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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Rainer Haldenwang, Paul Slatter and Carol Pearce

Civil engineering students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology generally find the final year research project very daunting. In most cases it is the first time…

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Abstract

Civil engineering students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology generally find the final year research project very daunting. In most cases it is the first time that they are not “learning” passively by sitting in lectures, receiving notes and worked out examples, memorising the material and then writing an examination to demonstrate their “competency”. Suddenly learning comes by doing, and they are faced with the challenge of executing a significant research project. For students who do not have good management skills, this becomes a very difficult task. To address this problem, staff have, over the past decade, integrated project management with the research project to the extent that it has now become one subject with two final year credits. This means that students learn how to use project management skills to manage the research project, which runs over one year. Project management skills integrated with a rigid structure, complemented by lecturer support in a web‐based e‐learning environment, has been developed to assist students in completing the research project. This has proved to be very successful and students have commented that without the newly acquired project management skills, they would not have been able to complete the projects on time. The results indicate that the integration of project management skills can relieve the role reversal entrapment problem. However, interventions to prepare the students more adequately must be considered over the first three years of study. The paper presents the historical background to the problem, an overview of how the revised methodology is being implemented, and it indicates how e‐learning is used to manage the course.

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Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Rachael-Anne Knight and Nicola Botting

The purpose of this paper is to address the management of undergraduate final year research dissertations. It intends to explain and clarify the experience of two models…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the management of undergraduate final year research dissertations. It intends to explain and clarify the experience of two models of delivery (student-led/academic-led) with reference to interest development theory (Hidi and Renninger, 2006).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on the advantages and drawbacks of each model within the context of the research literature, and describe a case study of the experiences of lecturers and students in one division of a metropolitan UK university, running a leading programme in speech and language therapy (pathology). Recommendations are made which are intended to be of use to colleagues across disciplines and organisations.

Findings

The authors argue that a delivery where students can choose their research topic from a limited set suggested by supervisors (academic-led model) is best placed to meet motivational challenges in Hidi and Renninger’s framework, and also increase feasibility for staff. The authors discuss how such a model might best be implemented.

Originality/value

Describing case study experiences within a conceptual framework is important for the development of improved supervision methods. It is hoped that this case study paper will inform other institutions by providing clear theoretical underpinnings and practical recommendations; and that it will lead to further empirical research into models of organising final year dissertations.

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Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2011

Francesca Burton and Cathy Schofield

This paper aims to investigate the confidence of foundation degree (FdSc) and top‐up degree students in using and applying research methods within a sport and exercise discipline.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the confidence of foundation degree (FdSc) and top‐up degree students in using and applying research methods within a sport and exercise discipline.

Design/methodology/approach

Closed questionnaires determined FdSc (n=24) and top‐up degree (n=21) students' confidence in five domains of research methods: using research literature, designing research studies, analysing data, interpreting research findings, and presenting research findings. Confidence was rated using a seven‐point Likert scale anchored by “most confident” (1) and “clueless” (7).

Findings

FdSc and top‐up students were most confident in using research literature and presenting research findings, respectively. Both FdSc and top‐up students were least confident in data analysis. Compared to FdSc, top‐up students were less confident in data analysis (FdSc: 3.4±0.29 vs top‐up: 4.38±0.39, p<0.01), interpreting research findings (FdSc: 2.99±0.39 vs top‐up: 3.62±0.42, p=0.02) and presenting research findings (FdSc: 2.90±0.17 vs top‐up: 3.33±0.15, p<0.01).

Research limitations/implications

These data outline a need to address the teaching of research methods within FdSc and top‐up degrees in order to enhance student confidence.

Originality/value

Research methods are a defining feature of higher education degrees yet remain a challenging subject for many lecturers and students. Progression through FdSc and top‐up programmes provides an interesting transition with regard to research methods due to more diverse student cohorts and different research experiences. Limited insight into the experience and confidence of students studying for sport related FdSc or top‐up programmes, with regard to research methods, is currently available.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Book part
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Glenda Crosling, Graeme Atherton, Munir Shuib, Asyirah Abdul Rahim, Siti Norbaya Azizan and Mohammad Izzamil Mohd Nasir

This chapter discusses the findings of a study at a public university in Malaysia, which reflect the country’s evolving situation regarding sustainability education. The…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the findings of a study at a public university in Malaysia, which reflect the country’s evolving situation regarding sustainability education. The study aimed to explore the knowledge of and attitudes to sustainability of the academic staff at the university, and the pedagogical approaches they used in curricula. Through a mixed method approach, primary data were collected through an online quantitative survey containing 90 statements related to Education for Sustainable Development Goals, knowledge, attitudes, pedagogical techniques, and learning objectives. Following the survey, a focus group discussion was conducted involving several academic staff from the university to explore their perspectives on current sustainability teaching practices and to identify emerging issues. Findings revealed that there were generally positive levels of understandings and attitudes among the academic staff toward education on sustainability development (ESD). Furthermore, the staff agreed highly with ESD learning objectives, and various pedagogical approaches were in use. These are important findings as the levels of awareness and attitudes among academics play a key role in shaping successful implementation of a range of pedagogical techniques for ESD goals. As well as the challenges identified in the study, the chapter puts forward useful insights and key aspects to enhance ESD practices at all levels in the country. Options for policy and practice to move beyond sustainable development as a goal or aspiration for teaching and learning to a practical and pedagogical reality of ESD practices in Malaysian higher education institutions are also discussed.

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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2009

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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 81 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Dilani Kanishka Abeyrathne

This study aims to make recommendations for library collection development because undergraduates expect to satisfy their information need for research activities through…

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1166

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to make recommendations for library collection development because undergraduates expect to satisfy their information need for research activities through library collection. Therefore librarian should assess whether the library is adequately responding their research demands. This can be answered by analyzing citations in the dissertations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyzed 8,224 citations from 204 undergraduate dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2012. The most cited format was determined. Bradford’s law was applied to prepare a ranked list of journals. Accessibility of each core journals was observed and recommendations were made for collection development.

Findings

Journals were the most cited format. Data sets were fit with either the verbal formula or mathematical formula of the Bradford’s law. Core journals were determined. Core journals were accessible via number of ways. Some journals are subscribed by the Agriculture or via databases through UGC consortia (through University of Peradeniya’s library network) or open access journals. There are several journals in which the free access is available through Sri Lanka Journals OnLine. Based on the results, recommendations were made for collection development.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful insight for collection development for research demand, Agriculture Library, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Book part
Publication date: 18 June 2020

Abstract

Details

Refugee Crises and Third-World Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-191-2

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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2019

John Aliu and Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa

Universities have become training centres or “academic hubs” where skilled labour for societal and global consumptions are continuously produced. More so, the quality of…

Abstract

Purpose

Universities have become training centres or “academic hubs” where skilled labour for societal and global consumptions are continuously produced. More so, the quality of teaching (pedagogy) provided by universities is essential in enhancing the skills, expertise and competencies of students who are required to meet the needs of the construction industry after graduation. Hence, the purpose of this study is to assess employers’ level of satisfaction with the employability skills of built-environment graduates in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was adopted for this study with close-ended questionnaires administered to respondents drawn from professionals in the Nigerian construction industry. Out of 150 questionnaires disseminated, 131 were completed and 126 were usable, signifying an 87% response rate. Data from this research were analysed using descriptive and exploratory factor analysis.

Findings

Employers are seemingly satisfied with the sound academic record of built-environment graduates. They also affirmed their contentment with graduates’ willingness to learn and the way they achieve tasks with positive results. However, they expressed their dissatisfaction with the graduates’ prior work experience, communication skills and technical competencies in handling industry tasks effectively.

Research limitations/implications

Data was collected from construction professions across two cities – Abuja and Lagos. Because of the limited budget allocated for this study, other regions were not considered. Because of time and financial implications, it was extremely impossible to visit all 36 states. It is, therefore, impossible to generalise the results of this research to the larger population. In generalising the results on a larger scale, the study would have to factor in a more diverse sample to ensure it is more representative. A more diverse sample may mitigate any possible bias that may arise from a self-administered questionnaire.

Practical implications

From the survey results obtained from the respondents, it was observed that general knowledge about local and global trends, management skills, teamwork skills, work experience, communication skills, critical thinking skills, numeracy skills and civic responsibility are among the major non-academic skills lacking among built-environment graduates. This places significant pressures on universities in Nigeria to revisit and revamp its curricula in developing these skills among students who require them to thrive in the construction industry.

Originality/value

Although the subject of employability has been adequately discussed across various fields (accountancy, psychology, management, business, marketing, etc.), there exist limited research studies in the built-environment context, a gap, which this study aims to fill. This study also provides several approaches through which employability skills can be developed.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

COLIN THORNTON

Although computer simulated experimentation using the distinct element method (DEM) was originally developed as a tool for examining geomechanical problems, the dynamic…

Abstract

Although computer simulated experimentation using the distinct element method (DEM) was originally developed as a tool for examining geomechanical problems, the dynamic nature of the methodology used lends itself more readily to many other areas of scientific and industrial interest. One such area is that of process engineering in which large volumes of particulate materials have to be handled in the context of flow problems (e.g. chutes, hoppers, and pipes). In addition, these particulate materials are often in the form of powders which themselves are agglomerations of much smaller sized particles. Processes such as agglomeration and agglomerate breakdown, either by attrition or comminution, are also amenable to investigation by the DEM.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

Mary Weir and Jim Hughes

Introduction Consider a hi‐fi loudspeaker manufacturing company acquired on the brink of insolvency by an American multinational. The new owners discover with growing…

Abstract

Introduction Consider a hi‐fi loudspeaker manufacturing company acquired on the brink of insolvency by an American multinational. The new owners discover with growing concern that the product range is obsolete, that manufacturing facilities are totally inadequate and that there is a complete absence of any real management substance or structure. They decide on the need to relocate urgently so as to provide continuity of supply at the very high — a market about to shrink at a rate unprecedented in its history.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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