401 results for Conference paper, Unitec Research Bank

  • Shades of Grey: Playing games in the classroom to enhance student learning

    Oldfield, James D.; Slessor, Andrew (2010-01-01)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Although the use of games in education is not new, the recent enhancements to game functionality through technology advancements have led to opportunities for significant changes to teaching and learning delivery methods and approaches. Shades of Grey is a technology-driven educational game designed to make learning fun whilst also encouraging collaboration between students and interaction with the instructor. The game makes use of web and mobile technologies to test student comprehension of ethical concepts in a team environment. This paper reports on a research project that interrogated the effectiveness and impact of the Shades of Grey game on a group of students in an Advanced Management Accounting course. The project tested the students’ understanding of core course concepts before playing the game, and again afterwards. Students’ perceptions of the game were also tested in order to find out whether or not they felt it encouraged them to learn and added benefit to the course. The Shades of Grey game received very positive feedback from students who enjoyed the experience, felt they learned from it, and wanted to see games used more frequently in their courses. This project's findings have confirmed that further investment in the game's development will be highly worthwhile; importantly, the game can be repurposed to work in many different courses in different environments and discipline areas, making it a valuable and highly flexible teaching resource.

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  • How can Independent Learning Centres mediate language learning and communication?

    Hobbs, Moira; Dofs, Kerstin (2010-10)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Self-Access Centres (SACs) and Independent Learning Centres (ILCs) have been an integral part of many tertiary language schools around the world for several years. However, recently there have been restructurings, new developments, financial constraints and an on-going blossoming interest in distance and blended learning, all of which influence the functionality, effectiveness, utilisation and management of SACs. This paper reports on a qualitative research project throughout New Zealand, which benchmarks existing frameworks and services of Centres. Research methodology involves triangulating data from questionnaires, interviews and observations. Current issues arising from the research are: the philosophical and physical place of SACs within institutions and student programmes; support for ILCs from the institute, school and teachers; and the range and organisation of support services offered. Overarching this is enquiry into “Good Practice” for ILCs and linking this project to other current international studies.

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  • Use of hydraulic modelling to aid decision making in the management of Oakley Creek

    Fernando, Achela; Gebreselasie, Bruck; Capiral, Jacinto (2010-07)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This paper presents how a hydrodynamic Modelling study can be used to maximise the collective efforts from the stakeholders to enhance the protection of a riparian environment. A hydraulic model of a sensitive part of the Oakley Creek in Auckland, New Zealand, was developed to identify and assess the existing and possible future erosion, flooding and storm water related issues. The stakeholders were involved in all the stages of the project. Oakley Creek has a catchment area of 1220 ha comprising of predominately residential land on the Auckland Isthmus, and discharges into the Waitemata Harbour adjacent to the North Western motorway interchange at Waterview. The creek traverses the Auckland City areas of Mt Eden / Mt Roskill and Mt Albert / Avondale, that have jointly administered activities within the catchments. The creek has the highest waterfall within the Auckland city limits and is an important waterbody protected and cared for by the council, residents, visitors, and community groups alike. The stakeholders of the Oakley Creek the Unitec Institute of Technology (UIT), the residents and students living in the area, the Oakley Creek interest groups, the ARC (Auckland Regional Council), Metrowater, and the community boards in Avondale and Eden/Roskill. The outcome of the modelling study was to address the resource issues by pin-pointing to the areas to prioritise channel revegetation efforts by the parties that restore the creek channel, and prevent it from further erosion. In the study presented in this paper, a detailed survey of 1km of the creek was undertaken to determine the size and shape of the cross sections. A hydrodynamic model based on these data was then developed using MIKE11 software. The purpose of this model of the downstream part of the Oakley creek was to identify locations of excessive velocity along the channel where enhanced restorative solutions could be applied to mitigate the impact of further erosion. The developed model was initially calibrated for modest to high flow conditions. Simulations for extreme flow conditions then followed to highlight stretches of the creek where erosion was likely to remove significant volumes of the river bank, alluvial flood plane or even adjacent reserves. The paper describes the appropriate treatment methods for each location varying from protecting the stability of adjacent slopes using planting of vegetation in areas of concern, to placement of gabion baskets to protect the actual creek bank itself. The most valuable outcome of the study was that the model results assisted the stakeholders determine where to focus the limited resources so that they targeted vulnerable areas identified to be at most risk from erosion in extreme weather conditions. The paper shows the restorative work carried out by the stakeholders in response to the predicted flow characteristics resulting from simulations under an extreme storm event.

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  • Potential impact of consumer behaviour and fossil fuelled hydrogen generation on national energy policy of New Zealand

    Leaver, Jonathan; Leaver, Luke H. T. (2011-02)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    In 2008 greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in New Zealand accounted for 19% of total emissions. Studies using the multi sector partial equilibrium model UniSyD show that vehicle costs and driving range when weighted to reflect consumer choice can result in a 38% reduction in the penetration of alternative fuelled light vehicles by 2050 and consequently is a significant factor in determining the rate of reduction in greenhouse gases. Furthermore even under a high carbon tax of US$120/t-CO2, greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 in the electricity generation and transport sectors are unlikely to be reduced to less than 8% above 1990 levels. Reductions in emissions below this level will require government policy interventions to limit the use of petroleum based transport fuels.

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  • How can BIM technology assist in optimising the life cycle cost of a building?

    Lai, Francis; Halvitigala, Dulani; Boon, John; Birchmore, Roger (2010-01-01)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The complexity of a modern construction project, especially in a fast track environment, necessities the use of Building Information Management (BIM) system to manage such a project to provide the necessary probable cost outcomes of alternative designs ahead of actual construction times. The visualization of such alternative designs through ‘prototyping’ design solutions has the definite advantage of identifying coordination and other construction issues, minimizing delays in construction downtimes and avoiding the cost of reworks. As a communications tool, BIM technology, through modelling techniques such as Ecotect developed by Autodesk’s Revit, can additionally be used to assess impacts of alternative energy saving designs on the life cycle of a building. This paper explores the use of Ecotect in the sustainable design analysis of alternative energy saving designs of a simple residential building. It serves to graphically illustrate the successive steps of the building through its economic life, illustrating the effects of a design decision to the building. It aims at uncovering the feasibility and/or the desirability of using BIM 4D Modelling Technology for life cycle costing in construction projects generally and in residential housing projects in particular.

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  • Perspectives on the challenges of delivering a sustainable survey technician training programme in New Zealand

    Phillips, David; Taylor, Robert; Leaver, Jonathan; McMullan, Randall (2010-04)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The National Diploma in Surveying (NDS) was successfully delivered by Unitec for the first time in 1999 after replacing the New Zealand Certificate in Land Surveying (NZCLS). The ongoing challenge for Unitec has been to maintain the viability of a programme with only 50 equivalent full time students. Ten years on the NDS continues to operate with a steady number of students, however, to increase the sustainability of the programme it is proposed to integrate the first year of study with a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil) programme with a number of common courses and also specialist land survey papers. In 2011 the updated programme will still be called the National Diploma in Surveying (NDS) and will utilise the latest Version 5 Unit Standards from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). The next phase of the review will assess a number of other options including maintaining the status quo, changing the name to a New Zealand Diploma in Surveying (NZDS) or a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Surveying), but for all grade based assessment, (e.g. A, B, C) will be utilised and not competency based, (e.g. Pass or Incomplete). Both will include an increased focus on engineering surveying whilst maintaining a cadastral component. This paper details both the challenges and opportunities, and how capacity can be built to provide long-term sustainable technician training for New Zealand. It also will discuss the suitability for international students from countries with similar educational and professional profiles, and opportunities for a 3 year Bachelors degree in Land or Engineering Surveying.

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  • Learning and assessing for future imagined communities: Academic writing texts within portfolios

    Romova, Zina; Andrew, Martin (2010-12)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    How can first year, tertiary-level EAL academic writing programmes for adult learners use both portfolio assessment and emerging understandings about the importance of discourse community and imagined communities to target participant needs? This paper considers the value of portfolios as sites for practising membership of future imagined communities (Anderson, 1983; Kanno & Norton, 2003). Portfolios can achieve this through reproducing texts similar to the authentic artefacts of those discourse communities (Flowerdew, 2000; Hyland, 2003, 2005). Teaching and learning via portfolio involves multi-drafting, where learners reflect on the learning of a text type characteristic of students’ future imagined communities. We begin with Hamp-Lyons and Condon’s belief (2000) that portfolios “critically engage students and teachers in continual discussion, analysis and evaluation of their processes and progress as writers, as reflected in multiple written products” (p.15) and outline a situated pedagogical approach, where students report on their improvement across three portfolio drafts and assess their learning reflectively. This approach is compatible with established research into the value of genre as a way of socialising learners to future discourse communities. A multicultural group of 41 learners enrolled in the degree-level course Academic Writing (AW) at a tertiary institution in New Zealand took part in a study reflecting on this approach to building awareness of one’s own writing. Focus group interviews with a researcher at the final stage of the programme provided qualitative data, transcribed and analysed using textual analysis methods (Ryan and Bernard, 2003). One of the key benefits identified was that the chance to produce and reproduce texts perceived as useful to the students’ immediate futures was reflected in the overall value of the portfolio-focussed academic writing programme.

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  • Subcontractors’ perceptions regarding bid shopping in Auckland, New Zealand

    Thurnell, Derek; Lee, Ivan (2009-09)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Main contractors use bid shopping to reduce a subcontractor's quoted price. The literature suggests that this is a practice disliked by many subcontractors and that the subcontractor's loss of revenue and margin is an important consequence. The vast majority of subcontractors in New Zealand are small in size, thus bid shopping can lead to subcontractors having greater exposure to additional financial risk, arising from the reduced margins they must accept. Whilst bid shopping has been mentioned as part of research on issues such as ethics and tendering practice, few empirical studies have directly focussed on bid shopping, and specifically, sought the perceptions of subcontractors themselves on the effects of bid shopping on their business. A questionnaire-based semi-structured interview survey of subcontractors was conducted, seeking their opinions on the prevalence, and seriousness of, bid shopping, what the effects of it are, and what measures they took to prevent their quotes from being bid shopped. The results established that bid shopping takes place regularly and is a matter of much concern to subcontractors, having a negative influence on their pricing decisions and the quality of the work they do. It also places more stress on the subcontractor‟s staff and limits the growth of their business. Significant implications for the construction industry are associated with safety on site, the quality of the subcontracted work, and the image of the main contractor in the market place. A link was suggested between the incidence of bid shopping and the state of the construction market.

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  • Integration of design and technology

    Austin, Michael (2007)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Certification Boards visiting architecture schools regularly demand more ‘technology’ in the curriculum, and an increased ‘integration’ of design and technology in the teaching programme. The persistence of this over many years, despite substantial changes in what is meant by technology, suggests that it is not easily achieved, or by any means a straightforward matter. Their reference is to building technology which now needs to be distinguished from information technology where students are often more competent than their elders. Building technology is seldom theorised (with a few notable exceptions) by either design theorists or those who teach technology. Even so called hi-tech architecture (which uses marine technology aesthetically rather than technically) is not theorised. It is sometimes assumed that everything taught in an architecture school should be useful or necessary for a competent architect. Each subject claims this status, but this essential knowledge already crowds the curriculum. The level of understanding demonstrated by the students nevertheless appears to be minimal when compared with their precocious design abilities. It is proposed that integration with design of half-understood technologies is too much to ask of any student during, or even after, five years of study. This paper starts to unravel some aspects of the teaching of technology and discusses issues around the notion of integration.

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  • Mentoring in the cooperative education workplace: A review of the literature

    Ayling, Diana (2004-03)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This paper reviews the literature exploring the mentoring relationship between students, their cooperative education workplace and their host supervisors. The literature review will focus on mentoring relationships generally, and consider the learning benefits from structured and informal mentoring. The literature review will form the basis of further research into "students’" and "host supervisors’" perceptions of the mentoring relationship, with a view to identifying key factors of a successful mentoring relationship. When students enter the cooperative education workplace, they are hungry for a mentoring environment. This hunger is the same as that experienced by any degree or high school graduate entering the workforce for the first time. As young adults new to work, there is potential to develop a mentoring environment to provide models and guides. Mentoring is an intentional, mutually demanding and meaningful relationship between two people. The benefits of a mentoring relationship are the provision of support, challenge and vision. Support enables the development of constructive relationships, and encouragement to meet new challenges. Challenge is a new opportunity or threat facing the student, for challenge to be productive as a learning experience, it needs to be just within the students reach. Vision is a key component of the mentoring environment, providing students with a view of the future and their place within it. For students encountering work culture and challenge for the first time, a mentoring environment can be crucial in finding work "flow". Flow tends to happen when the student is fully engaged in overcoming a challenge that is "just about manageable". When students reach a state of flow they are completely focused, with little room for distractions and irrelevancies. As Csikszentmihalyi (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997) explains: “When goals are clear, feedback relevant, and challenges and skills are in balance, attention becomes ordered and fully invested"(p. 31).

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  • Aiming high: Can the New Zealand Diploma in Business create the graduates it desires?

    Ayling, Diana (2007)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The new NZDipBus is an interesting national qualification. Owned by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), it is not a unit standard based qualification, such as the National Diploma in Business nor is it grounded in any higher education provider as are business degrees. It is a stand alone qualification, not aligned to any specific institution or educational strategy. The graduate profile was developed by NZQA in an extensive and careful consultation process. Over the last two years NZQA, in conjunction with business representatives and academics, has developed a new version (Version 2) of the highly successful NZDipBus. This development process was in response to requests for curriculum update from higher education providers, the business community, the National Advisory Committee for Business Studies of the Institutes of Technology and the Polytechnics of New Zealand (ITPNZ) forum. The aim of this paper is firstly to explore whether the graduate profile is appropriate for developing business graduates for the 21st century and secondly to evaluate whether the graduate profile is embedded into the curricula to ensure it will produce graduates with the capability of demonstrating the graduate outcomes. The NZDipBus graduate profile while focusing on business skills and ethical awareness lacks focus in key areas. There is no specific acknowledgement of students need for knowledge to be of global use. The graduate profile does not address information and communication skills, personal development or reflective capacity or focus on developing the international capabilities of graduates. The graduate outcomes need further explanation to guide curricula developers as to how knowledge, skills, attributes and values are to be integrated and developed within the teaching and learning environment. Overseas governments and higher education providers are well aware of the impact of these trends on the qualifications and are taking deliberate steps to include specific graduate outcomes in qualifications. The NZDipBus graduate programme designers appear to have missed a wonderful opportunity to re-vision the qualification for the 21st century by acknowledging and incorporating these important trends into a popular business qualification. Curriculum developers have not embedded interpersonal and communication skills, ethical and cultural issues, working within teams into the curriculum of the courses reviewed. This is probably due to lack of direction from the programme developers. The curriculum appears to be almost singularly focused on knowledge and skills to the detriment of attributes and values. Furthermore, teaching and learning activities and assessment will not develop graduate outcomes unless there is a clear alignment between the graduate profile and the course learning outcomes. Essentially, the qualification is not delivering what is promised because of a lack of leadership and alignment.

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  • Comparison of two data-driven approaches for daily river flow forecasting

    Fernando, Achela; Shamseldin, Asaad; Abrahart, Robert (2011-12)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Ongoing research on the use of data-driven techniques for rainfall-runoff modelling and forecasting has stimulated our desire to compare the effectiveness of transparent and black-box type models. Previous studies have shown that models based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) provide accurate blackbox type forecasters: whilst Gene Expression Programming (GEP: Ferreira, 2001; 2006) provides transparent models in which the relationship between the independent and the dependant variables is explicitly determined. The study presented in this paper aims to advance our understanding of both approaches and their relative merits as applied to river flow forecasting. The study has been carried out to test the effectiveness of two forecasting models: a GEP evolved equation and a model that uses a combination of ANN and Genetic Algorithms (GA). The two approaches are applied to daily rainfall and river flow in the Blue Nile catchment over a five year period. GeneXproTools 4.0, a powerful soft computing software package, is utilised to perform symbolic regression operations by means of GEP and in so doing develop a rainfall-runoff forecasting model based on antecedent rainfall and river flow inputs. A transparent model with independent variables of antecedent rainfall and flow to forecast river discharge could be achieved. The ANN model is developed with the assistance of a GA: the latter being used in the selection of the ANN inputs from a pre-determined set of external inputs. The rainfall and flow data for the first four years was used to develop the model and the final year of data was used for testing. The paper describes the methods used for the selection of inputs, model development and then compares and contrasts the two approaches and their suitability for river flow forecasting. The results of the study show that the GEP model is a useful transparent model that is superior to the ANN-GA model in its performance for riverflow forecasting.

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  • The effect of the raingauge distribution on stormwater models

    Cooper, M.R.; Fernando, Achela (2009-07)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    It is well known that the accurate representation of spatial variation of rainfall within a catchment is important in achieving reliable outcomes from stormwater models. Various guidelines recommend different densities of raingauge distribution to sufficiently capture and represent the rainfall variation within catchments. The cost of installing a rain-gauge may be insignificant compared to the benefit to be gained from more accurate modelling outcomes. To observe and quantify the effect of raingauge distribution and to understand the limitations of guidelines, a modelling study was undertaken. The study involved collection of data from a network of raingauges and a flow gauge in a small stormwater catchment, development and calibration of a stormwater model for the catchment, and the evaluation of the sensitivity of the model to spatially distribution of rainfall data. Three methods of rainfall data assimilation were tested with varying raingauge densities. The outcome of this modelling study confirms that the difference between the actual and the model-simulated peak flow from the catchment increased with decreasing raingauge density. The paper summarises the quantitative results obtained in this modelling study and concludes that the most robust stormwater model will be that calibrated using rainfall data gathered from within the catchment being modelled. Using a dense network of raingauges and assigning rainfall data from the nearest gauge, rather than station averaged and/or Thiesson polygon weighted sum, from a network of gauges emerges as the best approach for accurately estimating runoff peak from this small urban catchment. It is proposed that much greater emphasis should be placed on gathering adequate rainfall data to achieve specific modelling objectives given that the installation and operation of a raingauge is relatively inexpensive.

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  • Combined sewer overflow forecasting with feed-forward back-propagation artificial neural network

    Fernando, Achela; Zhang, Xiujuan; Kinley, Peter F. (2006)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    A feed-forward, back-propagation Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model has been used to forecast the occurrences of wastewater overflows in a combined sewerage reticulation system. This approach was tested to evaluate its applicability as a method alternative to the common practice of developing a complete conceptual, mathematical hydrological-hydraulic model for the sewerage system to enable such forecasts. The ANN approach obviates the need for a-priori understanding and representation of the underlying hydrological hydraulic phenomena in mathematical terms but enables learning the characteristics of a sewer overflow from the historical data. The performance of the standard feed-forward, back-propagation of error algorithm was enhanced by a modified data normalizing technique that enabled the ANN model to extrapolate into the territory that was unseen by the training data. The algorithm and the data normalizing method are presented along with the ANN model output results that indicate a good accuracy in the forecasted sewer overflow rates. However, it was revealed that the accurate forecasting of the overflow rates are heavily dependent on the availability of a real-time flow monitoring at the overflow structure to provide antecedent flow rate data. The ability of the ANN to forecast the overflow rates without the antecedent flow rates (as is the case with traditional conceptual reticulation models) was found to be quite poor.

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  • North and south: The students' view of the New Zealand Diploma in Business

    Sherry, Carol; Ling, Anthony; Beaver, Bob; Bhat, Ravi (2003)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This paper looks at the results of a survey of UNITEC’s New Zealand Diploma in Business (NZDipBus) students and compares these results with the findings of a similar survey carried out in 2002 with Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology students. The present study confirmed a number of similarities between the Christchurch cohort and the Auckland cohort. Both cohorts indicated that the main strength and the main reason they enrolled on the New Zealand Diploma in Business (NZDipBus) was because it is a national qualification. Both cohorts strongly agreed that the NZDipBus should have majors.

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  • New Zealand quantity surveying practices – Continuing to adapt in a changing environment

    Boon, John (2001)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The management of four New Zealand Quantity Surveying firms is examined using a five part framework. Comparison is made between current practice and that observed during research in 1996. It is concluded that the firms are now more clearly pursuing value added strategies and that they have become less flexible in their structures. In the commentary section the author debates how the firms might further develop their strategies and comments on the dangers of a less flexible structure.

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  • The influence of culture and product consumption purpose on advertising effectiveness

    Gunaratne, Asoka (2000-12)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Consumers are accustomed to the value systems, beliefs and perception processes in the particular cultures in which they grow up. Thus a necessary prerequisite to develop successful global advertising campaigns is for marketers to understand the fundamentally different values, norms and characteristics in different cultures. The advertising messages that embed the cultural values and norms will meet with greater success due to higher consumer acceptance. The effectiveness of a particular advertising appeal may therefore vary in markets that are culturally incompatible. A consequence of this is the necessity to determine the types of advertising appeals that will satisfy the consumers in different cultures. The emerging global consumer culture may be an exception in this respect. In addition to the influence of culture, product related factors affect advertising effectiveness and global marketers need to understand their influence on advertising. This study investigated the influence of culture and product related factors on advertising effectiveness and, in particular, the effectiveness of individualistic versus collectivistic advertising appeals on the two cultures (individualistic and collectivistic) and the moderating effects of the consumption purpose (social or personal) of consumer products on culturally congruent advertising. The results of the study and managerial implications are discussed.

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  • Managerial issues in the global business environment

    Gunaratne, Asoka (2000-12)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    It is becoming passé to say business world is going global. Globalisation is wide spread and is an ongoing phenomenon. The key factors driving the globalisation process are Foreign Direct Investment, falling international trade barriers, revolutions of information technology, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.Even though there is a tendency to assume globalisation is confined to large companies it is not only for the big and mighty. The managerial process in companies is changing to achieve global efficiency of the assets and resources employed by meeting the new demands of this global business environment. However, one hundred percent globalisation is a myth (Kapferer, 1992b). There is no such thing as global management approach that is conceptually different to a domestic management approach in an absolute sense. This paper supports this view and seeks to discuss some of the dimensions such as knowledge element, leadership that are relevant to shaping the global management strategies, and the demands of cultural foundations on the globalisation process. It concludes with a discussion on ethical and moral issues of globalisation.

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  • House Indoor Thermal and Health Conditions with Different Passive Designs

    Su, Bin (2012)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    According to the Auckland climate, building passive design more focus on improving winter indoor thermal and health conditions. Based on field study data of indoor air temperature and relative humidity close to ceiling and floor of an insulated Auckland townhouse with and without a whole home mechanical ventilation system, this study is to analysis variation of indoor microclimate data of an Auckland townhouse using or not using the mechanical ventilation system to evaluate winter indoor thermal and health conditions for the future house design with a mechanical ventilation system.

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  • Evaluating a Collaborative Constraint-based Tutor for UML Class Diagrams

    Baghaei, Nilufar; Mitrovic, Branko (2007)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    COLLECT-UML is a collaborative constraint-based tutor for teaching object-oriented analysis and design using . It is the first system in the family of constraint-based tutors to represent a higher-level skill such as collaboration using constraints. We present the full evaluation study carried out at the University of Canterbury to assess the effectiveness of the system in teaching UML class diagrams and good collaboration. The results show that COLLECT-UML is an effective educational tool. In addition to improved problem-solving skills, the participants both acquired declarative knowledge about good collaboration and did collaborate more effectively. The participants have enjoyed working with the system and found it a valuable asset to their learning.

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