cummins Programme.

Janet Williams, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing
Auckland University of Technology
Jackson Cresent, Martin's Bay, RD2, Warkworth, New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 425 5969 Email: williamsconsult@big.pl.net

Advancements in accounting education in China: An experiential commentary
on five years experience at Shenzhen University (1998-2003)

Gordon Woodbine
School of Accounting
Curtin University of Technology

A number of factors are influencing changes to accounting education policy and practice in the People's Republic of China, not least of which is the nation's rapid pace of economic development. This paper describes these changes and the firsthand experiences and observations of a foreign expert teaching accounting and business related subjects at Shenzhen University, Guangdong Province, a region which is experiencing particularly high rates of growth. China's centrally managed business curricula for university studies provided numerous challenges which, when combined with unique administrative practices and cultural differences, demanded a significant adjustment of teaching style and practice.

Gordon Francis Woodbine PhD School of Accounting, Curtin University of Technology GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845 Tel: (061) 8 9266 7904 Fax: (061) 8 9266 7196 Email: woodbineg@cbs.curtin.edu.au


Please cite as: TL Forum (2004). Seeking Educational Excellence. Proceedings of the 13th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 9-10 February 2004. Perth: Murdoch University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2004/contents.html


[ Proceedings Contents ] [ TL Forum 2004 ] [ Program Day 1 ] [ Program Day 2 ] [ TL Forums Search ] [ TL Forums Index ]
This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2004/abstracts.html
Created 22 May 2004. Last revision: 6 June 2004.