General Papers

This Research Commons Collection contains research from General Staff at the University of Waikato.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 58
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    Critical success factors in inter-institutional project collaborations
    (Report, Ako Aotearoa, 2015) Honeyfield, Judith; Fester, Victor D.; Breen, Fiona; Fraser, Cath; Protheroe, Mervyn
    Since its establishment in 2007, Ako Aotearoa: National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence has funded over 150 projects focused on changing practice and improving learner outcomes through the three Regional Hub Project Funds (RHPF): Northern Region, Central Region and Southern. Project teams are encouraged to consult and collaborate with others leveraging what Huxham (1996) calls the ‘collaborative advantage’, achieved when something new is produced - perhaps an objective is met - that no single organisation could have produced. By mid-2014, the total number of completed projects supported by the Regional Hub Project Fund and published on Ako Aotearoa’s website which had involved inter-institutional project teams had reached 44. This report outlines an evaluation of the collaboration experience within these multi-organisation projects with the purpose of determining the factors which contribute to a successful project team and sustainable community of practice. The two overarching objectives were first, to address gaps in both organisational knowledge and the literature about inter-institutional collaborations and what makes them reach, exceed, or fail their potential to deliver long term value and benefits to participants; and second, to summarise the learnings from project teams’ experience of collaborative work to produce a resource for future teams. This investigation, from its inception, was intended to be both applied and practicable in its outcomes, with a high relevance to the wider tertiary education community; this ethos has guided all aspects of the project design and reporting. A four-phase enquiry was conducted, comprising 1) a document analysis of all completed RHPF projects to determine those which had involved inter-institutional project teams (n=44); 2) a literature review; 3) an online survey (n=41, representing a 34% response rate), and 4) interviews with invited participants (n=18). In addition, the report also recounts the research team’s own experience of establishing a good interinstitutional collaborative process, placing the researchers within the project as participants themselves: a deliberate and conscious approach to generate insights into useful tools, techniques and timing. The survey was adapted from an existing instrument for measuring collaboration effectiveness, the Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory (n.d.) which generated a series of ranked responses per factor for each project (see Appendix A). By assigning a numerical value to these responses, high, medium and low-scoring projects were identified, enabling the team to ensure a cross-section of experiences were selected for follow-up interviews. Although this comparison was undertaken as part of the team’s decision-making, rather than for any external reporting, one important outcome can be shared: all 22 projects represented in the sample scored positively (between 1 and 79) within a range of -100 to +100. The final stage of survey data analysis was to aggregate individual factor scores across projects to identify the overall weighting for each of the 24 factors. Next, the 18 candidates for the semi-structured interviews identified from the survey responses were invited to share their experiences of inter-institutional collaborative project work. Ten question prompts (Appendix B) covered four stages in the collaboration: the precondition, or relationship-building period; the beginning, when the work is planned; the process-interaction stage; and the outcomes period of reflection, evaluation and change (Gray, 1989). These interviews were transcribed and coded for emerging themes. Survey results are presented as a brief discussion of the highest and lowest scoring factors, while interview results are collated under ten topic areas, with interview participants’ voice included throughout to allow readers a sense of the variety of experiences encompassed, and the impact these have had on those involved. A key finding was that 10 of the 18 interviewees were still collaborating with some or all members of the original team in activities such as research, resource development, co-authoring, co-teaching and copresenting, meaning that just over half the collaborative networks developed through RHPF projects were sustainable and had led to long-term significant and tangible benefits for team members. Other findings discussed in this report relate to the ‘trickle-down effect’ where informants described the way practitioner involvement in collaborative change projects led to learner benefits, and to specific approaches, issues and circumstances which either enabled or restricted the success of the collaboration. Results from all phases of the project were mined to identify the most important elements that make a collaboration work, again using the adapted Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory (n.d.), and Gray’s (1989) collaboration stages as a framework. These elements then inform the main (and separate) output from this project: “Getting on: A Guide to Good Practice in Inter-Institutional Collaborative Projects”. This guide is available at and is intended to assist teams who are embarking on a new collaborative project.
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    "There's still so much more to learn": learning to teach online during a global pandemic
    (Journal Article, Begell House, 2022) Pepperell, Nicole; Jolley, Alison; Robertson, Nigel; Harlow, Stephen; Bowell, Tracy
    The COVID-19 pandemic forced rapid closures of educational institutions worldwide in 2020. Online delivery has become a common means of providing continuity of learning, particularly for tertiary institutions. It remains unclear what impact this experience of online teaching under emergency conditions will have on future online teaching. This paper explores this question through a case study of 25 tertiary teaching staff at the University of Waikato in Aotearoa New Zealand. Applying Bourdieu’s categories of doxic and heterodox habitus, the paper argues that, for many staff, the experience of learning to teach online during a pandemic destabilised a prior doxic professional habitus. For some staff, this destabilisation led to the construction of a more fluid, creative heterodox habitus open to innovative online teaching in the future. For others, the pre-pandemic doxic habitus instead spiralled into ongoing self-criticism and an associated collapse in professional confidence. Professional development initiatives seeking to build on the pandemic teaching experience need to be mindful of these contrasting experiences to increase the chances of improving online teaching practice in the longer term.
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    The Research Data Landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand: A report undertaken in partnership with the Aotearoa New Zealand Committee on Data in Research (CoDiR)
    (Report, University of Waikato, 2023) Sterling, Rogena; Blake, Michelle; Jones, Nick; Hartshorn, Richard; Kukutai, Tahu
    Data and datasets are often described as a core strategic asset for Aotearoa New Zealand (Aotearoa) and indispensable for the government’s ambition of being a small nation with an advanced, adaptive, and inclusive economy. In the context of our research, science and innovation (RSI) ecosystem, the value of data cannot be overstated. The purpose of this report is to provide a review (the Review) of Aotearoa’s research data landscape. Research data are data that are used as primary sources to support technical or scientific enquiry, research, or artistic activity; as evidence in the research process; and/or are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to provide a foundation for, or validate research findings and results. The Review covers four core areas: • Te Tiriti o Waitangi and data sovereignty • research data ecosystems • research data infrastructure • research data cultures. Although informed by international data landscape reviews, this Review emphasises the unique considerations and structural features of the Aotearoa data landscape. Based on our analysis and observations from a series of targeted workshops, we provide a set of recommendations on how to strengthen the system and advance shared aspirations for better outcomes. The recommendations are organised under the five headings from Nosek’s Pyramid of Social Change, setting out a phased strategy for culture and behaviour change. In implementing these recommendations, we recognise that the articles of Te Tiriti should be embedded throughout, consistent with sector requirements (MBIE, 2023d).
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    Capitalism: Some disassembly required
    (Chapter in Book, Autonomedia/Minor Compositions, 2011) Pepperell, Nicole
    Capital’s critical standpoint relies on keeping rmly in view this vast reservoir of internal social variability. It refuses to look through this complex, chaotic content, in order to reductively grasp capitalism as a system de ned only by the reproduction of a small set of social forms. Instead, it sees the reproduction of capital as dependent on a vast assemblage of social practices that possesses high internal variability. rough a process of selective inheritance, it is possible to mobilize this internal variability, adaptively improvising new forms of collective life. Communism would be capitalism, some disassembly required: a speciation from our existing form of social life, which would creatively adapt existing social potentials to emancipatory ends.
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    Student perspectives on good university teachers: communication, clarity, commitment, care
    (Journal Article, Informa UK Limited, 2022-05-12) Parmenter, Lynne; Robertson, Nigel
    Using findings from a 2-year mixed methods study, this paper explores undergraduate engineering student perspectives on good university teachers. Findings from open survey questions and semi-structured interviews were analysed using principles of grounded theory, resulting in four themes identified by students as key to good university teaching: communication, clarity, commitment, and care. These findings are discussed in relation to recent international debates on teaching excellence. The basic argument of the paper is that the discourse of teaching excellence needs to be critically reconsidered and would benefit from inclusion of the actual perspectives of students rather than student voice discourses framed by others.
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