Herdsa 2009

Program: Tuesday Day 2 - Concurrent Session Three


First year transition experiences and effects on student learning outcomes (Concise Research Paper)

Beverley Webster
University of Hong Kong Pokfulam Hong Kong
Wincy Chan
University of Hong Kong Pokfulam Hong Konga

Hong Kong’s educational system is undergoing a major reform, and in higher education an additional year will be added to the existing structure. This unique situation creates opportunities to rethink the curriculum to develop one that provides better first year transition experiences to promote better student outcomes. Research findings indicated freshmen often experience adjustment issues in academic study and social and psychological well-being. In this study, we developed indicators of students’ perceptions of academic transition, induction to disciplinary knowledge, and integration into the university community for first year undergraduates in Hong Kong. Data were collected from 458 undergraduates across disciplines at the end of their first year of study. Regression models were estimated to examine at the relationships between student perceptions of these three areas of transition into first year and student learning outcomes. Findings revealed that better induction into the discipline and integration into the university were more likely to predict positive student outcomes. The findings of this study would be used to inform the design of new first year curriculum.   

Keywords: First year experience, transition, student outcomes

A Program to Enhance the Transition and Engagement of Engineering Students at Victoria University (Showcase)

Kanchana Jayasuriya
Victoria University Melbourne Australia

The intent of this paper is to describe a transition program for commencing students, linked to a core first year Engineering unit of study applying the principles of Problem-based Learning (PBL). The transition program consisted of a series of workshops and a seminar over a period of 6 weeks in the 1st Semester. These were held during additional class times, linked to the core unit and included on the individual timetables of students. The key objectives of this program were to outline academic expectations and to develop some of the necessary underpinning study skills of students, so that they develop confidence and motivation and can better engage with their learning at university.

The individual workshops and seminar were given particular names in the hope of appealing to the commencing students. The sessions were titled as follows; 1.The Professional Engineer, 2.The Numbers Game, 3.Knowing the Rules, 4.Playing the Game, 5.Keeping in Shape & 6.Playing to win. Topics in the sessions included the history and philosophy of mathematics, study skills, time management skills, and students’ rights and responsibilities. As it was important for this to be seen as part of core curriculum, and not as an add-on, all sessions were facilitated by engineering academic staff. In parallel to this, support in mathematics was offered to students identified as under-prepared in mathematics. It was hoped that by empowering students with useful knowledge and underpinning skills at the beginning of the year, the program would help increase their engagement and make their university experience both academically successful and enjoyable.

Attendance in the individual sessions varied from week to week (between 17 to 61 students). The program was evaluated through a questionnaire at the completion of each session. The questionnaire included statements on the relevance, depth and expectations of the seminars, and how each topic was useful to learning. Students were asked to give a rating of 1 to 5 (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Analysis of the evaluations indicated a high level of satisfaction with all the sessions. Between 98% (session 1) and 78% (session 4) responded positively with a rating of ≥ 3, on the question about the importance of content and activities of individual sessions to their transition and learning at university.

Overall, the feedback from students has been positive suggesting the program does enhance the ongoing experience and engagement of students. Observation of students in these sessions indicated that the seminars provided further opportunities for collaboration with peers assisting their group-work in the PBL unit. Details of the program, a comprehensive analysis of the feedback and the next phase of this work encompassing an embedded model of transition delivery will be discussed at the presentation. However, a statement on the impact of this program to the overall pass rates cannot be made based on the data gathered, as it is difficult to identify which of a variety of factors contribute to the successful transition and progression of students.   

Keywords: student engagement, transition to university, developing skills of students

Enhancing the Transition to University Physics (Concise Research Paper)

Maria Parappilly
School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University Adelaide Australia
Jamie Quinton
School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University Adelaide Australia
Gunther Andersson
School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University Adelaide Australia

The main transitional challenge students experience in their first year at the University is that they have to ‘step up’ from being explicitly taught facts towards independent learning.  In this paper we report on an activity to support 1st year student transition that took place for the first time at Flinders University at the start of the 2008 academic year. The transition sessions were aimed at creating a learning environment that exploits the student’s passion for science and introduces them to their peers both socially and academically.  Through these activities and strategies, the intention is to familiarise students with their teachers and peers, enjoy thinking about Physics in a positive, supportive, social setting, and thus significantly reduce their anxiety during their first week of 1st year university. Essentially, the key focus is to maximise each student’s initial engagement with 1st year Physics. Through this combination of approach with clever activity design, the students develop a sense of cohort with their peers and are strongly encouraged to use their critical and independent thinking and learning skills, which will serve them throughout their university life.  Here we describe our approach to this challenge and the measurable outcomes we have achieved so far.

Keywords: transition, orientation, 1st year Physics, retention

Survival of the fittest? Evolving identities in the supervision of indigenous doctoral students (Showcase)

Barbara Grant
The University of Auckland Auckland Aotearoa New Zealand

The supervision of indigenous doctoral students in Aotearoa New Zealand occurs in a post-colonial context marked by ongoing struggles over identity and belonging. Alongside stories of the pleasures taken in this relation, students and supervisors recount the challenges they experience. While some challenges are those we might expect to find in any doctoral supervision, others are distinctively connected to the identities of the students as indigenous (Maori) and supervisors as settlers (non-Maori). Furthermore, not only do these challenges illuminate the unfinished tensions that structure settler-indigene relations, they also raise questions about the implication of doctoral education in the ‘civilising mission’ of academic identity formation. My presentation will draw on data from a recent study of the supervision of indigenous doctoral students to explore these challenging matters.

The role of universities in facilitating successful outcomes for Indigenous Australian postgraduate students (Showcase)

Michelle Trudgett
Macquarie University Sydney Australia

Indigenous Australians are largely under-represented in all levels of education in Australia. Despite this, Indigenous Australians are actively engaged throughout academia, including postgraduate education. This paper reports on the research findings of a doctoral thesis investigating the support provided to Indigenous postgraduate students in Australia. It contends that Indigenous postgraduate students want to contribute to improving pathways in higher education. It is therefore important to consider ways in which higher education institutions can respond to the needs of Indigenous postgraduate students in order to improve the current student experience and future outcomes. There is no ‘quick fix’ solution that can potentially close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participation and completion rates in higher education; however there are several areas that can be readily addressed to improve outcomes. The Australian Federal Government and all higher education institutions have a duty to ensure that the opportunities and learning experiences for Indigenous students are of a standard that supports the students in a manner that is culturally appropriate and safe. Although this paper focuses specifically on the experiences of Indigenous postgraduate students, it is highly relevant and applicable to Indigenous undergraduate students also.

Supporting Indigenous Student Learning: Understanding the Experiences of Students Studying in Block-mode (Showcase)

Trudy Ambler
Macquarie University Sydney Australia
Susan Page
Macquarie University Sydney Australia
Sam Altman
Macquarie University Sydney Australia
Lana Leslie
Macquarie University Sydney Australia
Kristina Everett
Macquarie University Sydney Australia

Indigenous students continue to be under-represented in higher education and for those students who do enter university, successful outcomes are less likely than for their non-Indigenous peers (IHEAC 2008). It is clear that a range of educational, social and cultural factors affect Indigenous student retention and success (DiGregorio, Farrington & Page, 2000). Finding effective ways to support Indigenous student learning then is vital if retention rates for Indigenous students are to improve. Block-mode academic programs contribute significantly to facilitating Indigenous access to university and so it is essential to ensure that we take a scholarly approach to this teaching and the learning of students in these programs. As teachers working with Indigenous students in a block-mode program, we wanted to enhance our curriculum to provide optimal settings for student learning. As a research group we determined that consideration of the identified needs of our students would be central to our understanding of how to develop an inclusive curriculum and best support student learning. Through the `Support for Learning' project we sought to develop a better understanding of student experiences, particularly within the classroom, through semi-structured interviews with our students. This paper reports on preliminary findings of a qualitative research project undertaken by a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous academic staff from Macquarie University. We will also outline some ethical principles we considered undertaking research with our Indigenous students.

Authentic learning: Trading simulation using real time market activity (Showcase)

Kevin Vanderplank
Edith Cowan University Joondalup Australia

Many of the most respected researchers and theorists in higher education identify assessment as the most powerful driver of student behaviour.
Assessment tends to dominate student thinking, defining what is important and setting the priorities for their studies ((Bowden & Martin, 1998, Brown, 1994). Students complete assessment tasks because they see them as critical to their success, but this does not necessarily mean that they engage deeply with interest, enthusiasm and commitment. Biggs, (1999)  argues that active teaching methods such as problem-based learning are more likely to engage students than passive systems, because students have to question, speculate and generate their own solutions to problems.

This showcase describes the recent implementation of an innovative, assessment in a Capital Markets unit, at Edith Cowan University. The assessment was designed to maximise student engagement through problem solving in an authentic context, by creating a real-world environment where the students must contextualise finance theory.

The assignment requires students to trade a theoretical risk position on the basis of real time market prices and conditions. Students must gather and analyse current information, determine what is relevant, link the possible outcomes to the financial markets theory learnt in class, and make a trading decision. The dynamics of the financial markets mean that the students are able to immediately see the financial impact of their decision.

Students must assess their position in light of changes to the price level, their profit or loss, new information and reflection on what has happened. They need to comment on why their decision was correct (or not) and what they plan to do for the next trading period.

Funding from a Faculty Teaching and Learning grant allowed for the development of a proprietary web based trading platform. Students are able to trade on any on day of the week from any location.

Since the introduction of the online trading platform the following changes have been noted:

This learning process allows students to evaluate the world in ‘their own terms’. From an assessment perspective, there is no such thing as a right or wrong decision as long as they can justify their decision on the basis of the information at hand. If a loss results they need to be able to determine why.

The nature of the activity keeps the students engaged for up to 8 weeks of a 13 week semester It provides them with the motivation to pay attention as there is a competitive element as to who has performed the best in the league table each week.

From an academic perspective the assignment can be repeated every semester as financial conditions change and no two semesters are the same. Just ask the students trading in second semester 2008 when the world’s financial markets were collapsing.

Beer, games and university students: a recipe for learning? (Showcase)

Jon Edwards
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia

Games and simulations are used as teaching and learning activities in a number of academic disciplines in higher education, including business studies.  Their evaluation is almost exclusively by means of a student questionnaire to measure attitudes or perceptions, rather than learning.  Limited attention is given to wider educational considerations.

The purpose of the research is to offer a deeper insight into the learning that takes place during, and as a result of, business games and simulations as teaching and learning activities by investigating the interaction of the three constituents; the students, the teacher(s) and the game or simulation itself and the dynamic process that encompasses three phases; planning, execution and review.  The rationale for this approach can be found in Killen (2007) who suggests that quality learning occurs at the nexus of teacher, learner and content.

The context of this research is the use of a popular simulation, the “Beer Game,” in the curriculum of a higher education Supply Chain Management course.  A supply chain is the series of processes that control the flow of materials and information from suppliers through to consumers.  The Beer Game was developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and replicates a supply chain in operation.  The game and the phenomenon it enacts feature prominently in a widely-used, standard text, Simchy-Levi et al (2008) and in Senge’s (1990) seminal work, “The Fifth Discipline”.

Three research questions guided the case study reported in this presentation. These were: 1) How far does the Beer Game meet Quinn’s (2005) criteria for learning based on instructional design principles? 2) What are student and staff experiences of the game? 3) How far did student learning correspond to the intended learning outcomes of the activity? Initially the game was analysed against Quinn’s criteria to identify the kinds of learning that are promoted in the game.  The research then involved observing the game being played in the context of a 4 hour second year Bachelor of Business class. The participants in the session were 50 second year students and 1 staff member from an Australian metropolitan university.  Quantitative data related to students’ experiences and perceptions of learning following the activity were collected using a questionnaire. The game activity was videorecorded and coded using deductive coding to find instances of learning.  Qualitative data related to students’ perceptions of the game and of the kinds of learning that took place were collected through observations.  Qualitative data related to staff perceptions of the game and of the kinds of learning that took place were collected through interviews. Preliminary results from the study will be presented. It is intended that discussion will be stimulated on the role of games and simulations in student learning. In the last part of the presentation the discussion will be opened up to consider how research into their efficacy may be conducted.

The student curriculum experience: An engagement with chaos (Showcase)

Ray Meldrum
Unitec Institute of Technology Auckland New Zealand

This report is on a research project that asked how can tertiary education nurture entrepreneurial creativity?’ Entrepreneurship is considered to be a vital determinant of economic growth and the entrepreneur is understood as someone who innovates and commercialises their own innovation. The setting is New Zealand which is struggling to make the shift from relying on primary production to becoming a ‘creative economy.’

The creative individual has been identified as a new mainstream but it seems that in New Zealand, education provision is inadequate for supporting the development of the practice of entrepreneurship. The problem is not unique. Various writers are critical of business education generally, and of the mismatch between the passion and chaos in entrepreneurs’ lives and the way students’ curriculum experiences are typically organised as linear sequence of discipline-based courses with prescribed content, activities and outcomes.

Rich data were gathered from in-depth interviews with twelve nascent, new or experienced entrepreneurs and two associates (one a marketer, the other a scientist). Each participant was drawn from a different area of economic endeavour. They were asked to share their stories and views about creativity, the connections between creativity and entrepreneurship, business success, formal and informal education, and ways to improve tertiary education programs. 

The research found that a suitable environment for nurturing creativity will most likely have structure but will also enable chaos. It will present opportunities for experiencing diversity, and will stimulate unconscious and conscious mental processes. It will provide scope for hard work that is fun and involves authentic risk-taking, and will enable both individual endeavour and purposeful teamwork. The study also found that business success is not based on knowledge but is rather about being resourceful. The becoming of the creative entrepreneur thus includes developing capability to network with peers and mentors and communicate with customers and staff, and developing passion for and resilience in the pursuit of a dream.

The findings suggest that nurturing entrepreneurial creativity and resourcefulness requires learning to be viewed as a practice-based community process where knowing and doing are interwoven with being. It is argued that this needs to align with Barnett and Coate’s (2005) notion of ‘a curriculum for engagement.’ It is suggested that the entire curriculum experience might be based on an invitation to students to work collaboratively to identify and exploit an entrepreneurial opportunity by producing and commercialising an appropriate product/service innovation; to undertake this work as two separate projects – one within an existing organisation, and the other as a new venture; and, of course, to theorise their work.

Facilitating effective learning of students from refugee backgrounds in Australian universities (Showcase)

Jenny Silburn
CDU Darwin Australia
Jaya Earnest

Curtin University Perth Australia

This paper reports preliminary findings from an Australian Learning and Teaching Council funded project to develop teaching and learning resources for students from refugee backgrounds. The study, conducted jointly at Murdoch and Curtin Universities, investigated the diverse and complex factors accounting for the difficulties many refugee students experience in adapting to university learning in an Australian context. Based on these findings, a set of learning modules has been designed to be embedded into first year units to enable students to develop effective learning strategies and key academic skills. The knowledge gained from the trialing of these materials at both universities in the first semester of 2009 will be reported together with evaluation data from students, staff and facilitators.

All Students Are Talented: Exploiting The Strengths Potential Via A New Lens For Learning And Teaching (Showcase)

Gary Pritchard
University of Wales, Newport, Newport UK

Strengths-based education has shown early promise as a potential tool for engaging students with the broadest notion of their academic development. Early indicators of this relatively new pedagogic strategy, suggests that the resulting skills and self-awareness intelligences are taken well beyond the undergraduate learning experience. Strengths-based approaches attempt to help students identify their own unique talents, and then use them to develop a strategy for utilising such gifts in negotiating their academic progression and careers.  As Anderson and Schreiner (2004) state, “Research …  has led to a potentially revolutionary discovery: individuals who focus on their weaknesses and remediate them are only able to achieve “average” performance at best; they are able to gain far more—and even to reach levels of excellence—when they expend comparable effort to build on their talents. This discovery is of enormous import to higher education...” (p. 4)

The self-reflective nature of a strengths approach encourages students to develop into individuals capable of capitalising on their gifts and abilities in various contexts. In identifying and cultivating students’ strengths, it seeks to encourage self-awareness that also nurtures a confidence to then apply those strengths to their academic studies. Such an approach challenges deficit remediation programmes that operate on the basis of encouraging students to work on perceived weaknesses as the basis for academic progression (Plucker et al 2006). Anderson and Schreiner describe an alternative by suggesting that, “A strengths-based approach to teaching involves a process of assessing, teaching and designing experiential learning activities to help students identify, develop and apply their strengths and talents in the process of learning, intellectual development, and academic achievements to levels of personal excellence.” (Anderson and Schreiner (2004, p.1)

This research sought to explore in depth the experiences of students who had participated in a strengths-based educational intervention. The study used a grounded theory methodological approach, which revealed an emerging theory of how a strengths-based approach positively impacts students significantly in terms of their academic self-confidence, self-awareness, self-efficacy and self-concept.

Many students experienced what the author has termed ‘Learning Epiphany’ and in some cases this manifestation was dramatic and highly positive. The individuals engaged in a cognitive reframing of their self-concept, which mediated this experience. An example of this reframing can be seen in the comments of Olivia who was able to re-frame her historic sense of deficit into an acquisition of talent and strength. As she stated, “I don’t feel crazy anymore … I’ve considered (these attributes) very much to be weaknesses ... (in the past) … It sounds really dramatic … but it is kind of life-changing in a sense… I feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I don’t feel like I have to feel guilty (any more)”

This research has significant implications for curriculum design and delivery, and offers much potential for supporting students in achieving excellence in their academics.

The student experience: students' learning approaches and personality and their impact on success in first-year (Showcase)

Jill Lawrence
USQ Toowoomba Australia
Janet Taylor
SCU Lismore Australia
Lorelle Burton
USQ Toowoomba Australia
David Dowling
USQ Toowoomba Australia

Students’ learning approaches and personality impact on their academic success in their first-year of study in higher education. This showcase reports on a large individual differences study of student learning profiles at a regional Australian university. The study examined how students’ approaches to learning and personality relate to academic success measured using grade point average (GPA). A total of 1078 students, 706 mature-age and 372 school leaver students completed an online survey during their first semester of study at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). The data were summarised using multivariate techniques (e.g., correlation and regression analyses) and first-year student profiles were built using standard descriptive statistics. A regression analysis indicated that the Strategic approach to learning positively predicted GPA. Intellect and Conscientiousness were each found to positively predict the Deep approach to learning; Conscientiousness was found to positively predict the Strategic approach to learning; and Emotional Stability and Intellect were each found to negatively predict the Surface approach to learning.

The showcase will also report on qualitative data collected in the study: follow-up interviews with 19 participants and a structured diary-writing approach to audit students’ learning and study practices (n = 49). The qualitative data aimed to draw out the depth and breadth of students’ knowledge, beliefs, and experiences in relation to their learning approaches and personality. While the qualitative data presented in the showcase is in a preliminary stage of analysis, it confirms both the diversity of the first year student cohort and the learning approaches, experiences and beliefs students bring with them to their first year of study. The qualitative data also reveals students’ perceptions of the role of the social aspects of learning and the importance of understanding their learning strengths and weaknesses and the ways in which their personality style might affect these. The data also highlights the role played by students’ sources of support and their development of strong interpersonal relationships with both staff and peers.

Both quantitative and qualitative findings complement each other by confirming the importance of teachers providing all students with the opportunity to practise new skills and to explore new ideas in ways best suited to their individual learning preferences. Further the findings confirm the importance of teachers encouraging students to link, reflect, and seek meaning in the concepts being studied. This will assist students to develop the Strategic elements necessary to facilitate achievement of course objectives while also encouraging the development of a Deep learning approach. Adopting a Strategic learning approach is especially relevant given the increasing need for students to better manage their study time with other work and family commitments. The findings also challenge first year teachers to develop for themselves a deep understanding of students’ diverse characteristics and the factors that influence students’ learning. This diversity requires teachers to provide learning experiences that respect and value the diverse backgrounds, abilities, skills, and learning preferences of their students and to understand that such an inclusive learning environment may make the difference between students’ success and failure.

Reviewing for HERD: Shaping scholarship in higher education. (Showcase)

Izabel Soliman
University of New England

The reviewing process is central to publication in HERDSA's journal Higher Education Research & Development. In this presentation I explore a number of issues around reviewing: the goals and the importance of the reviewing process, its ethical dimensions, its gate-keeping functions in relation to quality and standards in publication, its power to include and exclude and to thus shape the nature of research in higher education and the knowledge available for practice. I also consider whether gate-keeping can have a conservative function to inhibit the development of new ideas, practices and theories and to work only to confirm what we already know.

Keywords: quality, standards, gate-keeping

Sounds Good Using digital audio for assessment feedback (Showcase)

Bob Rotheram
Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds England
Mandy Asghar
Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds England

Sounds Good: Using digital audio for assessment feedback Giving good quality, accessible feedback on student work is not easy in the era of mass higher education. Faculty are short of time, student numbers and diversity is on the increase. Often when feedback is provided, students find it difficult to decipher the academic discourse used by tutors, a necessity if they are to use the feedback productively for future learning (Carless 2006, Orell 2006). In a bid to try out a different way to meet some of these challenges 'Sounds Good', a publicly-funded British project in a large Northern UK University, was set up to explore the potential benefits of digital audio feedback for formative and summative assessment. The technique has twin potential benefits: richer feedback for learners and saving assessors' time. Employing audio to assess large numbers of students is not new; Rust (2001) recommended using audiocassettes although this was never widely adopted, but digital audio and cheap devices now offer new possibilities to enhance the student feedback experience. The initial project, in its first year, was conceived as a pilot, adopting a deliberately flexible approach to reflect the real world of higher education. A team of 17 faculty members provided audio recorded comments for students on a variety of formative and summative assessment from diverse subject areas and a range of academic levels. At least 463 students received one or more items of audio feedback. The project was evaluated through staff and student open-ended questionnaires completed after each round of audio feedback. Some members of staff also provided audio files containing their personal observations of the process. The diversity of evaluation data has led to some limitations in drawing sound quantitative findings but the wealth of qualitative data has identified a number of themes and issues that will be explored in this, the second year of the project. The project findings suggest mixed feeling as to whether or not using audio feedback saves time but some indications are that it is possible, whilst not compromising the quality of feedback provided. This seems to be reliant on familiarity with the technology, if normal writing speed is slow and the amount of feedback provided. Students were overwhelmingly positive about audio feedback, they liked its personal nature, and the detail it provided. They noted that audio feedback made it easier to understand what the lecturer felt was most important about their work, some commenting on the reassuring tone of voice of the tutor. A dyslexic student said it was easier to listen than to read. The staff view was generally positive with several commenting on how they were able to give more and higher quality feedback using audio. It was felt that it was possible to use more natural language when speaking rather than writing which might influence positively potential feed forward effects. As a result of the positive outcomes of year one of the project, practical guidelines on the use of audio feedback have been complied for tutors. Carless D (2006) Differing perceptions in the feedback process, Studies in Higher Education vol 41, no 2 219-233 Orrell J (2006) Feedback on learning achievement: rhetoric and reality, Teaching in higher Education vol 11, no 4, 441-456 Rust, C (2001) 'A Briefing on Assessment of Large Groups', www.swap.ac.uk/docs/ltsn/assess/12largeGroups.pdf [Accessed 2 January 2008]


Delivering Formative Feedback via Screencasts (Showcase)

Brian Zammit
Victoria University Melbourne Australia

Providing timely and constructive formative feedback is of critical importance to the academic integration of First Year students. But a number of surveys reveal a level of student dissatisfaction with feedback, illegibility, for instance, being a common complaint. Moreover, questions remain as to the extent to which students actually take note of feedback, while comments can often be misinterpreted (Hounsell, 2008; Freney and Wood, 2006).

Given students’ familiarity with ICTs, various technologies are being adopted to enhance feedback (Freney and Wood, 2006). A common strategy sees feedback delivered to students via mp3 audio files (Merry and Orsmond, 2007). Typically, teaching staff record relatively informal comments which are forwarded to students as an email attachment.  Student response is very positive, students valuing  the personalised and targeted nature of such feedback (Merry and Orsmond, 2007).

However, providing audio feedback in this manner is a time-consuming process, placing additional burdens on teaching staff. Problems would be compounded where core First Year units with large enrolments are concerned.

A project currently under way in the Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development at Victoria University (VU) is developing an alternative method of delivering audio feedback based upon screencast libraries. Screencasts combine video screen capture with audio narration. Targeting first year students, each screencast deals with a specific and recurring problem such as poor referencing or transitional sentences. Screencasts, which are no more than three or four minutes long, are stored in an e-library where they can be drawn upon as required by teaching staff and on-forwarded to students (individuals or groups) via email or URL. This strategy therefore has the potential advantage of reducing the time spent on marking assignments while delivering richer feedback in a medium with which students are familiar (Hounsell, 2008).  

This project addresses another drawback associated with feedback, whether written or audio. Higgins et al (2002, 62) note that teaching staff tend to use language that is often unfamiliar to students. This would be particularly problematical with ‘first in family’ and NESB students who together make up a significant proportion of VU students. Integral to this project is that screencasts are produced by a team of senior students, working under staff direction.  ‘Students are speaking to students’; as such, screencasts are more authentic, contributing to more effective and meaningful feedback.

Keywords: formative feedback, audio feedback, screencasts, First Year

So what do directors of academic development units have to do with the student experience? (Showcase)

Kym Fraser
Melbourne Australia
Yoni Ryan
Australian Catholic University Brisbane Australia

Australian universities are increasingly focused on strategies to attract and retain students, particularly in light of the proposed voucher system and expansion of student numbers to meet national enrolment targets (The Bradley Review). In recent years these strategies have focused on significant programs of curriculum redesign and student retention (Krause et al, 2005). In many universities, central and faculty-based teaching and learning centres (ADUs) have been tasked with leading these significant education change strategies which are designed to improve the student experience and student success. Recent research (Ryan et al, 2008; Gosling, 2009) has confirmed that such centres have experienced frequent re-structuring and management turnover in the past decade, resulting in a state of constant flux in some if not many central units. This instability in leadership inevitably leads to a lack of academic development focus on longer term projects such as curriculum change and strategic policies regarding student retention and satisfaction. Since many ADUs incorporate Academic Skills Units, students are affected both directly and indirectly. At the 2008 HERDSA conference the authors reported on their initial findings of the stability of Directors ADUs. In this showcase we propose to report on the full findings of the research which interviewed many of the Directors who left their roles between 2002 and 2007. We argue that the sorts of projects now required in the sector to improve the student experience and embed curriculum design principles require long term relationships between Academic Development leaders and faculty and support staff, including especially those tasked with supporting student retention and student skills. These relationships are disrupted by constant reviews and restructures, just as such activities disrupt ADUs’ internal work and politics. The result, the authors argue, is delay at the institutional level of policy imperatives and cross-institutional projects, as well as disruption of the work of direct delivery of academic skills training, essential to the student experience. The methodological approach taken was broadly ethnographic and phenomenological, involving interviews of former directors as at 2002, collecting demographic and experiential data regarding the position of the ADU, the subsequent careers of the directors, and their perceptions of the situation of the ADU at their institution and subsequent institutions, as well as their perceptions of the future of Academic Development Units. References Gosling, D. (2009). Educational development in the UK: a complex and contradictory reality, International Journal for Academic Development,14:1,5 — 18. Krause, K.; Hartley, R.; James, R and McInnis, C. (2005). The First Year Experience in Australian Universities: Findings from a decade of national studies. A Department of Education Science and Training project. Ryan, Y.; Fraser, K.; Parry, S.; Hicks, M.; Hinton, L. and Crisp, G. (2008). Academic Development Directors: Where have they gone? Showcase, 2008 International Conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA), July, Rotorua, New Zealand.

Dilemmas of scholarship and/or research: Strategies to enhance the student experience (Showcase)

Kogi Naidoo
The University of Adelaide Adelaide Australia

Are you feeling under pressure? If you are, you are not alone. Academics are under enormous pressures personally and professionally. We are faced with dilemmas of our personal circumstances and life’s challenges exacerbated by work pressures, institutional constraints and external pressures, e.g. the need to publish. We want to succeed, progress our careers, be content in our personal lives and aim ultimately for our actions to have impact.

The dilemma we face: Do we research in our discipline or focus on our scholarship of teaching? We can choose to take on life’s challenges or succumb to its pressures. As individuals we also face the dilemmas of time and work pressures, and our passion to make a difference to student learning and success. The question remains: Can we achieve all we aim for without something giving? (Naidoo, 2009).

This session will provide participants with insights and overview of a national collaborative research project in New Zealand. The study focused on the provision of academic development support and its impact on first year students’ learning using intensive consultancy as a mode of academic development (Prebble, et al 2004). Each university team had its own context, research focus, aims and aspirations for what its team wanted to achieve from the collaboration. Each team (teachers and academic developers) focused on a different discipline area. As a project team we were faced with issues of institutional autonomy while maintaining focus on overall project goals. In embarking on this three year project we had to weigh up our personal/professional commitments with our institutional and public accountability demands.

The presenter will share the final outcomes of a national project (Naidoo, 2006, Naidoo et al., 2008) which focuses on enhancing student performance, an institutional response to enhancing the student experience, and practical strategies that academics may use to manage the discipline research vs. teaching scholarship dilemma. Several strategies were used to keep the project focus and manage the tensions and dilemmas of working in a collaborative project while allowing individual team members to pursue their institutional interests (Naidoo, 2009).

Participants attending the session will have the opportunity to share their challenges, experiences and explore strategies to meet their professional and institutional aspirations. In addition, they will have the opportunity to reflect on and:

The strategy of engaging in partnerships and collaborations (teachers with academic developers institutionally), as a cost-effective strategy to enhance teaching and therefore learning and thereby contributing to enhancing the student learning experience and student success is proposed.

Keywords: first year experience, academic development, scholarship of teaching

Supporting the chalk face: a tutor-centric approach to professional development of casual and sessional teaching staff (Poster)

Bronwyn Bevan
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
Nicholas Baker
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
Bruce D'Arcy
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
Jayne Keogh
Griffith University Gold Coast Australia
Louise Kuchel
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia

Despite their varying roles, tutors tend largely to work directly at the chalkface. As such they have a significant impact on students’ university experiences (Rheinheimer & Mann, 2000). This paper describes a cross faculty support and professional development program for sessional and casual academic staff at an Australian university. Casual staff currently comprise approximately 15% of university academics, an increase of  around 29% since 1996 (Department of Education, 2005, 2007). Previous studies (Brabazon, 2004; Eveline, 2004) have highlighted concerns expressed by many casual academics about aspects of their work conditions, including being undervalued and ill-informed, which result  in feelings of marginalisation and uncertainty. The primary aims of this project are to provide tutors with peer support and opportunities for professional development, to reduce their feelings of segregation from academics, and to advocate for recognition of their work as a valuable part of their academic and career development.

The project provides two main support modes, namely an online support mechanism and opportunities for them to have regular face-to-face interaction with peers, academics and other support staff. Together, these are designed to increase networking among tutors within their areas of tutor-related interests, and to create a cross-campus community atmosphere among tutors.

The online site has been designed to act as a forum for peer discussion and support in resolving common issues, a centre for meeting announcements, an access point for sharing ideas, resources and literature, and a direct link for important websites.  An initial survey of tutors will identify issues to present in the forum as stimulus for discussion and face-to-face meetings among tutors. Subsequent topics will be self-selected by tutors attending these meetings and evaluated through focus groups. 

This combination of online and informal face-to-face meetings is an innovative self-directed approach which moves away from a model of imposed, short workshop-based support (Smith & Bath, 2004)  to an on-going approach that delivers the desired development opportunities by building mentoring relationships. It is anticipated that these mentoring relationships will enhance the uptake of better practice, translating to better outcomes for students through improved tutorial learning environments.

Handing over the reins: preparing tutors for inquiry based practicals (Poster)

Bronwyn Bevan
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
Kirsten Farrand
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia

In 2008, the Bachelor of Science (BSc) program at the University of Queensland (UQ) began a substantial shift in curricula, with laboratory classes being transformed from structured, content-based experiments, to research-based classes, during which students design their own experiments. In BSc courses offered by the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS), students are primarily guided through the practical curriculum by tutors who are employed on a casual, part time basis. As most SBMS tutors are postgraduate students just beginning to gain research experience themselves, and have been taught through structured recipe-style practical curricula as undergraduates, several changes to the training workshops offered to SBMS tutors were required to more adequately support tutors in their diverse range of teaching responsibilities (Armstrong, Chang, & Brickman, 2007; Baroffio, Nenda, Perrier, & Vu, 2007).

Each year approximately 30 new tutors join the SBMS teaching team. Prior to their first semester of teaching, all new SBMS tutors are required to participate in a Tutor Induction Workshop. In anonymous surveys completed immediately after the February and July 2008 Induction workshops, nearly all tutors reported that they felt more competent in their role as a tutor as a result of attending the workshop (98% of respondents), and indicated that the most useful sections were the seminar introducing tutors to learning styles (75% of respondents) and the OH&S and ethics seminars (65% of respondents). In contrast, these tutors also indicated that the scenarios used for the role-playing discussion section did not seem realistic (20% of respondents), and did not provide them with opportunities to actively use the information from the learning styles seminar.

In February 2009, a focus group interview was held with five highly experienced tutors with a diverse range of experience across the different disciplines within SBMS and different practical curricula. This provided a list of problematic teaching scenarios commonly experienced by SBMS tutors in both the traditional and research-based classes. During the February 2009 Induction workshop, the role-playing scenarios were led by this group of experienced tutors to maximise the realistic nature of the scenarios for the new tutors, and to begin building informal mentoring relationships between the new and experienced tutors (Mohlman-Sparks, 1986).

In addition, 43 returning tutors for 2009 completed a questionnaire aimed at identifying on-going training needs of SBMS tutors not met by the initial tutor induction. The three most urgent areas for additional training were creating a teaching portfolio to identify areas for improvement in their tutoring (47% of respondents), marking and feedback (38% of respondents) and managing difficult situations (38% or respondents). To provide more support for tutors in these areas, a series of compulsory and voluntary workshops will be developed at timely intervals during the semester (Feezel & Myers, 1997).

The usefulness of each workshop will be evaluated by an online questionnaire emailed to each tutor after each session. In addition, at the end of the semester, follow up questionnaires and student feedback on the teaching styles of their tutors will be used to identify the impact of this new professional development program in the classroom.

Developing academic literacy in first year health undergraduates (Showcase)

Kaighin Jennifer
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Robyn Nash
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Sandy Sacre
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Derrington Kathryn
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Rowe Jillian
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Anne Walsh
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Worrigham Charles
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
Fleming MaryLou
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia

Academic literacy represents the foundation of university study. First year students come to the tertiary education system with a wide range of abilities and skills and it is important to ensure that they are all equipped with the essential skills that will give them the best chance of academic success throughout their course, as well as degree completion. Numerous reports and publications have highlighted the importance of supporting first year university students in a range of ways including preparing them for the academic skill demands of their courses. The development of literacy skills needs to be recognised and addressed within degree programs if this issue is to be taken seriously and because members within each discipline write and think in distinctive ways, students must learn about the culturally-specific academic demands of the particular disciplines in which they are enrolled (Webb, English & Bonanno, 1995). Oral and written communication skills, particularly, have a profound influence on how well students achieve and how fully they are able to participate in intellectual interactions at university (Kirkness, 2006). A DETYA report into the first year experience of students from several Australian universities found that one of the most effective initiatives was an early piece of written work with feedback and subsequent support (McInnes, James & Hartley, 2000). What has been found to be a robust predictor of course success is the use of a diagnostic writing task, and this can be used to assess skill level, help students adjust their evaluation of their own performance, and determine what kinds of support are needed by individual students, including those who may be ‘at risk’ (Bonanno, 2002; Scouller, et al., 2008). This showcase describes an initiative in the Faculty of Health at QUT where a short diagnostic writing task is introduced to first year undergraduates in four courses.  The task is assessed using an adaptation of the MASUS Procedure (Measuring the Academic Skills of University Students) (Webb & Bonanno, 1994). Feedback to the students including MASUS scores then enables students to be directed to developmental workshops targeting their academic literacy needs. Early findings, including student use of support, change in student performance, and student perceptions, will be presented with a view to further refinement of this initiative.

When perception meets reality: Helping students understand their need for learning support in a first-year accountancy course (Concise Research Paper)

Anne Darroch
Unitec Institute of Technology Auckland New Zealand
Elizabeth Rainsbury
Unitec Institute of Technology Auckland New Zealand

Recent growth in tertiary education has allowed access to a greater proportion of the population.  At the same time, funding strategies have become more focussed on success, retention and completion. This has led to pressures on institutions to actively support students to optimise their chances of success.

One response has been the development of student learning centres staffed by specialist learning development tutors.  However, many students do not avail themselves of the assistance offered.

This paper describes an intervention in first year accountancy courses to encourage better uptake of support services. The early results of the study indicate that a significant number of students have inaccurate perceptions about their academic skill level in mathematics.  When those perceptions are tested, there is a far greater uptake of the available academic support services.  The resulting implication is that early testing of specific, subject-based academic skills, followed by targeted and focussed support is a promising factor in optimising success and maintaining student engagement.

Keywords: Student support, utilization, learning centres

The student experience: why “at risk” students choose to attend or avoid discipline support programs (Showcase)

Robert Kennelly
Uinversity of Canberra Canberra Australia
Tony Tucker
UC Canberra Australia

While the efficacy of focused remedial interventions for first year students is generally accepted as improving student outcomes (as measured by higher grades and retention), little work has been done on why students don't more readily access such services. This paper examines why “at risk” students choose to attend or avoid discipline support programs.

Within the Faculty of Business and Government at the University of Canberra a Unit Support program (USP) in conjunction with the first year unit Introduction to Management (ITM) has been running successfully for three years. It's original focus was on English as an additional language (EAL) students but has been expanded over time to include all "at risk" students. 

The USP seeks to provide academic skills development for successful study, specifically tailored to the discipline of Management. “At risk” students are those whose applied English competence and study skills are such that they are in danger of failing this unit.

The program operates on the basis of early identification of “at risk” students by teaching staff. Over 5 semesters more than 300 students have participated: 76 students have attended on a regular basis and achieved an average final result of 60%; a cohort of 92 “at risk” students who have not attended regularly have been tracked and achieved an average final result of 51.3.

This paper attempts to answer the question “Why do “at risk” students choose to attend or avoid such support programs? It explores the factors which influence attendance at the USP. Variables examined include gender, language, orientation to Australian culture; orientation to western university culture, influence of parents, schooling, work experience, personal circumstances.

The paper analizes data from student assessment, student evaluation, student and staff focus groups and one on one student structured interviews. The semi structured focus group approach is used to pursue the following issues;

Student understanding of the nature and role of USP.
Self awareness issues of competence in English language (and consequential danger of failure).
How USP assisted, or might have assisted, student studies of management specifically and/or university generally.
attendance at USP.
Reasons for not regularly attending USP or not attending at all.

Finally, the paper suggests a range of strategies to enhance attendance and considers wider implications for Higher Education. In particular the extent to which a needs based approach to developing in discipline study skills can be maintained and the extent to which an academic socialization model may be more credible and effective. (426)


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Lea, M. & Street, B. (1998). Student writing in higher education: an academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 11 (3), 182-199.
Maldoni, A & Kennelly, R., & Davies, D. (2009 in press International Journal of Scholarship and Learning). Integrating discipline-based reading to improve intercultural and international learning. The report of a research project into teaching supported by the Division of Business Law and Information Sciences, University of Canberra.
Purser, E. Skillen, J. Deane, M. Donohue, J. Peake, K. Developing academic literacy in context. In Zeitschrift Schreiben. June 2008, pp 1-7. www.zeitschrift-schreiben.eu
Skillen, J., Bronwyn, J, Percy, A., Tootell, H. & Irvine, H. (2003) From Integration to Transformation. In proceedings of the National Language and Academic Skills Conference, Adelaide.
Wheeley, A. & Maldoni, A. (2007) Unpublished UCC assessment and attendance data from term 1, 2007.
Wingate, U. (2006) “Doing away with Study skills,” Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 457-469

Social Inclusion in Higher Education (Showcase)

Derrick Armstrong
The University of Sydney Sydney Australia

People from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds are significantly under-representedin Australian universities. However, once enrolled in university low SES students in urban areas have similar patterns of retention and success as those from other backgrounds. The reasons for low enrolments are multi-causal but the evidence in this area points strongly to the need for early engagement with children, parents, schools and communities, both to raise aspirations and to support transitions at key stages in a child’s education. Poor school retention and progression are major factors standing in the way of access to higher education for children from low SES groups. With funding from the DEEWR Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund ($3.5m) and the University of Sydney ($2m) and in partnership with the NSW Department for Education and Training (DET), the University of Sydney is working with 4 disadvantaged High Schools in the Sydney and South West Sydney regions and their partner primary schools. The following milestones have been met: a partnership agreement with the NSW DET; schools have been identified, agreed to participate in the a project and a project plan agreed; faculty support has been agreed across the University; KPIs, targets and a timetable for the project have been identified, which include parental engagement, high school retention, HSC completion and University enrolment.

Wider social inclusion of young people from disadvantaged, low SES and minority groups is of critical importance if the University of Sydney is to avoid a perception of itself as elitist and if it is to make a genuine contribution to a socially inclusive society by enhancing the opportunities available to the most talented young people in our society from all backgrounds. As this project progresses, there will be important learning for the University in respect of how its own policies and practices may lead to the disengagement of young people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds before they even reach the stage of applying for university. For this reason, the project should not be understood simply as an ‘access’ program but rather as one concerned with transformational cultural change for both partners through a sustained collaboration. International benchmarks of best practice in this area suggest what can be achieved when access is understood in terms of a transformational project.

A Tertiary High School: Challenges the Structures (Showcase)

Stuart Middleton
Manukau Institute of Technology Manukau New Zealand

There is clear evidence that the structure of the education systems in a set of developed western nations (New Zealand, Australia, United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada) is actually creating a leaking pipeline between secondary education and higher education and training. The phenomenon of disengagement (physical, virtual and unintended) will be shown to be a direct consequence of the commitment of these education systems to promoting universal five-year secondary schooling. As this goal is approached, other goals of equity and access recede.

The author was a Fulbright New Century Scholar in 2007 - 2008 and his study of access and equity in higher education concluded that a structural and systemic fault was the prime (but not only) cause of disengagement. A model that tracks changes over the past 30 years in the set of education systems will show clearly the relationship between staying at secondary school longer and increased levels of failure. The secondary school systems, the paper argues, are being asked to undertake a set of tasks for which they were never designed and for which there is little evidence that they are likely to succeed.

All this, the paper concludes, is happening at a time in the history of these countries when there is an unprecedented skill shortage, in societies facing fast demographic change and in settings which call for new approaches. One such approach - the tertiary high school - is offered as a potential solution. This development is explained and compared with developments in this area across the five countries listed above.

The impact of an action based pedagogic approach to curriculum development aimed at marginalised learners. (Showcase)

Janet Pinder
University of Wales, Newport Newport UK

In 1998, the Welsh Education Secretary, identified the broad contribution that education has in enabling individuals in terms of gaining personal efficacy and enabling individuals to play a full part in the citizenship of their community and society as a whole. Implicit in this construction of education, is the notion that education is unconditionally good with little attention given to the different experiences of education that are formed through personal, social and economic experience, environment and social situations, which may impact on an individual’s disposition regarding engagement in education, particularly in Further and Higher Education (HE), (Jackson, 09).

The present situation in the United Kingdom (2009), is, arguably, a policy framework that places emphasis on providing students with transferable ‘tools’ and skills for employment, (e.g. The Leitch, Agenda), which (again arguably) constructs further and higher education fundamentally as a production line, where the ‘Taylorism’ and / or a globalised view of education mitigates not only the student experience, but also levels of engagement with education. This particular interpretation of the purpose of HE seemingly has become firmly linked to discourses surrounding economic engagement and training over and above creating an environment where students undertake ‘deep’ learning and relate to the significance of educational engagement for its own intrinsic value in personal growth and development.

This paper outlines the current policy discourse which HE is currently operating in the UK. Through the use of a research based case study, the paper illustrates how alternative curriculum linked directly to pedagogy and methodology emerging from action inquiry can direct the development of an appropriate curriculum and teaching approach, engage learners and recruit marginalised members of society, in addition to ensuring engagement, retention, progression and achievement.

The case study is the BeWEHL (Bettering Education, Wellbeing, and Lifelong Learning) project, funded between 2000 and 2006 by the Welsh Assembly Government as a research based project. The project benefited from support from the European Social Fund (2002 – 2006), which allowed the research findings and curriculum developed to be tested in a development situation alongside the ongoing research. The project is now core funded by the university.

An overview of the methodology used to secure engagement and develop curriculum is presented in addition to addressing the high levels of both academic and personal student support required when working with marginalised communities. Furthermore, educational and employment outcomes are highlighted alongside a discussion focused on the validity of alternative, innovative and reflexive approaches to addressing student needs as opposed to more traditional approaches and policy frameworks.

Rockets or rhizomes: the role of unpaid work in the careers of media and cultural studies graduates (Showcase)

Nicole Matthews
Macquarie University Sydney Australia
Jennifer Cattermole
Macquarie University Sydney Australia

This presentation will consider the early outcomes of research tracing the role of voluntary or unpaid work in career trajectories of Media and Cultural Studies graduates with the intention of enabling development of a strand of work-related learning through Macquarie's BA Media and Cultural Studies. The project aimed to explore not simply career `destinations' but a wide range of activities undertaken since graduating - including further study, travel, voluntary work, creative activities, activism, and caring work - and the relationships between these activities. As noted by Ulrich Teichler in a report compiled for the International Labour Office, in the 1990s and beyond, 'transition from higher education to employment has become more complex and protracted' (1999, 5). Recent research on graduate career trajectories suggests that study-related work experience can ease transition into paid work, shortening the period spent searching for a job and enhancing the employment prospects of graduates from social groups likely to experience discrimination in their job search (Schomberg, 2007; Purcell et al 2005; Blasko et al 2002; Green and Anderson, 2006). However, research on graduates has rarely distinguished between types of work experience paid and unpaid, accredited and unaccredited volunteering. Identifying the impact of various types of unpaid work on graduate careers is particularly important for those teaching and advising students in generalist humanities programmes whose careers may take them into many areas of the economy (Teichler, 2007). The research reported on here used two main methods: an online survey of graduates from the BA(Media and Cultural Studies) and Bachelor of Media degrees. Approximatly 1 500 graduates were contacted via email, with 800 domestic students receiving follow-up postal contact. To date 226 graduates completed the on-line qualitative survey, while interviews were conducted with a sample of these respondents (telephone, face-to-face and email, n=23). While systematic analysis of results is still at an early stage, initial findings underline the importance of unpaid work, particularly in the career trajectories of those aspiring to work in the media. Respondents working in media industries emphasised the ongoing significance of networks forged through unpaid work, including unpaid creative collaborations with undergraduate peers. Unpaid work was also reported as enabling exploration of alternative career directions and assisting with sideways career moves into more desirable types of employment. Rather than being imagined in terms of simply smoothing transition to career 'destinations', our research points out that various forms of unpaid work serve a range of functions during the first decade after graduation. In mapping the role of unpaid work in graduate career moves, conventional distinctions between altruistic 'volunteering' and self-interested 'work experience' appear to be of limited value. Consequently our research strongly supports the incorporation accredited volunteering as part of the undergraduate curriculum, as well as suggesting the value of qualitative longitudinal studies in tracking the complex routes of generalist graduates into and through work.

Servant-Leadership and Service-Learning in Leadership Education: Teaching Students the Value of Service (Showcase)

Lane Perry
University of Canterbury Christchurch New Zealand

This session focuses on the servant-leadership organization, Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) and the curriculum, Leader of the Future: The Servant-Leader, designed to teach the leadership theory: servant-leadership. The organization and curriculum are designed to teach students the concepts of servant-leadership while developing their abilities through hands on service-learning pedagogy. With the perfect balance of academia and real-world experience, LOT and the curriculum strives to embrace the innate and learned abilities of leaders and develop them further. This session provides the opportunity for faculty and staff to learn more about how to develop student leaders into servant-leaders.

A servant-leader is a leader who chooses to serve first. Through the want to serve and the development of self the servant-leader becomes the person, others may look to for example. Servant-leadership separates itself from other theories, models, and paradigms of leadership by focusing on an individuals desire to serve something that is greater than themselves. Then, through this desire to serve, the leadership abilities necessary to lead can be developed. This session will give those involved the opportunity to see how a model for teaching leadership generally, and servant-leadership specifically, has worked at another institution of higher education.

This program and curriculum does not only assist in the development of its members, but also in the future decisions of future leaders. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. We must create ethical, educated, servant-leaders in order to give our world the society it deserves.

In the session, we will address the following issues: what is servant-leadership?; the similarities of servant-leaders, the current generation of students, and empathy; servant-leadership as the destination and service-learning as the vehicle; LOT as an organization.

The learning objectives are as follows: the participants will be able to describe the concept of servant-leadership; the participants will be able to recognize the purpose and value of servant-leadership in regards to the current generation of students and their desire to serve; the participants will be able to implement (or at least have access to the information for creating) a service-learning/academic organization such as LOT; the participants will be able to engage students in a program that allows in-class opportunity for the teaching of leadership concepts while embracing the opportunity to get hands-on experience through community engagement and service-learning.

Questions will be asked, not rhetorically, but subjectively. The questions will initiate thought in the participants and their experiences with service learning and community engagement.

Through the efforts pursued by the student leaders over the past three years, nearly 20,000 hours of service have been completed, over $10,000 raised for non-profit organizations, 35,000 pieces of material have been recycled and each student has successfully completed six (6) credit hours of academic study in servant-leadership that tie in the overall concept and practice- the head and the heart of service-learning. LOT has served as the cornerstone to the University of Central Oklahoma’s overall goal of becoming the “premier leadership university” and has exemplified the three (3) C’s of the university’s mission: character, community and civility.