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Venue: Bldg 500. 1101 & 1102 (Resources & Chemistry Bldg)

Time: 1:30pm to 4:30pm

 









Organised by:

Teaching & Learning

Faculty of Science & Engineering

Curtin University of Technology

 





CONTENTS

Welcome message

Dean, Teaching & Learning, Faculty of Science & Engineering


... 3


Program


... 4


Abstracts


... 6


Poster presentations


...23


Notes pages


Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Writer’s Workshop


...24


…28





















W

elcome to the Faculty of Science and Engineering Teaching and Learning EXPO.


The Expo provides staff from the Faculty with opportunities to showcase their teaching and learning activities or innovations. During the last 18 months, six groups have been working on projects funded through a previous incarnation of the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund (LTPF). These projects are all but completed and a number of them will be the subject of a presentation during the afternoon. Other academics in the Faculty have obtained Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) competitive grants which have enabled them to implement part research, part development projects. Several of these will be presented and most also have a poster on display. Online learning projects to be showcased are eScholars or eLearning projects, funded mostly by the Centre for eLearning (CEL). The Office of Assessment, Teaching and Learning (OATL) last year provided funds for staff to engage in a number of small projects around moderation, and several of these will be presented. Finally, some staff engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning, or have achieved the highest national awards for excellence in teaching and learning. Euan Lindsay has kindly agreed to do a presentation. The most recent winner, Simon Lewis will unfortunately be away, but instead has provided a poster showcasing his work.


The presentations this afternoon will hopefully stimulate others to seek or undertake some development or scholarly activity which will further enhance their teaching and improve the learning of their students.


Shelley Yeo

Dean , Teaching and Learning


Program

 1:30

Welcome Address by Prof. Shelley Yeo

Dean Teaching & Learning, Faculty of Science & Engineering






1:35

Attracting students through assistive technology projects



Clive Maynard & Iain Murray

1:45

Simsoft: A business game for risk management


Cecilia Xia, David Baccarini & Craig Caulfield

1:55

Win, win, win! Scientists, teacher educators and pre-service teachers collaboratively informing practice



Christine Howitt, Simon Lewis, Mauro Mocerino & Mario Zadnik

2:05

The maths challenge for the masses



Anne D’Arcy-Warmington

2:15

Implementing active learning strategies in large first year chemistry classes: ALIUS at Curtin



Daniel Southam, Mauro Mocerino & Mark Buntine

2:25

ASELL: Advancing science by enhancing learning in the laboratory


Mark Buntine, Daniel Southam, Mauro Mocerino, Alan Payne, Mario Zadnik & Salim Siddiqui

2:35

LTPF: Curriculum design and beyond: Evaluating student-development in Engineering programs



Tony Lucey, David Scott, Garry Leadbeater & Karen Sullivan

2:50

ALTC: Double degrees research pathways, enabling cross disciplinarity, and enhancing international competitiveness


Bruce Moulton (UTS), Hari Vuthaluru (Curtin), Mark Shortis (RMIT), Ramasamy-Iyer (QUT) & Ke Xing (UniSA)

3:00

Sharing remote laboratories across Australia – the LabShare project



Euan D Lindsay

3:10

Afternoon Tea






3:25


Moderation Projects:

  1. Moderation




  1. Moderation of Statistical Data Analysis(SDA) 101 examinations




  1. The objective structured clinical evaluation




  1. Designing a comprehensive rubric for laboratory report assessment





Vaille Dawson


Nihal Yatawara & Roger Collinson

Janice McKay & Luke Barclay


Salim Siddiqui, Robert Loss, Aidan Hotan, Ming Lim & Marjan Zadnik


3:45

LTPF: Improved student interaction and comprehension skills through workshops


Mike Robey, Carmela Briguglio, Ling Li & Mihai Lazarescu

4:00

LTPF: Improving the use of eVALUate in the School of Engineering



Cesar Ortega-Sanchez, Moses Tadé & Syed Islam

4:15

ALTC: Development of an advanced immersive learning environment for process engineering


Nicoleta Maynard (Curtin), Moses Tadé (Curtin), Ian Cameron (UQ), Caroline Crosthwaite (UQ), Andrew Hoadley (Monash), David Shallcross (USyd) & John Kavanagh (USyd)



4:25

LTPF: Rapid learning: Enhancing learning experience in the first year plant biology practical classes



Jacob John, Jonathan Majer & Beng Tan

4:40

Blended learning in Science and Engineering


Graham McMahon & Michael Williams

4:50

End of sessions & Refreshments






^ Attracting students through assistive technology projects


Clive Maynard and Iain Murray

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

c.maynard@curtin.edu.au

I.Murray@curtin.edu.au


Curtin University has a Centre for Assistive Technologies (CUCAT) that endeavours to create artifacts that can support and improve the lifestyle of people with disabilities, in particular, those with vision impairment.

Ideas generally come from university staff or from students. Actual implementation is the focus of projects within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students are attracted both by the “hands on” creation of real artifacts and the “good feelings” that they get by contributing to these developments. Real world problems are faced and design requirements addressed where final cost of a product is a significant limitation on potential utilisation. In general, people with physical disabilities have limited income so expenditure on artifacts/products is a major decision. Cooperation and teamwork across multiple disciplines – communications, electronic, mechanical, mechatronic, and computer engineers - is necessary and for a potential product to be ultimately feasible it must meet a global market so international standards must be met.

This paper discusses the types of project that have been implemented, the challenges faced and our observations of the impact involvement has had on the students themselves. It has been found that students are attracted to and often seek to involve themselves in this field.


^ Simsoft: A business game for risk management


Cecilia Xia, David Baccarini and Craig Caulfield

Department of Spatial Sciences

c.xia@curtin.edu.au

Department of Construction Management

d.baccarini@curtin.edu.au

School of Computer and Information Science, Edith Cowan University

ccaulfie@our.ecu.edu.au


Risk management training has traditionally been taught in a class room setting, but this method can be expensive, slow and rigid. Business games— interactive learning environments in which players explore all the components of a complex situation— are a simple and efficacious alternative.

This presenation describes a business game, Simsoft, that has a particular focus on project risk management. Simsoft helps users to identify risk events and their impact; to develop risk response and contingency plans; and to have ready the resources necessary to deal effectively with the risks that do materialise. Simsoft is unique in that it is dynamic, interactive and user-friendly.

The engine behind Simsoft is a system dynamics model which embodies the fundamental causal relationships of a typical project. Java has been used to build the user interface and to save the results of each iteration of the game so that the project can be replayed and analysed.


^ Win, win, win! Scientists, teacher educators and pre-service teachers collaboratively informing practice


Christine Howitt

Science and Mathematics Education Centre

c.howitt@curtin.edu.au

Simon Lewis and Mauro Mocerino

Department of Chemistry

s.lewis@curtin.edu.au, m.mocerino@curtin.edu.au

Marjan Zadnik

Department of Imaging and Applied Physics

m.zadnik@curtin.edu.au


This teaching and learning innovation took a strategic approach to the problem of better preparing pre-service early childhood teachers to teach science through a uniquely cross-discipline and collaborative approach between scientists, teacher educators and pre-service teachers. The purpose of this innovation was to provide pre-service teachers with the best possible chance of acquiring the requisite science content to merge with their pedagogical skills, and thus increase their confidence to teach science in the early childhood classroom. The collaborative approach involved scientists and teacher educators together developing new science resources, and implementing them through team-teaching into the pre-service teachers’ science workshops. Pre-service teachers’ knowledge of science, enthusiasm for teaching science, attitudes towards science, and confidence were found to increase across the workshops. As a consequence of the collaboration, teacher educators gained valuable science content knowledge and developed a wider range of science teaching activities. Scientists developed a greater range of pedagogical skills and a greater understanding of early childhood education. This successful collaboration was characterised by a strong commitment to a clear vision, acknowledgement of all partner’s strengths, open lines of communication, a trusting working relationship between partners, mutual participation between all partners, and supportive and strategic leadership.


^ The maths challenge of the masses


Anne D’Arcy-Warmington

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

A.D’Arcy-Warmington@exchange.curtin.edu.au


Thinking outside the square to find many ways to make mathematics the cool subject the one you want to study. Creative and imaginative ideas that take the million to one shot with all marketing ploys and strategies to create the image. We must create the sporting skills of Ronaldo, Federer and Tandulka, the CSI effect in Forensics, the user-friendliness and ubiquitous nature of Google and Facebook to influence students to want to learn mathematics for enjoyment rather than torture. Mathematics service unit is the conduit to the appreciation of mathematics by the masses and a bridge to future students’ enjoyment. The challenge is two-fold, the teacher’s challenge to make it real, relevant and riveting against the students’ challenge of preconceptions, misconceptions and no perception. Start a new cycle in the classroom with the parents’ of the next generation of appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics.


^ Implementing active learning strategies in large first year chemistry classes: ALIUS at Curtin


Daniel Southam, Mauro Mocerino and Mark Buntine

Department of Chemistry

d.southam@curtin.edu.au

m.mocerino@curtin.edu.au

m.buntine@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 outcomes. The ALIUS project* (Active Learning In University Science) is a leadership project, funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, with the aim of improving the learning experience for students in our science lectures. We have used the POGIL model (Process Orientated Guided Inquiry Learning, www.pogil.org) as a framework to increase student participation and engagement in large first year classes.

We will outline some of the practical strategies we have used to engage students in their learning during lectures. Common concerns expressed by many about time management, extra workload and “covering” the content will be addressed. Student feedback will also be presented.

* Other ALIUS team members are: Dan R. Bedgood, Jr. (Charles Sturt), Adam Bridgeman (Sydney), Michael Gardiner, Brian Yates (Tasmania), Kieran Lim, Gail Morris (Deakin), Simon Pyke (Adelaide) and Marjan Zadnik (Curtin, Applied Physics)

^ Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory


Mark Buntine, Daniel Southam, Mauro Mocerino and Alan Payne

Department of Chemistry

m.buntine@curtin.edu.au

d.southam@curtin.edu.au

m.mocerino@curtin.edu.au

a.payne@curtin.edu.au


Mario Zadnik and Salim Siddiqui

Department of Imaging and Applied Physics

m.zadnik@curtin.edu.au

s.siddiqui@curtin.edu.au


 

Laboratory activities have long been seen as important components of a science course.  They can be a popular component of these courses and can stimulate and motivate students to learn more about science.  Indeed, most educators agree that the laboratory experience consistently ranks highly as a contributing factor towards students’ interest and attitudes to their science courses.  Consequently, good laboratory programs should play a major role in influencing student attitudes, learning and performance.  In fact, it can define a student’s experience in the sciences, and if done poorly, can be a major contributing factor in causing students to disengage from the subject area.  The ASELL project seeks to provide students in Biology, Chemistry and Physics with laboratory programs that are relevant, engaging and offer effective learning outcomes.  An overview of the ASELL project will be presented.


ASELL Directors:  Mark Buntine (Curtin); Scott Kable, Manju Sharma & Simon Barrie (Sydney Uni); Kieran Lim (Deakin); Karen Burke da Silva (Flinders); Simon Pyke (Adelaide Uni)

^ Curriculum design and beyond: Evaluating student-development in Engineering programs


Tony Lucey, David Scott, Garry Leadbeater and Karen Sullivan

School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering

A.Lucey@Curtin.edu.au

D.Scott@Curtin.edu.au

G.Leadbeater@Curtin.edu.au

K.Sullivan@Curtin.edu.au


Curriculum and assessment design are now at an advanced stage of development, most especially through outcome-based approaches. What has attracted less attention is the effectiveness of such designs and their implementation, as evidenced by students’ learning and achievements. Typically students continue to ‘collect’ unit-passes and the effectiveness of a program is judged by pass rates in these units as opposed to the development of the knowledge and skills that cut across unit boundaries. Thus, weaknesses in an area of the curriculum or its delivery can be masked. Accordingly, we establish a holistic measure for the five key domains of knowledge and skills that need to be developed in accredited engineering degree programs. Our methods are based upon unit-outcome statements and student-performance data backed by qualitative data from focus groups. These are applied to the first and second years of both the Civil & Construction and Mechanical Engineering degree programs. We analyse the relative preparedness of different student cohorts – international, Curtin International College, TAFE-articulation - for second-year study, the effectiveness of the Engineering Foundation Year in developing students for discipline-specific study, and the effects of mid-year entry. Also shown is the effectiveness of second-year programs in developing the key graduate attributes mandated by the professional body.

^ Double degrees: research pathways, enabling cross-disciplinarity, and enhancing international competitiveness’


Bruce Moulton

University of Technology, Sydney


Hari Vuthaluru

Curtin University of Technology

h.vuthaluru@curtin.edu.au


^ Mark Shortis

RMIT University, Melbourne


Ramasamy-Iyer

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane


Xe King

University of South Australia, Adelaide


The project deals with double degree research pathways, the nexus of teaching and research in the increasingly recognised area of cross-disciplinarity, ways to improve the standards and international competitiveness of Australian double degrees, and ways to improve supports for double degree staff and students. The activities completed to date includes double degree structures, missing units and their effects, examples of methods intended to facilitate learning experiences characterised as crossing disciplinary boundaries and typical feedback from employers concerning double degree students. Work done so far indicates that there may be quite large differences between institutions concerning the structures and procedures of various double degree programs at each of these institutes.


^ Sharing remote laboratories across Australia – the LabShare project


Euan D Lindsay

Department of Mechanical Engineering

e.lindsay@curtin.edu.au


Laboratory classes are an essential part of engineering education. Recent developments in internet-based remote control allow laboratory classes to be done remotely; however the earliest applications of this approach have been ad-hoc and largely unsustainable. The LabShare project is a DEEWR-funded project across the ATN universities to design, build and share a network of remote engineering laboratories. The LabShare project is organised into three streams, each addressing one of the key themes in remote laboratories. The technical stream deals with the physical implementation of the laboratories – building the equipment, developing interfaces and connecting them to the internet. The pedagogical stream deals with how students learn through remote laboratories, gauging their effectiveness for different learning outcomes. The organisational stream is addressing potential models of laboratory sharing to find a feasible option to make such a network sustainable once external funding has expired.

^ Moderation Projects



  1. Moderation


Vaille Dawson

Science and Mathematics Education Centre

V.Dawson@curtin.edu.au


Moderation is a process that ensures that assessment is fair, valid and reliable. As a helpful reminder to academics I produced a book mark for all staff and a place mat for unit coordinators which contained information about moderation.

 



  1. ^ Moderation of Statistical Data Analysis(SDA) 101 examinations


Nihal Yatawara and Roger Collinson

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

N.Yatawara@curtin.edu.au

R.Collinson@curtin.edu.au


A representative random sample of 25 SDA 101 Exam papers marked in Semester 2, 2009 was selected. The exam papers were from two different geographic locations: 16 of the papers were from the Bentley campus and 9 were from Miri. The 25 exam papers were remarked by an independent casual lecturer, in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, who was not responsible for setting or marking assessment tasks in SDA 101. A comparison between the marks allocated by the original markers and the independent maker is made.



  1. ^ The objective structured clinical evaluation


Jan McKay and Luke Barclay

Department of Imaging and Applied Science

j.mckay@curtin.edu.au

l.barclay@curtin.edu.au


The Objective Structured Clinical evaluation (OSCE) is an assessment method that allows a university based workplace skill assessment. It provides an alternative means of observing performance and can be structured to provide a range of controlled scenarios to cover an essential range of clinical situations. The OSCE was introduced as an assessment for fourth year students at the completion of the program, prior to their graduation in 2009. An OSCE requires students to progress through a number of stations, with each one assessing a different aspect of applied, clinical understanding. Each station assessed a different competency required by the professional accrediting body for accredited practitioners. The list of individual competencies are contained under five standards: Knowledge and Understanding; Critical Thinking and Evaluation; Professional and Ethical Practice; Care and Clinical Management; Life Long Learning. The OSCE provides the opportunity to assess in different formats with one station, for example, requiring students to identify specific information on radiographs, while another presented students with a clinical scenario and they were required to respond to questions relating to that case. Examiners were a mix of academic staff and clinical colleagues which provided an important collaboration with our professional community.



  1. ^ Designing a comprehensive rubric for laboratory report assessment



Salim Siddiqui, Robert Loss, Aidan Hotan, Ming Lim and Marjan Zadnik

Department of Imaging and Applied Physics

s.siddiqui@curtin.edu.au

r.loss@curtin.edu.au

a.hotan@curtin.edu.au

m.e.lim@curtin.edu.au

m.zadnik@curtin.edu.au


A set of six lab reports marked by eight demonstrators using a specific rubric showed a wide range of marks. Following discussion with demonstrators and staff the current rubric was re-designed. To check the validity and reliability of the new rubric, another set of six reports were marked by the same demonstrators. The results indicate that the re-designed rubric is valid and reliable.


^ Improved Student Interaction and Comprehension Skills through Workshops


Mike Robey, Carmela Briguglio, Ling Li and Mihai Lazarescu

Department of Computing

m.robey@curtin.edu.au

c.briguglio@curtin.edu.au

l.li@curtin.edu.au


The conclusions drawn from the 2008 conditional student interviews were that the two most significant causes of problems amongst computing students was their inability to read and understand text books which resulted in students ignoring them, and the realisation that these students did not interact or communicate with their fellow students. The LTPF grant was used to design and implement a series of workshops designed to show students how to comprehend text and to encourage students to interact more with their fellow students. The workshops were aimed at first and second year students and separate workshops run for each year using text sections relevant to each student group. Two sets of workshops were run in semester one and one set in semester two. Each workshop consisted of two parts, the first aimed at encouraging and highlighting the usefulness of interacting with fellow students and the second part was aimed at the literacy issues. Each section involved a sequence of interactive exercises followed by discussions aimed at highlighting the value of both literacy and working with fellow students. Feedback from participants from each workshop was used to improve the following workshops. The resulting exercises will be incorporated into significant first and second year units next year as a means of ensuring these problems are addressed for future students.

^ Improving the use of eVALUate in the [former] School of Engineering


Cesar Ortega-Sanchez

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

c.ortega@curtin.edu.au


Moses Tadé

School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

m.o.tade@curtin.edu.au


Syed Islam

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

s.islam@curtin.edu.au


The main objective of the project was to promote eVALUate as a feedback mechanism that is actually used by academics to improve units. The objective was achieved through a publicity campaign. The main elements of the campaign were:

  • Posters. A couple of posters informed students about eVALUate results in S2-2008 and S1-2008. Another poster was a guide explaining eVALUate questions. The posters were published in all computer labs and common rooms.

  • Banner. A banner to advertise eVALUate was displayed in the foyer of building 204 during the eVALUate period. Smaller versions of the banner were published in all computer labs.

  • Draws. To encourage students to participate in eVALUate 3 iPod touch were drawn among Engineering students who answered the survey in semesters 1 and 2, 2009.

  • Signage system. In S1-2010 three monitors were installed in building 204 to publicise eVALUate at the end of every semester. During teaching weeks the signage system will be used to project Faculty news and multimedia content relevant to students.

Outcomes: EVALUate participation rate and overall satisfaction for Engineering have consistently increased every semester since S2-2008. This improvement may have come about as a result of our publicity campaign complemented with other initiatives in the Faculty. It is expected that the signage system will contribute to a more friendly and student-oriented environment.

^ Development of an advanced immersive learning environment for process engineering


Nicoleta Maynard and Moses Tadé

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

n.maynard@curtin.edu.au

m.o.tade@curtin.edu.au


Ian Cameron and Caroline Crosthwaite

The University of Queensland


Andrew Hoadley

Monash University


David Shallcross

The University of Melbourne


^ John Kavanagh

The University of Sydney


This work presents an 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 Virtual Reality (VR) learning environment is based around spherical imagery of real operating plants coupled with interactive embedded activities and content. This tool has been developed by applying aspects of relevant educational theory and proven instructive teaching approaches.

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.

The VR interface brings the real plant to the user through a set of VR immersive environments. These environments enhance insight and understanding by providing a real engineering context within the different plants, relevant activities and information pieces embedded within the VR imagery and an exploratory platform to discover and investigate at the individual’s own pace.

Industrial staff can benefit by utilizing the environments to provide the basis for general site inductions, conduct operator training on specific equipment and shed light on the pieces of process equipment generally regarded as “black boxes” by process operators.

^ Rapid learning: Enhancing learning experience in the first year plant biology practical classes


Jacob John

Dept of Environmental and Aquatic Sciences

J.John@curtin.edu.au


Plant Biology 101 Section B consists of 6 weeks covering 6 modules. Each Module is covered by two hours lectures and 3 hrs of practicals integrated with tutorials. The practical session also includes a trouble shooting tutorial session. There is a work book through which students are expected to follow instructions and complete the practical tasks allotted. .Microscopy was an essential part of the practicals. Over the past several years, the teaching of this segment has been impacted by lack of good quality microscopes.

In the beginning of 2009, the department was able to purchase through a teaching and learning grant new microscopes and a digital microscope projector in one of the two laboratories used for the practical classes. But all groups had access to new microscopes. The digital projector enabled better demonstration of microscopic structures to the whole class. Questionnaires were administered to determine the efficiency of students’ learning experience based on learning outcome and their perceptions of learning experience. A total of 90 students were involved in the project for 5 weeks participating in 5 modules. At the end of the practicals, they were asked to respond to questions directly related to the learning outcome and self assessment of their perception of the learning experience. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. However there was a gradual improvement in student’s perception of learning as the practicals progressed from week 1 to 5.. The quality of tutors and the disparity of standards between the groups of students might have been possible causes of variation in students responses. The merits of testing for rapid learning at the end of each practical class are discussed in the paper.

^ Blended learning in Science and Engineering


Graham McMahon and Michael Williams

Teaching & Learning

Faculty of Science & Engineering

G.McMahon@curtin.edu.au

Michael.Williams@curtin.edu.au


The Faculty of Science and Engineering is embarking on a project to develop blended learning throughout  2010 and 2011. The aim is to ensure consistent, quality online learning spaces accessible to local, national and international students. This presentation will outline the project, provide examples of online learning tools and areas for research and development

 

^ Poster Presentations


Title: The collaborative science project – Overview

By: Christine Howitt & Elaine Blake


Title: Forensic science: Integration and engagement

By: Simon Lewis


Title: Virtual refinery - An immersive learning environment

By: Nicoleta Maynard (Curtin), Moses Tadé (Curtin), Ian Cameron (UQ), Caroline Crosthwaite (UQ), Andrew Hoadley (Monash), David Shallcross (USyd) & John Kavanagh (USyd)


Title: Moderation for fair assessment in transnational learning and teaching

By: Gavin Sanderson (UniSA), Shelley Yeo (Curtin), Michelle Wallace (SCU), Carmela Briguglio (Curtin), Parvinder Hukam-Singh (Taylor’s UC), Thavamalar Thuraisingam (Taylor’s UC) & Saadia Mahmud (UniSA)


Title: Learning science to teach science

By: Emily Upson




Y

ou are cordially invited to attend….



Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Writers’ Workshop


Date: Wednesday 28th April 2010

Time: 3:00-4:30pm – commencing with light refreshments

Place: SMEC Seminar Room Building 220


For catering purposes please RSVP to V.Dawson@curtin.edu.au…by Friday 23rd April





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