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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2024

Kasun Gomis, Mandeep Saini, Chaminda Pathirage and Mohammed Arif

The need to enhance student support is evident in higher education (HE) curricula. In addition to the complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the current strategies used…

Abstract

Purpose

The need to enhance student support is evident in higher education (HE) curricula. In addition to the complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the current strategies used in academia are criticised for their lack of appropriate student support in HE. The study focused on the themes under Section 4 of the National Student Survey (NSS): availability to contact tutors, receiving good advice and guidance and availability of good advice. The study aimed to provide recommendations for enhancing academic support by developing drivers that need implementation during course delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

A documental analysis and a qualitative survey were adopted for this study. A documental analysis of 334 mid-module reviews (MMRs) from levels three to six students in the built environment (BE) discipline. Critical themes identified from the MMRs were fed forward in developing a questionnaire for academics. A sample of 23 academics, including a Head of school, a Principal lecturer, Subject leads and Lecturers, participated in the questionnaire survey. Content analysis is adopted through questionnaire data to develop drivers to enhance academic support in BE. These drivers are then modelled by interpretive structural modelling (ISM) to identify their correlation to NSS Section 4 themes. A level partition analysis establishes how influential they are in enhancing academic support.

Findings

The study identified nine drivers, where two drivers were categorised as fundamental, two as significant, four as important, and one insignificant in enhancing academic support in HE. Module leaders’/tutors’ improving awareness and detailing how academic support is provided were identified as fundamental. Differentiating roles in giving advice and the importance of one-to-one meetings were identified as significant. A level partitioning diagram was developed from the nine drivers to illustrate how these drivers need to be implemented to promote the best practices in academic support in HE.

Practical implications

The identified drivers and their categories can be used to set prioritised guidelines for academics and other educational institutions to improve students’ overall satisfaction.

Originality/value

Novelty from the study will be the developed drivers and the level partitioning diagram to assist academics and academic institutions in successfully integrating academic support into HE curricula.

Article
Publication date: 18 December 2023

Kasun Gomis, Mandeep Saini, Mohammed Arif and Chaminda Pathirage

Lack of appropriate student support and drawbacks in academic progression signify the importance of enhancing assessment and feedback in higher education (HE). Although assessment…

Abstract

Purpose

Lack of appropriate student support and drawbacks in academic progression signify the importance of enhancing assessment and feedback in higher education (HE). Although assessment and feedback are significant in HE, minimal empirical research holistically explores the best practices. This study aims to address the niche and develop a decisive guideline for enhancing assessment setting and feedback provision within HE curricula.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic approach was taken to obtain data for the study: a literature review underpinning the thematic content analysis of study documents, followed by semi-structured interviews. Document analysis contained mid-module reviews/student feedback; rubrics used in assessment; and formative/summative feedback provided for the graded work. Documental analysis informed the key attributes of the semi-structured interview. Interpretive structural modelling (ISM) analysis identified the influence and reliance of each driver.

Findings

This study revealed 15 drivers – 4 fundamental, 6 significant and 5 important – for enhancing assessment and feedback. The level partitioning from the ISM analysis established that all assessment and feedback needs to be underpinned by the university policy and fed into the assessment regime and marking scheme. This study identified that National Student Survey results were significantly improved due to implementing said drivers compared with the national and sector benchmarks.

Practical implications

The developed drivers enable the best practices in assessment setting and feedback provision. The level partition diagram can be used as a decisive guideline or a provisional framework in assessment and feedback provision for quality assurance in HE.

Originality/value

This study is one of, if not the only, to develop a guideline for signposting drivers and their influence and reliance to enhance assessment and feedback in a holistic HE setting. The developed drivers and the level partition diagram bring novelty and add to the current body of knowledge.

Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Luqman Toriola-Coker, Hakeem Owolabi, Hafiz Alaka, Wasiu Adeniran Bello and Chaminda Pathirage

This study aims to investigate two public private partnership (PPP) road projects in Nigeria for exploring factors that can motivate end-user stakeholders for contributing towards…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate two public private partnership (PPP) road projects in Nigeria for exploring factors that can motivate end-user stakeholders for contributing towards sustaining a PPP project in the long-term.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study methodology approach, this study adopts two-way data collection strategies via in-depth interviews with PPP experts and end-user stakeholders in Nigeria host communities and a questionnaire survey to relevant stakeholders.

Findings

The study identifies an eight-factor structure indicating critical success factors for ensuring end-user stakeholders support PPP projects on a long-term basis in their host communities.

Originality/value

Results of the study have huge implications for policymakers and project companies by encouraging the early integration of far-sighted measures that will promote long-term support and sustainability for PPP projects amongst the end-user stakeholders.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 December 2022

Kasun Gomis, Mandeep Saini, Chaminda Pathirage and Mohammed Arif

Persistent critical issues in built environment higher education (BEHE) curricula may need to be addressed by improving course organisation and management. In addition to the…

Abstract

Purpose

Persistent critical issues in built environment higher education (BEHE) curricula may need to be addressed by improving course organisation and management. In addition to the implications of the COVID pandemic, issues such as inadequate communication and lack of contemporary and innovative practices integrated with course delivery have resulted in a gap for Course organisation and management. The purpose of this study is to recommend a set of drivers that can assist academics and academic institutions in improving course development, organisation and management in the BEHE context. Thus, the study focused on three themes: course organisation and administration, timetabling and course communication.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic approach was taken to obtain data, where a documental analysis and a close-ended questionnaire were adopted as data collection instruments. The documental analysis considered 334 mid module reviews (MMRs) generating data from architecture, construction management, civil engineering, surveying and real estate students. Content analysis was used to identify critical themes within the MMRs and develop a closed-ended questionnaire. Twenty academics from each discipline completed the questionnaire. Eight drivers were developed from the data obtained from both MMRs and questionnaires. Content analysis and interpretive structural modelling were applied to identify the relationship between the drivers. Finally, these drivers were categorised by their level of influence and reliance to highlight how they contributed to improving course organisation and management.

Findings

The study revealed eight drivers that can improve course organisation and management in the BEHE context. The study found that using virtual learning environments and communication are fundamental in course organisation and management.

Practical implications

This research paper suggests drivers to improve how academics and academic institutions organise and manage courses. The study recommends eight drivers that could be used as a guideline and a best practice as per the level partitioning diagram developed to enhance the course organisation and management in BEHE.

Originality/value

The study proposes a set of drivers to improve course organisation and management in BEHE curricula. Furthermore, insight into how these drivers influence and rely on each driver and their relation with the national student survey theme are novel contributions to the current body of knowledge. The paper further clarifies how they should be implemented for successful course organisation and management, thus, improving the quality of courses in higher education curricula.

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Kasun Gomis, Mandeep Saini, Chaminda Pathirage and Mohammed Arif

This study aims to assess “learning opportunities” provided to undergraduate students, from level three to six, in higher education (HE). A knowledge gap was identified within the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess “learning opportunities” provided to undergraduate students, from level three to six, in higher education (HE). A knowledge gap was identified within the current practice relating to learning opportunities for built environment (BE) students in HE. The study focussed on the themes under section two of the national student survey (NSS): how students explore ideas or concepts in-depth, bring information and ideas together from different topics and apply the learned content in a real-life context. The study aimed to provide recommendations for enhancing “learning opportunities” to the BE students within HE.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection focussed on section two of NSS “learning opportunities” and documentary analysis, and a qualitative survey were adopted for this study. A documental analysis of 334 mid-module reviews was carried out. The qualitative data was collected from level three to level six students and academics from architecture, construction management, civil engineering and quantity surveying disciplines representing BE context. A sample of 40 students and 15 academics, including a Head of school, a Principal lecturer, Subject leads and lecturers, participated in interviews as part of a qualitative survey. In total, 12 drivers were developed using the data obtained through literature, documental analysis and interviews. These drivers were analysed using manual content analysis to identify their influence on the specified themes under NSS section two and circulated amongst academics to be ranked by identifying its influence to promote learning opportunities to BE students in HE.

Findings

This study highlighted 12 drivers which promote learning opportunities in HE within BE curriculum. Findings established that topics should be explained with more real-life or industry-orientated concepts such as simplification integrated into module delivery. Contrary to the literature, the use of physical materials (i.e. handouts and whiteboard) in addition to a virtual learning environment for detailed explanations were considered effective in exploring concepts. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, context-based learning needs to be promoted by integrating videos of practical implementation for better understanding. The study recognised that lab, fieldwork and tutorials were essential to apply what students have learned in BE curricula to a real-life context.

Originality/value

This study identified current learning approaches and provided recommendations to improve the BE students learning experience in HE. They identified 12 drivers that would significantly help academics and academic institutions to understand how learning opportunities should be facilitated in the BE curriculum to enhance student performances in HE.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 29 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Hisham Tariq, Chaminda Pathirage and Terrence Fernando

Decision-makers, practitioners and community members have a need to assess the disaster resilience of their communities and to understand their own capacities in disaster…

381

Abstract

Purpose

Decision-makers, practitioners and community members have a need to assess the disaster resilience of their communities and to understand their own capacities in disaster situations. There is a lack of consensus among researchers as to what resilience means and how it can be measured. This paper proposes a novel technique to achieve consensus among stakeholders on definitions, objectives and indicators for measuring a key dimension of community disaster resilience (CDR), physical infrastructure (PI).

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a five-step approach utilizing Q-methods to contextualize a resilience index for PI. Interviews, focus groups and Q-sorting workshops were conducted to develop a tool that ranked measures according to stakeholder preference. A total of 84 participants took part in the workshops across four countries (United Kingdom, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).

Findings

The initial set of 317 measures was reduced to 128 and divided into the three community capacities of anticipatory, absorptive and restorative. The physical infrastructure capacity assessment tool (PI-CAT) was then finalized to have 38 indicators that were also ranked in order of importance by the participants.

Practical implications

The PI-CAT can be useful for local governments and communities to measure their own resilience. The tool allows stakeholders to be confident that the metrics being used are ones that are relevant, important and meet their requirements.

Originality/value

The Q-method approach helps stakeholders to develop and use a community capacity assessment tool that is appropriate for their context. The PI-CAT can be used to identify effective investments that will enhance CDR.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2022

Kasun Gomis, Mandeep Saini, Chaminda Pathirage and Mohammed Arif

The issues in the current Built Environment Higher Education (BEHE) curricula recognise a critical need for enhancing the quality of teaching. This paper aims to identify the need…

Abstract

Purpose

The issues in the current Built Environment Higher Education (BEHE) curricula recognise a critical need for enhancing the quality of teaching. This paper aims to identify the need for a best practice in teaching within BEHE curricula and recommend a set of drivers to enhance the current teaching practices in the Built Environment (BE) education. The study focused on Section 1 of the National Student Survey (NSS) – Teaching on my course, with a core focus on improving student satisfaction, making the subject interesting, creating an intellectually stimulating environment and challenging learners.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method used in this study is the mixed method, a document analysis consisting of feedback from undergraduate students and a closed-ended questionnaire to the academics in the BEHE context. More than 375 student feedback were analysed to understand the teaching practices in BE and fed forward to developing the closed-ended questionnaire for 23 academics, including a Head of School, a Principal Lecturer, Subject Leads and Lecturers. The data was collected from Architecture, Construction Management, Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying and Building surveying disciplines representing BE context. The data obtained from both instruments were analysed with content analysis to develop 24 drivers to enhance the quality of teaching. These drivers were then modelled using the interpretive structural modelling (ISM) method to identify their correlation and criticality to NSS Section 1 themes.

Findings

The study revealed 10 independent, 11 dependent and three autonomous drivers, facilitating the best teaching practices in BEHE. The study further recommends that the drivers be implemented as illustrated in the level partitioning diagrams under each NSS Section 1 to enhance the quality of teaching in BEHE.

Practical implications

The recommended set of drivers and the level partitioning can be set as a guideline for academics and other academic institutions to enhance the quality of teaching. This could be further used to improve student satisfaction and overall NSS results to increase the rankings of academic institutions.

Originality/value

New knowledge can be recognised with the ISM analysis and level partitioning diagrams of the recommended drivers to assist academics and academic institutions in developing the quality of teaching.

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Chaminda Pathirage and Khalifa Al-Khaili

United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced various natural and man-made hazards. The energy sector dominates in the UAE and protection of this critical infrastructure against any…

Abstract

Purpose

United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced various natural and man-made hazards. The energy sector dominates in the UAE and protection of this critical infrastructure against any impending hazards is important. The purpose of this paper is to examine the vulnerability of Emirati energy sector, explored barriers to enhance resilience and ways to overcome identified barriers.

Design/methodology/approach

Study followed case study research strategy and multiple case studies; three electricity generating power plant facilities – one in Abu Dhabi, one in Dubai and one in Sharjah were selected. Data collection involved a combination of a questionnaire survey and semi-structured face-to-face interviews. In total 42 questionnaire responses and nine interviews among Emirati energy sector employees were analyzed.

Findings

Results indicated terrorism, atmospheric and tectonic hazards as the three main risks of vulnerability within Emirati energy sector; whereas “lack of or absence of national government legislation” and “awareness and education” are revealed as the main barriers. Improving human resource management within Emirati energy sector through better awareness, training and practices is considered as a priority.

Research limitations/implications

It is argued that the vulnerabilities and barriers identified in this study can be applicable to Emirati energy sector in general, not just the case studies represented in the study.

Originality/value

The feedback from the members of the Emirati energy sector is indicative of the latent failures and urgent issues that need to be addressed; predominately those of training, education and awareness. Findings of this study may help UAE energy sector to be prepared and build resilience for future hazards.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Chaminda Pathirage, Krisanthi Seneviratne, Dilanthi Amaratunga and Richard Haigh

Knowledge management can play a vital role through ensuring the availability and accessibility of accurate and reliable disaster risk information when required and through…

2001

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge management can play a vital role through ensuring the availability and accessibility of accurate and reliable disaster risk information when required and through effective lesson learning. Identification of key disaster knowledge factors will be an enabler to manage disasters successfully. The purpose of this paper is to present key knowledge factors relating to disaster management cycle, and explore a few challenges relating to identified disaster knowledge factors.

Design/methodology/approach

A list of disaster knowledge factors was first identified through a comprehensive literature review and later semi‐structured interviews were conducted among few disaster management practitioners to explore the influence and challenges relating to identified knowledge factors.

Findings

Technological, operational/managerial, economic, social, legal and environmental factors seem to have direct influence over the disaster management cycle, while the influence of institutional and political factors seemed indirect and it is through other factors identified. Among key challenges, the lack of detection and warning systems, the need for effective education, training and awareness raising programmes, the need for regular updating of disaster related laws, lack of funds for economic planning measures, poor planning, poor communication, poor leadership, and poor institutional arrangement were highlighted.

Originality/value

Owing to paucity of literature and inadequate empirical research done, this paper provides the basis for more empirical research on disaster knowledge factors and sharing of lessons learned. In order to enhance the management of disasters in future, challenges identified need to be addressed.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

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