Teaching and Learning Forum 2009 [ Home Page ] [ Contents - All presentations ]

Teaching and learning for global graduates

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Presentations are listed in alpha order by first author
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Navigating the Maze: Teaching and learning an emergent futures methodology for strategic thinking

Lynn Allen
Curtin University of Technology
Trudi Lang
Oxford University
Email: Lynn.Allen@curtin.edu.au; trudi.lang@sbs.ox.ac.uk
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

Ariadne is an emergent futures methodology that incorporates a range of concepts from the fields of futures; soft systems thinking; creativity; organisational learning; strategy; and narrative. Ariadne is taught in a seven day program over three months in a program called Navigating the Maze. Participants are senior managers in government, corporate and community organisations. They bring a project to the program as part of the action learning approach. Presented since 2005, Navigating the Maze has been well received by more than 50 participants. In 2006 interviews were conducted with participants to discover what makes the program successful and to improve its ongoing presentation. This paper shares the insights of participants and presenters and reflects on potential changes to the program.


Education and the Internet: Web 2.0 and renewed innovation in online learning

Matthew Allen
Curtin University of Technology
Email: m.allen@curtin.edu.au

This paper presents an overview of the author's Australian Teaching and Learning Council 2009 Teaching Fellowship Project, entitled 'Learning in Networks of Knowledge' (LINK). The project will involve developing Web 2.0 approaches and technologies that provide the opportunity for educators to create learning experiences in which students work to produce knowledge in and for a public, networked digital environment. These learning experiences emphasise real-world engagement, and are founded on advanced understanding of the mechanisms for promoting learning through assessed participation and contribution. Other aspects of the project involve the use of online presentations to provide context and instruction, rather than content and the promotion of reflexivity. Having provided a brief description of the goals and methods of the project, the paper will concentrate on exploring two key underpinning elements of critical significance to the continued development of online learning, whether as the only method of study or as part of an on-campus education. The first element concerns the development of Web 2.0: the paper argues that this development is not so much a 'new version' of the web, but a re-emphasis within Internet applications and activities of some basic affordances of online communication dating back two decades or more; nevertheless, certain new features do emerge that create opportunities for a reconceptualisation of online learning. This reconceptualisation becomes necessary because of the second element which the paper considers: the problem of the learning management system and its inherent and operationalised constraints in light of the developing nature of the Internet in society. In summary, this paper both identifies a key problem that constrains innovation in online learning and outlines one possible response to it that is to be developed in 2009 by the author as an ALTC Teaching Fellow.


Teaching, learning, and assessing a graduate skill

Doug Atkinson
School of Information Systems
Curtin University of Technology
Email: d.atkinson@curtin.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

A teaching/learning intervention was designed and implemented by a teacher to improve the graduate skill of referencing for undergraduate commerce students studying web design. Over two semesters, 120 students were studied. In each semester, a "participant" group voluntarily undertook a class exercise during a lecture and received feedback from the teacher. A "non-participant" group chose not to undertake the exercise. In addition, all students received tuition at laboratories, assignment instructions, assignment assessment, and access to a library referencing resource.

Referencing skill was later measured for both groups via a written exam question. Results indicated that the participant group achieved a superior level of referencing skill. Aside from the inference that teaching and learning a skill improves performance, the study demonstrates how a graduate skill can be taught, learnt and assessed at the unit level of a tertiary curriculum. The paper covers graduate skills, referencing, the teaching/learning design, the quasi-experimental research design, and the results.


Experiences of mature age female students studying Psychology: Implications for the university learning environment

Ruth Ayres and Andrew Guilfoyle
Edith Cowan University
Email: rayres@student.ecu.edu.au, a.guilfoyle@ecu.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

Universities encourage diverse student populations, within this diversity high attrition rates, amongst mature age female students, have been noted. Previous research indicated that these students experienced a complex relationship around expectations driven by their motivations, their ability to cope with the academic work load and manage family roles (Scott, Burns & Cooney, 1998). This study used a phenomenological approach (Moustakas, 1994) to understand experiences of university for 10 women aged between 40-49 years studying Psychology. Participants took part in a semi-structured interview and discussed: reasons for commencing study, formation of expectations about university learning; and whether discrepancies between expectations and reality affected adjustment to university. Life-stage and identity underpinned motivation to return to study and influenced social and academic expectations, together with expectations of ability to cope with study and other roles. Discrepancies between expectations and lived experience caused some problems in adjustment, and the findings suggested that mature age women were anxious about their abilities compared with younger students but experienced deeper engagement with academic content. These differences had the potential to cause problems between the groups. Mature age women also reported a need to feel acknowledged by the university. Recommendations for design of learning environments and transitions programmes were made to assist this cohort of students adjust to university and successfully complete their degree courses.


Five years of blogging in Women's Studies at UWA

Alison Bartlett and Tama Leaver
The University of Western Australia
Email: bartlett@cyllene.uwa.edu.au, tama.leaver@uwa.edu.au

In 2004, the Women's Studies unit 'Self.Net: Identity in the Digital Age' was initially taught, and included the first use of blogs as a discussion tool and assessment mechanism at the University of Western Australia. At the conclusion of the unit a survey of students' responses to blogging in education was overwhelmingly positive; at the same time, more that half of the students enrolled in the unit had never heard of a blog before the class began. Five years later, and Self.Net has run on a number of occasions both domestically (at the Crawley campus) and overseas (as part of an international program in Hong Kong). Moreover, almost every student enrolling today had heard of blogs and most have either read or written one themselves. Pedagogically, our use of blogging has matured somewhat, but many of the approaches remain the same. Drawing on the anecdotal observations of the past and present coordinators of Self.Net, as well as a longitudinal survey of blogging completed by each domestic cohort over five years, this presentation will outline some of the benefits and drawbacks from the use of blogs in a tertiary Women's Studies unit on practical, philosophical and pedagogical levels. The presentation will also reflect on some of the rewards and challenges of using a digital platform like blogging in an area not traditionally associated with technology and digital culture.


The development of digital film resources to support the teaching of doctor-patient communication and consultation

Kellie Bennett, Zaza Lyons and Johann Claassen
School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: Kellie.Bennett@uwa.edu.au

All medical and dental students in their first year at UWA undergo training in the Calgary-Cambridge patient interviewing framework to develop communication and consultation skills. A series of digital films have been developed in 2008, to illustrate the central elements of a medical doctor-patient interview including i) initiating the consultation, ii) discussing the presenting complaint, iii) taking a comprehensive history, iv) explaining and planning for the future, and v) closing the consultation. Separate film segments, totalling 20 minutes duration, were used to illustrate both appropriate (e.g. attentive listening) and inappropriate techniques (e.g. failure to ask appropriate probing questions). The basic skills of communication (e.g. open versus closed questioning, non-verbal behaviour) introduced students to these important areas of communication. Areas of communication of greater difficulty for students were also covered including breaking bad news, and communicating with young children.

As the development of effective communication skills and styles are core graduate outcomes for first year medical students, the project aimed to develop new resources to improve early training and create a permanent set of communication resources for students to access for self directed learning throughout their undergraduate training. The production of films depicting both appropriate and inappropriate doctor-patient interviewing and history taking with simulated patients, and the accompanying support materials, will ensure that all students are able to view accurate and professional examples of interviewing techniques.

The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge that the development of this resource was made possible through an Improving Student Learning Grant, Centre for Teaching and Learning, UWA and the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, UWA.


Attitudes of undergraduate science students towards the use of animals in teaching

Samantha Bickell and Dominique Blache
School of Animal Biology
The University of Western Australia
Email: bickes01@student.uwa.edu.au
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

The attitudes of undergraduate science students towards the use of animals in teaching and learning were investigated to determine whether using animals in teaching is an effective educational practice. If students hold negative attitudes towards the use of animals in education then the use of animals in teaching could be less useful as these attitudes could form barriers to effective learning. In addition, factors such as previous animal dissection experience, the type of animal and the type of research the animals are used for may also influence people's attitudes and this study attempted to address these issues by (1) using specific animal examples, laboratory animal (mouse), versus production animal (sheep) and (2) using specific examples of the type of teaching purpose the animal is used for.

The attitudes of undergraduate students were obtained by an anonymous questionnaire distributed during a practical session to 1st year Plant and Animal Biology students and final (3rd and 4th) year students enrolled in animal based units at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Overall, both first and final year undergraduate science students at UWA do support the use of animals in teaching. However, first year students seemed to hold more negative views towards using animals in teaching compared with final year students. This negativity may be due to their lack of knowledge, previous experience and nature of their previous experience in using animals as well as the fact that they are from a broad range of degrees and they do not have a choice this early in their studies as to what units they can learn. However, the positive attitude of the students towards the use of animals in teaching is not hindering their learning experience suggesting that use of animals in teaching is an effective educational practice.


Lectopia features analysis: Perceptions and opinions of academic staff

William Bowe
The University of Western Australia
Email: bowew1@student.uwa.edu.au

The Lectopia online lecture delivery platform has undergone considerable change since its introduction as iLecture at the University of Western Australia in 1999. Technological advances have enabled the development of features providing for visual material and new methods for delivering the content to the user. This paper investigates the extent to which these facilities are being utilised by unit co-ordinators and the motivations for their decisions. It seeks to establish the degree to which the potential of such facilities to narrow the qualitative gap between the live lecturing environment and its online equivalent is being fulfilled, and the scope for increasing uptake by promoting awareness of the facilities' purposes and functions. The evaluation took the form of a survey administered to unit co-ordinators across all faculties of The University of Western Australia. The results indicate that visually oriented technologies are being taken up in greater proportion in mathematical and scientific disciplines than in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Comparison with survey data from similar studies conducted elsewhere suggests that staff at The University of Western Australia hold relatively negative attitudes towards Lectopia as a whole.


Interprofessional learning experience: Dietetics and Human Communication Science students

Margo Brewer and Robynne Snell
Curtin University of Technology
Email: m.brewer@curtin.edu.au, r.snell@curtin.edu.au

Interprofessional education (IPE) has been defined as "occasions when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care" (CAIPE, 2002). To enhance the quality of healthcare and improve health outcomes for patients it is preferable that health professionals work collaboratively. International opinion supports providing interprofessional clinical education for student health professionals to promote collaborative practice in the health care system.

The Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University has identified IPE as a priority yet currently few opportunities exist to bring faculty staff and students together for the purpose of learning about the knowledge, skills and roles of other professions, and to practice collaboration. Such an opportunity was created in 2008 for dietetics and speech pathology students by conducting a workshop on the management of patients with dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). Students completed pre and post workshop questionnaires to assess their knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of each profession, their willingness to seek the advice of the other profession, and the benefits of working interprofessionally. The key role of the dietitian and speech pathologist were accurately identified by students and their view of these roles expanded following the workshop, particularly an increased awareness of each disciplines' role within the interprofessional team. Students were very willing to seek the advice of the other profession for managing patients with dysphagia, and the benefits of working interprofessionally became clearer to students. Students' responses showed a very high level of satisfaction with this learning experience.

Although barriers to implementing IPE exist, the need to overcome these is critical in order to prepare health professional graduates for collaborative practice within the complex health care system. Lessons learned and strategies for success will be discussed.

CAIPE (2002). Interprofessional education: A definition. London: UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education. http://www.caipe.org.uk/about-us/defining-ipe/ [viewed 18 Nov 2008].


Developing students' intercultural communication competence for a globalised world

Carmela Briguglio
Curtin Business School
Curtin University of Technology
Email: c.briguglio@curtin.edu.au

With the growing internationalisation of tertiary education, students are moving across the globe in unprecedented numbers, contributing to the growing diversity in the student body. The old pedagogical paradigm of academics transferring knowledge to willing and receptive students no longer seems to work so easily nor to be so straightforward. In many countries which provide international tertiary education, generally in the English language, some discomfort is being felt by local academics, who are not quite sure of how to reshape their curriculum to reach both local and international students. This paper questions whether full use is being made of the rich cultural and linguistic diversity in Australian tertiary classrooms. For while there exists much rhetoric about internationalisation of the curriculum in our universities, there appears to be a lack of teaching approaches and techniques which build on cultural diversity and develop students' intercultural communication competence. This paper argues that the diversity brought about by the increase in transnational education should be more fully utilised to allow students to learn from each other's different cultural perspectives. In particular, this paper suggests that students need to be taught to work effectively in multinational student teams that will equip them with valuable global skills required in the workplace of the 21st century.


Maintaining the momentum: Language motivation amongst first year tertiary students of Italian

Joshua Brown
The University of Western Australia
Email: Josh.Brown@uwa.edu.au

This paper investigates tertiary students' motivation for Italian second language acquisition in a first year beginner's class at the University of Western Australia. The recent decision by Australia's Go8 Universities to award an extra ten percent to the Tertiary Entrance Rank of secondary students choosing to study a foreign language at this University (to be introduced in 2011) has brought motivation theory on second language acquisition at tertiary level to the fore. Continuing research into language acquisition motivation such as the 'Integrative/Instrumental Motivation Theory' by Gardner & Lambert (1972) and the 'Self-Determination Theory' by Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier & Ryan (1991), this article will attempt to answer the question: which variables are most significant in determining students' motivation to study Italian at first year level at the University of Western Australia? Using an in-class survey, I examine these current theories in motivation research, and compare the motivational shift which appears to occur with students from first year language classes to second and third year. In this way, I aim to make comparisons with Eubel's (2008) investigation, conducted using a similar methodology for German Studies in the same department using data from 2007. These findings will serve to inform how secondary and tertiary language teachers of Italian can best stress the importance of acquiring a foreign language, and incorporate the learning goals identified by students into their teaching activities.


Formulating student perceptions of disability: Experiences of occupational therapy students in a service learning placement

Angus Buchanan and Nigel Gribble
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work
Curtin University of Technology
Email: A.Buchanan@curtin.edu.au, N.Gribble@curtin.edu.au

We will report on a unique service learning fieldwork placement undertaken by Occupational Therapy students in 2008 that has resulted in modified perceptions of persons with disabilities.

Ninety occupational therapy students undertook a 10 week (one day per week) fieldwork placement in group homes and larger care facilities operated by Western Australia's Disability Service Commission for people with significant intellectual disability and or autism. Delivering self care assistance exposed students to the challenges of caring for persons with significant intellectual and physical disabilities. Students assessed the quality of resident relationships, time use, developmental opportunities and use of equipment. The fieldwork was a component of a unit called OT242 Disability Environment and Health in which students participated in formal teaching (lecture/tutorial style) about the history, theories and models of disability service provision.

Analysis of feedback identified that for many students this was their first experience of working with people with disabilities. Initial anxiety was common, this being related to their own perceptions about disability, staff attitudes to having students in the homes and the level of disability of the residents. Students reported significant learning including to how to relate to a person with a disability, impact of formal services on the lives of vulnerable people, analysis of human service models and being challenged about their own attitudes and values.

Improvement to the learning and teaching program for 2009 include a refocus of the pre-placement preparation via the provision of practical tools students can use while on placement eg activity ideas, increased connection of the students own learning to tutorial sessions, development of a formal reflection journal as a form of assessment and empowering students to work with their identified placement to plan attendance times that maximise the learning experience.


The diverse role of unit coordination: Complex and competing demands

Alison Bunker and Lynne Cohen
Edith Cowan University
Email: a.bunker@ecu.eud.au

Higher education today is focused on producing quality graduates who can contribute to the global workforce. Students come to university to study in a particular discipline area and it is the experience in the discipline that shapes the quality of the graduate. These experiences are managed by individual unit coordinators through the design, management and delivery of the subject areas.

The role of the unit coordinator has previously been identified (Cohen, Bunker, & Ellis, 2007) as crucial to the quality of learning and teaching. Changes within higher education, such as the increasing demand for flexible delivery, increased use of learning technologies, increased student diversity and changing student expectations, have created a number of challenges for academics to cope with. A much greater range of competencies is required of academic staff. In addition to knowing their discipline, they are required to assume the roles of leaders, managers, administrators, counsellors and curriculum designers.

This paper will present the findings from a university-wide survey which examined the unit coordinator role undertaken by academics. There were 137 academics who participated in the study by completing an online survey of 30 questions. Data was analysed using SPSS (v15). Results suggested that there was a common understanding of the importance of the role and concern around the management of the role given its complexity and diversity. Support emerged as a major concern, with most staff accessing ad hoc and incidental support from their colleagues. Most academics at some point assume the role of a unit coordinator with little or no expertise or support for the role. It is the pervasiveness of this role that impacts on the quality of the learning experience. Universities would be well advised to offer adequate training and supported to unit coordinators.


Advanced immersive learning environments: Enhancing the understanding and insights of students and industry operators

Ian Cameron, Caroline Crosthwaite & Christine Norton
The University of Queensland
Nicoleta Balliu & Moses Tadé
Curtin University of Technology
Andrew Hoadley
Monash University
David Shallcross
The University of Melbourne
John Kavanagh
The University of Sydney
Email: N.Balliu@curtin.edu.au

This work presents a unique education resource that addresses the needs of university and industry through delivery of a set of virtual process plants embedded with training and learning resources. The learning environment is based around spherical imagery of real operating plants coupled with interactive embedded activities and content. This Virtual Reality (VR) learning tool has been developed by applying aspects of relevant educational theory and proven instructive teaching approaches [1].

Within a university degree, there is an increasing lack of exposure for students to the realities of engineering, particularly in obtaining the necessary practical experience to support improved understanding of theory. Fewer engineering students are able to find meaningful exposure to engineering practice through vacation employment. Costs, litigation concerns and logistic constraints make both plant operators and university staff hesitant to conduct large-scale plant tours. This, therefore, has resulted in a diminution in the opportunities for students to directly engage with engineering systems and practice, making it more difficult for them to make the direct links between the design theory and actual engineering practice.

For university students, this interface brings the real plant to the user through a set of VR immersive environments. These environments enhance insight and understanding by providing:

Industrial staff can benefit by utilising the environments to: Some of the system's current functionality is demonstrated through snapshots of the screen configuration. Future developments within the interface are revealed.

[1] Cameron, I.T. et al. (2005). An immersive learning environment for process engineering using real VR. In CHEMECA Conference (Sept). Brisbane.
[2] Norton, C. et al. (2008). Enhancing the understanding and insights of students and industry operators in process engineering principles via immersive 3D environments. 18th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering, Lyon, France 2008.


Developing quality indicators of teaching and learning that enhance the student learning experience

Denise Chalmers
The University of Western Australia
Email: denise.chalmers@uwa.edu.au

This presentation reports on a national ALTC project to identify and implement teaching and learning quality indicators in Australian universities. It grew from the recognition that an agreed approach was needed to recognise and reward quality teaching and learning in higher education. A key aspect of recognising quality teaching and learning is the development and implementation of agreed indicators and metrics across the Australian university sector. This project provides the opportunity for universities to proactively engage in defining and developing indicators and outcomes of quality teaching and learning and to respond to issues identified by the evidence gathered.

An extensive review of the international literature and empirical research contributed to the development of a framework of teaching quality dimensions for use at the different levels throughout the university. The four dimensions are: university culture, assessment, diversity and inclusivity, and student engagement. The goal was to identify indicators that contribute to and enhance student learning and the student learning experience. It is argued that we need to focus on developing indicators that relate to student learning and their learning experience in order to understand and enhance our practice.

This framework is now being trailed in eight Australian universities to assess its usefulness in providing an approach to implement and embed teaching and learning indicators at multiple levels within university. Each of the universities selected one dimensions to implement. The presentation will report on the experiences of the universities and the indicators that have been developed to date.


Cross cultures teaching and learning: Some preliminary findings of an ALTC project

Kum Leng Chin
School of Information Systems, Curtin University of Technology
Jie Lu
University of Technology Sydney
Jun Xu
Southern Cross University
Jitian Xiao
Edith Cowan University
Juan Yao
University of Sydney
Email: kl.chin@cbs.curtin.edu.au

The purpose of this paper is to present some preliminary findings of an ALTC funded project on cross-cultures teaching and learning. As part of the data collection process, we conducted surveys on both post and under graduate students across five Australian universities: University of Technology, Sydney, Curtin University, Sydney University, Edith Cowan University and Southern Cross University. The survey questionnaire, comprises about 50 questions, was divided into six sections: (I) Teaching Contents and Textbooks; (II) Teaching and Learning Methods; (III) Education management systems; (IV) Language; (V) Culture-based Teaching & Learning Concepts; (VI) Others. In total, we collected 666 completed questionnaires from the five universities. Our distribution data analysis shows that within the 666 complete student questionnaires, 64.7% are undergraduate students and 35.3% are postgraduate students. The major studies of these students include Information Technology (43.8%), Business (34.5%) and others (21.5%). There are 212 students (31.8%) born in Australia, 454 students (68.2%) born in other 56 countries with more than half of them from Asian countries. We have also conducted correlation analysis to the collected data using chi square measure and other statistic approaches. We used three questions in the questionnaire as measures to clarify and compare the culture issues in student learning. These three measures are (I) Country of birth; (II) first language or mother tongue; and (III) where has the student completed most of his/her education before studying at an Australian university. Preliminary investigation reveals that Australian and International students feel quite differently about certain areas in teaching and learning. For example, the two groups have different expectations on what they perceive as good textbooks. They also feel differently about why certain teaching methods are considered as not suitable for the subjects they are studying. Their preferences on group assignment, student presentation, working with other International students or even on the topic of students asking questions in class, differ significantly as well. More findings will be reported in the full version of this paper.


Arts peer tutoring: Students teaching students in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Nicole Crawford and Bonnie Thomas
The University of Western Australia
Email: ncrawf@cyllene.uwa.edu.au, bonnieth@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Arts Peer Tutoring is a pilot program in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). The Arts Peer Tutoring trial was implemented on a small-scale in three units (a first-year French unit, a first-year history unit, and a third-year German unit) in second semester 2008 to find the specific learning demands of different discipline groups in the Faculty in order to tailor a more comprehensive peer tutoring program in the future. Based on Supplemental Instruction (SI) as well as its derivatives (PAL and PASS), the peer tutoring sessions were facilitated by a senior student who had successfully completed the unit and were attended, on a voluntary basis, by students enrolled in the units.

These disciplines were chosen for their discipline-specific needs as well as for their more general applicability to other areas of the Faculty. In French, first-year beginners students are required to learn a great deal of material in a short period of time in order to 'catch up' to the post-TEE stream in the space of a year. It was anticipated that they would greatly benefit from the experiences of students who had already succeeded in the course and who could share, for example, effective study techniques and explanations of difficult grammatical concepts that they need more time to master. In History, by contrast, students have a much greater chance of success if they are able to acquire skills in academic referencing, essay writing and critical thinking from the outset. This model would be applicable to other disciplines particularly grounded in critical thinking.

The aim of this paper is to describe how we administered the program and to highlight the challenges faced. We will present our findings from surveys about the student participants' experiences of Arts Peer Tutoring, and the benefits experienced by the student Peer Leaders. Finally, we will suggest possibilities for the program's future.


Evaluation of ArtsIRIS (Introductory Research and Information Skills)

Nicole Crawford, Andrew Broertjes and Jenny Golding
The University of Western Australia
Email: ncrawf@cyllene.uwa.edu.au, andrewbr@cyllene.uwa.edu.au, jgolding@library.uwa.edu.au

ArtsIRIS (Introductory Research and Information Skills) is a compulsory online unit for commencing students in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of Western Australia. The aim of ArtsIRIS is to provide students with generic research and information literacy skills for studying at university. Students are required to pass the unit within one semester and can choose to work through various modules before completing the final quiz. The evaluation in 2008 assessed how successfully the aims of ArtsIRIS are being achieved and how the unit can be improved. One of several factors underlying the project is the concern that the majority of students do not complete ArtsIRIS until close to the deadline, which is at the end of semester.

The evaluation involved several methods: students' perceptions of the unit were obtained from over 300 surveys and more detailed data was obtained from focus groups; a pre-test was implemented to gauge students' entry-level skills; and, the number of attempts at the quiz was analysed to consider the difficulty of the unit. In this presentation we will discuss our qualitative and quantitative findings, how we have rethought our measurements of success, aims and expectations for this unit, and how the data obtained from the evaluation will inform future changes.


Enabling international journalism students to understand and report effectively on serious health issues in their own countries

Trevor Cullen
Edith Cowan University
Email: t.cullen@ecu.edu.au

Twenty seven universities in Australia run journalism programs and they attract a large number of international students. Yet, do we prepare these students to report on serious health issues in their own countries such as TB, malaria, diabetes and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which has reached epidemic proportions in many African, Asian and Pacific countries. Currently, 33 million people live with HIV, there are 7,500 new infections every day and some countries report infection rates as high as 20 per cent of their populations. These figures are so alarming that this paper focuses solely on HIV and examines ways to develop effective media coverage of the disease for international journalism students who intend to work as reporters in their own countries. The author reviews the findings of two studies that tracked press coverage of HIV in southern African and Papua New Guinea (PNG) from the mid-1980s. They are the most extensive studies to date on the topic and include countries that share distinct cultural similarities. The findings, while wide-ranging, present new challenges for journalism educators and international students. Both studies highlight gaps in press coverage of the disease and stress the need to extend the scope of news reporting on HIV from a purely health perspective to stories that are linked to political, social, economic, cultural, religious and relationship aspects. Acknowledging these connections will help international journalism students on their return home to engage in meaningful coverage of the crisis and its broad ramifications.


Online cross-level peer tutoring: An evaluation of benefits for tutors and tutees in a psychological assessment training task

Melissa C. Davis
School of Psychology
Curtin University of Technology
Email: m.davis@curtin.edu.au

Proficiency in the use of standardised tests of intellectual functioning (IQ) is a key competency of a registered psychologist. Students gain preliminary exposure to these tasks at undergraduate level, with further specialised training offered through postgraduate professional training courses. The complexity of the tasks is well recognised, and there is documented evidence that both novice and experienced clinicians are at risk of making errors that can have a substantial impact on clients' results. Understanding the most effective training approaches is therefore critical. This paper reports the evaluation of an online cross-level peer tutoring project for students learning to score and interpret an IQ assessment. Six volunteer postgraduate students with experience with IQ testing participated as tutors to fourth year students who were learning to score and interpret an IQ test. The students were allocated to groups based on their chosen case study, and discussions took place via WebCT, initiated by the undergraduate students posting questions. There was significant variability in undergraduate students' ratings of the helpfulness of the peer tutoring process, and the impact it had on their skills, knowledge, and confidence related to the task. The peer tutors reported that their skills and knowledge were under-utilised by the undergraduate students and hence they gained little in terms of knowledge, skills, and confidence. They did however report subjective benefits in terms of the responsibility and personal satisfaction of being a tutor. Feedback from undergraduate students suggests that face-to-face support by the lecturer and/or an appropriately experienced tutor may be more helpful than online discussion. The evaluation also highlighted the issue of students' willingness to contribute to public discussions when these relate to graded assessment tasks.


Effective transfer of skills from university to the workplace: Issues and insights associated with group-based learning in teacher education

Terry de Jong, Marguerite Cullity, Sue Sharp, Sue Spiers, Will Turner and Julia Wren
School of Education
Edith Cowan University
Email: t.dejong@ecu.edu.au

The effective transfer of knowledge and skills from a university to a workplace setting is of international and national interest. Teacher education is constantly under scrutiny regarding its perceived failure to prepare beginning teachers adequately for the realities of the classroom. Little exists by way of evidence-based research associated with the transfer of knowledge and skills from university to the workplace, especially in teacher education (Scott & Baker, 2003). For example, there is limited research on the efficacy with which the knowledge and skills associated with group-based learning (GBL), in particular its pedagogy, are transferred to the school classroom. The topic of how GBL knowledge and skills is transferred by beginning teachers into their classrooms is a primary focus of a longitudinal research project being conducted at Edith Cowan University (ECU). The first phase of this project consisted of a case study which examined B.Ed Kindergarten through Primary (K-7) staff beliefs, theory and practice of GBL within their teaching program with the aim of improving the consistency, coherence and transferability of this pedagogy. Three core issues associated with this pedagogy were identified from the case study, namely: "consistency and coherence"; "equity and fairness"; and "pragmatism and adding value". These issues are complex, inter-related, and provocative. Most higher education educators, particularly those in teacher education, will be familiar with these issues. However, we assert that although GBL is widely applied in teacher education courses to enhance a range of personal, pedagogical, and professional learning outcomes, the complicated nature of these issues is not well understood nor successfully addressed. Based on insights generated from the case study and associated ideas highlighted in the literature, we shall examine in this presentation the nature of these issues with a particular focus on how they relate to the construct of transfer.


Personal audience response systems enhancing student engagement in teacher education lectures: Pedagogical challenges and strategies

Terry de Jong, Jenny Lane, Sue Sharp and Pat Kershaw
School of Education
Edith Cowan University
Email: t.dejong@ecu.edu.au

Personal Audience Response Systems (PARS) are widely used in higher education in North America. This technology is being increasingly used in Australian universities. A common version of PARS is handheld keypads ("clickers") which permit students to give instant individual responses to questions and surveys posed in lectures and tutorials. The data is automatically analysed and available for display to the students. During semester 2, 2008 PARS was extensively used in education lectures at Edith Cowan University with three different cohorts of UG and PG education students (n= 300). An evaluation was conducted with the students to determine their perspective on the extent to which this technology enhanced their engagement and learning in these lectures and how (if at all) it did so. The technology has been most positively received by education students and staff alike. It clearly enhances engagement through active learning and communication, immediacy of feedback, interactive and contingent teaching, and inclusivity. Like all technologies though, the effectiveness of this interactive technology depends mostly on the pedagogic methods employed. The literature on the technology and our evaluation features some particular challenges associated with this, most notably the rigorous attention needed in determining the purpose of using the technology in the first instance, and then planning specific learning outcomes and appropriate learning experiences for the students. This necessitates very careful construction of learning tasks (especially question design), monitoring of student learning, and follow through of discussion, debate, and critical appraisal. By all accounts, the technology should be used sparingly, strategically, and competently. Over-use and ill-use are undoubtedly counter-productive. This presentation will discuss these challenges in some detail and suggest strategies to address them.


The role of interdisciplinary learning opportunities in music degrees: Students' perceptions and preferences

Natalie Dell
School of Music and School of Physics
The University of Western Australia
Email: delln01@student.uwa.edu.au

The Bachelor of Music degree has traditionally focused completely on core music subjects within the western art music tradition. However, with the prospect of an increasingly varied career portfolio, graduates are finding that other non-traditional areas of study are useful and tertiary music institutions are including more and more of these non-traditional subjects in their curricula. This paper reports on a study involving a survey of music students' perceptions and preferences for these subjects in the School of Music at The University of Western Australia. Results from the survey show that the majority of music students believe non-traditional subjects to be important to the study of music and would relish the opportunity to have access to more and a greater variety of topics. The BMus degree at UWA is also compared with those available at the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland.


Language teaching and learning: Student perceptions of language acquisition in advanced language classes

Tracy Dunne and Alexandra Ludewig
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: tracydunne75@hotmail.com, aludewig@arts.uwa.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

Relatively lower than average student satisfaction in advanced language classes has been a concern for institutions keen to shine in university rankings. A decline in enthusiasm evident from student unit feedback administered Australia-wide in 2006 saw the initiation of a research project aiming to "Improve Student Satisfaction in Advanced Languages" at The University of Western Australia (UWA). The focus of the research project was on students enrolled in advanced Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, German, French and Japanese, and in particular on their perceptions, expectations, motivations and changing levels of engagement.

To obtain rich data, the project was divided into three stages. Stage one involved the analysis of student responses to a standard university questionnaire administered in each unit at the end of semester, as well as literature reviews, analysis and comparison of advanced language units course outlines, and outcomes statements at UWA and of other Australian universities. Stage two was based on findings from this research and further qualitative data was collected through an online student survey, student/ staff discussion forums and focus groups. While the initial quantitative analysis did not identify any major anomalies in student satisfaction toward language learning, the qualitative data analysis did establish a disquiet over certain skill sets and expectations of progression and achievement. These findings led to stage three and a final set of surveys and discussion forums with students about the origins of these personal expectations and perceptions. The findings uncovered certain beliefs - and even 'myths' - about language acquisition that will need to be addressed by language teachers in order to increase satisfaction among advanced language learners.


The lingua franca of the global workplace: The Curtin approach to the development of student English language proficiency

Katie Dunworth
Curtin University of Technology
Email: k.dunworth@curtin.edu.au

Many international students decide to study in Australia because they are already aware that their ability to communicate in English, as evidenced by their possession of a degree from a university in an English-speaking country, will provide them with a key advantage when they seek employment in the global workplace. All universities in Australia have in place English language entry requirements which perform a gatekeeping role to prevent students commencing their courses without a sufficient level of English to do so, but the entry levels are generally set at or in some cases below the minimums recommended by the international testing organisations whose instruments they use. Universities therefore have a responsibility to these students, and to their future employers, to ensure that students are provided with the resources and opportunities that will enable them to continue to develop their language competence as they progress through their studies, and to maximise their linguistic potential by graduation. This paper describes an institution-wide plan developed at Curtin University of Technology, which aimed to promote to its stakeholders the value that the University places on high levels of English language proficiency, to encourage among students and staff the development of English language skills and knowledge, and to enable students to recognise and take responsibility for their own linguistic development needs. The paper identifies the strategies which were proposed in the English language proficiency plan and the challenges which were experienced in its implementation.


LiFE - Learning Interactively for Engagement: A pilot program for refugee students at Curtin University

Jaya Earnest, Clancy Read and Gabriella DeMori
Centre for International Health
Curtin University of Technology
Email: J.Earnest@curtin.edu.au
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

A rising number of university students are from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and some of these students have arrived in Australia on Humanitarian Visas. Given this changing demographic profile of refugee students in tertiary institutions, it is evident that tailored approaches and new teaching and learning methodologies are needed to accommodate the teaching and learning needs of these students. A paucity of research and literature on the learning styles and academic needs of refugee students in tertiary institutions resulted in a successful Australian Teaching and Learning Council funded collaborative project between Curtin and Murdoch University in Western Australia. The research study titled "LiFE - Learning Interactively for Engagement." hopes to address this gap in research by developing a teaching and learning program for academics. Initially, a needs analysis was conducted with a small cohort of refugee students. The results from the needs analysis revealed the multiple challenges students on humanitarian visas face and informed the design and delivery of a pilot teaching and learning training program at Curtin University. This paper discusses the design, delivery and evaluation of the pilot teaching and learning program to improve academic success among refugee students.


Student mentor programs: Who gains what?

Jim Elliott
START Manager
Curtin University of Technology
Email: j.elliott@curtin.edu.au

A significant number of student mentor programs were introduced in 2008 across eleven schools of Curtin University of Technology as a key priority of the Student Retention Implementation Plan. A total of 133 mentors provided support to approximately 1300 beginning students - largely on the Bentley campus.

This paper outlines the attributes of the mentor program model coordinated by the Student Transition and Retention Team (START). It summarises the financial costs and benefits to the University as a whole. The paper then turns to the specific benefits to the key stakeholders in the program - the mentees, the mentors, the coordinating staff, and the schools engaged in the programs. Mentees observed that mentors were valuable in providing useful information, in providing reassurance and emotional support, and the simple fact of being available when needed. For mentors, the program gave a sense of achievement in helping new students, professional and personal development, and made them feel they were building a strong sense of school identity, community, connection and belonging for all participants. Participating staff observed that the benefits for themselves and their school included building a sense of community within the school, an improvement in relationships between student mentors and staff, the development of an informal line of communication between students and staff, a much improved Orientation program which had the credibility of using existing students to advise incoming students, active engagement of mentors in other activities of the school, and early intervention with students who were struggling. They also noted that involvement in the program did not add to their workload as mentors took on some of the simpler advising tasks.

The paper identifies examples of good practice in mentor programs and includes a summary of the challenges involved in offering mentor programs more widely across the University. Some specific recommendations are made for future development of the program.


A sense of space: developing spatial literacies for employability through the use of mapping and GIS

Maggie Exon
Curtin University of Technology
Email: m.exon@curtin.edu.au

Digital mapping and GIS systems were for a long period the preserve of specialists. The systems were expensive and highly technical, created by vendors whose primary interests were such tasks as the management of local government land systems and the routing of pipelines. Although the concept of spatial literacies was well established, few employees were likely to be called upon to use such literacies in the working environment. All this has now changed. There are easily available mapping and GIS tools and an increased realisation that understanding spatial relationships can enable us to visualise and analyse data in more productive ways. "Spatial literacy is as important a goal as traditional literacy is. We need to invest our efforts and resources accordingly" (Newcombe, 2006).

Although technologies such as Google Earth and Google Maps are easy to use for simple tasks, it is less easy to prepare data for spatial visualisations and analyse this data spatially. Yet the advantages of doing so are increasing exponentially as organisations realise that much expensively-collected data which already exists can be further exploited. The skills needed to do this are not just technical; thinking spatially demands skills which are not natural to many graduates. There are many opportunities within higher education in all disciplines (including Humanities and the Social Sciences) to exploit mapping and GIS to develop spatial awareness.

This paper will examine how GIS and mapping can transform the ways in which students can engage with data and how data can be geo-coded; that is, formatted to be capable of being mapped. It will look at simple ways in which students can investigate spatial relationships and share data. It will argue that spatial literacy can add an edge of employability to students which may be exploited in many different workplace settings.

Newcombe, N. (2006). A plea for spatial literacy. Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 March.


Making the connection: Curriculum and career development

Sonia Ferns and Julie Howell
Curtin University of Technology
Email: s.ferns@curtin.edu.au, j.howell@curtin.edu.au

Universities are increasingly required to produce work ready graduates. Government, employers and students are demanding programs that encompass career development learning inclusive of work integrated learning; ensuring students are exposed to experiences through out their course which prepare them adequately for the world of work. Graduates need to know how to promote themselves in a competitive job market and demonstrate attributes deemed to be desirable by employers. Embedding this into the curriculum is a challenge and involves a cultural shift in the realms of both academia and the delivery.

Careers Centres are traditionally support centres for the academic areas and have rarely had input into curriculum. The primary role of Career Advisors is to assist students in managing their careers, sourcing employment and providing strategies for enhancing the possibility of securing work on completion of their degree. Along with providing individual career counselling and delivery workshops Careers Centres traditionally; facilitate contact between employers and students; and network with employers across all discipline areas. Staff from Careers Centres rarely have any involvement in the development or review of curriculum. While the role of Curriculum Developer and Career Counsellors have unique foci and are discreet in their desired outcomes, there are opportunities and significant advantages in the two sectors working together. The Career Counsellor can assist in the design of learning programs that help student understand how to develop their careers and encourage them to take responsibility for managing their careers. They can also provide industry contacts and have access to intimate knowledge of how a specific industry operates. This intelligence can be a valuable source of information for incorporating relevant outcomes, learning experiences and assessment into the curriculum.

This presentation will highlight the synergies between curriculum and career development and explore ways in which the two areas can work together to provide a comprehensive service and enriching educational experience for students.


Balancing the load: Introducing the Assessment Matrix tool

Sonia Ferns, Graham McMahon & Jonathan Yorke
Curtin University of Technology
Email: s.ferns@curtin.edu.au, g.mcmahon@curtin.edu.au, j.yorke@curtin.edu.au

Curriculum 2010 (C2010) is a strategic three year project underway at Curtin University. One of the key tasks of this project is for every course to undergo a comprehensive review. Several tools have been developed to support the review process, such as the Needs Analysis (which provides data on each course from a range of sources) and the Curriculum Map (a document containing the syllabus, learning outcomes and assessments of the course).

Assessment is an integral component of curriculum review and this is an area often raised as an issue by both learners and teachers. The Assessment Matrix represents an additional tool developed to support the review process. The Matrix provides teaching staff with a sense of the students' experience from an assessment perspective, by categorising assessments under nine main headings, all of which have sub-categories. The data is presented in a variety of ways to provide a visual representation of the assessments in a course. This provides the opportunity to review the broad picture and ensure there is a balance of relevant assessment types. This workshop will discuss the ways in which data can be presented, as part of a wider exploration of the tool and its potential role in the course review process.


Authentic assessment: Conversations with the profession

Sandra Frid, Chris Hurst, Len Sparrow, Lina Pelliccione and Diana van Straalen
Curtin University of Technology
Email: S.Frid@curtin.edu.au, C.Hurst@curtin.edu.au, L.Sparrow@curtin.edu.au, L.Pelliccione@curtin.edu.au, D.vanStraalen@curtin.edu.au

A challenge to undergraduate professional programs at universities is to prepare graduates to have a broad range of competencies, along with professional capacities to engage in ongoing professional learning and to communicate their knowledge. It is essential that these undergraduates be supported in developing understandings of how their learning is relevant within the daily practices of their profession. Thus, assessment of their learning must be authentic - it must reflect the realities of their future professional roles.

This presentation will report on aspects of the authentic assessment tasks incorporated into a project funded by an Australian Teaching and Learning Council (ALTC) competitive grant, Developing primary teacher education students' professional capacities for children's diverse mathematics achievement and learning needs. The 200 students involved in this first phase of the project were 1st- and 2nd-year Bachelor of Education (Primary) students. The presentation will examine outcomes of students' preparation and participation in end of semester assessment 'interviews' with professionals. The interviews were designed as semi-structured conversations and discussions with classroom teachers, school principals, education consultants, and other educators. They were incorporated into a full day 'Showcase' attended by 40 guest educators/professionals.

The professional empowerment aspects of the assessment process, along with learning outcomes exhibited by the students will be examined. The guest interviewers' reactions to and perspectives on the value of the Showcase for their own professional learning as well as that of the students will also be considered. A final aspect to be highlighted will be how this form of authentic assessment enhances student learning by serving as a vehicle by which to provide feedback to both teachers/lecturers and students about the impact of learning activities, and thereby, about how subsequent learning and teaching might be improved.


Employable global graduates: The 'edge' that makes the difference

Troy Fuller and Glenda Scott
Edith Cowan University
Email: t.fuller@ecu.edu.au, glenda.scott@ecu.edu.au
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

In an increasingly competitive tertiary sector, ensuring that students are job-ready and employable is a necessity and a great opportunity. In recent years, employers have expressed concern that many graduates are unprepared for employment, and Edith Cowan University (ECU) has responded quickly and decisively to this challenge.

The Business Edge program consists of four units across the three years of the undergraduate Bachelor of Business degree. In the program, the values of ECU and of the Faculty of Business and Law and the expected attributes of graduates are linked to the necessary skills identified by employers. In Business Edge, students complete activities in teams and individually, related to relevant and challenging business topics. A facilitative approach to learning is used to assist students to become more reflective learners. In semester one, 2009, there will be 35 classes and over 800 students completing the program locally and on-line, as well as additional students offshore through partner institutions. As a result of the program, students have been successful in gaining employment to support their studies and similar success is expected from graduating students. Students' standards of work and levels of critical thinking have significantly improved. They have worked with local businesses to produce detailed, relevant and innovative documents which have been implemented immediately. A Business Edge student finished in the top four contestants in the recent W.A. Business Icon competition.


Moving beyond case analysis to writing case studies in teaching strategic management

Peter Galvin
Graduate School of Business
Curtin University of Technology

John Rice
Adelaide Graduate School of Business
The University of Adelaide
Email: Peter.Galvin@gsb.curtin.edu.au, john.rice@adelaide.edu.au
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

Analysing case studies is a common teaching technique in many management related subjects and writing case studies is a logical extension of such an approach. The benefits of case writing include the ability of students to better understand the true complexity of many business scenarios, to appreciate the interrelationships that exist between different concepts and to deepen their learning on the basis that case writing builds upon higher order learning principles. Student satisfaction results for case writing are provided highlighting the attractiveness of such an approach.


Cognitive load theory and Lectopia

John Gardiner
School of Psychology
Murdoch University
Email: J.Gardiner@murdoch.edu.au

The development of web-based lecture technologies over the past decade has traditionally been seen as a method of effectively "time-shifting" presentations and surveys of students have indicated that this is a valued outcome. Respondents to a number of surveys have also suggested that the technology has additional benefits that assist in their understanding of the presentation contents. This article examines the potential benefits of web-based delivery of lecture content through a cognitive load perspective. The suggestion being that the technology can be seen as an opportunity for students to control potentially key factors in information delivery.


Using Blackboard as an e-learning platform to teach mathematics and computer courses: Middle East experience

Ali M. Darabi Golshani and Hamid Nikraz
Department of Civil Engineering
Curtin University of Technology

Zhila Nikravan
Perth Institute of Western Australia
Email: a.golshani@curtin.edu.au, Zhila.d@perthinstitute.com.au

Blackboard is an e-learning platform providing tools to administrators, instructors, students, and various university communities for customisation and management of course materials or communications. Tools and modules include: online course gradebook, discussion board, assessment management, and space for course documents such as syllabi, e-reserve articles, links to e-journals, and more. University departments will find Blackboard useful for easy storage and access to minutes of meetings, to-do lists, department goals, and communications. At Zayed and Qatar universities, we adopted the following Chickering and Gamson "Seven Principles of Good Practice" using technology.

  1. Student-faculty contact
  2. Cooperation among students
  3. Active learning
  4. Prompt feedback
  5. Time on task
  6. High expectations
  7. Diverse talents and ways of learning
In this presentation, we will demonstrate how Blackboard platform was used in conjunction of the above principles in teaching mathematics and computer courses. Furthermore, advantages and disadvantages of using such platform will be discussed.
Solving the shortage of clinical education placements with blue sky thinking and relationship marketing

Nigel Gribble and Lorna Rosenwax
School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work
Curtin University of Technology
Email: n.gribble@curtin.edu.au

We will report on the unique Gribble Rosenwax Advanced Clinical Education (GRACE) model which has completely resolved the 15 year old issue of an undersupply of clinical placements for occupational therapy students. Relative to the previous clinical education model, one still used by the majority of allied health schools in Australia, the GRACE model enhances student learning experiences through shared responsibility for clinical education with host fieldwork sites. The cultivation of mutually beneficial partnerships with key occupational therapy employers, the formalisation of the relationship via a contractual agreement, confirmation of placement allocation up to 10 months in advance and the continuity of service to clients/patients (a service that was previously sporadic) has enhanced student learning outcomes and resulted in 100 per cent satisfaction rating from host employers.

Based loosely on marketing theories and blue sky thinking, our model is radical; from regarding potential host sites as offering the School a service by hosting students to one of regarding each host site as a partner in the clinical education process. By considering each host site as a partner it became necessary to calculate key motivational drivers as to: (1) why a host site would want to be involved in clinical education; (2) how host sites could gain substantial benefits from hosting students; (3) how host site staff could gain professional skills through hosting students; and significantly (4) how the loyalty of each host site could be leveraged such that hosting students on clinical placements would be offered year after year - as opposed to devoting excessive time and resources canvassing workplaces to host students or offering self-directed placements.

The model's success is evidenced by the allocation of all final year student placements for 2008 and 2009, by December 2007 and October 2008 respectively; a situation deemed impossible to achieve several years ago.


The peer review of teaching: A review of the literature

Karine Hamilton
Curtin University of Technology
Email: karineh@gmail.com

Since the 1970s, the dominant form of teaching quality evaluation has been student satisfaction surveys. However, from the 1990s there has been increasing interest in alternative forms of teaching evaluation such as the peer review of teaching (PRT). Advocates of the scholarship of teaching argue that PRT can open university teaching to the same scholarly processes as academic research. In so doing, PRT offers significant opportunities for the professional development of university teaching staff and can redress the current over-reliance on student feedback as a method of teacher evaluation.

This paper draws from a review of the literature on PRT to examine the capabilities and limitations of the process. It draws particular attention to research conducted in the UK and America in which the use of PRT has a more established history than in Australia. According to practitioners and researchers, PRT is most effective when utilised as a device of formative development and teaching improvement. The alternative summative or managerial forms of PRT have generated more mixed results and in some cases have failed to be embedded in the work practices of university departments. How the professional development needs of individual staff are balanced against the administrative requirements of teaching evaluations warrants critical reflection as momentum for the use of PRT continues to increase in Australian universities.


Cross cultural education in the visual arts

Stephanie Hampson
Curtin University of Technology
Email: s.hampson@curtin.edu.au

With the increased mobilisation of people the issues of multicultural classrooms will continue to grow and become increasingly pertinent. This paper looks at educating people from differing cultural backgrounds in a visual arts environment, the issues involved and the effect on the teaching methods and approaches. The results of this research are a collection of experiences, ideas and approaches that have the potential to contribute to the body of knowledge in the teaching field. It is a 'snapshot' of the experiences of visual arts teachers in 2007 in Western Australia. It is hoped that the experiences of the teachers who participated in this research may offer some guidance for teachers of all backgrounds and experience as well as others who design and implement policy, on how to approach classes that are increasingly composed of students from all over the world.


The IT supported education environment: Reflection on the application of i-lecture in foreign language education at tertiary level

Hiroshi Hasegawa
Curtin University of Technology
Email: h.hasegawa@curtin.edu.au

In recent years there has been a great interest and establishment of learners' autonomy in educational institutions. Flexible learning style known as open learning or distance education were introduced by means of information technology for the last 30 years, which has converted the conventional live lesson to a mobile and virtual learning style. Most tertiary educational institutions in Australia consequently initiate such inter- and outer-campus teaching and enhance the IT assisted lessons. I-lecture is one of the various computer-mediated educational software developments and learning supports.

Whilst i-lecture is a high transportable medium of the information provided in the lecture which has been strongly recommended in the higher education environment, personal dilemmas have been raised as to whether it is really a legitimate manner of lecturing not to monitor the students' regular attendance to each lecture. In fact, the question arises as to whether i-lecture may be leading to insufficient opportunities for academically poorly performing students to focus or redirect their study process for their successful unit completion. It is useful to apply the appropriate technology skills acknowledging their potentials and limitations, yet traditional face-to-face interactions may boost students' inspiration, rather than virtually motivated interaction. From speculative rather than experimental perspectives in a foreign language education of a tertiary institution, this paper provides lecturers' current dilemmas caused by i-lecture environment and significance of their role towards students' learning process in technology-lead tertiary education.


Effect of lecture recording on lecture attendance and student performance in science

Foteini Hassiotou and Patrick Finnegan
School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: foteini@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Lectopia is an online lecture-recording tool that gives learners access to lecture material at their own time and pace. Although Lectopia has been designed as a tool that complements rather than replaces classroom teaching, a decrease in lecture attendance by students is often reported by teachers in units where Lectopia is available. At the same time, it is not clear whether Lectopia achieves its purpose, which is to provide a framework for deeper learning and thus, improve student performance. This study set out to determine the impact of Lectopia on lecture attendance and whether the tool enhances the learning outcomes for science students. A group of 276 students enrolled in a Level 1 biology unit was surveyed. Seventy-five percent of respondents indicated that they use Lectopia, with 53% of respondents using the facility one or two times a week. Their primary reason for using Lectopia was to cover missed lectures, while secondary reasons included extracting, revising and assimilating the lecture material. The use of Lectopia to replace attendance at live lectures was reinforced by the fact that those students who never used the tool indicated that they attended all lectures and therefore considered using Lectopia unnecessary. Most students even stated that they would have missed fewer lectures (16% missed lectures, rather than 24% on average) if Lectopia was not available. At the same time, Lectopia usage did not seem to improve the performance of those students who missed only a few lectures, but did improve the performance of the students who missed 40% or more of the lectures. These results indicate that Level 1 biology students use Lectopia as an alternative way of learning; thus the objective that Lectopia be used as a supplement to live lectures that enhances student learning outside the classroom has only been partially met.


Developing a community of learners: On-shore and offshore students blogging together

Julia Hobson
Murdoch University
Email: J.Hobson@murdoch.edu.au

This paper reports on the outcomes of a pilot project, which aimed to build a community across the on-shore / offshore divide amongst Murdoch students. The overall goal was to assist offshore students to develop their critical thinking skills by giving them a space to dialogue with peers. The design of the project was informed by the work at Harvard's Project Zero on 'Making Thinking Visible'. The construction of the blogs was part of a group assessment for a 4-point credit bearing unit, TLC 277 From University to Workplace run in a face-to-face mode on the Murdoch campus by Dr Julia Hobson. The off-shore were students enrolled through SMa in a final year unit, MCC307 Campaign Management run by Senior Lecturer, Kate Fitch and were required to make three comments onto a blog to gain 5% of their overall grade. The project involved training and support from the Library's Emerging Technologies Specialist, Kathryn Greenhill. Both the number of postings to the blogs and the quality of the engagement with ideas indicate that this was a successful and enjoyable 'teaching moment' for all the students involved.


Keynote address
Greater expectations for our students and ourselves: Approaches to implementing and achieving our vision

Barbara Holland
University of Western Sydney
Email: b.holland@uws.edu.au

Contemporary economic conditions add stress into an academic environment already working hard to adapt to emergent 21st Century learning objectives. Preparing students for employability and citizenship in a complex world while also implementing new pedagogies, technologies and measurements requires significant updates and revisions to traditional models. These different forces for change must be approached in such a way that the change process leads to productive and rewarding outcomes for the teaching environment of staff and the learning experience of students. This presentation will suggest ways of linking these different themes in ways that create a supportive environment for positive change.


(60 minute workshop)
Teaching multicultural work groups: Competencies and cognition

Annaliza Jackson
John Curtin Institute of Public Policy
Curtin University of Technology
Email: Annaliza.Jackson@curtin.edu.au

Teaching multicultural students is a challenge for any educator. Whether the students are overseas students or whether they are first or even second generation migrant students, there are a range of verbal, written and interpersonal communication challenges in providing an environment fully conducive to teaching and learning for all concerned.

As educators we aim to ensure that requisite information is imparted and delivered. We work to ensure that at all levels of delivery we have applied the principles and practice of equity of opportunity of learning. There are times when factors such as limited English language skills present a serious challenge to teaching and learning. Educators are well aware of the importance cognitive factors, such as schema theory play in the role of teaching and learning. Research conducted by Dr Shanton Chang of Melbourne University, presents competencies identified as necessary for working with multicultural work teams. These include cultural empathy and intercultural communication. The work of McCormack and Pancini provide valuable understandings of how as educators we can bring social and cognitive psychology to the classroom. The session will explore and discuss competencies that apply to educators in multicultural classrooms; and cognitive cultural factors that need special consideration. These could include anything from teacher student relationships to trauma and abuse. This is an opportunity to discuss a range of issues pertaining to teaching diversity student workgroups. The aim is to come to a better understanding of and effective management of ESL students in actual and virtual classrooms from a practical perspective applying a cultural cognitive approach.


Remote Indigenous experience for pre-service teachers

Jenny Jay, Lynette Moss and Brenda Cherednichenko
Edith Cowan University
Email: j.jay@ecu.edu.au, l.moss@ecu.edu.au, b.cherednichenko@ecu.edu.au

In June 2008, 10 pre-service teachers and 2 teacher educators from ECU participated in an existing community education program in remote Indigenous communities in central Australia. From an intrepid start with a mountain of overloaded baggage and camping cutlery setting off the scanning machine at the airport, these educational risk takers trekked off into the desert. Our explorers joined 60 pre-service teachers and several teacher educators from the VU SWIRL project. This project has been operating annually for 14 years in communities around Alice Springs, some up to 400 km of dirt track away. This presentation will highlight the effect of this lived experience on the pre-service teachers' attitudes and experience of living and teaching in a remote community. Insights into what it means to live and work with Indigenous communities and the personal journey of each one will be explored as the story of their journey is told.


Changing patterns in teaching and learning of an introductory biology unit over three decades

Jacob John
Dept of Environmental Biology
Curtin University of Technology
Email: J.John@curtin.edu.au

Cell Biology 101, a core unit for Environmental Biology students and an elective for others have attracted a large enrolment over the past 35 years .The subject content has changed considerably reflecting the advances in molecular Biology. The patterns of instructions and the standards and attitudes of students have also changed. The unit was taught through traditional lectures (Chalk & Talk), lab sessions and tutorials in 1970s and to meet the demands of increasing students of diverse backgrounds and part-timers with full-time jobs, an integrated practicals- theory audio tape driven system was introduced. The flexibility in opening hours and the opportunity to progress at one's own pace were attractive to students. Full-time students were straight from school and the part-timers had full-time jobs. After successfully running the unit for 15 years .the system began to breakdown. The part-timers declined, the novelty faded away, the broken hardware was not replaced, and the system was abused. We went back to the black board (white board). A well written text book-study guide package by a publisher was adopted. Problem solving, investigative laboratory sessions engaging lecture sessions, reinforcing tutorial sessions and, feedback through quizzes were maintained. The text book-study guide package was constantly revised. Then came PowerPoint presentations and specially designed WebCT for the unit. All the text book users were given access to internet tutorials, self assessment opportunities and access to electronic sources of references.

However increasingly since 2000, full-time students with paid part-time jobs began to increase. The empty seats in lecture theatres rapidly increased. The WebCT provided them with a false sense of instant absorption of knowledge and skills. Through questionnaires and interviews subjected to correlations and multivariate statistical analyses, the reasons for the continuing apathy for participation of learning process are analysed in this paper in the context of stringent corporate culture trying to manage a fragmentary education system.


Bridging the teaching-research nexus in clinical education: An innovative case study

Sharon Keesing
Curtin University of Technology
Email: S.Keesing@curtin.edu.au

At the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, the fieldwork team continuously source new and innovative fieldwork placements for its' undergraduate and graduate entry students. We believe this to be an ongoing challenge and one that we strive to meet in order to continuously improve the student experience. Our goal is to keep up with the changes in technology, health and social issues, health and medical research and changes in the Australian health system. This article discusses a particularly unique approach to fieldwork, using a model of practice that could be developed and implemented in many areas of fieldwork education.

In 2009 10 OT students gained experience in the research continuum as part of their fieldwork placement with the Western Australian Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care (WACCPC).These Students obtained valuable clinical experiences such as working alongside occupational therapists at SCGH, Murdoch Hospice, Silver Chain, Hollywood Hospital and a variety of NGOs. In addition, these students also developed skills as researchers by participating in a variety of projects implemented at WACCPC.

Students worked in pairs as part of the research team in several research projects; conducting audits, recruiting participants, conducting interviews and entering data. These students were also involved in the 'OT in Palliative Care project'. Using a qualitative approach, students were involved in this research project that sought to determine the experiences of OTs, OT students and other allied health professionals in palliative care. Tasks undertaken included; development of the proposal and methods, submitting ethics applications, the development of survey instruments and interview questions, recruitment of participants, data analysis using SPSS and Nvivo and determining recommendations from the project.

This project was supported by the staff of WACCPC and culminated in the submission of a journal article (which describes the research process in full) to the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. Feedback from the students was very positive and they reported to have gained many valuable skills in this non-traditional fieldwork placement.


Staff development for student employability: A meta-reflection

Sophie Kennedy and Sue Stoney
Edith Cowan University
Email: Sophie.kennedy@ecu.edu.au, s.stoney@ecu.edu.au

The paper reports on the effectiveness of reflective components in an experiential staff development program. The training prepared staff for teaching in a new non-disciplinary core program in a business degree aimed at improving student employability. Staff were invited to teach in the program outside of their discipline areas of expertise, taking on a facilitating role. The teaching program itself follows a student-centred experiential learning model with a deliberate and assessed reflective learning component. Staff training was authentic and was therefore modelled on the same approach.

This study takes the form of a meta-reflection focussing primarily on the practical uses and usefulness of reflection in staff training. It follows a structured framework for analysing and evaluating staff reflections, comprising four components: description, interpretation, evaluation and planning.

Starting with a description of the training context of the program and the reflective components incorporated into the training process, it then interprets the reflections in terms of the above four components and provides an evaluation of the role of reflections in the training process as experienced by staff. In conclusion it sets out plans for improvements in the reflective component of ongoing staff training and teaching in the Business Edge program. The reflections in the study were collected during the training phase and the usefulness of reflection as part of the training was evaluated by a focus group and a survey by questionnaire completed by staff who taught in the first offering of the program.


Development and progression of research students through colloquia

Andrew King and Tony Lucey
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Samantha Burnham
Department of Chemical Engineering
Curtin University of Technology
Email: andrew.king@exchange.curtin.edu.au, s.burnham@curtin.edu.au, t.lucey@curtin.edu.au

In this paper we describe a format for research colloquia and our experience of their use to develop important generic skills and enhance students' collegial experience during their study.

Since 2006 the Engineering School at Curtin University of Technology has organised biannual research student colloquia (CEFRC) in which all research students are encouraged to participate. The stated purpose of these one-day conferences is to provide such benefits as the

We show how and to what level the purpose of the CEFRC is being realised and describe the evolution of its format since 2006 in pursuit of this goal. In doing so, we identify obstacles encountered and the strategies that have been tested to overcome these. For example, the recent involvement of external industry personnel has served to motivate participation and sharpen students' focus on the application of their research topic. The maturity of the event now permits us to propose that it be used as a formative activity that contributes to the formal assessment of a student's progression in their research degree, through its various stages from candidacy to the emergence of an independent researcher and professional.

1. CEFRC Book of Abstracts. [viewed 12 Nov 2008] http://www.fac.eng.curtin.edu.au/local/public_docs/CEFRC_2007_sem2.pdf


The joint impact of time deadline pressure and significance of assessment on accounting students' propensity to commit plagiarism

Hwee Ping Koh
The University of Western Australia
Glennda Scully
Curtin University of Technology
David R. Woodliff
The University of Western Australia
Email: Glennda.Scully@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Plagiarism amongst business students is on the rise and represents a threat to the integrity of both academic institutions and the accounting profession globally. This study uses an experimental methodology and aims to expand our understanding of what motivates a student to plagiarise and therefore informs a more structured approach to policy development and curricula and assessment design.

The propensity to plagiarise is examined across a range of plagiarism typologies using a 2x2x3 mixed design with the dependent variable, propensity to plagiarise. Between subjects variables are time deadline pressure (high/low) and the significance of the assessment weighting (high/low). Type of plagiarism (minor/moderate/major) is a within subjects variable. Our findings confirm that the propensity to engage in plagiarism is higher for less serious (or 'minor') instances of plagiarism than for more serious (or 'major') instances and that this propensity increases as time deadline pressure increases. Further, the results indicate that the more significant the assessment weighting, the greater a student's propensity to engage in plagiarism. This finding is consistent with Jones' (1991) issue-contingent model, specifically as it relates to 'magnitude of consequences'. Our results also provide cautious support for our expectation that the propensity to engage in plagiarism would increase as time deadline pressure and assessment weighting increased. Our findings provide the rationale for potential curricula and assessment design change to reduce the perceived pressure placed on students and therefore potentially reduce the incidence of plagiarism. This study's findings suggest that this can be achieved without major policy change but rather by deliberate steps undertaken by accounting academics.


Let's go to the movies: Using digital video as a teaching tool in tertiary settings

Jenny Lane
School of Education
Edith Cowan University
Email: j.lane@ecu.edu.au

Video has been used in teaching settings for many years. The rapid advances in technology have made digital video production simple, facilitating a wide range of digital video resources of varying degrees of quality. The literature indicates that video can be over-used or not used in a pedagogically sound manner, which limits effectiveness as a teaching tool. Many documented exemplars show various uses of video but few are linked to current research on pedagogy. This paper discusses how the author has used digital video in teacher education courses in a tertiary setting over the past five-years with over a thousand undergraduate and post-graduate students. Quantitative and qualitative research will be presented highlighting how video can be used to link research and practice. A range of strategies will be explored to guide educators using video in a research-based, pedagogically focused manner.

A dilemma faced by many educators is how to organise their vast video collections to make then searchable for a specific "teachable moments" embedded in hours of viewing time. A number of applications will be reviewed which allow the analysis and tagging of video for teaching and research purposes. A particular emphasis will be placed on how to extract and collate the "teachable moments" in a video to engage students. The author will discuss the current creation of a video data-base containing thousands of video clips tagged and annotated with links to research be used in teacher education. Although this research is situated in teacher education courses the underlying pedagogy and technical expertise can be adapted to any area of tertiary education where video is used.


Preliminary analysis of the lifeloads of first year engineering students

Euan Lindsay and Helen Rogers
Curtin University of Technology
Email: e.lindsay@curtin.edu.au

Professional degree programs, such as Engineering, are notorious for placing considerable demands upon their students. Balancing study and work is a challenge faced by an increasing number of undergraduate students. In order to assist students to manage this balance it is important to know how this compromise varies from student to student. This paper presents data gathered from first year engineering students regarding the hours they spend each week in study, paid employment and volunteer work. A substantial variation across the cohort is shown for all three factors. The data also shows variation in these factors with respect to the week of semester, with time commitments growing independently early in semester, and study somewhat taking the place of paid employment later in the semester.


Keynote address:
"The KEG continuum": The shift from knowledge and engagement through to graduate attributes and employability

Joe Luca
Edith Cowan University
Email: j.luca@ecu.edu.au

Technology, government policy, funding, student expectations and employer requirements are rapidly changing in the Higher Education sector. There are increased quality requirements, tighter budgets, and greater expectations from students/employers, which are forcing universities to rethink delivery and practice. Within this changing environment, there is much uncertainty as to how to effectively prepare students for the university/industry nexus. This presentation explores "The KEG Continuum" with the key features of Knowledge, Engagement and Graduate attributes considered as a continuum on which students progress to enhance the development of graduate attributes and their employability prospects.


Improving student engagement through a structured peer support program involving international students

Alexandra Ludewig
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: aludewig@arts.uwa.edu.au

Every year thousands of international students from all over the world are welcomed to Australian university campuses. Many of these students speak languages which local students are keen to learn in order to become truly "global graduates". This paper documents a study carried out at the University of Western Australia and outlines the development of a model of peer support that aids the learning of both local and international students. Student perceptions of a structured and voluntary peer support scheme between advanced language students and international students are examined. In an attempt to ascertain whether the participating students share the institution's enthusiasm for the project, oral and written responses were analysed, among them data from qualitative questionnaires and from reflective journals outlining the students' perspective of themselves and their peers as learners and teachers.


New role-plays for the global Facebook generation

Iris Ludewig-Rohwer
The University of Western Australia
Email: irohwer@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Today's school leavers have been described as 'digital natives' or the 'internet generation' due to their 'natural' use of technology, such as mobiles, ipods, computers and the internet. The enormous success of online communities like Facebook and MySpace suggests that for students face-to-face communication is at the very least complimented by electronic communication in a parallel life in a virtual world, and that students would respond well to the introduction of online learning games in university settings.

For many decades face-to-face role-plays have been a well-established strategy in teaching foreign languages that are intended to create a safe environment via their playful nature. However, such interaction in front of fellow students has proven to cause discomfort for some participants. Considering not only the students' character (introverted versus extroverted), but also the variety of language levels in one class, online role-plays might offer a solution by providing anonymity and asynchronism. In the context of popular assumptions about 'digital natives', this paper critically reviews two online role-plays introduced in 2008 to the intermediate and advanced language level in German Studies at UWA as well as student feedback on the experience. The role-plays - one set during the cold war and the other based on the recent murder case of a bizarre fashion designer - enabled students to interact in realistic conversations that were in German and relevant to the cultural studies content of the respective units. The students inhabited historic characters such as politicians, journalists, political refugees, spies, drug dealers and murderers. The presentation analyses students' interactions with regard to the prescribed unit outcomes but also the students' learning experience and reflective feedback on the experience.


(30 minute workshop)
Challenging and enabling learners in an online environment: An example of best practice

Lorraine Marshall
Teaching and Learning Centre
Murdoch University
Email: L.Marshall@murdoch.edu.au

One of the challenges facing us all in enhancing the experience of first year students is:

how we can better ensure that all students are fully stretched, to understand how they become wholly engaged with the privilege and potential excitement of Higher Education, and how they become equipped for lifelong learning. (Link 21: Learning from the Scottish Enhancement Themes... You take the high road, The Higher Education Academy, p.11.)
The Scottish Enhancement Theme of the First Year Experience embodies the sentiment underlying the Open Universities Australia (OUA) unit, SSK12: Introduction to University Learning. Stretching students intellectually and preparing them for university study, while striving to keep them in the higher education system is a challenge that SSK12 meets head on. It does this in an open admissions environment based on online learning, without the provision of face-to-face support, and indeed with limited support structures per se.

SSK12 was developed in 1995 as a print based learning skills unit and by 2006 had become fully online. It is the largest unit offered by OUA with enrolments exceeding 3,000 per year (700 to 1000 students in each study period). It is a requirement in several majors and is offered four times a year in 13-week study periods. SSK12 is the first university learning experience for most of the students and OUA's open admissions policy means that it attracts students with a wide range of abilities, backgrounds, learning needs and interests.

This workshop will showcase this unit as an example of best practice in mass online open education. Time will be available for interaction with and questions from the audience. The workshop will involve several members of the SSK12 team, including a panel of tutors.


Cultural competence, multiculturalism and education: The politics of difference in a first-year anthropology tutorial

Richard Martin
The University of Western Australia
Email: martir09@student.uwa.edu.au

At the University of Western Australia (UWA), the development of 'cultural competence' is described as "an integral part" of "the student's learning experience" across all subject areas. In that institution's The Citizens of the Globe: Race and Cultural Diversity Resource Manual, it is defined as "a series of qualities or attributes that we seek to encourage and develop in our students in order for them to not only thrive in this world, but to be better able to address its inequities and work towards effecting positive change" (Fialho & Carter, 2007, p.7). This essay interrogates "[t]he critical cultural diversity model" that The Citizens of the Globe invokes, and argues that it may unintentionally reinforce the very order which it claims to disrupt (Fialho & Carter, 2007, p.8). By nominating 'whiteness' as a transcendental 'privilege' - and thereby formulating 'identity' as the "coefficient of [someone's] raceclassgender", as the philosopher Peggy Kamuf puts it (cited in Clark, 2005, p.23) - The Citizens of the Globe arguably ignores the situational politics of difference as they play out in the classroom, thereby recuperating otherness in the very act of recognition. Drawing upon ethnographic research undertaken in a first-year anthropology unit taught at UWA, this paper pursues alternatives to such a deterministic model of multicultural 'culture' in order to describe the way in which students begin to understand themselves and the world at University.


Moving knowledges: Teaching media studies in the adjunct academy

Leanne McRae
Perth Institute of Business and Technology
Email: lmcrae@westnet.com.au

Teaching in the adjunct academy is a challenging job. Among the many problems of fragmented working conditions, highly pressurised classroom contexts, and multilevel liaisons with students, parents, and affiliate staff, remaining in touch with cutting-edge informational and knowledge protocols is marginalised. The function of lecturing in this context is skewed as teaching modalities are valued and legitimised over the more abstract exploratory ethics of research and investigation. The techniques of teaching via online learning, portal protocols and power point ensure students are delivered high quality educational materials and modalities of learning. However, these emphasise functional skills in learning. The importance of exploring knowledge rather than simply replicating or repeating information is neglected within this context.

As a result, there are a range of consequences to staff and to students that remain unmapped by these conditions - ranging from the wider devaluation of adjunct expertise, to economic consequences as individuals are employed on levels that do not befit their range of knowledge, and impoverished instructional industries for adjunct colleges whose educational delivery is marginally sustained by functional rather than interpretive or analytical knowledges. Most importantly, students suffer as they meet staff who embody skills-based expertise, imparting a very narrow modelling of academic behaviour and limited scope for intervention and activation in an accelerating global economy.

The case-study in this paper examines the changing nature of teaching Media Studies over a ten-year period and explores the tenuous balancing act of teaching skills and exploring the accelerating conditions of information, knowledge and expertise within this field. Moving from analogue to convergent media in the course content embodies the difficult and liminal positions adjunct staff find themselves in as they are expected to teach rather than explore knowledge.


Using an e-portfolio to prepare veterinary graduates for global employability

Jennifer Mills, Linda Butcher and Rhondda Tilbrook
Murdoch University
Email: J.Mills@murdoch.edu.au, L.Butcher@murdoch.edu.au, R.Tilbrook@murdoch.edu.au

Veterinary practitioners were asked to describe their selection criteria in employing a new veterinary graduate in their practice, and to outline the evidence they might look for in selecting a new employee. Responses from five veterinarians were assembled and made available to final year veterinary students. Information on competencies required of high-waged, high-performance global workers was also provided to students. These included generic attributes such as critical thinking, decision making and capacity for reflection. Several cash prizes were offered to encourage students to prepare an electronic portfolio during the year for showcase purposes to present appropriate evidence of their professional skills and achievements to a potential employer. A 12-month trial of the LMS ePortfolio tool was partially funded by a grant from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council and the tool was made available to veterinary students in 4 of the 5 years of the course. During the year students were given the opportunity to develop evidence of special skills in communication and generic graduate skills, such as critical thinking, team skills, reflection, setting and achieving goals, with assignment submissions requested online to facilitate saving these as artefacts to their portfolios. Practice in consultation skills was also provided using simulation clients; these exercises were designed to meet the defined veterinary graduate attributes in communication skills. Uptake of the ePortfolio concept was very poor and only one student finally submitted a completed showcase portfolio. The challenges and unexpected benefits that the portfolio offered will be presented and discussion will include the lessons learnt and plans to progress the use of ePortfolios for outcomes assessment.


Towards student-centred teaching in large science classes

Mauro Mocerino
Curtin University of Technology
Danny R. Bedgood Jr
Charles Sturt University
Adam Bridgeman
The University of Sydney
Mark Buntine
Curtin University of Technology
Michael Gardiner and Brian Yates
University of Tasmania
Kieran Lim and Gayle Morris
Deakin University
Simon Pyke
University of Adelaide
Marjan Zadnik
Curtin University of Technology
Email: m.mocerino@curtin.edu.au

First year science programs in Australian Universities are characterised by large enrolments, often over 500 students per subject. Current teaching strategies tend to involve didactic teaching that is teacher-centred and based on uni-directional, transmission modes of learning. While such methods are widespread in University chemistry classes, research shows that student-centred teaching methods lead to improved student learning outcomes. Within the academic science teaching community a will exists to innovate and shift away from traditional highly teacher-centred to a student-centred practice. While there are many ways of implementing student-centred learning, the POGIL framework (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning - http://new.pogil.org/) has been chosen for this project. The POGIL project has developed student-centred activities and materials for high school through to fourth year university chemistry classes in the USA. In addition to development and assessment of learning materials for student-centred teaching, another critical component of the POGIL project is the introductory and advanced workshops. These involve experienced chemistry instructor/facilitators leading discussions and modelling student-centred instruction methods.

This presentation will describe a new project funded by an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Leadership for Excellence grant. Collaborators at six Universities will build a team of Science Learning Leaders who will participate in and build professional development experiences to

  1. change their own teaching practices to foster more student centred learning environments in large science classrooms
  2. develop skills as Learning Leaders to help foster change in the teaching practices of their colleagues.
Integral to the project is the formation of a community of practice to support participants in their advancing teaching skills.
First year at university: How to use foundation units to help students to survive and thrive

Martina Müller
Murdoch University
Email: m.muller@murdoch.edu.au

The 2004 report First Year Experience in Australian Universities: Findings From a Decade of a National Studies (Krause, Hartley, James, McInnis, 2005) identified a large number of developments and initiatives aimed at enhancing the transition of first year students to university. One of these is for universities to ensure that the teaching practices which first year students experience equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to progress with their studies and to achieve the kinds of generic learning outcomes the university strives for. In this respect, students' first-year experience is both unique and of significant importance if they are to survive it, and thrive. Specifically, among other challenges faced, it is in this time that first year students are introduced to the practices and expectations of study at university.

Foundation Units at Murdoch University serve this foundationary purpose by helping students to develop a range of core generic enabling skills. These include; communication skills, critical thinking skills, and basic information literacy skills. These are aligned with Graduate Attributes that subsequently help students to gain employment and achieve success in the workplace. Thus, Murdoch's foundation units, as their name implies, provide a foundation not only to survive the first year but also to thrive in subsequent years of university studies - and beyond.

This paper uses the findings of a survey about the learning experiences of first year students in their last week of study of a Foundation Unit (FDN115 Interaction of Society and Technology) at Murdoch University to show that the teaching practices employed in this course succeed in assisting first year students to develop the learning skills needed to survive and thrive at university. The findings also provide insights into key aspects of developing and using unit material to teach and learn study skills in a large, first-year, class.


Community service or civic learning: A case study of the Australia Tanzania Young Ambassadors project

Karen Murcia
Edith Cowan University
Yvonne Haigh and Lindy Norris
Murdoch University
Email: k.murcia@ecu.edu.au, y.haigh@murdoch.edu.au, l.norris@murdoch.edu.au

This paper reports an ethnographic case study of school based community service initiatives within the Australian Tanzanian Young Ambassadors (ATYA) program. This international youth program is an instrument for enacting community service and civic learning in both Western Australian and Tanzanian schools. The research was located within an ATYA 2008 Australian study tour to Tanzania, which included participation in a Bilateral Youth Conference. The project experience and initial research data are considered in light of the Western Australia requirement for all secondary school students to complete 20 hours of community service to gain their Certificate of Education. The young people's attitudes to community service and service learning identified will provide the means to highlight connections between developing civic mindedness and attitudes to others. These insights will ultimately contribute to the development of a model and framework for informing future collaborative international community service programs. The proposed framework will have the potential to inform university education programs and assist in preparing pre-service teachers for supporting schools' community service requirements. Examples will be provided to illustrate how youth can act both locally and internationally as a global citizen.


A framework for interrogating the impact of interactive whiteboard technology on classroom discourse

Karen Murcia, Rachel Sheffield and Mark Hackling
Edith Cowan University
Email: k.murcia@ecu.edu.au, r.sheffield@ecu.edu.au, m.hackling@ecu.edu.au

The research framework described in this paper will structure the interrogation of interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology's impact on primary science teachers' scaffolding of classroom discourse. It will provide the structure and support required by teachers to use IWB technology as a convergence tool for a range of multi-media and internet technologies that potentially scaffold and facilitate classroom discourse. The framework stems from a socio-cultural perspective of science education and is based on the premise that science education is a teaching and learning process of en-culturing students into particular ways of knowing, representing the world and making claims from a scientific perspective. It is assumed that engaging students with public discourse in which they experience rich exploratory talk and substantive conversations, contributes to their development of scientific literacy. The described framework synthesises phases of inquiry, instructional purposes and the communicative approaches needed for effective science teaching and learning. When coupled with the use of interactive whiteboard technology there is potential for meaningful change to teaching and learning that may better prepare students for further education and, living and working in a digital global world. This initiative recognises that Australian students need greater access to, and more sophisticated use of, ICT and well-trained teachers who integrate technology into effective science learning and teaching.


Research enthusiasm: Developing conceptual utilisation by engaging the undergraduate nursing student

Caroline Nilson
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Murdoch University
Email: c.nilson@murdoch.edu.au

Although it is identified that research is the most important tool for advancing knowledge, faculty face many interesting challenges when teaching research to nursing students. The challenge is to make the graduate a 'global citizen'. As consumers of research, it is expected that undergraduate nursing students graduate with a basic understanding of the research process. But, how do we engage the student and stimulate an enthusiasm for research, when generally the student is not able to see research as part of 'real nursing'. Publishing nursing student's literature reviews in an 'in house' journal, not only sparked an interest in research, but stimulated an enthusiasm to produce work of a high quality. The journal celebrated the efforts of the students and illustrated that their work was valued. By using a mixture of creative teaching methods the students were drawn into a collaborative and rewarding literature review project.


(30 minute workshop)
Scaffolding ALTC projects: Enhancing ALTC grants by linking with existing projects

Beverley Oliver and Sue Jones
Office of Teaching and Learning
Curtin University of Technology

Rick Cummings
Teaching Learning Centre
Murdoch University
Email: s.jones@curtin.edu.au, b.oliver@curtin.edu, r.cummings@murdoch.edu.au

The ALTC Grants Scheme has three programs: Leadership for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Program, Priority Projects Program and Competitive Grants Program. This workshop is intended for those who are thinking of applying for an ALTC Grant for the first time, as well as those who already have a grant. It will be an opportunity to hear information about a series grants which have built upon existing grants through partnerships developed through ALTC fora as well as common issues faced across the sector. Discussion will include new projects in 2009, and how grant success has been achieved by linking applications to existing grants.


Early support for teachers of secondary mathematics and science: Developing a mentoring and resources toolkit

Christine Ormond
Edith Cowan University
Email: c.ormond@ecu.edu.au

This paper will present the philosophy, design and intentions of a new teacher support project being piloted next year at Edith Cowan University, as part of a collaborative partnership with the Western Australian Department of Education and Training. The growing shortage of teachers across Australia and the world, especially in the areas of mathematics and science, is well documented and at crisis levels; and it will be contended that such a global problem is best addressed in the first instance at a local level. The aims of this two-year project are to ameliorate the shortage, specifically in lower secondary mathematics and science classrooms in Western Australia; to offer both professional mentoring and practical support for teachers new to teaching in these disciplines; and, in doing so, to develop a set of theoretical and practical resources for early mathematics and science teachers, intended for national, and then international, dissemination. New mathematics and science teachers consistently ask for practical resources and teaching ideas, help with assessment design and practice, and assistance with overall topic planning. Thus, over the next two years a small group of students from the Graduate Certificate of Secondary Teaching cohorts of 2008 and 2009 will be professionally mentored and supported by expert teachers in these areas, and carefully questioned as to their particular challenges, fears, and practical needs. The continued mentoring and support of such teachers in their early years of teaching is absolutely crucial, if we are to retain the teachers whom we so carefully prepare, and this program aims to create a sense of educational community at both the local and the global level, to increase professional retention, and to provide a practical and theoretical "toolkit" for teachers in these very content-specific and demanding learning areas.


Leading from behind: The role of academic developers in preparing graduates of the 21st century

Lee Partridge, Leitha Delves, Diana Jonas-Dwyer, Sandra Carr, Sue Miller, Coral Pepper, Natalie Skead, Jolanta Szymakowski & Eileen Thompson
The University of Western Australia
Email: lee.partridge@uwa.edu.au, leitha.delves@uwa.edu.au, diana.jonas-dwyer@uwa.edu.au, sandra.carr@uwa.edu.au, sue.miller@uwa.edu.au, coral.pepper@uwa.edu.au, natalie. skead@uwa.edu.au, jolanta.szymakowski@uwa.edu.au, eileen.thompson@uwa.edu.au
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

This paper describes the efforts of a group of academic developers at The University of Western Australia (UWA) working collegially to address an issue identified as a teaching and learning priority, namely the provision of improved formative feedback to students to enhance their learning outcomes. It takes a case study approach, emphasising both generic and context specific issues that arose. By taking similar but contextually different approaches to the problem the study is able to identify some challenges facing academic developers as they assist teachers in their 21st century role.


Preparing global graduates: Postgraduate programs in translation studies

Leith Passmore
The University of Western Australia
Email: leith@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Despite some brave assumptions that 'Google Language Tools' will soon meet all our intercultural needs, the tertiary sector around the world is responding to global challenges and increasingly aiming to produce well-rounded and culturally engaged graduates. In this context, research in the nascent field of Translation Studies is booming and the top universities around the world are targeting post-graduate training in translation and interpreting for 'strategic development and investment'. The uptake of this trend in Australian institutions is well underway but Western Australia is lagging behind. This paper outlines the current standing of Translation Studies in Australian universities and highlights potential opportunities going forward. The focus of the paper will be the key pedagogical and practical considerations for the development of a postgraduate course in Translation Studies that would be attractive to both recent graduates and experienced professionals looking to enhance their skills set. By considering the methods of delivery and assessment of course material, modes of official accreditation (NAATI) and the motivations of the target student cohort, this presentation will make the case that parallel to a growing global (awareness of a) need for translators as well as linguistically and culturally aware professionals, there exists a lack of tailored training opportunities at universities in Western Australia and therefore an opportunity.


Academic peer review: Enhancing learning environments for global graduates

Lina Pelliccione, Kathryn Dixon, Lou Siragusa, Christine Howitt, Bill Atweh, Alma Dender and Jillian Swaine
Curtin University of Technology
Jo McKenzie
University of Technology Sydney
Email: l.pelliccione@curtin.edu.au, k.dixon@curtin.edu.au, l.siragusa@curtin.edu.au, c.howitt@curtin.edu.au, b.atweh@curtin.edu.au, a.dender@curtin.edu.au, j.swaine@curtin.edu.au, Jo.McKenzie@uts.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

Government pressure for accountability in matters relating to comprehensive student evaluation of learning is now more overt with funding incentives for compliance included within these reform agendas. Gauging the quality of teaching on student perception alone is a cause for concern. This paper introduces the notion of 'peer review' as an additional mechanism to help gauge the quality of teaching with the aim of improving the learning environment and thus making the learning experiences more valuable to each student. The authors of this paper are part of a larger Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Funded Project examining peer review of learning and teaching in blended learning environments. The paper will report on the progress of one institutional team, in particular their individual rationale for participating in such a project. Even though these are early days, there are a number of positive indicators which signal the success of the peer review process in blended learning environments.


Problem based learning in science

Coral Pepper
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: cpepper@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a recognised teaching and learning strategy used to engage students in deep rather than surface learning (Biggs, 1999, 2003). It is also viewed as a successful strategy to align university courses with the real-life professional work students are likely to undertake on graduation, both locally and internationally. In this presentation I report on implementing PBL tasks to replace conventional tutorial and laboratory sessions in three first year science units during 2007 and 2008. I describe participant unit coordinators' understanding of the changes required to shift their focus from 'what the teacher is teaching' to 'what the students are learning'. A summary of student perceptions of PBL in these units is also included. Generally unit coordinators perceived the implementation as a successful and valuable strategy to enhance the university student learning experience. Student feedback on PBL varied, with some students reporting enjoyment on working collaboratively to solve challenging tasks, and others less appreciative of this opportunity.


We should teach our staff about what we teach our students about university culture

Rob Phillips, Colin Beasley and Craig Whitsed
Teaching and Learning Centre
Murdoch University
Email: r.phillips@murdoch.edu.au

The (3 credit point) unit Introduction to University Learning (TLC120) is offered to students at Murdoch University who are experiencing some difficulties in making the transition to university life. While the unit scaffolds students' practical skills in areas such as critical reading, essay writing and time management, a more important focus is on developing an understanding of university culture and the student's place in that culture. This is important when considering the distance between the educational socialisation of many students and the expectations of Australian universities in a global context.

Lectures and readings focus on the concept of culture and the different disciplinary sub-cultures within a university, as well as the different discourse forms required to be able to communicate in those cultures. Students are also encouraged to think about concepts, paradigms and ideologies and the manner in which the nature of knowledge has changed through the years, from medievalism to post-modernism, within the framework of the situated self.

Our observation, and feedback from students, suggests that some academics fail to recognise the influence of disciplinary paradigms of scholarship on the way they behave as academics. Similarly, they fail to recognise that discipline-specific discourse forms may be foreign to students. This leads to students believing that they had produced good quality work, only to have it marked down (even failed) because it did not meet the (implicit) requirements of the marker. Our experience suggests that students could perform better in the initial stages of disciplinary study, and retention rates could be improved, if explicit information is provided to them about the nature of the discourse form required in that discipline. A further benefit can be gained if scaffolding is provided in the development of study skills essential to that discipline. This session will briefly outline the approach we take in TLC120, and the literature we use, followed by open discussion about the issues and possibilities raised.


Development of cultural competency in allied health students through international clinical placements

Christine Pickard and Ng Peiying
School of Physiotherapy
Trevor Goddard and Nigel Gribble
School of Occupational Therapy
Curtin University of Technology
Email: C.Pickard@curtin.edu.au

Cross-cultural interactions are becoming an inevitable part of clinical practice with globalisation. To provide effective cross-cultural care, the necessity of cultural competency has been identified. Cultural competency (CC) is a dynamic process built on the ongoing development of its component attributes - cultural awareness, knowledge, understanding, sensitivity, skill and interaction. Assessment of professional competency is now likely to encompass both specialist skills and the generic skill of cultural competency.

Curtin provides international clinical placement opportunities for allied health students that enable direct experience in addressing health-related cultural issues through immersion in host cultures. This study sought to ascertain if international clinical placements influence the cultural competence of allied health students. Seventeen final year allied health students from Curtin participated in a four-week placement in China or India. A questionnaire collected data on social demographic variables. The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) measured cultural sensitivity, one of the attributes of CC. Experiences and reflections of participants during the placement were obtained using a guided learning journal.

The results indicate an increase in post-placement IDI score although this did not reach statistical significance. Five themes emerged from qualitative analysis suggesting development of cultural competency: increased vigilance and adaptation to environment, uncertainty and anticipation, grappling with supremacy, recognising and appreciating differences and cultural immersion and development. The study concludes that international clinical placements assist the development of cultural competency in allied health students.


An investigation into the impact of different modes of learning on quality of learning and career prospects for new graduates

Susannah Piek
Discipline of Microbiology and Immunology
The University of Western Australia
Email: suseroberts@hotmail.com

Experiential learning as part of university undergraduate courses can enhance the level of learning and aid in the development of transferable generic skills. This study compared the effectiveness of modes of experiential learning employed as the practical components of two different units contributing towards a science degree at The University of Western Australia (UWA). One practical component involved teacher directed laboratory sessions, while the other involved an independent research project in a laboratory setting. Although only the teacher directed practicals clearly related to and supported the theory component of the unit, it was found that the research project resulted in deeper learning as well as the acquisition of generic and practical skills, which students reported were valuable to them after graduation. Reasons for the enhanced learning that resulted from the self-directed experiential learning are discussed. The impact of project work on the student learning experience and their subsequent career prospects is outlined.


Strategies to improve undergraduate student experience in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UWA

Jo Pluske, Tim Colmer, Sue Miller and Sallyann Harvey
The University of Western Australia
Email: sue.miller@uwa.edu.au

The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (FNAS) is keen to understand data from the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and use these to put in place teaching and learning programs that will improve the student learning experience. The aim of this paper is to report on a project that sought to develop support mechanisms for staff and students in FNAS to facilitate greater engagement between the two. Reviewing the student indicators that are currently available was a valuable exercise for providing direction for improving some aspects of teaching and learning activities in FNAS. An initiative to promote to students the roles of Faculty Administrative Staff and Program Coordinators as academic advisors and mentors is likely to improve communication and benefit the learning environment. Similarly, by inviting students to participate in the Faculty community to contribute to the teaching and learning decision processes via a committee, should further enhance student experience. This paper reports on these two initiatives in FNAS that commenced during 2006.


Value of field trips for student learning in the biological sciences

Touhidur Rahman and Helen Spafford
Animal Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: rahmat01@student.uwa.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

Field trips are considered essential in biological science education. The focus of this study was to understand student and teacher attitudes towards field trips and the importance of field trips for student learning. This paper describes the outcomes of a survey used to assess attitudes of students and teachers in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, at The University of Western Australia. Results from this study indicate that students and teachers agree that field trips are important for student learning but they have different perceptions about field trips including the importance of field trips in professional career development, the optimum number of trips, duration, and group size of field trips. The value of field trips to learning and ways of improving field trips are discussed.


"Teaching is something to rise above" Perceptions of science academics in a research university towards teaching and teaching qualifications

Sarah Meghan Rich
School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
The University of Western Australia
Email: sarah.rich@grs.uwa.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

The central focus of universities has historically been teaching, however, the commercial and business orientated framework in which modern universities operate has resulted in an increased emphasis on research outputs and securing research funding, and a corresponding decline in focus on the importance of teaching. Over the last few decades concerns have been raised regarding the standards of teaching within the Australian university sector and the professionalisation of the teaching academic has become an issue of some enquiry. As Australian universities move towards a unified system of qualification, academic staff are faced with the challenge of effectively teaching larger classes with a more diverse student population (scholarly background, ethnicity, gender and age) whilst attempting to successfully balance teaching with the competing agendas of research and service. This small scale study of science academics at The University of Western Australia elucidates their perceptions of the value of tertiary teaching qualifications, whether they would consider undertaking a Graduate Certificate in University Teaching and the role they feel teaching currently plays in their chance of promotion. The results of this study show a reticence by these academics to undertake a teaching qualification, this appears to result from a culture within the university (as with most research intensive universities) which does not perceive the value of teaching qualifications in effecting quality of teaching or chance of promotion. This paper examines the implications of these responses and the challenges they present to the introduction of formal teaching qualifications for university academics.


Reflections on international students undertaking library and information research at an Australian university

Christine Richardson
Department of Information Studies
Curtin University of Technology
Email: christine.richardson@curtin.edu.au

An increasing number of international students are studying library and information studies in Australia. At Curtin University this usually involves studying a coursework Masters which can include a significant component of research that is marked by examiners under guidelines similar to those which operate at an Honours level. For many students it is their first experience of working in a research environment and with it comes a significant number of challenges. This paper discusses some of the challenges that face students as well as the academics who supervise their studies. Issues discussed include different pedagogical styles of learning, a lack of exposure to what constitutes research and the impact that social and cultural differences have on staff and students.


Understanding and accommodating students with apparently mixed levels of engagement

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

Tanya Covic
School of Psychology
University of Western Sydney
Email: lritter@csu.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

In looking at teaching students with mixed levels of engagement, this paper challenges assumed links between observed participation and engagement. It presents evidence from an instrument that specifically measures Tutorial Style Preferences (the TSP) that suggests that individual differences matter, that engagement is more complex than just observed participation and that engagement can be enhanced by an understanding and by catering to individual differences in learning and teaching environments. It also suggests that summative assessment of observed participation neither measures nor encourages engagement and may even discourage engagement for a significant cohort of students.


The secret (leadership) life of the unit coordinator

Susan Roberts and Renato Schibeci
Murdoch University
Email: s.roberts@murdoch.edu.au

The unit coordinator is not a well-studied species. This is surprising at one level, as most university teachers are unit coordinators, who lead, guide, shape and thus directly impact their students' learning. At another level this is not surprising: Unit coordinators are not often regarded as 'leaders'. 'Leadership' is sometimes seen as what VCs, DVCs and Deans 'do'. The primary aim of this presentation is to provide an introduction to an ALTC-funded project which aims to identify and clearly define the roles and expectations of unit coordinators in universities. This will lead to a clarification of their responsibilities and tasks, as well as the competencies and other attributes required to more effectively lead learning in their Units.

In this interactive presentation, we will 1) explain why unit coordinators are crucial university leaders; 2) give a snapshot of the roles of unit coordinators, as gleaned from the data so far collected; and 3) discuss the most effective means of developing leadership skills for unit coordinators. Ultimately, project outcomes will result in a proposal for the development of 'leadership' modules that pertain specifically to the roles of unit coordinators as well as more defined benchmarks and criteria for inclusion in performance and probationary reviews, promotional processes, and reward and recognition systems. These will be evaluated during the course of the project for efficacy and eventually distributed to Universities for adaptation and adoption.


Concept map as a learning tool in engineering

Prabir Sarker
Curtin University of Technology
Email: p.sarker@curtin.edu.au

A concept map is a graphical presentation of the network of concepts showing the relationships among them. Concept map was used as a tool for improved learning in the classes of Structural Analysis unit. Contents of the unit are about solving Civil Engineering structures by using different methods. Solutions of structural analysis problems by different methods are based on certain key concepts. A concept map was used to show the concepts and their associations involved in each method of solution. The maps were also used to show the differences and similarities among different methods of solutions. At the end of the semester, students were given questionaries to give feedback on the usefulness of the concept maps to help their learning in the unit. Sixty six students provided feedback on the use of concept maps. It is shown by the students' responses that majority of the students found concept maps helpful in understanding the key concepts and their associations in each method of structural analysis. It also helped students to compare the different methods, to choose the right method and follow the right steps to solve a particular problem. Students also wanted to see continued use of the concept maps in future since it introduced the key concepts and helped retain the knowledge. Therefore, it can be said that the use of the concept maps in classes of structural analysis helped improved student learning.


Managing divergent student workload perceptions and expectations in an undergraduate and graduate accounting course

Glennda Scully and Rosemary Kerr
Curtin University of Technology
Email: Glennda.Scully@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Graduates of Australian higher education accounting courses have consistently expressed concern with workload. This study reports the results of a survey of student study times and perceptions of workload in undergraduate and graduate accounting courses at a large Australian university in order to examine three questions: Is the current workload for accounting students too high? Do teacher expectations of student workload match those of their students? Can teachers communicate their expectations better? The findings suggest that workload in these courses is not too heavy but that student perceptions of workload can be improved by clearer communication of teacher expectations and improvements to unit design and delivery. The findings also suggest the need for constructively aligned curricula which motivate students to increase the amount of time spend studying and proportionally amount of time that promotes meaningful learning. Successful initiatives implemented by the school to create a better match between student and teacher workload expectations are discussed and could be generalised to most courses. Areas for further research in student workload management are proposed.


Students' feedback of teaching: Why the differences in responses?

Salim Siddiqui and Marjan Zadnik
Department of Imaging and Applied Physics
Curtin University of Technology
Email: S.Siddiqui@curtin.edu.au, M.Zadnik@curtin.edu.au

It is well known that feedback plays an essential role in students' learning processes and assessment practises. Similarly feedback from students is important to instructors wanting to improve their teaching. Curtin's online survey instrument named "eVALUate", is designed to gather feedback from students about their perceptions of their learning experiences. It is assumed that after one semester students would have a very good idea about their learning experiences, unit learning outcomes and teaching quality. However, our data reveals that students show a wide range of responses to some of the survey items, although they were exposed to the same learning environment and instructor. It appears that students have differing interpretations of the meanings of items in the survey instrument. This presentation will discuss such variations in students' perception of items of the survey instrument, and possible reasons about why they occur.


(60 minute workshop)
More similar than different: An exploration of powerful personal goals as a key to the persistence and success of diverse students

Heather Sparrow, Adrianne Kinnear, Mary Boyce, Sharon Middleton and Marguerite Cullity
Edith Cowan University
Email: h.sparrow@ecu.edu.au, a.kinnear@ecu.edu.au, m.boyce@ecu.edu.au, Sharon.middleton@ecu.edu.au, m.cullity@ecu.edu.au

This workshop invites participants to explore some initial findings from a 2-year project, funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council to investigate student success. The project surveyed over a thousand successful students about the factors they believe contribute to their capacity to persist at university. Focus groups, journals and interviews were used to follow the journeys of diverse students from the penultimate year of study to the final year, or from the final year into the workplace. One of the most striking initial findings of the study, is the critical role that personal goals have in student persistence. Students from a wide variety of backgrounds overwhelmingly cited strong goals and aspirations as the key factor that sustained them when they were tempted to withdraw from study. Although students described different patterns of goals, what matters most seems to be the strength of personal desire: Students have to want something badly enough to make the effort needed to persist worthwhile. Interestingly, the study has also researched teachers' perceptions about student persistence, and few of the teachers showed an awareness of the influence of goals, and most were surprised by the significance of students' personal desires in contributing to their success.

The workshop will share insights into the different kinds of goals that students have, the value that diverse students see in their studies and the power of personal aspirations in giving them the strength to meet the challenges they face, and go on to succeed despite the difficulties, barriers, and problems they encounter.

In the workshop participants will 1) learn about similarities and differences in students' goals at one WA university, and the influence these have on persistence and success; 2) compare and contrast the student perspectives in the study, with their own experiences, and beliefs about student goals in different contexts; 3) collaborate with others in considering the implications of personal goals for good teaching and learning and 4) reflect on the implications of the study findings for managing diversity, and generate and share ideas for positive improvements in teaching and learning.


(60 minute workshop)
Collaborative scholarship and participant evaluation: Effective approaches to understanding the complex dynamics of assessment

Heather Sparrow, Julia Wren, Susan Sharp and Yvonne Haigh
Edith Cowan University
Maria Northcote
Newcastle University
Email: h.sparrow@ecu.edu.au, j.wren@ecu.edu.au, s.sharp@ecu.edu.au, y.haigh@ecu.edu.au, Maria.Northcote@newcastle.edu.au

This workshop will share some of the experiences, insights and findings arising from an on-going collaborative evaluation project investigating students' responses to assessment. Participants are invited to join a new generation university teaching team in reflecting on rich, qualitative data that represents the complex perspectives of diverse students and staff; and to consider the implications for effective teaching and learning. Participants will also be invited to experience some of the innovative methodologies used in the project to resolve the difficulties of researching students' experience and engaging students in meaningful evaluation, in a context of limited resources, large classes, busy lives and differing values, beliefs and expectations.

The workshop addresses three questions of significance to teachers working in higher education contexts.


Feedback: Raising the bar

Len Sparrow, Sandra Frid and Lina Pelliccione
Curtin University of Technology
Heather Sparrow
Edith Cowan University
Email: L.Sparrow@curtin.edu.au, S.Frid@curtin.edu.au, L.Pelliccione@curtin.edu.au, H.Sparrow@ecu.edu.au

Item 5 (feedback) on Curtin University's unit evaluation system 'eVALUate' often shows a dip in the level of student satisfaction. This is of concern and is somewhat perplexing to those lecturers who think they are providing extensive and detailed feedback to students. The mathematics education team in the School of Education adopt a broad view of feedback. Feedback is seen as a mechanism to improve student learning that includes the traditional lecturer response to student work and also student feedback on the effectiveness of the taught unit. Student reflection on feedback and the giving of feedback are considered vital parts of the professional growth of teachers leading to the enhancement of their effectiveness and employability in both the local and global world. This presentation will comment on the relevant literature (for example, Campbell, 2008; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Tucker, Jones & Straker, 2008), and specific feedback strategies implemented in mathematics education and technology education units in Semester 2, 2008 as part of a larger Australian Learning and Teaching Council funded project. It will outline responses from students to these strategies, as well as noting teaching staff reflections. Future strategies for incorporating effective feedback into mathematics education units within a B.Ed primary program will be identified.


Mathematics and mature age: A lethal combination for anxiety?

Len Sparrow and Sonja Kuzich
Curtin University of Technology
Email: L.Sparrow@curtin.edu.au, S.Kuzich@curtin.edu.au

Westwood (2000) produced a rather worrying note that after 1500 hours of mathematics lessons in school most adults felt they had learned very little apart from fear and hatred of the subject. Many school leavers entering teacher education and other programs at university exhibit similar feelings and phobias. The project reported in this presentation studied one group from these people - a group of fifty-five mature age women studying for a Bachelor of Education (primary) qualification.

Recent State and Federal Government reports (for example, The Louden Report in Western Australia and Top of the Class from the House of Representatives) highlight the importance of quality teaching in literacy and numeracy and the need for prospective teachers to be highly competent in the teaching and personal understanding of mathematics. Mays (1999), among others, has noted the apparent lack of personal knowledge and competence in mathematics shown by primary and early childhood teacher education students. Curtin University has a long established test of basic mathematics knowledge that is given to all early childhood and primary teacher education students. Success at or above the 80% level on this test is a graduation requirement for all students in these groups.

Data have been collected from the cohort of mature age women to investigate the reasons for their anxiety relating to mathematics learning, mathematics teaching, and to undertaking the basic mathematics test. Support strategies in personal mathematics learning have been established for this group. The presentation will report the effectiveness of these strategies, reasons for the initial anxiety, and offer other suggestions for development. Personal mathematics competence, as well as a positive disposition towards mathematics, is a vital component in teacher effectiveness but also critical in employability at local and global levels.


Students' perceptions of the benefits of interprofessional learning on future workplace interactions

Leanne Stafford and Victor Chuang
School of Pharmacy
Ravani Chetty
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Beatrice Tucker
Office of Teaching and Learning
Peter Gardner
School of Physiotherapy
Curtin University of Technology
Email: r.chetty@curtin.edu.au

Pre-registration interprofessional learning (IPL) may promote the development of graduates with the skills and relationships necessary to effectively communicate and collaborate within future healthcare teams. A 'small group' IPL pilot workshop program was recently piloted with 48 final year medical, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy students as a joint initiative between Schools within two Western Australian universities. This paper describes the participants' perceptions of the benefits of their involvement in IPL on their future workplace interactions with other healthcare professionals. At the conclusion of a one day 'Multidisciplinary Care and Communication' IPL workshop, participants' opinions of the value of the workshop were surveyed via a structured questionnaire. Responses were analysed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods and compared to baseline perceptions recorded using a pre-workshop questionnaire. Feedback was received from 44 of the 48 workshop participants. All responders agreed that the workshop would prove helpful in their future practice. After the workshop, participants agreed more strongly that IPL would improve working relationships after qualification (p = 0.009) and helped them think positively about their future colleagues (p=0.005) than before the workshop. Thematic analysis revealed that the most commonly perceived benefits of the workshop were an increase in their awareness of other professions' roles (n =27) and an enhanced appreciation of the potential benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration (n=13). The workshop also provided participants with greater confidence in interprofessional communication (n=4) and a clearer definition of their own professional role (n = 2). In conclusion, participants in this small study perceived the value of IPL in enhancing their future interprofessional interactions. This supports continuation of the development of this innovative educational program.


Online plagiarism detection as a student learning tool

Brad Stappenbelt and Chris Rowles
The University of Western Australia
Email: brad.stappenbelt@uwa.edu.au, chrisr@mech.uwa.edu.au

The use of the online plagiarism detection software Turnitin, as a learning tool for students, was trialled in a core first year unit within the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. The unit involved in this initiative forms the foundation for the professional development component of the engineering degree. To succeed in this component of the degree a high level of written communication ability is required. Despite efforts to instruct students regarding proper referencing and paraphrasing, many students continue to submit written assignments that contain plagiarised material. Before the aid of plagiarism detection tools, approximately twenty cases of plagiarism were detected annually in this unit. The number of suspicious assignments that were never investigated was far greater, with an even larger number displaying at the very least careless source acknowledgement. Turnitin is a plagiarism detection program that attempts to identify the source of a student's written work. It produces a report, assessing the level of originality and identifying text that appears to have originated from known sources. The software is commonly employed in a punitive capacity, detecting plagiarism after assignment submission. In the present initiative however, students were given individual access to the software to self-assess their work as often as required prior to submission. Through the use of Turnitin, students were facilitated to learn how to properly acknowledge sources and improve their paraphrasing. The unit tutors were also available to assist students to reach the writing standards required. Student perception of the use of plagiarism detection software, determined through student perception of teaching (SPOT) survey questions, was extremely positive. The Turnitin statistics across three substantial written assignments throughout semester revealed continual and substantial improvement in student ability to avoid plagiarising. This was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in the incidence rates of plagiarism.


Cultural influence on attitudes to plagiarism

Brad Stappenbelt, Chris Rowles and Eric May
School of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Western Australia
Email: brad.stappenbelt@uwa.edu.au, chrisr@mech.uwa.edu, eric.may@uwa.edu.au
[Refereed research. Full text on website]

This paper discusses the issue of plagiarism in higher education. In particular, the cultural influences that contribute to student attitudes and abilities to avoid plagiarism were examined through a case study involving a number of postgraduate engineering students at UWA. These were amongst a group of students who were caught plagiarising and were permitted to resubmit their assignments following a compulsory writing skills workshop. The students mounted a defence of their actions based on ignorance of the university's expectations regarding plagiarism. They claimed they did not grasp the university's expectations and had never learnt the skills required to avoid plagiarising. All students were from non-English speaking backgrounds and had acquired English as a second language. Student attitudes to plagiarism before and after the incident were determined as was their ability to recognise and rate the level of plagiarism in a series of writing samples. The results revealed that the students did appear to possess the necessary skills to successfully avoid plagiarising. There was however poor alignment of students' understanding of plagiarism and their perception of its impact compared to that stated in university academic conduct policy.


Teaching sustainability with overlay mapping and Google Earth

Laura Stocker and Gary Burke
Sustainability Policy Institute
Curtin University of Technology
Email: L.Stocker@curtin.edu.au, Gary.burke@postgrad.curtin.edu.au
[Refereed professional practice. Full text on website]

In this methodological paper we describe an overlay mapping technique using digital technology that can be used in an action-learning process to creatively derive an understanding of a diverse range of sustainability values, and uses, of local places. In an educational setting, place-mapping is an action-learning process that allows students to document and reflect on sense of place and sustainability values, and to learn a technique that will have professional application. Overlay mapping is a visually and analytically powerful technique for finding out, teaching and learning about sustainability. For educators, the initiating questions are: "How do we sustain a place, and how does this place sustain us?" The mapping process helps locate key sustainability 'hotspots' (or 'coldspots') that provide a basis for interpretation and discussion. The overlay mapping technique uses four transparencies, one for each of the layers of sustainability. Key locations are drawn on each transparency placed over a base map. The four transparency layers are then placed onto the base map together to find synergies or interacting "hotspots", and/or missed opportunities for synergies or even negative interactions ('coldspots'). The physical overlay maps can then be transferred to Google Earth, allowing for digital presentation and dissemination. This technique aims to develop and share students' understandings of place(s) and their sustainability traits. Being graphical, it incorporates diverse knowledge, perception, language and communication capacities. It can be applied at many geographical scales, across time frames, and in a wide variety of situations by a diversity of people with or without conventional literacy skills. Information in the digital sustainability maps can be put together to create a composite map and compared or correlated with other GIS data. This paper records the experiences of ten postgraduate students studying sustainability and piloting this method. Strengths, weaknesses and possible improvements are reported here.


Mastery preparation for physics

Geoff Strauss and Craig Wilson
Curtin University of Technology
Email: G.Strauss@curtin.edu.au

Approximately 50% of students entering the BSc (Physiotherapy) course have not studied and completed the Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE) in Physics. Previous first year students have experienced difficulty with the Physics unit in Semester 2, with resultant high numbers of supplementary examinations and a significant failure rate. Student satisfaction with the unit is low.

While a Preparation for Physics (P4P) course has been provided in Semester 1 for those students without TEE Physics, low levels of satisfaction have been reported following the end-of-semester examination / course. It became evident that several factors were limiting achievement. The mathematics ability (algebra, geometry, and trigonometry) of the students was one factor that influenced success over the duration of the course. Directed learning with practice examples and worked solutions were insufficient to establish understanding and the successful solution of similar problems.

In 2008, the 2 hours contact per week incorporated more worked problems (and solutions) with the lecture material. In addition, 8 compulsory mastery online quizzes (WebCT) were scheduled to reinforce the contact sessions. Quizzes varied between 10 and 15 questions in length, were largely multiple choice and calculations, and between 40 and 60 min was allowed for completion. Mastery was achieved if no more than 2 incorrect answers per quiz (80 to 87%) were submitted, with the best of 3 attempts used to determine each quiz grade. Further attempts to achieve mastery were also allowed. An average of 92.9% of students achieved mastery in the quizzes (min: 82.9 to max: 97.1%), despite the aim of 100% mastery. Mastery on the first attempt varied according to the difficulty of material and teaching expertise. A Maths Test after 4 weeks was passed by all students, with 60% achieving mastery. The end-of-semester examination was passed by 97.2 % of students, with 45.7% achieving mastery.


Enhancing mathematical conceptualisation using computer investigations

Raymond Summit
Western Australian School of Mines
Curtin University of Technology
Email: R.Summit@curtin.edu.au

Reforms in pedagogy in teaching mathematics, and in particular calculus, have been professed for two decades. Despite this, some curricula have ignored the call for reform. This paper supports the reform movement and discusses the implementation of reform at the Western Australian School of Mines (WASM) through the implementation of practical classes in an engineering mathematics course. Unlike computer classes that preceded this course, this program does not use a CAS in its implementation. The program focuses on computer investigations that help to develop mathematical conceptualisation.


Effective strategies for improving discussion of case studies

Iris Vardi
Curtin University of Technology
Email: i.vardi@curtin.edu.au

In-depth discussion of case studies provides students with an opportunity to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts and how they can be applied in the real world. Good discussion often requires preparation on a part of the student, and a willingness to participate. However, many staff complain that students come ill-prepared for class, that some students dominate, and that not all students participate. This can be exacerbated by the varying expectations of a heterogeneous student group representing different cultures, backgrounds, and work experiences. This session explores the findings of a study which trialled a range of strategies to improve student engagement and depth of discussion around case study material. It describes the strategies used and their effectiveness based on class observation, class records, a student questionnaire, student focus groups and lecturer interview. The session will provide insights into practical strategies that work and ways of evaluating these.


Pronunciation in context: Strategies for postgraduate EAL students

Lalitha Velautham
The University of Adelaide
Email: lalitha.velautham@adelaide.edu.au

As part of the process for confirmation of candidature, postgraduate students have to present their research proposal at a department seminar. This step is a challenge for students who speak English as an additional language (EAL). Based on interviews and discussions with students, the areas of concern include anxiety about pronunciation and loss of confidence due to perceived mistakes in spoken English. These responses indicate the need for support and guidance in helping EAL postgraduate students reach their oral communication goals. According to Harmer (2004: 183), "Pronunciation teaching not only makes students aware of different sounds and sound features (and what these mean), but can also improve their speaking immeasurably." In a series of workshops for postgraduate EAL students, several strategies were implemented to assist students in achieving better oral communication skills. This presentation outlines these strategies as well as student feedback on progress achieved. Preliminary findings from surveys and interviews reveal that these strategies have led to greater student confidence in negotiating seminar presentations.


Inter-examiner reliability using a rubric developed to assess performance standards in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Clinical Practice

Robert Waller
Curtin University of Technology
Email: r.waller@curtin.edu.au

The Masters of Manipulative Therapy Course has been running at Curtin University of Technology since 1978. As part of the program the students complete two Musculoskeletal Clinical Practice Units. They are assessed on a patient portfolio, a patient clinical practical examination (which requires students to examine and treat one patient) and on overall clinical placement performance (which reflects the standard of clinical practice achieved by the end of the placement). In 2008 a Rubric was developed with six performance criteria reflecting different aspects of clinical practice. Previously Examiners used an exam marking guide to evaluate performance. The guide did not provide examiners performance standards to assist in the allocation of marks making the process subjective and open to inconsistency between examiners. The aim of developing the rubric was to make the assessment process more transparent and accountable and provide the students with a standard against which they will be marked. A second aim was to improve comparability between examiners. To test inter-examiner reliability a student was filmed performing a patient exam in the same conditions that would apply during a patient clinical practical exam. Examiners will view the videoed exam and assess the clinical practice performance using the standards in the Rubric. Inter-examiner reliability will be tested and the results will be presented. To examine the impact of using the rubric on student outcomes (marks), the average student marks allocated in 2007 (no rubric) will be compared with those from 2008 (using the rubric). Qualitative feedback from examiners who have used the rubric will also be included in the analysis.


Employability in a global world through career development learning

Kristy Warrick and Kudakwashe Sekete
Curtin University of Technology
Email: k.warrick@curtin.edu.au, k.sekete@curtin.edu.au

The September 2008 International Careers Month (ICM) was organised by Curtin University of Technology Careers Centre. The program was designed to facilitate the development of students' employability skills and career development learning in a global context. ICM targeted local students seeking global employment opportunities and, international students preparing for the transition from university to either the local or international workforce.

The Cognitive Information Processing CASVE cycle of career development learning (Peterson, Sampson, Reardon & Lenz, 2003) was used as the theoretical framework for the ICM .The program of 29 learning activities and events addressed issues related to mapping and planning for career development learning through workshops, forums, panels, networking activities and a Career Fair. As needed individual career counselling was provided to compliment the group activities. Events for employers and staff were conducted concurrently.

Staff and Industry representatives from various disciplines were involved in the program and were an invaluable source of information on the current trends, opportunities and the requirements that students will have to consider in their transition from university to the workforce and the ongoing development of their employability skills. They provided complementary industry and research-based information that not only facilitated informative decision-making in the students' career planning but for some students will also enhance employment outcomes at the completion of their degree.

The 2009 ICM program will be enhanced by extending this staff involvement to a more strategic partnership between Faculties and the Curtin Careers Centre. In particular there are opportunities, within the curriculum, to provide a more robust ICM program that incorporates relevant global industry based knowledge, and guidance to all Curtin students, in their career development learning. Recommendations for strengthening the sharing of the ICM resources with Faculties, and the piloting of using ICM materials and activities with the curriculum to increase the employability of Curtin student in their transition into the dynamic global labour market, have commenced.


The placement life cycle: An investigative study into the development of student confidence during a compulsory industry placement

Katharina Wolf
Curtin University of Technology
Email: k.wolf@curtin.edu.au

While work integrated learning is becoming increasingly popular across disciplines, Kerr (2005) discovered that real life experience and industry placements as part of higher education training are particularly emphasised by the public relations industry. Students enrolled in a Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) accredited degree have to spend a minimum of 20 days full time (or part time equivalent) in the industry, before qualifying for graduation. This applies of on- and offshore students. Bates (2004) points out that students often refer to placements as the most significant part of their undergraduate program. This is certainly the case with the PR393 Professional Practice unit at Curtin University; however, this enthusiasm only appears to emerge retrospectively. Even the most outgoing, confident and high performing students appear to start doubting their abilities, or even career choice, during the early days of the industry placement. This observation has prompted a study into students' progress during the 20 day placement, based on end of semester feedback, informal conversations and most importantly students' observations and posts on the unit's Reflective Blog. Based on the analysis a five-step Placement Life Cycle (PLC) emerged, emphasising students' initial Concerns & Uneasiness, followed by a Settling In period. Half way through their industry placement students' confidence has almost returned, however, now coupled with more Realistic Expectations of the industry and employer expectations. During the second half, students' start to gain more Confidence in their own abilities often based on the feedback and recognition received in their placement organisations, which eventually results in Satisfaction with the unit and Recognition of the Placement Value. Awareness of the Placement Live Cycle (PLC) enables academics and support staff to pre-empt and counter-act potential issues and concerns, particularly in the context of an individual tuition unit.


Improving units following student feedback

Shelley Yeo
Curtin University of Technology
Email: s.yeo@curtin.edu.au

This presentation addresses several questions: How do we help staff to receive and respond to negative student feedback in such a way that they can implement effective improvement strategies? If staff do implement strategies, how do we subsequently interpret feedback from the next cohort of students? Each year, students in a given unit are different. If changes are made, do the changes actually result in improvement? Will the next group of students provide feedback that reflects the changes? The complexities that underpin this area mean that a small study such as this cannot produce robust inferential results, however, it is important for staff that we do try to recognise and, if possible quantify, genuine attempts to improve practice following student feedback.

In this session I will outline an initiative undertaken during 2008 in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Curtin University of Technology to improve units for which students had expressed dissatisfaction through the University's formal student evaluation process, eVALUate. The initiative resulted in a significant improvement in overall satisfaction (from 52% to 71%) with 67% of targeted units having shown improvement. However, the results also raised questions such as: Would these units have improved anyway, without any intervention? Why did changes in some units apparently result in lower levels of satisfaction?

Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences of receiving and responding to student feedback and the outcome of such experiences.


(How) can we determine 'intent' in cases of plagiarism?

Jon Yorke, Graham McMahon, Kathryn Lawson
Curtin University of Technology
Email: j.yorke@curtin.edu.au, g.mcmahon@curtin.edu.au, kathryn.lawson@curtin.edu.au

Over recent years many institutions have refined their plagiarism policies in the light of experience and in response to the consequent effects of implementing a text matching system such as 'Turnitin'. A review of the literature suggests that there is substantial variability in approach between institutions, with some treating all instances of plagiarism as academic misconduct and others taking a more measured approach through the adoption of graded levels of 'severity' of the offence.

Some institutions (such as Curtin University of Technology) provide tools in the form of reference tables to help academic colleagues determine the level of severity of the incident. Such rubrics will typically include the experience of the student, the amount of material plagiarised, and the likelihood of an intention to deceive. However, the intent to deceive can be extremely difficult to establish. This short paper reviews a number of approaches to the determination of 'intent' and discusses a set of quantifiable measures that may be used when developing policy and guidance.


Please cite as: TL Forum (2009). Preparing for the graduate of 2015. Proceedings of the 17th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 30-31 January 2008. Perth: Curtin University of Technology. http://otl.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2008/contents-all.html

© 2009 Curtin University of Technology. Copyrights in the individual articles in the Proceedings reside with the authors as noted in each article's footer lines.


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