Reidsema, C, Hadgraft, RG, Cameron, I & King, R 2013, 'Change strategies for educational transformation', Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 101-108.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The authors present a position paper suggesting that while there is evidence for change within engineering curricula towards best practice, there are significant barriers primarily at the operational level, which bring into question the likelihood of more widespread adoption of hard won gains. It is argued that transformational change is required which (i) alters the culture of the institution by changing select underlying assumptions and institutional behaviours, processes, and products; (ii) is deep and pervasive, affecting the whole institution; (iii) is intentional; and (iv) occurs over time (Kezar & Eckel, 2002). It is also argued that change leadership of this nature must be distributed, not solely laid at the feet of Deans and Vice Chancellors. A strategy for change is presented based on observations and evidence from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) project "Design based curriculum reform within engineering education" and the recently completed ALTC Discipline Scholars' Survey of Engineering Academics grounded in the research for transformational change within businesses, universities and teaching and learning. This model for change proposes the development of a network of change agents built on a brokerage model to improve best practice and leadership capacity through systematically and directly engaging with the strategic/tactical and operational levels of engineering faculties
Male, SA & King, RW, 'Enhancing learning outcomes from industry engagement in Australian engineering education', Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 101-101.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Industry engagement, commonly implemented as a 12 week industry placement during a vacation towards the end of the degree, has traditionally been a provider-mandated component of externally accredited professional engineering degrees in Australia. Such placements are intended to bridge knowledge and capability gaps between academic study and engineering employment and contextualise the final phase of academic study. Changes in the composition of Australia's engineering industries have made it progressively harder to source such placements. In-curriculum exposure to engineering practice has also been expected, but has been delivered with considerable variability. In 2014 the authors completed a national project, led by the Australian Council of Engineering Deans (ACED), with peak industry bodies and several partner universities, funded from the Commonwealth Department of Industry Workplace Innovation Program, to explore how improving industry engagement could contribute further to engineering graduates' learning outcomes and employability. The data collected from the engineering students and employers, reported in this paper, can now be regarded as baseline data on industry engagement, against which subsequent developments can be referenced. For the first time, students' ratings of the value of different methods for industry engagement are shown to be related to their 'authenticity'. Several industry-inspired in-curriculum interventions were also trialled at partner universities. Guidelines for good practice were developed from melding the experiential findings with theoretical perspectives. In the years since completing the project, the accreditation body, Engineers Australia, has updated and intensified its focus on engagement with practice (including changing its language from 'exposure' to 'engagement'), and many engineering faculties have significantly enhanced their models and requirements for work integrated learning and industry engagement. This pa...
Gibbings, P, Godfrey, E, King, R & Wandel, W 2010, 'Part Time Study Distorts Student Attrition Rates in Engineering Programs', 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. 1-7.
Standard four-year full-time engineering degrees commonly take eight years when studied part-time by distance education and this can distort apparent retention and attrition rates. Recent publications indicate the national part-time annual retention rate for engineering degrees at regional universities is 62.85%. Extending this over eight years, only 2.4% of part time students who enter the program could be expected to graduate. Whilst most would agree that this graduation rate is quite ridiculous, what would be a reasonable graduation rate? This paper presents empirical data to determine the actual graduation rates achieved with a predominantly part time cohort of students at a regional university. The results highlight the inappropriateness of generic retention and degree completion models when comparing small regional universities where the majority of students are of mature age and study part time, with large urban universities where the majority of students are school leavers and are studying full time. If retention and completion rates are to be introduced as performance indicators in the higher education sector, the findings of this study have the potential to contribute to the development of appropriate models. It was reassuring that the retention and completion rates achieved at this university are significantly better than the quoted national averages.
Godfrey, E & King, R 2010, 'Scoping the Opportunities to Aid Recruitment and Retention of Indigenous Students in Engineering', 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. 8-15.
Indigenous Australians are grossly under-represented in engineering education and the engineering workforce. The reasons for this are complex and multifaceted. There are no magic bullet solutions to increase their participation. Rather, this will be a long term task that will require commitment from a wide range of contributors at all levels of the education pipeline, including indigenous educators and representatives of indigenous communities and organizations. University providers of engineering programs can have significant roles to play in assisting growth in participation. This paper reports on findings that formed part of a wider project investigating opportunities for flexible and alternate pathways into engineering degrees. After examining perceived barriers to, and potential opportunities for, growth in indigenous participation, recommendations and guidelines are proposed for implementation by providers of higher education engineering qualifications.
Godfrey, E, Aubrey, T & King, R 2010, 'Work in progress - Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering - An Australian Study', Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In Australia a multi-institutional project is underway, with one of its major themes the understanding and reduction of attrition in engineering programs. The Academic Pathways for People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) instrument was trialled at a participating institution as a possible precursor to its application in the eight collaborating institutions. APPLES had been validated and delivered to over 4000 engineering undergraduates by the Academic Pathways Study in the US. The survey was trialled with 259 engineering students from different year levels to explore its potential to find links between students' perceptions of their motivation, skills and confidence with their goals to continue to degree completion and employment in engineering. This paper reports on the initial findings from the Australian pilot study. Matching the self reported data in the survey with statistical data has, even at this initial stage, highlighted some discrepancies and topics for further investigation. © 2010 IEEE.
Godfrey, E, Aubrey, T, Crosthwaite, C & King, R 2010, 'Who leaves and when do they go? Retention and attrition in engineering education', Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE.View/Download from: Publisher's site
At a time of high demand for engineering graduates, the mean graduation completion rate of engineering undergraduates in Australia has been identified as approximately 54% (with considerable variation across institutions and sectors). This paper reports on the initial results of cohort analyses undertaken at two engineering degree granting institutions as part of a multi institutional project seeking to understand and reduce student attrition from engineering degrees across Australia. Both institutions have a predominantly urban student population and location, but whilst one offers a conventional four year degree the other integrates two semesters of internship into its degree structure. A cohort analysis procedure, tracking pathways to completion or non-completion of the degree, applicable across diverse institutions, was piloted. Attributes such as gender, academic background, full or part time study, engineering major and student maturity were identified for each member of the cohort. The patterns revealed by these fine grained cohort analyses challenged some anecdotal perceptions and provided evidence of the inadequate nature of generalizations around attrition statistics, and the need for institutional context and culture to be considered. © 2010 Crown.
Godfrey, E, Aubrey, TA & King, R 2010, 'Who leaves and who stays? Retention and attrition in Engineering Education', Engineering Education 2010 (EE2010): Inspiring the next generation of engineers, Engineering Education Conference, The Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre, Aston University, UK, pp. 1-13.
At a time of high demand for engineering graduates, the mean graduation completion rate of engineering undergraduates in Australia has been identified as approximately 54% (with considerable variation across institutions and sectors). This proportion of non- completions has been viewed as an excessive loss to the qualified workforce of Australia. Broad brush, governmentcollected statistics do not, however, provide the level of detail required to understand who leaves, when and why they leave, and where they go. This paper reports on a pilot study undertaken to precede and inform final decisions on research design and methodology for a multi institutional project seeking to understand and reduce student attrition from engineering degrees across Australia. The aim of the project is to produce guidelines on curriculum formulation and delivery strategies to reduce attrition in engineering programs while meeting outcomes. The pilot study was conducted at an institution which has a relatively diverse range of students, a high proportion of whom study part time, and engineering degree structures incorporating traditional and internship-based degrees. Results from a cohort analysis, tracking pathways to completion or noncompletion of the degree for the cohorts from two specific entry years will be presented. From this analysis, groups of students who 'persisted over long periods', 'switched to another degree' or 'withdrew from the university' were identified and interviewed. Their experiences and stories, were an essential ingredient for a better understanding of the dynamics of retention/attrition and actors which required further questioning before proceeding with the multi institutional study.
Maher, AG, King, RW & Rathmell, JG 1992, 'Comparison of noise reduction techniques for speech recognition in telecommunications environments', National Conference Publication - Institution of Engineers, Australia, pp. 107-111.
The recognition performance of telecommunications applications of automatic speech recognition is likely to be degraded significantly by noise generated in the speaker's environment and by the telephone channel. This paper describes a study of techniques for noise reduction which can be applied at the input to standard recognizers trained on noise-free speech. Initial results, using signal-to-noise ratio measures, show that a spectral subtraction technique can provide up to 10 dB improvement in SNR, compared with 6 dB for an adaptive line enhancement method. Speech and pitch detection processes, which are required to support the noise reduction algorithms themselves, are also outlined.