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Dr Anne Gardner

Professional

Member of the following: Australasian Association for Engineering Education, European Society for Engineering Education, Ameican Society for Engneering Education, Research in Engineering Education Network, Concrete Institute of Australia, .

Image of Anne Gardner
Senior Lecturer, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
BE (Hons) (NSWIT), MEng (Syd), PhD
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 2622

Research Interests

  • Engineering education
  • Professional practice
  • Engineering design
  • Structural design

Can supervise: Yes
  • Engineering mechanics
  • Engineering design
  • Concrete design
  • Professional practice

Books

Lemass, B. & Gardner, A.P. 2005, Fundamental Structural Analysis for Design, Pearson Education Australia, Sydney, Australia.

Chapters

Gardner, A.P. 2017, 'Flipping on a shoestring: A Case Study of Engineering Mechanics at the University of Technology Sydney' in Reidsema, C., Kavanagh, L., Hadgraft, R. & Smith, N. (eds), The Flipped Classroom: Practice and Practices in Higher Education, Springer, Singapore, pp. 163-176.
Rooney, D.L., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P., Boud, D.J., Reich, A.J. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Engineers' professional learning: through the lens of practice' in Williams, B., Figeiredo, J. & Trevelyan, J. (eds), Engineering practice in a global context: understanding the technical and the social, CRC Press/Balkema, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 265-280.
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Conferences

Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2015, 'Learning activity design and scaffolding to promote sustainable changes in students' goal orientation', Research in Engineering Education Symposium REES 2015, Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2015, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland.
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While previous research has shown that assessments impact how students view the curriculum and influences what they learn and how they learn, the way that students approach their learning is also affected by aspects of the teaching and learning environment. Two different approaches adopted by students are mastery and performance goal orientation. Students with a performance goal orientation plan their approach to achieve a certain grade. This might be a high distinction or simply a pass but they do what has to be done to achieve this grade sometimes with little evaluation of what they have actually learnt. Conversely, mastery students seek to learn as much as possible, they strive to deeply understand the subject material and be able to apply it in different contexts. In this paper we explore the impact of a flipped instruction design and scaffolding to promote sustainable changes towards a mastery goal orientation.
Gardner, A.P., Goldsmith, R. & Vessalas, K. 2016, 'Using practice architectures theory to compare consecutive offerings of the same subject', Australasian Association of Engineering Education annual conference, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour.
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CONTEXT Two consecutive offerings (2015 and 2016) of the same subject, Concrete Technology and Practice, prompted opposite reactions from students. The academics involved in 2015 and/or 2016 sought to explore the similarities and differences between these consecutive offerings in reflecting on the learning and teaching practices in their classroom. PURPOSE Practice architectures theory provides a framework for examining and understanding the differences between these consecutive offerings of ostensibly the same subject. This paper also provides an example of how a theoretical framework can be used to examine teaching practices – even our own by practitioners who are also acting as researchers in this context. APPROACH Evidence used in comparing the 2015 and 2016 offerings of this subject is drawn from focus group discussions with students and observations of each of the researcher/practitioners involved. Additional data includes the end of semester Student Feedback Survey results including written responses to open-ended questions. RESULTS Differences in aspects of the cultural-discursive, material-economic and socio-political arrangements of the 2015 and 2016 offerings of Concrete Technology and Practice became apparent from the analysis. CONCLUSIONS Using the theory of practice architectures gave us insights into the inter-relationships between the different arrangements inherent in teaching and learning practices. It also highlighted the resilience of 'taken for granted' practices.
Gardner, A.P. & Vessalas, K. 2016, 'Experiences with flipped learning in a postgraduate subject in civil engineering', 44th SEFI conference, Tampere, Finland.
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The design of a flipped learning environment typically blends online and face-to-face activities. A major affordance of this type of learning environment is the opportunity to use class time for students and the instructor/s to participate in collaborative learning activities [1]. The consensus in the literature is that lecturing is not the most effective instructional method and that active learning activities are more effective [2–4]. Flipped instruction makes time for active learning activities in face-to-face class sessions by introducing subject content before the face-to-face session, typically through online resources such as readings, videos, simulations and/or quizzes. Previous research [5] showed that postgraduate students preferred the flexibility of flipped learning over traditional transmission-based subject design. This paper describes how the postgraduate subject Concrete Technology and Practice at the University of Technology Sydney was redesigned to create a flipped learning environment. The focus of the flipped design was to develop students' contextual critical thinking skills and apply these skills to issues encountered in professional practice. This paper will focus on three key aspects of this transformation namely feedback, collaborative ways of working for students and the instructor, and the time involved for the instructor.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2016, 'The impact of struggling students' self-efficacy, agency and horizons for action on their learning in a flipped environment', 44th SEFI conference, Tampere, Finland.
Flipped instruction is a form of blended learning that moves significant instruction and preparation outside the classroom to facilitate 'in class' time to be used for more participative learning activities. Students report liking flipped instruction compared to the more traditional lecture style delivery format commenting that while it often challenged their approaches to learning, it had a positive impact on their learning experience and promoted them to become more independent and responsible learners. However, some students struggle to succeed in flipped learning environments. Alternate learning pathways in the form of an intensive block mode were provided for these students. This paper reports our findings from our exploration of the learning behaviours of students undertaking these alternate sessions. FINDINGS Most of the students who undertook the alternate pathway activities described a dependent style of learning. While the alternate activities assisted students to learn, evidence suggests that this may have been in part because their design compensated for underdevelopment in the participants' self-efficacy and agency that often limited their horizons for action. In particular, the smaller cohort and nature of the activities facilitated more regular and specific feedback much of which was unsolicited masking low self-efficacy that had previously resulted in students giving up when they encountered difficulties. Similarly, because the instructor in the alternate activities dropped in asking questions and providing feedback, students didn't need to exercise their own agency in working out how to overcome obstacles or address a problem. Hence while the alternate block mode activities assisted students to learn, our study suggests that they didn't particularly develop participant's self-efficacy, agency and capacity to expand their horizons for action suggesting these students may well struggle again in future subjects that utilise large flipped classrooms....
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2015, 'Engineering academics' identity transitions in becoming established engineering education researchers', Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2015, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland.
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Becoming a particular type of scholar or researcher and developing a higher level of expertise in a field of academic activity involves a transformation of identity. The purpose of this research is to help members of the engineering education community better understand the transition to becoming an engineering education researcher, and through discussion, evaluate their own progress and support their peers in this process. Our research approach is interpretive using the identity-trajectory concept as a framework with which to view the data collected through semi-structured interviews of engineering academics who are active participants in the Australian engineering education community. Our analysis demonstrates how the intellectual, networking and institutional strands can be characterised for different levels of expertise. This allows individual researchers to self-assess their development and for those managing these researchers to plan activities for their continuing development.
Willey, K., Meng, Q. & Gardner, A.P. 2015, 'Insights from using a subject specific Facebook group for student engagement and learning', Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2015, Dublin, Ireland.
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Although discussion boards have been available in the Learning Management System (LMS) for several years, they have not served well as a means of extending student engagement outside class time. The social media site Facebook was incorporated into an Engineering Mechanics class with the aim of increasing subject specific student engagement. This paper reports a small preliminary study exploring the effect of the introduction of the Facebook group. These students found the Facebook group increased the frequency of their engagement with the subject material compared to other subjects, and they considered it valuable because almost all students and the instructor were involved. However, students emphasised that the Facebook group was a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the face-to-face lecture and tutorial sessions. This study confirmed the value of undertaking focus groups with students to assist interpretation of data collected by more objective methods such as social network analysis.
Gardner, A.P., Willey, K. & Figueroa, E. 2015, 'Supporting students learning despite difficult workplace interactions', SEFI Annual Conference, Orleans, France.
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Students report the opportunities for learning provided by an internship or work experience include gaining an understanding of engineering practice, developing competencies, networking, awareness of the relevance of engineering studies, awareness of possible future roles and future employers. However, these learning opportunities can be negatively affected by undesirable workplace practices such as bullying and discrimination which may be due to gender, culture, disability, sexual orientation or age. We can't protect students from these types of interactions but we can help them deal with them when they occur. This paper describes a workshop run for undergraduate students to increase their awareness of issues often encountered by students that may result from workplace culture such as discrimination, differing expectations and stereotyping. Participants in the workshop were sensitised to the importance of visual cues in generating perceptions of people that we haven't met and the impact this has on stereotyping. Through a series of role plays participants explored how to interpret and respond to situations as they arise from their own and other student's experiences. Participants reported that the workshop increased their capacity to recognise even subtle instances of workplace bullying and discrimination and hence increased their resolve to not participate in, support or promote such behaviour. This awareness also improved their confidence to deal with the negative behaviours themselves and support others that may be experiencing them. The results suggest that all students would benefit from incorporating a series of such workshops in professional development activities.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2014, 'Authors' perceptions of peer review of conference papers and how they characterise a 'good' one', SEFI 2014 Educating Engineers for Global Competitiveness, Birmingham, UK.
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Peer review has been the focus of an ongoing study at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 conferences of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) [1 – 3]. We found that the opportunity to use the peer review process to induct people into the field and improve research methods and practice was being missed with almost half of the reviews being rated as 'ineffectual'. The results also highlight the lack of a shared understanding in our community of what constitutes quality research. The study has been extended to explore the AAEE authors' perspective/s of the potential of peer review to support their development as researchers. This is particularly relevant to our community as engineering education research is still emerging as a recognised research area in Australian universities [4, 5]. Another complicating issue is that most scholars who identify with this emerging field are engineering academics [6] who may hold research qualifications and expertise in their own stereotypical engineering field but are faced with developing new perspectives and expertise when moving into educationally related research [7]. As a result of engineering education research being both emerging and interdisciplinary there is a wide variety of views as to what quality research looks like [6, 8]. The implication for authors is that their work can generate divergent opinions which can be difficult to interpret and/or reconcile for the final version of their paper. A broad objective of this research is to help members of the AAEE community to better understand themselves and their peers as they struggle with the new ideas, methods etc involved in social/educational research compared to positivist perspective of most engineering research. In better understanding themselves and their peers this transition can hopefully be better supported. More specifically the findings of this project can inform future strategies of professional associations such as AAEE and SEFI in regards to both...
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2014, 'Mapping the landscape of engineering education research: an Australian perspective', SEFI 2014 Educating Engineers for Global Competitiveness, Birmingham, UK.
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Engineering education research is still consolidating as a recognised research area in Australian universities [1, 2]. A current project funded by the US National Science Foundation is attempting to develop a taxonomy for engineering education as a research area [3]. Our project takes a different perspective. Finding out what topics members of the AAEE community are researching will enable us to view engineering education as a knowledge domain that includes a variety of areas of endeavour. Our intention is to assist engineering education researchers to appreciate the differences in methods, frameworks and theories typically used in different parts of the landscape. Our intention is for the landscape to be used as the foundation for conversations to facilitate the social construction and subsequent understanding of the community standards and norms used to judge research quality. This will help both the community and individuals to articulate and understand observed changes in their and their peers' research as expertise is developed, as well as provide a language for researchers, particularly those new to the field to plan, discuss and evaluate this development if they so choose.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2014, 'Combining flipped instruction and multiple perspectives to develop cognitive and affective processes.', SEFI 2014 Educating Engineers for Global Competitiveness, Birmingham, UK.
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While the phrase 'flipped learning' may be relatively new it has been practised by some academics and teachers for decades. Flipped learning or as we prefer flipped instruction (as the learning should ideally occur at all stages of the process) is a form of blended learning that replaces transmission-based lectures with more participative, interactive and collaborative learning opportunities. Activities are typically undertaken before, during and after class, freeing in class time to participate in activities and engage with concepts at a higher level. Flipped activities should require students to engage in dialogue and include assessment (typically formative) to allow them to evaluate their understanding and progress in meeting the desired learning outcomes. Flipping creates an opportunity for academics to provide more dynamic and thus specific feedback to students, and to receive feedback from students about both the activities they are undertaking and what they don't yet understand. Hence, the learning environment is socially constructed as academics and students combine to influence the nature, focus, complexity and timing of subject activities. Social cognitive theory provides a way to frame our thinking about this learning context by foregrounding aspects such as the environment created for learning, as well as considering development of student self-efficacy and how to scaffold the processes for this development. This paper reports part of an ongoing study investigating relationships between engagement, goal orientation, affective outcomes and professional identity development in the context of flipped instruction. This study supported modification of our collaborative learning model [1] to explicitly provide multiple perspectives to assist students to overcome learning thresholds, develop disciplinary literacy, professional identity and expertise. In addition, it highlighted the impact of scaffolding and learning activity design on affective outcomes such...
Willey, K., Gardner, A.P. & Kadi, A. 2014, 'Flipped learning: comparing the student experience from 1st year to postgraduate', SEFI 2014 Educating Engineers for Global Competitiveness, Birmingham, UK.
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While flipped instruction may be the standard practice in many social science programs it is often promoted as a recent innovation in learning design within science and technology classrooms. Flipped instruction is a form of blended learning that replaces transmission-based lectures with more participative, interactive and collaborative learning opportunities. Activities are typically undertaken before, during and after class, freeing in class time to participate in activities that often engage concepts at a higher level. Flipped activities typically require students to undertake out of class preparatory work, engage in in-class dialogue and collaborative learning and we suggest be more independent in their approach to learning. Typically instructors focus on their students' cognitive development in relation to the subject material. However, students' expectations of how a subject can be delivered and their level of metacognitive skill development will also affect how they engage with the content of a subject and hence impact on their learning. Our investigation is concerned with how these factors impact students' response to flipped instruction. This paper reports the exploratory phase of an ongoing study investigating the impact of flipped instruction on first year, third year and postgraduate students. We found that most students irrespective of their stage of study preferred flipped instruction compared to the more traditional lecture style approach agreeing that it had a positive impact on their learning experience. There was also evidence that the different learning expectations and focus of the undergraduate students in particular those in first-year meant that many may not be ready for the responsibility and independence demanded to engage with flipped instruction without scaffolding and support.
Moshiri, F., Gardner, A.P., Erkmen, E., Jarman, R. & Khabbaz, H. 2014, 'Enhancing Industry Exposure, Discovery-Based and CooperativeLearning in Mechanics of Solids', Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference 2014, School of Engineering & Advanced Technology, Massey University, Turitea Campus, Palmerston North 4442, Wellington, NZ.
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BACKGROUND Mechanics of Solids is a second year undergraduate subject, undertaken by both Civil and Mechanical engineering students at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Mechanics of Solids has been delivered for many years in a traditional format with lectures and problem solving tutorials. As part of a national Australian project 'Enhancing Industry Exposure in Engineering Degrees, UTS in partnership with other universities and industry partners in Australia has sought industry involvement to engage students with the real-world challenges of engineering practice. PURPOSE The main objective of this project is to design, develop and implement learning modules in Mechanis of Solids that integrate industry exposure to provide context for the concepts included in this subject. DESIGN The project consisted of six guest lectures by industry representatives on topics related to typical Mechanics of Solids subject matter and two seminars on using MDSolids software. Students completed a collaborative assignment aligned with one of the industry presentations. Their reports and presentations were assessed on assessment criteria which included contextual understanding, judgement, effective collaboration and creativity, and their perceptions were captured to evaluate the impact of industry engagement in this subject. RESULTS One of the major benefits of this project was students' better understanding of engineering practice. There were also positive effects on students' motivation for learning engineering. CONCLUSIONS This paper reports the major findings, outcomes and challenges for implementing enhancing industry exposure approach in Mechanics of Solids subject at UTS. The main finding of this research concluded that this project is very valuable to both students as it promotes exposure to real-world engineering challenges. The students' exposure to real and substantive challenges improves their contextual understanding, plus their judgement, practice ...
Gardner, A.P., Willey, K., Vessalas, K. & Li, J. 2014, 'Experiences with flipped learning in subjects in consecutive stages of aCivil Engineering programme', Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference 2014, School of Engineering & Advanced Technology, Massey University, Turitea Campus, Palmerston North 4442, Wellington, NZ.
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CONTEXT Flipped learning is an instructional approach which allows instructors the opportunity to use a blending of online and face to face learning activities. The main affordance of flipped learning is the opportunity to free up class time to allow students and instructors to engage in collaborative learning activities designed to consolidate and deepen conceptual understanding of the subject material. Research has shown that participating in flipped instruction can change the way students approach their studies and improve motivation. PURPOSE OR GOAL We are interested in students' experience of the flipped environment, particularly their expectations of a learning environment, and the level of responsibility they take for their own learning. The purpose of this analysis is to create a baseline against which future instances of flipped learning can be compared. APPROACH Student perceptions of flipped instruction were investigated through survey responses and observations of students in a first year subject (Engineering Mechanics) a second year subject (Engineering Computations) and a third year subject (Construction Materials) in a Civil Engineering degree programme. In particular, students were asked to explain the impact of the flipped activities on their learning experience including any changes in how they approach their studies or managed their time. OUTCOMES Most students in each of the three subjects agreed that they 'liked' flipped instruction compared to the traditional lecture format. The majority of students in each subject also agreed that it is reasonable to expect students to prepare before attending a face to face session. However, some students made strong negative comments demonstrating how the flipped environment did not meet their expectations of how learning should be organised. This study suggests that students in the second and third year subjects were not necessarily showing signs of better self-regulation and time management sk...
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2014, 'Impact of student's goal orientation in a flipped learning environment', Australasian Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference 2014, School of Engineering & Advanced Technology, Massey University, Turitea Campus, Palmerston North 4442, Wellington, NZ.
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BACKGROUND Flipped instruction is a form of blended learning that typically encompasses the use of technology to move instruction and preparation outside the classroom. This facilitates the use of 'in class' time for more participative learning activities. These activities should require students to interact and collaborate to improve both their learning and their learning experience. Many researchers have highlighted issues of importance to designing learning activities including student behaviour, assessment, student self-efficacy and goal orientation and the importance of dialogue and feedback for learning. PURPOSE In this paper we explore these themes in the context of a flipped instruction environment for different types of students: those with a learning mastery orientation, those focussed on grade achievement and a subset of grade achievement students - those who struggled to pass. APPROACH Student perceptions of flipped instruction were investigated through survey responses, observations and focus group discussion. In particular, students were asked to explain the impact of the flipped activities on their learning experience including how they approached their studies or managed their time. OUTCOMES Students reported liking flipped instruction compared to the more traditional lecture style delivery format. Most students believe that it had a positive impact on their learning experience and promoted them to become more independent and responsible learners. The main finding that emerged from the interviews and focus group was how the student's goal orientation affected their engagement with the learning opportunities provided. CONCLUSIONS The authors present a model showing potential pathways for a change in goal orientation prompted by the quality of assessment and learning design. We found evidence to support our theory that a student's orientation can be changed temporarily by the quality of the learning opportunity provided and in particular...
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2013, 'Exploring the impact of peer review on the development of engineering education researchers', Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education AAEE2013, 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education AAEE2013, Griffith School of Engineering, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia, pp. 1-9.
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Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2013, 'Flipping your classroom without flipping out', SEFI Annual Conference 2013, SEFI Annual Conference, SEFI, Belgium, pp. 1-9.
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There is some contention as to who are considered to be the pioneers of flipped learning. Within the secondary school system Bergman and Sams, who used live video recordings and screencast software in 2007, are frequently mentioned [1- 3]; while within the tertiary sector, Mazurs work on peer instruction is often highlighted [4, 5]. While the phrase `flipped learning may be relatively new it has been practised by numerous academics and teachers for decades, and is the disciplinary norm in some contexts, for example, it is extensively used in social science classes. To find a popular accepted definition of flipped learning we consulted Wikipedia, which describes it as ...a form of blended learning that encompasses any use of technology to leverage the learning in a classroom, so a teacher can spend more time interacting with students instead of lecturing [6]. We would modify this definition to omit the need for the use of technology, while it is common practice to replace in-class lectures with online video or audio files, out of class readings from text, notes or inquiry-based activities using non-online resources may also be used. Hence the requirement for flipped learning is that didactic transmission-based lectures are at least in part replaced with out of class tasks allowing class time for participative learning activities. Additionally, we would suggest that it should be referred to as flipped instruction as the learning should occur at all stages of the process. Flipped activities should preferably require students to engage in dialogue and include assessment (typically formative) to allow students to evaluate their understanding or progress. Furthermore, flipped instruction should not merely create an opportunity for academics to provide more personal feedback and assistance to students, but also to receive feedback from their students about the activities that they are undertaking and what they dont yet understand. In this way the learning environment is...
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2013, 'Mapping the engineering education research landscape in Australia', Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - AAEE2013, Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education AAEE2013, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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BACKGROUND Engineering education research is still consolidating as a recognised research area in Australian universities. A current project funded by the US National Science Foundation is attempting to develop a taxonomy for engineering education as a research area. Our project takes a slightly different perspective by using a landscape model to describe engineering education as a knowledge domain that includes a variety of areas of endeavour. PURPOSE This paper is motivated by questions around the range of topics being addressed in the AAEE community and as a means of initiating a discussion about how we define, evaluate, understand and move within our research domain. APPROACH This paper reports data collected as part of a wider project examining the peer review process for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) annual conference. During semistructured interviews nineteen participants used one or two coloured adhesive stars to locate their paper on a model of the engineering education research landscape presented in this paper. The location of the stars was then analysed in relation to various elements of the model and the explanations were coded in NVivo 10 for themes relating to the star location. OUTCOMES All participants could locate the topic of their conference paper on the presented model, and articulate clearly why their star belonged in the selected location demonstrating an individual understanding of the focus and outcomes of their research. Not surprisingly most stars were clustered in the `teaching and learning of engineering element or on one of the trajectories leading to it. This reflects that for many participants, their educational publications are inextricably linked to their practice of teaching engineering. Interestingly, there were strong voices from participants across all expertise levels and university types against a perceived move to make the annual AAEE conference focus on theoretical research. This was seen a...
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2013, 'The response of emerging engineering education researchers to peer review of conference papers', Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2013 - Malaysia, Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2013 (REES 2013), Curran Associates, Inc., Putrajaya, Malaysia, pp. 1-8.
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Our research, an element which is reported in this paper, investigates the effectiveness of peer review of conference papers in enabling peer learning within the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) community. This paper reports the responses of six new/emerging? authors from three types of Australian universities to the peer reviews of their AAEE 2012 conference papers. The findings and discussion focus on those aspects of the reviews and the authors? circumstances that appear to either enable or constrain their development as engineering education researchers. The study finds that authors belonging to a discipline-based educational research group made substantial changes to their papers before final submission and we argue that these research groups support these authors in developing their academic identity as an engineering education researcher.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2013, 'A Framework to Develop Academic Standards and Improve Feedback Quality', Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2013 - Malaysia, Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2013 (REES 2013), Curran Associates, Inc., Putrajaya, Malaysia, pp. 1-7.
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This paper describes the benefits of co-constructed understandings of academic standards using a framework that includes collaborative conversations about assessment artefacts supported by online self and peer assessment technology. In particular in this paper we describe this process in the context of addressing the variations in understanding, grading and feedback between multiple tutors in large classes. The described implementation of the framework not only improved understanding and reduced grading variation, it also improved student feedback by helping tutors to convert tacit understandings into explicit explanations and resulted in improved student satisfaction with the assessment process.
Gardner, A. & Willey, K. 2013, 'The response of emerging engineering education researchers to peer review of conference papers', Research in Engineering Education Symposium, REES 2013, pp. 223-230.
Our research, an element which is reported in this paper, investigates the effectiveness of peer review of conference papers in enabling peer learning within the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) community. This paper reports the responses of six 'new/emerging' authors from three types of Australian universities to the peer reviews of their AAEE 2012 conference papers. The findings and discussion focus on those aspects of the reviews and the authors' circumstances that appear to either enable or constrain their development as engineering education researchers. The study finds that authors belonging to a discipline-based educational research group made substantial changes to their papers before final submission and we argue that these research groups support these authors in developing their academic identity as an engineering education researcher.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A. 2013, 'A framework to develop academic standards and improve feedback quality', Research in Engineering Education Symposium, REES 2013, pp. 335-341.
This paper describes the benefits of co-constructed understandings of academic standards using a framework that includes collaborative conversations about assessment artefacts supported by online self and peer assessment technology. In particular in this paper we describe this process in the context of addressing the variations in understanding, grading and feedback between multiple tutors in large classes. The described implementation of the framework not only improved understanding and reduced grading variation, it also improved student feedback by helping tutors to convert tacit understandings into explicit explanations and resulted in improved student satisfaction with the assessment process. Copyright © 2013 Wiley & Gardner.
Rooney, D.L., Reich, A.J., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P. & Boud, D.J. 2012, 'Site walks as a learning practice for professional engineers', Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, 23rd AAEE Conference, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 1-9.
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It is well recognised that changes in the contemporary world demand that professionals continuously learn. Often this continual professional learning takes the shape of formal courses, seminars and other obviously educational events. The starting point of this paper is an acknowledgement that people also learn in the day-to-day practices that constitute their work. Work can be understood as a bundle of practices that are typically shared by most people employed in that profession. For engineers, and experienced engineers in particular, an example might be attending design review meetings, toolbox talks and or carrying out site walks. In this paper we posit that these practices afford important opportunities for professional learning.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2012, 'Student participation in and perceptions of regular formative assessment activities', Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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BACKGROUND The benefits to student learning from participation in formative assessments have been reported by many educational researchers and scholars. This literature reports improved engagement when students see formative activities as being highly relevant and valuable for their learning. However, many academics still report that students are reluctant to participate in a learning activity unless it contributes some marks to their final subject grade. PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact on learning of undertaking a series of out-of-class formative learning activities. In addition, for the students that undertook these activities, we are interested in why they chose to participate and what, if any, learning benefits they experienced from participating. In regards to the students that chose not to undertake the activities, we are interested in their reasons for not participating. We are also interested in investigating the impact on students of scaffolding the learning activities used throughout the semester. DESIGN/METHOD For the Autumn 2012 offering of Engineering Mechanics, out-of-class formative learning activities were designed for four topics in the syllabus. These activities required the students to read the relevant section of the textbook and subsequently answer multiple-choice questions provided online including entering comments to explain their chosen answer. While there were no marks allocated to these activities, the instructor did allocate more time in lectures to the material related to questions with the largest variation in responses. Students who answered the online questions could log back on at the end of the submission period to compare their responses to the instructorâs answers and reasoning. At the conclusion of the semester students were asked to complete a survey consisting of both closed and open-ended questions to investigate their perceptions of the effects of the online activities. Descriptive statistic...
Jolly, L., Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2012, 'Quality in Engineering Education Research: arriving at consensus', Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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BACKGROUND Arguably the most important opportunity to acquire the standards and norms of any discipline and develop researchers' judgement is the peer review process â and this is probably particularly true in an emerging discipline such as engineering education. Ironically, research in many disciplines has established that the review process is deeply flawed in conception as well as (often) in operation, with the American Medical Association asserting that if peer review were a drug it would never be allowed on to the market. And yet university ranking systems for published research, on which all of our careers depend, rely on this flawed instrument. With this in mind we have been examining how members of our community (AAEE) give and respond to reviews with a view to making the process more useful. PURPOSE Reviewing is an inexact and subjective process so it would be misguided to think that somehow inter-rater reliability or some notion of objective âtruthâ may be attained. Instead, we ask what reviewers need to do to provide helpful advice that can help shape norms and standards in the field. DESIGN/METHOD In previous work (Willey et. al. 2011; Jolly et.al. 2011) there appeared to be a need for well-expressed criteria that would guide authors on what a publication should contain and guide reviewers in how judgements should be made. With the help of a Delphi panel made up of 12 international researchers in the field a set of criteria were developed. Volunteers were then sought to apply the criteria to sample texts in an online tool (SPARKplus). Individual interviews with some respondents were then used to clarify participantâs understandings and goals. RESULTS The criteria developed by the Delphi panel are those being used for this conference. The members of the panel particularly approved the âcommentsâ accompanying the criteria per se which were intended primarily as guidance to authors about acceptable practice. Anecdotal evidence to date suggests that autho...
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2012, 'Collaborative Learning Frameworks to Promote a Positive Learning Culture', 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings - Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference: Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, IEEE, Seattle, Washington, USA, pp. 638-643.
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Engineers are often required to make critical judgments involving decisions that extend beyond traditional discipline boundaries. This requires professional engineers to undertake ongoing learning. Much of this learning is informal, learnt on the job from peers. Hence, to prepare students for professional practice they require opportunities to experience, practise, reflect and improve their ability to work in collaborative learning environments. While few would argue the benefits of collaborative learning these benefits are not automatic. Thoughtful design including scaffolding to motivate desired approaches and behavior is required. In this paper we report the results of several studies investigating the components of successful collaborative learning activities. We found that assessment scaffolding directed at promoting a culture of learning rather than a focus on passing a series of assessments was effective in engaging students, that formative activities allowed students to focus on learning and that learning from collaborative activities improved if the activities included variation for learning and a confirmation task. Using the results of these studies we developed two frameworks characterizing the elements of collaborative learning activities. In this paper we report investigating the capacity of these frameworks to develop an effective and integrated learning experience for students.
Gardner, A.P., Willey, K., Jolly, L. & Tibbits, G. 2012, 'Peering at the peer review process for conference submissions', 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings - Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference: Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, IEEE, Seattle, Washington, USA, pp. 852-857.
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For many scholars conference papers are a stepping stone to submitting a journal article. However with increasing time pressures for presentation at conferences, peer review may in practice be the only developmental opportunity from conference attendance. Hence it could be argued that the most important opportunity to acquire the standards and norms of the discipline and develop researchers' judgement is the peer review process - but this depends on the quality of the reviews. In this paper we report the findings of an ongoing study into the peer review process of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) annual conference. We began by examining the effectiveness of reviews of papers submitted to the 2010 conference in helping authors to improve and/or address issues in their research. Authors were also given the chance to rate their reviews and we subsequently analysed both the nature of the reviews and authors' responses. Findings suggest that the opportunity to use the peer review process to induct people into the field and improve research methods and practice was being missed with almost half of the reviews being rated as 'ineffectual'. Authors at the 2011 AAEE conference confirmed the findings from the 2010 data. The results demonstrate the lack of a shared understanding in our community of what constitutes quality research. In this paper in addition to the results of the abovementioned studies we report the framework being adopted by the AAEE community to develop criteria to be applied at future conferences and describe the reviewer activity aimed at increasing understanding of standards and developing judgement to improve research quality within our engineering education community.
Rooney, D.L., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P., Boud, D.J., Reich, A.J. & Fitzgerald, T. 2012, 'Using practice theory to investigate professional engineers workplace learning', 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings - Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference: Soaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, IEEE, Seattle, Washington, USA, pp. 1031-1036.
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This paper reports on the first phase of an Australian inter-disciplinary partnership study concerned with professional learning of experienced engineers. It is a theoretically motivated, qualitative paper that aims to produce detailed descriptions of professional learning that arise within professional engineering work. The paper uses practice theory to conceptualise professional learning. By using âpracticesâ as the units of analysis, professional learning is understood as an integral part of everyday work practices that is embodied, relational and material rather than an individual attribute. The paper concludes by suggesting that practice theory may provide organisations with an alternative perspective of workplace learning, inviting them to reconsider how professional learning is acknowledged, rewarded and fostered in organisations.
Goldfinch, T., Leigh, E.E., Dawes, L., Gardner, A.P. & McCarthy, T. 2012, 'Engineering Across Cultures: New learning resources for intercultural competency in engineering', Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 23rd AAEE conference, The Engineering & Science Education Research (ESER) group, Faculty of Engineering & Industrial Scien, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 1-9.
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BACKGROUND The work described in this paper has emerged from an ALTC/OLT funded project, Exploring Intercultural Competency in Engineering. The project indentified many facets of culture and intercultural competence that go beyond a culture-as-nationality paradigm. It was clear from this work that resources were needed to help engineering educators introduce students to the complex issues of culture as they relate to engineering practice. A set of learning modules focussing on intercultural competence in engineering practice were developed early on in the project. Through the OLT project, these modules have been expanded into a range of resources covering various aspects of culture in engineering. Supporting the resources, an eBook detailing the ins and outs of intercultural competency has also been developed to assist engineering educators to embed opportunities for students to develop skills in unpacking and managing cross-cultural challenges in engineering practice. PURPOSE This paper describes the key principles behind the development of the learning modules, the areas they cover and the eBook developed to support the modules. The paper is intended as an introduction to the approaches and resources and extends an invitation to the community to draw from, and contribute to this initial work.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2012, 'Threshold exams to promote learning and assurance of learning', Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education - The Profession of Engineering Education: Advancing Teaching, Research and Careers, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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BACKGROUND Formal examinations are often used in engineering classes as the tool to evaluate student learning. These exams are often high stakes assessment tasks and provide no opportunity for feed-forward. Despite academic claims that all topics in their subject are requisite material, students are regularly able to pass these assessment tasks with unsatisfactory, and perhaps even no capacity to demonstrate learning in some topics. Furthermore, while undertaking the exam often highlights to students their learning deficiencies, it typically has no impact on their learning as they rarely receive feedback other than a mark or grade and there is no further opportunity to address these learning gaps. This paper reports on the impact of a two-staged examination process on both student learning and assurance of that learning. PURPOSE The aim of the staged examination process was to improve confidence that students had satisfactory knowledge in all requisite subject topics and to test its capacity to be learning-oriented in that it provides improved opportunities for students to learn while simultaneously increasing the level of learning assurance. DESIGN/METHOD The first stage of the process was an exam that covered all requisite subject topics. This exam consisted of multiple choice questions set at or just above the level of threshold learning outcomes. Students were required to score 80% on this exam to qualify to undertake the second part of the assessment process at a later date. Students used IFAT (Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique) cards for this stage to facilitate immediate feedback as to their strengths and weaknesses. The time between exams allowed students to review identified areas of weakness before attempting the second stage of the exam. Note: while not contributing to their final grade students who failed the first exam were also permitted to undertake the second exam as an opportunity to learn and as a means of evaluating the impact of the proc...
Rooney, D.L., Boud, D.J., Reich, A.J., Willey, K., Fitzgerald, T. & Gardner, A.P. 2012, 'Using practice theory to investigate professional engineers' workplace learning', Frontiers in Education Conference, IEEE, Oklahoma City, Seattle, pp. 1031-1036.
This paper reports on the first phase of an Australian inter-disciplinary partnership study concerned with professional learning of experienced engineers. It is a theoretically motivated, qualitative paper that aims to produce detailed descriptions of professional learning that arise within professional engineering work. The paper uses practice theory to conceptualise professional learning. By using `practices as the units of analysis, professional learning is understood as an integral part of everyday work practices that is embodied, relational and material rather than an individual attribute. The paper concludes by suggesting that practice theory may provide organisations with an alternative perspective of workplace learning, inviting them to reconsider how professional learning is acknowledged, rewarded and fostered in organisations
Hazelton, P.A. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Student Reflections on Sustainability in Engineering Education', Proceedings of SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 523-526.
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A short course of three weeks duration for recently graduated and final year engineering students has been conducted every year since 2001 at EPF, Ecole dâYingenieurs generaliste, Sceaux, France. The short course was run under the auspices of the International Institute of Women in Engineering (IIWE) with the aim of introducing young engineers to broad global concepts and issues relating to their future professional practice. The curriculum of this interdisciplinary and intercultural learning program has evolved over several years in iterative cycles of innovation, evaluation and fine-tuning the implementation. To assess the effectiveness of various initiatives in the content and delivery of the course, the participants in 2006 completed the same questionnaire prior to the commencement of, and at the conclusion of the course. Since then participants have completed a modified questionnaire at the end of their course, with questions specifically addressing changes to the course such as the introduction of a specific course theme, a group project and industrial visits focused on sustainable engineering. This paper reports on a selection of the results of these questionnaires and how these results have been used to make changes to the IIWE course.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Want to change learning culture: provide the opportunity', Proceedings of Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain, Madrid, Spain, pp. 259-267.
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Many students resist having to take responsibility for their own learning rather expecting this to be the responsibility of their teaching academics. This resistance is often associated with Asian cultures where there is a perception of a reliance on rote learning and passively being taught Furthermore, undertaking collaborative activities may be more difficult when students are not being taught in their primary language. While teaching an undergraduate engineering science program in Hong Kong the authors had initially found it difficult to motivate students to actively participate in their learning. ln response, learning activities were redesigned to promote a culture of learning rather than a focus on passing a series of assessments. We found that despite some initial apprehension students enthusiastically engaged in collaborative learning when given the opportunity. Furthermore, formative activities freed students from the burden of strategically collecting marks, allowing them to focus on learning, enjoy the activities and take responsibility for their own progress.
Jolly, L., Willey, K., Tibbits, G. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Conferences, Reviews and conversations about improving engineering education', Research in Engineering Education Symposium Madrid 2011, Research in Engineering Education Symposium Madrid 2011, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain, Madrid, Spain, pp. 834-840.
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Peer reviews are supposed to ensure the quality of published work and are also applied to confer=ence papers with the same aim. But numerous studies have demonstrated that reviews cannot be considered objective or reliable. Even if they were they do not provide the opportunity to refine and develop ideas that conferences such as REES promote. We began by examining how well reviews of papers submitted to the 2010 conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education helped authors to improve and found them to be often inadequate. The literature reveals that this is true for peer review generally. We conclude with some suggestions for how ideas might be shared, developed and disseminated through scholarly conversation while avoiding most of the pitfalls of the review process.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2011, 'Investigating the characteristics of successful collaborative activities', Proceedings of Research in Engineering Education Symposium Madrid 2011, Research in Engineering Education Symposium Madrid 2011, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain, Madrid, Spain, pp. 332-339.
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Given that engineering is a practice-based profession, one of the benefits of collaborative learning is that it provides the opportunity to simulate this practice within classroom activities. While not replacing the benefits of actual practice, thoughtfully designed collaborative learning activities provide opportunities for students to construct and test their knowledge while developing their professional judgement. Hence, it is important to identify the common characteristics of collaborative activities that improve student learning. Based on the results of our research we hypothesised that with the correct scaffolding, activities that include integrated collaborative conversations improved the learning within small group activities. In this paper we report the first step in a research project to determine the characteristics of successful collaborative learning activities that include integrated peer conversations to assist academics in designing their own successful collaborative activities. To test our hypothesis we first examined a series of studies that report the effect of collaborative activity on student learning to identify any common characteristics that seemed to have a positive impact.
Willey, K., Jolly, L., Tibbits, G. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Investigating research quality and the review process: some suggestions for improvement', Proceedings of SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 178-184.
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Arguably, the most important opportunity to acquire the standards and norms of the discipline and develop researchers' judgement is the peer review process â but this depends on the quality of the reviews. 'Good' feedback has been identified as being timely, specific and relevant. Yet often reviews lack these basic qualities. In this paper we report an investigation of the peer review process at a recent engineering education conference. Authors at the conference were given the chance to rate their reviews, we subsequently analysed both the nature of the reviews and authors' responses. We found that reviewers generally do a poor job of applying criteria, leaving some authors feeling that the review process does not offer them enough help in improving their papers. On the other hand, authors showed some of the same tendencies we see in students to take criticism personally and hence reject it. We conclude by discussing some strategies that might be implemented to help both parties.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2011, 'Peer feedback - what are students telling each other?', Proceedings of SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, European Society for Engineering Education, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 437-444.
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Accreditation bodies in various countries, universities and industry call for engineering students to develop professional skills associated with working in a group. We questioned whether students value the same skills and attributes in each other when working in a group. This paper reports on the analysis of the text of peer feedback comments provided by students in courses at two stages (second year and fourth year) of a four year undergraduate engineering degree program. Analysis of the peer feedback is based on the framework used by Miller [10] and investigates the amount of feedback provided, the type of feedback (ie whether it is positive, negative or neutral), the topic of the feedback and whether it could be classed as specific, since this is one of the identified characteristics of 'good' feedback. The topics covered by the feedback were determined by first coding the comments into themes and then grouping related themes into a category, rather than grouping the data into predetermined categories. This process resulted in the following six categories: general evaluation, team attributes, generic professional skills, subject knowledge, ideas and problem solving, and reliability. While the feedback comments provided by students to each other covered a range of issues, the topics most commented on include: team related attributes such as whether the peer was helpful, made an effort and participated in group activities; generic professional skills such as communication, leadership and time management; and reliability including timeliness of peer submissions, and the value of the peer's contribution to completing the task. These characteristics align strongly with what employers are looking for in engineering graduates, and what accreditation bodies list as essential competencies of a graduate engineer, showing that students themselves recognise the value of these skills when they have to work with others.
Prusty, G.B., Russell, C., Ford, R., Ben-Naim, D., Ho, S., Vrcelj, Z., Marcus, N., McCarthey, T.J., Goldfinch, T., Ojeda, R.E., Gardner, A.P., Molyneaux, T. & Hadgraft, R.G. 2011, 'Adaptive tutorials to target Threshold Concepts in Mechanics - a community of practice approach', Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2011) - Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Fremantle, WA, pp. 305-311.
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We present our work on introducing Adaptive Tutorials in first and second year mechanics courses in Engineering. Adaptive Tutorials are interactive online modules where an Intelligent Tutoring System adapts the instruction level to learners, based on their individual performance. Through an ALTC-funded project, we formed a community of practice of Engineering Mechanics educators from a range of Australian universities. As a team, we began by identifying Threshold Concepts that if they are not grasped inhibit studentsâ learning before developing a set of Adaptive on-line Tutorials to target them. These Adaptive Tutorials were used by students throughout the first half of 2011, and were found to be both engaging and conducive to learning. In this paper, we present our approach and findings and discuss our strategy of giving educators pedagogical control over such advanced technologically-based instructional methods with the goal of increasing adoption and ultimately improving students learning.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Scratch that itch to learn: a comparative study', Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2011) - Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Fremantle, WA, pp. 601-606.
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Engineers today are required to make critical judgements involving decisions that often extend beyond traditional discipline boundaries. This requires professional engineers to undertake ongoing learning. Much of this learning is informal, learnt on the job from peers from different disciplines. To enable students to develop the skills required for professional practice they need opportunities to experience, practise, reflect and improve their ability to work in a collaborative environment. One method used at the University of Technology, Sydney to develop these skills is collaborative activities incorporating immediate feedback. Subject topics are tested through quizzes that are initially undertaken individually and then collaboratively using immediate feedback assessment technique (IF-AT) cards. These activities allow students to first identify and subsequently have gaps in their learning addressed initially by their peers within the one activity. This paper reports on a comparative evaluation of the collaborative use of IF-AT quizzes in four subjects taught by the authors. We found that these methods not only consistently improved student engagement, learning and developed skills required for life-long learning, but also promoted changes in their learning culture by having them take more responsibility for their own learning.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Getting tutors on the same page', Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2011) - Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Fremantle, WA, pp. 454-459.
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In large engineering subjects, it is common to have multiple tutors where each tutor is responsible for grading the assessment tasks for students in their tutorial. An issue regularly faced by subject coordinators is how to achieve a consistent standard of marking and feedback quality amongst different tutors. To address this issue the authors initially used a number of methods including double blind marking to support consistent grading. However, with increasing demands on academics these time-consuming activities became an unrealistic option. This process was improved by using a software tool to compare both the marking and feedback provided by different tutors for a number of randomly selected project tasks. In this paper, we report using new software features developed as a result of this previous research to quickly establish and build a community of assessment practice amongst subject tutors. The reported process promotes inclusiveness by using a software tool to anonymously record and report tutor assessments allowing all opinions to be considered during a subsequent discussion activity. Even though this pilot exercise was undertaken by experienced tutors it significantly influenced their feedback skills and to a lesser extent their marking standards.
Willey, K., Jolly, L., Tibbits, G. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Gatekeeping or filtering?: Investigating the connection between peer review & research quality', Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2011) - Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Fremantle, WA, pp. 241-247.
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Arguably, the most important opportunity to acquire the standards and norms of the discipline and develop researchers' judgement is the peer review process - but this depends on the quality of the reviews. 'Good' feedback - which we take to mean feedback that has the capacity to improve subsequent practice - has been identified as being timely, specific and relevant. Yet often reviews lack these basic qualities. In this paper we report an investigation of the peer review process at the 2010 Australasian Association of Engineering Education (AAEE) conference. Authors at the conference were given the chance to rate their reviews and we subsequently analysed both the nature of the reviews and authors' responses. Findings suggest that the opportunity to use the peer review process to induct people into the field and improve practice is being missed. As in other disciplines there is also ample evidence that the review process does little or nothing to ensure the standard and relevance of conference presentations. It is therefore legitimate to ask whether there may not be better processes to attain these ends and we conclude with some discussion of how the review process may be made more helpful for everyone involved.
Goldfinch, T., Layton, C., Gardner, A.P., Thomas, G., Henderson, A. & McCarthy, T. 2011, 'Observing cultural interactions in engineering design projects', Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE2011) - Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Fremantle, WA, pp. 184-190.
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The University of Wollongong and partner institutions UTAS, UTS, and QUT have engaged in an ALTC funded project to address issues of intercultural competence in engineering. As a major component of this project, observational research techniques are being employed to assess the current state of intercultural competence in first and second year engineering students. The research described in this paper is a process employed by the authors to observe cultural interactions between students in first or second year design subjects. The process involves simple video recordings of the groupsâ interactions over the course of a normal project team meeting, which are then coded and analysed using NVivo 8. To identify cultural diversity within the observed groups and perceived intercultural competency, the observation session is followed by a brief survey which incorporates dimensions of self and peer evaluation. This research will be conducted at all four participating institutions over the teaching semesters of 2011. As well as establishing an overview of the current state of intercultural intelligence amongst engineering cohorts, these research outcomes will be used to develop packaged teaching modules for developing intercultural intelligence amongst both engineering students and teaching staff.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Building a community of practice to improve inter marker standardisation and consistency', Proceedings of SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, SEFI 2011 Annual Conference: Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 666-671.
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Over several years the authors have coordinated engineering subjects, with large cohorts of up to 300+ students. In each case, lectures were supported by tutorials. In the larger subjects it was not uncommon to have in excess of 10 tutors, where each tutor is responsible for grading the assessment tasks for students in their tutorial. A common issue faced by lecturers of large multiple tutor subjects is how to achieve a consistent standard of marking between different tutors. To address this issue the authors initially used a number of methods including double-blind marking and remarking. This process was improved by using the benchmarking tool in SPARKPLUS [1] to compare both the grading and feedback provided by different tutors for a number of randomly selected project tasks. In these studies we found that while students' perception of difference in grading was not unfounded, the problem was exacerbated by inconsistencies in the language tutors use when providing feedback. In this paper, we report using new SPARKPLUS features developed as a result of this previous research to quickly establish and build a community of practice amongst subject tutors. We found that in just one session these processes assisted tutors to reach a higher level of shared understanding of the concepts and practices pertinent to the subject assessment activities. In addition, it enabled tutors to gain an appreciation of the grading issues frequently reported by students. This resulted in not only improving both the understanding and skills of tutors but changing the way they both marked and provided feedback.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2011, 'Change Learning Culture with Collaboration', Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability, Mobility, European Society for Engineering Education, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 93-98.
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Engineers are often required to make critical judgments involving decisions that extend beyond traditional discipline boundaries, requiring professional engineers to undertake ongoing learning. Much of this learning is informal, learnt on the job from peers from different disciplines. To develop the skills required for professional practice students need opportunities to work in a collaborative learning environment. Many students resist having to take responsibility for their own learning rather expecting this to be the responsibility of their teaching academics. This resistance is often associated with Asian cultures where there is a perception of reliance on rote learning and an expectation of being passively taught. Furthermore, undertaking collaborative activities may be more difficult when students are not being taught in their primary language. While teaching an undergraduate engineering science program in Hong Kong the authors had initially found it difficult to motivate students to participate in learning activities that involved them using their judgement or critical analysis. In response, learning activities were redesigned to integrate collaborative peer learning and promote a culture of learning rather than a focus on passing a series of assessments. We found that students whose previous learning experiences were mainly passive despite some initial apprehension not only adjusted, but enthusiastically engaged in collaborative learning when given the opportunity. Furthermore, the formative nature of the activities freed students from the burden of strategically collecting marks, allowing them to focus on learning, take responsibility for their own progress and encouraged active participation in the learning process.
Gardner, A.P. & Jolly, L. 2010, 'Past, Present, Future - the 'keys' to engineering education reseach & practice', Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineeering Education, Faculty of Engineering & IT, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Goldfinch, T. & Gardner, A.P. 2010, 'The wheel has already been invented: facilitating students' use of existing mechanics resources', Engineering Education 2010 (EE2010): Inspiring the next generation of engineers, Engineering Education Conference, The Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre, Aston University, UK, pp. 1-6.
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We've been teaching engineering mechanics to first year engineering students for a long time, yet at many engineering faculties around the world there are still significant failure rates⦠Educators have tried many different approaches to address persistent high failure rates in first year engineering mechanics courses. These approaches often involve the development of new mechanics learning resources in a variety of styles depending on the perceived learning obstacle. As part of a project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council on addressing student learning diversity in engineering mechanics we have developed a framework for reviewing these existing learning resources. This framework has been used to create a database of references to resources, categorising them by attributes such as topics covered and depth of coverage, suitable student learning styles, appropriate learner levels, copyright and accessibility issues. While it is anticipated that academics will use the database to complement their normal subject delivery, it has been developed with student users as the main target audience. Student focus groups have shown that independent study can be ineffective, particularly after hours when assistance is unavailable. The aim of this database is to encourage students to be proactive in improving the quality of their learning by assisting them to select learning resources best suited to their needs, in both content and style of delivery. In this paper we describe the elements of the framework used to review engineering mechanics resources, the resultant database of resources, and the planned evaluation of its effectiveness in improving learning outcomes. The authors intend to demonstrate use of the database at the conference.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2010, 'Does pre-feedback self reflection improve student engagement, learning outcomes and tutor facilitation of group feedback sessions?', Engineering Education 2010 (EE2010): Inspiring the next generation of engineers, Engineering Education Conference, The Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre, Aston University, UK, pp. 1-10.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on students' learning and development. Despite this work and the research of others, we observed some students felt they had nothing to learn from feedback sessions. Hence they missed the opportunity for reflection and to receive feedback to complete the learning cycle. This behaviour suggested that students needed more guidance to facilitate deeper engagement. We hypothesised that student engagement would increase if they were provided with guiding 'feedback catalyst questions' to initiate reflection and facilitate effective feedback on learning outcomes. In this paper we report testing whether this approach assisted students to gain more benefit from the self and peer assessment feedback sessions. In our investigation both students and tutors were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the feedback catalyst questions in improving student engagement and learning. We found that the pre-feedback self reflection exercise improved learning outcomes and student engagement with more than 80% of students reporting multiple benefits. Furthermore tutors reported that the exercise assisted them to facilitate their sessions. However, not surprisingly the degree of success was related in part to the attitude of the tutor to the exercise. This suggests that while the feedback catalyst questions were extremely effective there is no substitute for enthusiastic and engaging tutorial staff.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2010, 'Collaborative Peer Learning to Change Learning Culture and Develop the Skills for Lifelong Professional Practice', Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 222-229.
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Engineers today are often required to make critical judgements involving decisions that extend beyond traditional discipline boundaries requiring ongoing learning, much of which is informal, learnt on the job from peers who are often from different disciplines. To prepare students for professional practice, they need opportunities to experience, practise, reflect and improve their ability to work in a collaborative environment. The University of Technology, Sydney teaches an undergraduate engineering science programme in Hong Kong. The authors have found it initially difficult to get students to participate in collaborative learning activities and in particular those that involved students in using their own judgement or critical analysis. In response, the authors redesigned their course to integrate collaborative peer learning activities into all areas of the curriculum including collaborative problem solving exercises that are subsequently assessed through a series of first individual then collaborative quizzes (using the immediate feedback assessment techniques (IF-AT)) and exams. Initial results from students overwhelmingly showed that the collaborative activities improved their understanding, ability to think through and resolve problems, and the identification and addressing of gaps in their learning. This approach has potential to benefit all engineering students as it prepares students to make the most of the informal collaborative learning opportunities provided in professional practice while simultaneously enhancing their ability to undertake lifelong learning.
Goldfinch, T., Gardner, A.P., McCarthy, T., Henderson, A., Thomas, G. & Carew, A. 2010, 'A Tool for Online Mechanics Learning Resource Sharing', Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 21st Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE 2010), University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 448-453.
Many hours and dollars have been spent developing new resources to improve learning outcomes in engineering mechanics courses. While many of these have been developed into packaged learning systems, available for purchase by other universities, a large proportion are available free of charge for students looking to expand their study options. Over the past eighteen months, a group of engineering academics, through Australian Learning and Teaching Council funding, has been working to develop a way of guiding students towards these online engineering mechanics learning resources. One of the outcomes of this work is an online, database-driven directory of existing online learning resources which are free for students to use in independent study. The database guides students towards resources through a range of search criteria that resources have each been evaluated on, including: Depth of topic coverage; suitable study patterns; appropriate learner level; learning styles, etc. This paper details the development, features, and intended uses of the database. It presents a plan for researching the effect that guided access to additional online learning resources has on perceptions of learning in first year engineering mechanics courses. The authors also extend an invitation to other educators to contribute to the system and promote its use to students in their classes.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2010, 'Improving the standard and consistency of multi-tutor grading in large classes', Assessment: Sustainability, Diversity and Innovation. A conference on assessment in higher education 2010, ATN Assessment Conference, Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, University of Technology Sydney, UTS, Sydney, Australia, pp. 88-98.
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For several years the authors have coordinated a large engineering design subject, having a typical cohort of more than 300 students per semester. Lectures are supported by tutorials of approximately 32 students that incorporate a combination of collaborative team and project-based learning activities. Each tutor is responsible for grading the assessment tasks for students in their tutorial. A common issue is how to achieve a consistent standard of marking and student feedback between different tutors. To address this issue the authors have used a number of methods including double-blind marking and/or random re-marking to support consistent grading. However, even when only small variations between the overall grading of different tutors were found, students still complained about a perceived lack of consistency. In this paper we report on an investigation into the use of a collaborative peer learning process among tutors to improve mark standardisation, and marker consistency, and to build tutorsâ expertise and capacity in the provision of quality feedback. We found that studentsâ perceptions of differences in grading were exacerbated by inconsistencies in the language tutors use when providing feedback, and by differences in tutorsâ perceptions of how well individual criterion were met.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2010, 'Critical Conversations: How Collaborative Learning Activities Can Prepare Students for Structural Engineering Practice', Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 468-476.
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Junior structural engineers rarely work alone. Their design calculations are usually peer reviewed, and they may be involved in reviewing other engineersâ designs. They are also likely to have to articulate their design decisions to their supervisor or the project team, if not the client. At the University of Technology, Sydney the authors redesigned the asssessment tasks in the subject Concrete Design to be collaborative learning-oriented tasks that provide an opportunity for students to develop and practice the skills they will need to interact with other professionals in the workplace and continue learning during their career. We theorised that allowing students to collaborate during quizzes and a project would make these activities more learning-oriented, in that students would actively learn from each other while completing their assessment. Data from various sources were collected to examine the impact of this collaborative assessment on student learning. These sources included instructor observation, analysis of student responses to a reflection activity, student surveys and student results. Students reported that not only were these activities enjoyable but they also significantly improved their learning.
Willey, K., Gardner, A. & IEEE 2010, 'Perceived Differences in Tutor Grading in Large Classes: Fact or Fiction?', 2010 IEEE FRONTIERS IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE (FIE).
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Changing Student's Perceptions of Self and Peer Assessment', Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2009, Research in Engineering Education Symposium, University of Melbourne School of Engineering, Palm Cove Queensland, pp. 1-9.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on students learning and development. Despite this work and the research of others, we found a significant number of students perceive self and peer assessment to be an instrument to facilitate fairness, focusing on its free-rider deterrent capacity, rather than providing opportunities for reflection and feedback to complete the learning cycle. We assumed that these perceptions were enforced by the fact that the main use of self and peer assessment was to moderate marks and provide feedback to individuals on their contribution to team tasks. We hypothesised that these perceptions would change if students were provided with opportunities to use self and peer assessment for different purposes. In this paper we report testing this hypothesis by using self and peer assessment multiple times a semester to not only assess team contributions but to assess individual student assignments and in benchmarking exercises. Our aim was to test whether this approach would assist students to gain more benefit from self and peer assessment processes while simultaneously breaking down their narrow focus on fairness.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Self and Peer Assessment: A Necessary Ingredient in Developing and Tracking Students' Graduate Attributes', Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium, Research in Engineering Education Symposium, University of Melbourne School of Engineering, Palm Cove Queensland, pp. 1-9.
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Recently there has been a shift to focus on assessing students learning outcomes in terms of graduate attributes which they should develop and demonstrate during the course of their degree. A number of universities have tried to address these issues for example by using software tools such as ReView to track attribute development or by producing both academic and professional skill development transcripts. However, many attributes such as teamwork and the ability to give and receive feedback are typically practised in collaborative peer exercises. Furthermore these exercises are often conducted outside of regular class sessions, hence thorough assessment of these attributes should include input from both individual students and their peers. Hence we propose that any method of developing and tracking students graduate attributes should include self and peer assessment.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Investigating the capacity of self and peer assessment to engage students and increase their desire to learn', Proceedings of the Annual SEFI Conference 2009: Attracting young people to engineering, Annual Conference of European Society for Engineering Education, Delft University of Technology, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 1-11.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on studentsâ attribute development. Despite this work and the research of others, we have found a significant number of students perceive self and peer assessment to be an instrument to facilitate fairness focusing on its freerider deterrent capacity, rather than providing opportunities for reflection and feedback to complete the learning cycle. It is the authorsâ intention that all students would benefit, both from the reflective nature of self and peer assessment and the feedback it provides, and for these benefits to be seen as valuable and desirable so that students are eager to participate. In this paper we report investigating the use of self and peer assessment multiple times for different purposes within a single subject. In particular, we examine whether providing students with multiple opportunities to practise and receive feedback in different contexts encourages peer learning, increases engagement and studentsâ desire to learn.
Beamish, B., Kizil, M., Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Monitoring mining engineering undergraduate perceptions of contribution to group project work', Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, The School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 318-325.
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A combination of self and peer assessment is a powerful and rich teaching and learning management tool that can be used to monitor and evaluate group performance in project work. An on-line system (SPARKPLUS â Self and Peer Assessment Resource Kit) has been developed to simplify this process for the academic. This system generates factors for both the peer assessment weighting to be applied for individual contribution and the studentâs perception of their contribution compared to their peers by using key assessment criteria and a rigorous algorithm that is applied to the student evaluations of themselves and their peers. This paper describes and evaluates the introduction of SPARKPLUS to assess the performance of Mining Engineering Undergraduates in Year 3 at The University of Queensland in the first semester of 2008 in two of their core undergraduate courses that required group project work to be completed for assessment. The results obtained from this initial trial show the potential for improving student behaviour in group work through a structured approach to monitoring and feedback of their performance. It was found that male students with GPAs ⤠5 tend to overestimate their contribution to group work more frequently than their peers whereas the opposite applies for male students with GPAs > 5.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Using Benchmarking to Improve Students' Learning and Make Assessment More Student Centred', Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, The School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 726-734.
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If universities are to prepare students for professional practise then they should also prepare them for the type of learning that occurs in the workplace. Graduatesâ workplace learning often differs considerably from their university experience. Firstly there is typically no lecturer or tutor to instruct them, and workplace learning is often collaborative. Hence studentsâ preparation for entering this workplace environment should include opportunities to practise collaborative learning with their peers. While designing collaborative learning tasks that involve students having to make and reflect on their judgements are extremely beneficial, these participatory exercises can result in an intolerable administrative burden especially for large classes. The authors have recently developed a specific benchmarking tool to assist academics to produce regular student centred assessments to improve studentsâ judgement and learning with a manageable academic effort. In this paper we reflectively deconstruct a purposely designed collaborative learning activity, investigating the effect of each of its components on student learning. Furthermore we explore how effectively the educational technology used reduced both the marking and administrative burden of running these exercises particularly in large classes.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Investigating the Potential of Self and Peer Assessment to Develop Learning Oriented Assessment Tasks', Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, The School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 943-952.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes in groupwork by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on studentsâ attribute development. Combining this research and that reported in the literature on learning-oriented assessment we theorised that self and peer assessment would be an ideal tool to develop and facilitate assessments specifically designed to promote learning. In this paper we report testing this theory by integrating self and peer assessment into different learning oriented assessment tasks within a single subject. These tasks use self and peer assessment to not only assess a studentâs contribution to a team project but also assess individual student assignments, their understanding and judgement. The results demonstrate that self and peer assessment is an extremely effective tool in facilitating learning orientated assessments.
Saleh, A. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Digital animations as a visual learning tool for Structural Analysis', Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, The School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 229-236.
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A number of digital animation clips have been developed to explore the effectiveness of their use in teaching of the subject Structural Analysis at the University of Technology, Sydney.The subject Structural Analysis is perceived by most students as challenging not only because of the theory and analysis concepts covered, but also because in its application it is difficult to visualise how structures behave when subjected to loads. The animation clips that were developed bring âmovement and lifeâ to structures that are traditionally presented in textbooks as static. It is anticipated that this will assist students to visualise the behaviour of structures and to better understand difficult concepts and methods taught in the subject. The intended uses of the animations are (1) in-class demonstration of behaviour of structures and methods of structural analysis and (2) as a self learning tool for students. This paper will present examples of the animations, how they have been used in teaching of Structural Analysis and feedback from students on their effectiveness.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Assessment for learning: using minor assessment to promote major learning', Conference Proceedings ATN Assessment Conference 2009: Assessment in Different Dimensions, ATN Assessment Conference, RMIT University, Melbourne, pp. 352-362.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes in groupwork by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on studentsâ attribute development. Combining this research and that reported in the literature regarding learning-oriented assessment we theorised that self and peer assessment would be an ideal tool to develop and efficiently facilitate activities specifically designed to be student centred and promote learning. In this paper we report the effectiveness of a self and peer assessment activity specifically designed to promote collaborative peer learning, require students to take responsibility for their learning and improve their judgement, while at the same time only imposing a small assessment load on academics.
Hazelton, P.A. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Posters: a means for both technical and social communication', Proceedings of the 37th SEFI conference: Attracting young people to engineering, Annual Conference of European Society for Engineering Education, Delft University of Technology, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 1-4.
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Posters are used to convey information concisely and clearly. It requires judgement to decide on how much information to include, whether this information should be presented in a graphical or textual form, and how to organise the information in the space of the poster. A poster is the initial assessment task at the short course run by the International Institute of Women in Engineering (IIWE) at EPF, Ecole dâingenieurs generaliste, and in association with ParisX1 University. This three week short course has been offered since 2001 and is intended for recently graduated or final year engineering students from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. The poster was chosen as the initial assessment task because young professionals are generally asked to present in this way at professional conferences. There were several aims associated with use of the poster: 1. to develop studentsâ poster making skills 2. to help students who are shy or lacking confidence in English skills to be able to have a means of communication with each other and with staff 3. to initiate the discussion around the sustainability theme of the course. The poster display also defines the participantsâ space in a foreign university â it defines âour spaceâ for the duration of the course. The posters are assessed against criteria for both content and visual impact by three members of staff who provide feedback to the participants. An award for best poster is presented at the end of the course to recognise the skill involved in creating an effective poster.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'Improvements in the self and peer assessment tool SPARK: do they improve learning outcomes?', ATN Assessment Conference 2008: Engaging Students in Assessment, ATN Assessment Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, pp. 1-9.
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McCarthy, T., Sheikh, N. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'Encapsulating sustainability principles for structural design of buildings', Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) Annual International Conference, Passive and Low Energy Architecture Annual International Conference, University College, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, pp. 1-5.
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Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'The effectiveness of using self and peer assessment in short courses: Does it improve learning?', 19th Annual Conference Australasian Association for Engineering Education: Program and Proceedings, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Yeppoon, Queensland, pp. 1-6.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes. Its thoughtful use provides opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on students graduate attribute development. Our previous research has shown that it is beneficial for teams to use self and peer assessment multiple times a semester to produce regular feedback allowing students to reflect on their performance, then put into practice what they have learned to improve their future performance and overall grade. In this paper we report our investigation as to whether the use of self and peer assessment produces similar benefits in a short-course where teams rather than staying the same, change for different assessment tasks.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2008, 'Developing Teamwork and other professional skills while teaching reinforced concrete design', 17th Congress of IABSE Chicago 2008 Creating and Renewing Urban Structures, International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineers, IABSE, Chicago, USA, pp. 334-341.
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Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'Using self and peer assessment for professional and team skill development: do well functioning teams experience all the benefits?', ATN Assessment Conference 2008: Engaging Students in Assessment, ATN Assessment Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide, pp. 1-9.
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Coupland, M.P., Gardner, A.P. & Carmody Jones, G. 2008, 'Mathematics for Engineering Education: What Students Say', Proceedings of the 31st MERGA Conference: Navigating Currents and Charting Directions, MERGA Conference, Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Brisbane, pp. 139-146.
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Hazelton, P.A., Malone, M. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'A multicultural, multidisciplinary, short course to introduce recently graduated engineers to the global nature of professional practice', Proceedings of the 36th Annual conference of SEFI, SEFI - Annual Conference of European Society for Engineering Education, Sense Publishers, Aalborg, Denmark, pp. 1-7.
Since 2001, The International Institute of Women in Engineering (IIWE) at EPF, Ecole ingenieurs generaliste, Sceaux, France, has conducted a three week short course for culturally and discipline diverse, recently graduated and final year engineering students. The aim of this course is to introduce young engineers to broad global concepts and issues relating to their future professional practice. The initial course program provided examples of engineering practices in a variety of countries. However, to achieve an intercultural learning outcome, a specific course theme of sustainable engineering was introduced in 2006, along with a variety of industrial visits. Subsequent course themes of energy efficiency (2007) and resource sustainability (2008) also require contributions from a variety of disciplines for viable solutions to be achieved. The multidisciplinary nature of the course has attracted male and female participants and presenters from many fields of engineering and from a variety of countries and cultures. This diversity of cultures of the participants and presenters from academia and industry also provides a unique opportunity to address issues of cultural awareness, and emphasises the importance of communication skills in the practice of modern engineering.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'Using self assessment to integrate graduate attribute development with discipline content delivery', Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of SEFI, Annual Conference of European Society for Engineering Education, Sense Publishers, Aalborg, Denmark, pp. 1-9.
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Professionals, in addition to being technically competent, require skills of collaboration, communication and the ability to work in teams [1,2]. There is a reported competency gap between these skills required by employers and those developed by students during their undergraduate courses [3,4]. In response to this gap Universities have introduced graduate attributes which their students should develop during the course of their degree. Some of these attributes are discipline specific, others are generic to all professions. Generic attributes include teamwork skills, being able to think both critically and independently, being able to critically appraise their work and the work of others, and an appreciation of the need and value of critical reflection in one's academic, personal, and professional life. The development of all these attributes can be promoted by employing self and peer assessment. Thoughtful use provides opportunities to practise, develop, assess and provide feedback on these attributes and develop students judgement [5] even within subjects where traditional discipline content is taught. Our research involves using two assessment metrics produced from confidential student self and peer evaluations. These metrics are shared between all group members in structured feedback sessions several times a semester. This allows students to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and address any competency gaps in their development. These metrics also allow progress to be assessed not only within a single subject but throughout an entire degree program.
Willey, K., Jarman, R. & Gardner, A.P. 2008, 'Redeveloping Capstone Projects in UTS Faculty of Engineering: Has integrating Engineers Australia competencies into the process improved learning?', Proceedings of the 2008 AaeE conference, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers australia, Yeppoon, Queensland, pp. 1-6.
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Goldfinch, T., Carew, A., Gardner, A.P., Henderson, A., McCarthy, T. & Thomas, G. 2008, 'Cross-institutional Comparison of Mechanics Examinations: A Guide for the Curious', Proceedings of the 2008 AaeE Conference, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Engineers Australia, Yeppoon, Queensland, pp. 1-8.
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Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2007, 'Building Better Teams at Work using Self and Peer Assessment Practices', Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the Australasian Association of Engineering Education, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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There is a reported competency gap between the teamwork skills required by employers and those developed by engineering students during their undergraduate courses. The University of Technology, Sydney is addressing this issue by combining project-based learning with self and peer assessment to determine an individualâs team performance. A confidential online tool is used to collect and collate the student self and peer assessment ratings used both for formative feedback as well as assessment purposes. We found this approach improved student teamwork, engagement and satisfaction, while requiring only a small commitment of academic resources. We propose that using self and peer assessment would also be beneficial in industry to change workplace cultures, promote teamwork, individual skill development, engagement and productivity. Our implementation produces two assessment factors. The performance factor may be used by managers to coach staff to improve their performance, while the formative feedback factor will assist individuals to identify their strengths and weaknesses as perceived by their peers, facilitating ongoing skill development.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2007, 'USING SELF AND PEER ASSESSMENT TO CHANGE WORKPLACE CULTURE TO PROMOTE TEAMWORK AND SELF DEVELOPMENT IN ENGINEERS', Proceedings of the International Conference Institute of Public Works Engineering - Australia, Cairns International Public Works Conference, Institute of Public Works Engineers Australia, Cairns Australia, pp. 1-7.
There is a reported competency gap between the teamwork skills required by employers and those developed by engineering students during their undergraduate courses. The University of Technology, Sydney is addressing this issue by combining project-based learning with self and peer assessment to determine an individualâs team performance. A confidential online tool is used to collect and collate the student self and peer assessment ratings used both for formative feedback and improvement as well as assessment purposes. Assessment ratings guided by predetermined criteria are automatically converted to two assessment factors. These factors are used to both measure performance and provide feedback to facilitate ongoing skill development. We found this approach improved student teamwork, engagement and satisfaction. In addition, it facilitated students supporting each other to develop their teamwork skills in an engineering context while requiring only a small commitment of academic resources. We propose that using self and peer assessment would also be beneficial in industry to change workplace cultures, to promote teamwork and individual skill development. By assessing both team work and project outcomes this system would help teams to self manage, perform and promote the ongoing development of team work skills. The performance factor may be used by managers to coach staff to improve their performance, while the formative feedback factor will assist individuals to identify their strengths and weaknesses as perceived by their peers, facilitating ongoing skill development.
Hazelton, P.A. & Gardner, A.P. 2007, 'A multidisciplinary, multicultural short course giving young engineers a global perspective on professional practice', Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the Australasian Association of Engineering Education, Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-7.
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Since 2001 The International Institute of Women in Engineering (IIWE)at EPF, a Grande Ecole in France, has conducted a short course aimed at both female and male final year undergraduate or recently graduated engineers. The objectives of the course are to introduce students to the broad concepts and global issues they will encounter in their career and to initiate cultural awareness and communication skills required for the ever changing workplace. To demonstrate the success of this initiative, candidates were required to complete the same questionnaire prior to the commencement and at the conclusion of the course. This paper reports on some of the strategies used to engage international students in the course activities, and discusses the results of the 2006 before and after- course surveys.
Lemass, B. & Gardner, A.P. 2006, 'Stranded Structural Analysis And Design: An Alternative Teaching Approach', Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, AAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 1-10.
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Gardner, A.P. & Jacobs, B.J. 2005, 'Go and See and touch and feel - an introductory case study for civil engineering students', Proceedings of 4th ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education "Globalisation of Engineering Education Kindergarten to Year 12 Pipeline Transformation of the Discipline, ASEE Global Colloquium of Engineering Education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.
Gardner, A.P. & Goldsworthy, H. 2003, 'Testing Elements of moment resisting connections for composite frames', Advances in Structures, Advances in Structures, AA Balkema, Sydney, Australia, pp. 765-770.
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A moment resisting connection has been proposed for a frame consisting of circular concretell~ d steel tube columns and composite steel and concrete beams. A series oftests at the University ofMelboume ?IHtoredthe behaviour ofa 'It.stub element ofthe proposed connection, under cyclic tension. The T-stub element orisisted of a rigid curved endplate welded to a tapered plate which formed the web ofthe 1. The curved endplate y#s then bolted to a concrete-filled CHS column, using Ajax blind bolts. Four of the test specimens had Grade 90 reinforcing bars of various configurations (long, short, straight, cogged) welded to the head of the blind olts to anchor the bolts into the concrete inside the CHS. This paper reports the results of these tests.
Gardner, A.P. & Goldsworthy, H. 1999, 'Moment resisting connections for composite frames', Mechanics of Structures and Materials, Balkema, Sydney, pp. 309-314.

Journal articles

Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2017, 'Academic identity reconstruction: the transition of engineering academics to engineering education researchers', Studies in Higher Education.
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The field of research (FoR) that an academic participates in is both a manifestation of, and a contributor to the development of their identity. When an academic changes that FoR the question then arises as to how they reconcile this change with their identity. This paper uses the identity-trajectory framework to analyse the discourse of 19 engineering academics in relation to their educational research. The findings reveal insights into the identity changes experienced in the transition from typical engineering academic to engineering education researcher. Participants' responses illustrate how various aspects of their research activities contribute to the development of the networking and intellectual strands of their academic identity as engineering education researchers, and the effect of their university environment on this development. Conference participation was found to be an important contributor to progression of the intellectual and networking strands of identity-trajectory for researchers at all stages of development, although for different reasons.
Gardner, A.P. & Willey, K. 2016, 'Framing the academic identity of emerging researchers in engineering education', International Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 2332-2351.
Our research investigates the developing academic identity of engineering academics within the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) community. This paper draws on data from interviews with nine 'emerging' authors with a first degree in engineering, from three types of Australian universities where they discuss their 2012 AAEE conference paper and the peer reviews of their paper. Identity-trajectory was used to analyse interview transcripts by focussing on the various elements of this framework of academic identity development. The findings and discussion focus on those aspects of the reviews and the authors' circumstances that appear to either enable or constrain their development as engineering education researchers. The study finds that authors belonging to a discipline-based educational research group made substantial changes to their papers before final submission and we argue that these research groups support these authors in developing their academic identity as an engineering education researcher.
Rooney, D.L., Reich, A.J., Boud, D.J., Willey, K., Gardner, A.P. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Reimagining site-walks: sites for rich learning', Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 19-30.
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This paper presents the preliminary results of a multi-phased qualitative investigation of continuing professional learning. The study focused on the identification of common engineering practices that contribute to learning. This paper examines a particular practice, that of the site-walk. It draws on practice theory, an emerging set of conceptual resources used in workplace learning research. Data was elicited via qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups and site visits with experienced engineers employed in a large Australian engineering company. It was analysed using the lens of practice theory. The findings suggest that site-walks, while an everyday practice for engineers, are also highly learning-rich. This understanding has implications for continual professional learning, and for educators of novice engineers.
Reich, A., Rooney, D.L., Gardner, A., Willey, K., Boud, D. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Engineers' professional learning: a practice-theory perspective', European Journal of Engineering Education.
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Reich, A., Rooney, D., Gardner, A., Willey, K., Boud, D. & Fitzgerald, T. 2015, 'Engineers' professional learning: a practice-theory perspective', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 366-379.
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© 2014 SEFI. With the increasing challenges facing professional engineers working in more complex, global and interdisciplinary contexts, different approaches to understanding how engineers practice and learn are necessary. This paper draws on recent research in the social sciences from the field of workplace learning, to suggest that a practice-theory perspective on engineers' professional learning is fruitful. It shifts the focus from the attributes of the individual learner (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to the attributes of the practice (interactions, materiality, opportunities and challenges). Learning is thus more than the technical acquisition and transfer of knowledge, but a complex bundle of activities, that is, social, material, embodied and emerging. The paper is illustrated with examples from a research study of the learning of experienced engineers in the construction industry to demonstrate common practices – site walks and design review meetings – in which learning takes place.
Gardner, A. & Willey, K. 2013, 'Editorial', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 579-581.
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Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2010, 'Investigating the capacity of self and peer assessment activities to engage students and promote learning', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 429-443.
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on students' attribute development. Despite this work and the research of others, a significant number of students and, indeed, many academics focus on the free-rider deterrent capability of self and peer assessment, rather than its capacity to provide opportunities for developing judgement and facilitating reflection and feedback to complete the learning cycle. The advent of web-based tools such as SPARKPLUS allows the frequent and efficient implementation of self and peer assessment activities even in large classes. This article reports the results of an investigation into whether the regular use of self and peer assessment in different contexts promoted effective peer learning, increased engagement and encouraged students to learn.
Hazelton, P.A., Malone, M. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'A multicultural, multidisciplinary short course to introduce recently graduated engineers to the global nature of professional practice', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 281-290.
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Since 2001, the International Institute of Women in Engineering (IIWE) at EPF, Ecole d'ingenieurs generaliste, Sceaux, France, has conducted a 3 week short course for culturally and discipline diverse, recently graduated and final year engineering students. The aim of this course is to introduce young engineers to broad global concepts and issues relating to their future professional practice, through intercultural learning. The initial course programme provided examples of engineering practices in various countries throughout the world. However, to achieve an intercultural, multidisciplinary learning outcome, a specific course theme and a project focussing on sustainable engineering and the inclusion of a variety of industrial visits were introduced in 2006. This paper will discuss the success of the strategies used to engage international students in the IIWE course activities, and after consideration of the results of participant surveys, the curriculum initiatives that followed
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Developing team skills with self and peer assessment', Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 365-378.
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Purpose - Self- and peer assessment has proved effective in promoting the development of teamwork and other professional skills in undergraduate students. However, in previous research approximately 30 percent of students reported that its use produced no perceived improvement in their teamwork experience. It was hypothesised that a significant number of these students were probably members of a team that would have functioned well without self- and peer assessment and hence the process did not improve their teamwork experience. This paper aims to report the testing of this hypothesis.
Willey, K. & Gardner, A.P. 2009, 'Improving self and peer assessment processes with technology', Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 379-399.
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As a way of focusing curriculum development and learning outcomes universities have introduced graduate attributes, which their students should develop during their degree course. Some of these attributes are discipline-specific, others are generic to all professions. The development of these attributes can be promoted by the careful use of self- and peer assessment. The authors have previously reported using the self- and peer assessment software tool SPARK in various contexts to facilitate opportunities to practise, develop, assess and provide feedback on these attributes. This research and that of the other developers identified the need to extend the features of SPARK, to increase its flexibility and capacity to provide feedback. This paper seeks to report the results of the initial trials to investigate the potential of these new features to improve learning outcomes.
Goldsworthy, H. & Gardner, A.P. 2006, 'Feasibility Study for Blind-bolted Connections to Concrete-filled Circular Steel Tubular Columns', Structural Engineering and Mechanics, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 463-478.
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The design of structural frameworks for buildings is constantly evolving and is dependent on regional issues such as loading and constructability. One of the most promising recent developments for low to medium rise construction in terms of efficiency of construction, robustness and aesthetic appearance utilises concrete-filled steel tubular sections as the columns in a moment-resisting frame. These are coupled to rigid or semi-rigid connections to composite steel-concrete beams. This paper includes the results of a pilot experimental programme leading towards the development of economical, reliable connections that are easily constructed for this type of frame. The connections must provide the requisite strength, stiffness and ductility to suit gravity loading conditions as well as gravity combined with the governing lateral wind or earthquake loading. The aim is to develop connections that are stiffer, less expensive and easier to construct than those in current use. A proposed fabricated T-stub connection is to be used to connect the beam flanges and the column. These T-stubs are connected to the column using blind bolts with extensions, allowing installation from the outside of the tube. In general, the use of the extensions results in a dramatic increase in the strength and stiffness of the T-stub to column connection in tension, since the load is shared between membrane action in the tube wall and the anchorage of the bolts through the extensions into the concrete.
Gardner, A.P. & Goldsworthy, H.M. 2005, 'Experimental investigation of the stiffness of critical components in a moment-resisting composite connection', Journal Of Constructional Steel Research, vol. 61, no. 5, pp. 709-726.
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This paper discusses results of experiments on an element of a proposed moment-resisting composite connection. The element is subjected to cyclic tension. A feature of this element is the use of blind bolts and extensions to these bolts into the concrete

Other

Gardner, A.P. 2015, 'Who do you think you are?'.
Keynote presentation at the 2015 Research in Engineering Education Symposium