101 results for Conference paper, 2013

  • Integrating mobile technologies into the construction classroom: Drivers and constraints for ubiquitous computing.

    Davies, Kathryn; Prigg, Chris (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Within Unitec Institute of Technology, the Department of Construction is currently planning the introduction of mandatory use of laptops or other mobile devices within the Bachelor of Construction programme. This paper explores the principal drivers and constraints around formal integration of mobile technologies, also referred to as ubiquitous computing, into the construction teaching environment. Many studies investigating the impacts of mobile technologies have identified benefits to students from their use in the classroom. These stem partly from the skills developed by the students from exposure to technology as well as from specific software and applications related to the subject matter involved. In addition, however, there are potentially significant gains to be made in student engagement and active learning, student directed learning and collaborative and group learning. All of these aspects support the Unitec Living Curriculum model. In contrast, unstructured or unmanaged use of technology in class has been shown to cause significant problems in student attention, disruption to other students and to be generally detrimental to learning. Interviews with staff and students indicate that there is strong support for such a move, but a number of concerns have also been identified that require resolution before any such change can be fully implemented. Key limiting factors include the provision of devices and specification of minimum standards; infrastructure including wireless capacity and room design; and staff access to technology and development opportunities. On the positive side, cloud computing offers significant potential for enhanced computing power and consistency in classroom applications.

    View record details
  • Quantity surveyors perceptions of the role and capability of tertiary education in New Zealand

    Baker, C.; Davies, Kathryn (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Although in the past there have been various pathways into the Quantity Surveying profession in New Zealand, the most common route currently is through a Diploma or Degree in Quantity Surveying or Construction Economics. Tertiary courses seek to instil the fundamental skills and knowledge that are needed within the Quantity Surveying profession, which are then developed throughout an individual’s career. However, the adequacy of education for the profession is frequently questioned by practitioners, and there is ongoing debate about the role of tertiary courses and their ability to deliver successful graduates. In order to assess Quantity Surveyors’ perceptions of the role and capability of tertiary education in New Zealand, an online survey was carried out with the support of the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS). Of the 75 practising QSs who participated in the survey, the majority believed that the role of tertiary education is to focus on the basic technical abilities needed within the Quantity Surveying profession, leaving more advanced skills and knowledge to be developed once graduates are employed in the industry. Overall, respondents considered that existing tertiary courses adequately provide the education needed to start in the Quantity Surveying profession, although a common recurring theme was the need for greater collaboration between tertiary providers, industry and professional institutions to determine what is taught. Views offered regarding the importance of various skills and types of knowledge required were often contradictory, indicating that consensus on the role and function of tertiary education for the profession is not so easily obtained.

    View record details
  • Mapping roles in an altered landscape: The impact of BIM on designer-constructor relationships

    Davies, Kathryn; McMeel, Dermott; Wilkinson, Suzanne (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The increasing uptake of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is contributing to pressures and changes in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, which require adjustments and adaptation in the roles of almost all participants. One of the most commonly cited changes is the increase in collaboration and a shift to more integrated project teams. Thus the traditional role descriptions for the various professionals involved in a construction project become less distinctly separate, or new roles emerge. Definitions of skill sets and competencies that have been charted over many years are now being unpicked and reshaped as the needs of industry change. Different organisations, projects and partnerships take different approaches to the adoption of BIM, and consequently there are several different strains of work under this broad umbrella. This has resulted in a wide variety of interpretations of what constitutes successful or appropriate BIM use, and it is valuable to distinguish between the varied concerns. The impact of BIM and its associated process changes vary considerably depending on how it is interpreted and whether a global or an incremental approach is taken within the project or organisation. There is also significant potential for unexpected effects on the nature of the product (the design and construction of the built environment) or on the organisations and industry structure, beyond intended productivity improvements and quality enhancements. Based on a review of existing literature, this paper provides a typology for identifying current BIM adoption trends in industry, with an analysis of available empirical data to help identify the effects of BIM on roles within organisational and project contexts. The review centres most significantly on the contours of the designer-constructor relationship. It explores the impacts of the varying degrees of collaboration identified and the extent to which a BIM-mediated process reshapes skill sets and competencies.

    View record details
  • What motivates and demotivates construction company employees in Christchurch's post earthquake residential sector -a case study.

    Holmes, Bartt; Kestle, Linda (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    A large NZ construction company was engaged to effect repairs on 100,000 homes in Christchurch from 2011 till 2015, following the 2010 and 2011 major earthquakes. Three years on, thousands of homeowners are still waiting for remedial work to be approved and implemented, and work opportunities in Christchurch have escalated. Large numbers of staff from the North Island based company relocated to continue to work for them in purpose-created hubs in Christchurch. This research sought to establish whether motivational factors differed across differing occupational groups in these hubs.

    View record details
  • Last Planner System – a step towards improving the productivity of New Zealand Construction

    Fuemana, Jonson; Puolitaival, Taija; Davies, Kathryn (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Productivity of New Zealand’s construction sector is declining compared with other countries and with most other sectors of the New Zealand economy. In response, the New Zealand government has set a target to lift construction sector productivity by 20% from the year 2010 to 2020. Development and use of new tools is seen as part of the solution, as is the adoption of international construction best practice. Lean Construction approaches are among those considered international best practice; construction industry experience with Lean is widely used and reported around the world in North America, Europe and Asia, but adoption has been very limited in New Zealand to date. The basis of the research was the low level of implementation of Lean methods, more accurately Last Planner System (LPS) in New Zealand commercial construction. The focus of the research was on the perceived benefits and challenges of LPS and the factors which hinder its implementation in New Zealand companies. While the findings indicate that benefits and challenges are generally perceived to be the same as those reported internationally, procurement methods have been raised as a key issue when considering the obstacles to implementation in the New Zealand context.

    View record details
  • A naturalistic inquiry of the relationship between learner beliefs and learner autonomy

    Zhong, Qunyan (Maggie) (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Learner autonomy has received increasing attention in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Many educators believe that the ultimate goal of teaching is to help students become life-long, independent learners. Holec, who was one of the first to explore the concept of learner autonomy, defines autonomy as ‘the ability to take charge of one’s own learning’ (1981: 3). Over the last few decades, in the field of SLA, considerable effort has been expended in identifying environmental and individual factors affecting learner autonomy and conditions for fostering it (Benson 2007). However, a review of the literature on learner autonomy indicates that studies examining the effects of learner beliefs on learner autonomy are less frequent. It can be argued that it is essential to discover and identify learners’ beliefs when promoting autonomous learning. This is simply because human beings are designers of their own actions (Argyris and Schön 1974). Behind all actions there are underpinning beliefs; hence, learners’ autonomous learning is also governed by their beliefs.

    View record details
  • Development of a Multi-Purpose Breakwater Reef at Maqai Eco Surf Resort, Qamea Island, Fiji. Coasts & Ports

    Mead, Shaw; Phillips, David; Prime, Arama (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    A breakwater/reef and channel/lagoon development has been designed to alleviate the current ecological damage of the coral reef flat and lagoon, and the health and safety hazards involved with access to the Maqai Eco Surf Resort. At present, foot and boat traffic impact on large areas of the reef during access at both low and high tides, while wave penetration at high tide causes vigorous boat movement and makes it difficult and dangerous to board and leave boats (there is no road access to the resort). In addition, at low tide access is restricted with a landing bay located almost a kilometre from the resort, which is cause for concern should an emergency occur. Thus, the breakwater/reef development is aimed at focussing foot and boat traffic to protect the surrounding reef, providing a safe all-tide boat access, with the addition of providing a learner’s surfing break at higher tidal levels. To date, Stage 1 of this three stage project has been completed. This paper describes the design/impact aspects of the project and results of Stage 1 of the development.

    View record details
  • Revealing the cryptic

    Bish, A.; Davies, Renee; Haines, L. (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Invertebrate numbers worldwide are declining, predominantly due a lack of knowledge and detrimental activities on habitat such as urban expansion. "Invertebrates ore essential to our natural environment and to humans,"(Department of Conservation, 2006), due to the numerous ecosystem services they provide. Without invertebrates, human life as we currently know it would be very different This research explores how urban landscapes can be designed to provide for invertebrates and uses the highly urbanised Auckland City Centre as a case study. CBD spatial characteristics were identified using GIS,Auckland Council documents and on site observation. The CBD is a fragmented landscape of patches, which together form an ecological network. At the landscape scale this network is reinforced by designed interventions, and consists of a series of nodes that ore used by invertebrates. Invertebrate information was collected, analysed and categorised into functional groups, which enabled a set of criteria to be established for local design interventions, for both species specific and general habitat types.These interventions are based at each node within the network.Although some interventions will be species specific, it is expected that a range of invertebrate species will take advantage of these interventions, thus increasing biodiversity.An adaptive management strategy will be used to monitor and adjust habitat requirements accordingly. Invertebrates are cryptic and these small to medium interventions throughout the city are aimed at revealing the presence of invertebrates. Interpretive devices such as QR Codes and projector screens allow the public to better perceive invertebrates as part of their daily environment and to follow mapped habitat routes. A set of guidelines allows habitat interventions to be retrofitted within most urban sites.Throughout the city these interventions facilitate positive interactions between people and invertebrates through education, increased invertebrate visibility and biodiversity.

    View record details
  • A longitudinal comparison of aspects of diversity in two common wealth countries.

    Nel, Pieter; Fourie, Leon; Du Plessis, Andries (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Commonwealth countries have a common colonial background with accompanying problems and opportunities. Recognising and addressing diversity and equal employment opportunity are common issues in these countries. The focus is on four empirical research projects over 10 years in New Zealand and South Africa between 2000 and 2010 with forecasts up to 2020 enabling comparative analyses in a longitudinal manner. The overall results show a heightened awareness of particularly diversity and equal employment opportunity which highlights an increased rolefor HR practitioners in both countries. Opportunities are created for business leaders to take note of the commonality between New Zealand and South Africa which could lead to enhanced inter-country business activities and improved returns

    View record details
  • The roles, goals and activities of employers and HR practitioners in New Zealand for organisations to be successful and competitive: empirical evidence from a longitudinal study

    Du Plessis, Andries; Fourie, Leon; Nel, Pieter (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This research considers the role, activities and contribution of HR and managers in six closely related themes that should be addressed to maintain high workplace productivity in a complex business environment in which there are many competing interests. Previously a reward approach was simple with two main streams pay and benefits. In New Zealand HR practitioners have been exposed to global competition creating the need for their roles, goals and activities to be recognised in adding value in organisations to be successful. The outcomes of this research shed light on when is an employer an employer of choice, employee empowerment, employee engagement, rewards based on individual and the whole organisation's performance including the remuneration component that is a reward system classifiable into monetary- and in-kind payments. Recommendations and the conclusion form the last two sections.

    View record details
  • HR practitioners’ contribution to business excellence: results spanning a quarter of a century in New Zealand

    Nel, Pieter; Fourie, Leon (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Competent managers and human resource (HR) practitioners play a pivotal role in the success of any business. This includes a variety of business functions that ought to he identified and managed to add value to the bottom-line and harness opportunities .Empirical research was conducted in New Zealand in 2010 to repeat two similar 2000 surveys and an earlier survey conducted in 1994. The longitudinal results up to 2020 identified important areas of the business environment as perceived by HR practitioners. These are awareness of the importance of the effect of change, international competition, and customer satisfaction. It is recommended that HR managers must become dedicated change agents to continue to support management optimally, as this perception was revealed by the survey results over the 25 year period.

    View record details
  • Closing the generation gap : Using co-design with children to encourage sustainable practice in the built environment.

    Wake, Sue (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    This paper explores the potential for children to learn about sustainability and feel empowered by involvement in the design and construction of the built environment they inhabit, especially schools. This paper concludes that the educational and social value of involving children in a sustainability-focused design process far outweighs the perceived costs of increased time and therefore budget. If current practitioners are to pass on a legacy of building sustainably they need to begin sharing their knowledge now with tomorrow's generation. It is also suggested that method details and types of participation are less important than 'giving it a go', as long as it is clear to the children what their involvement is. In reciprocation for designers, during the process their own practice may be broadened and enriched.

    View record details
  • The loop model : modeling consumer interactivity in campaigns coupling simultaneous media

    Davis, Robert (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Based on the responses of 506 consumers, this research models the consumers’ experience of interactivity when interacting with campaigns simultaneously coupling the ubiquitous mobile channel with other channels of response. In Study 1 (RQ1) support was found using structural equation modeling (SEM) for the conceptual model that related the consumers’ experience of interactivity with channel purchase and usage. In Study 2 (RQ2) the significance was assessed of alternative simultaneous channel couplings with purchase frequency. Support was found for up to 5 channel configurations but only when combined with the Internet, mobile and/or television media. The research implications are discussed.

    View record details
  • The complexity of distributed forms of leadership in practice

    Youngs, Howard (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Distributed leadership is a free-floating concept that is often oversimplified as a mode of leadership and development suitable for twenty-first century organisations, particularly in education. This paper provides an alternative view. It draws on observations of leadership practice to provide a re-conceptualisation to distributed forms of leadership. These forms reveal the complexity of how positional authority and symbolic power co-exist in hybrid configurations to reflect day-to-day practice and provide a deeper sociological frame that can be applied to leadership development.

    View record details
  • Imparting China: some reflections on five decades of Chinese language teaching in New Zealand

    Gong, Hong-Yu (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Since its introduction in the mid- 1960s , the teaching of the Chinese language in New Zealand has staked a claim at the table of arts and humanities by emphasizing , first , the importance and antiquity of Chinese civilization and then China's political and economic relevance. In spite of the increasingly close ties between the two countries, Chinese language teach­ing in New Zealand seems to be at odds with the direction of the country it­self. One glaring puzzle has been the ebb that followed the surge in Chinese language teaching and related initiatives in the mid to late 1990s.Why is this so? A historical survey of a half-century of Chinese language teaching .in New Zealand may help to explain the conundrum.

    View record details
  • Pocket auteurs : student uptake of an international collaboration in wireless moviemaking

    Wagner, Daniel (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    In March 2012, students in New Zealand, England and France teamed-up (virtually) to create globisodes (globally-constructed movies shot on mobile phones). Employing Web 2 platforms to collaborate across both space and time, these international teams (each containing members from all three countries), created work exploring environmental sustainability. The international project was called Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen (ELVSS). This paper explores the outcomes of this ongoing trans-national experiment - focusing on its successes, and on its opportunities for improvement - both practically and pedagogically – with particular emphasis on the students’ experience. Did the way the module was structured influence what the students got out of it? How were their working relationships affected by differences in cultural mores; in time zones; in communication styles; in the subjects the students were specialising/majoring in during their “regular” school hours? What types of insights did they achieve on this groundbreaking project? How do they imagine the international course should be run differently? Finally, the paper will synthesise some of the suggestions made by the students for ELVSS-13, and, from those ideas, chart a direction forward.

    View record details
  • The use of flipped learning in an engineering technician management course

    Wilson, Hugh (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND Flipped learning is an approach to teaching that essentially reverses the traditional teaching approach where the tutor delivers the content in class and then the students do exercises at home to provide a better understanding of the content and its application. In flipped learning this traditional approach is changed so that students learn the content in their own time before the class session and the class session is used to develop a better understanding of the content and its application. Flipped learning is already widely used and is becoming more popular in higher education. Research has indicated that it improves student performance and leads to better student engagement. However much of this research relates to arts and humanities courses which may benefit more from the approach. PURPOSE The purpose of this research was to determine whether using the flipped learning approach improved performance and student engagement in an engineering technician management course. METHOD An engineering management course has been delivered using flipped learning in 2013. The performance of the students in this flipped class in controlled assessments was compared with the performance of students who were taught the same content using a traditional lecture- based format in 2011 and 2012. Student views on the flipped learning approach were assessed from a questionnaire administered at the end of each course. RESULTS There was no difference between student performance in the flipped classes and the traditional classes. However the questionnaire indicated that a significant number of students preferred the flipped learning approach and felt that it was more effective and interesting than the traditional lecture-based approach. CONCLUSIONS The research indicated that the flipped learning approach used in the engineering management classes did not produce the performance improvements claimed by other research. This may have been due to how the approach was implemented or it may be that the approach does not yield improvements in engineering management type subjects. The course is still being developed and experience with the 2013 class has indicated possible improvements in the online presentation of the course content and in the class activities. Student engagement in the class has improved as a result of the use of the flipped learning approach as evidenced by the significant number of students who indicated their preference for the approach in the questionnaire and in student engagement in class activities.

    View record details
  • The impact of mega events on construction planning, processes and performance – Auckland’s experience of the Rugby World Cup 2011

    Shahwe, Tutsirae; Davies, Kathryn; Carson, Chris (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    Internationally, mega events have been used by cities to enhance their image and improve urban spaces. Cities may be viewed as commodities, particularly when local or national governments are making the pitch for hosting rights of such events. As a commodity, they need to sell themselves, often requiring some change in the way they look and perform. New Zealand’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in 2011 created an opportunity for New Zealand to carry out much-needed improvements to the image of the country, the main cities, and Auckland in particular. Of the 48 World Cup games, 15 were held in Auckland, including the semi-finals and the final, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies for the event. The city required significant changes and improvements to local infrastructure, as well as expansion and upgrade of a number of venues, all within a relatively short space of time. This paper looks at some of the transformations that took place in Auckland in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup 2011, and explores the impacts of the event on planning processes and performance in the city. The paper first identifies the range of projects undertaken as part of the RWC upgrade in Auckland, and then focuses on the perceptions of seven industry representatives who were involved with key projects in the RWC development in Auckland. These individuals all participated closely in the planning and development processes of their respective projects. They have provided their reflections on how the RWC affected their projects, and lessons learnt in delivering within the context of such a mega event. The paper also briefly considers their perceptions of the social and economic impacts resulting from the RWC developments, and the opportunities lost and gained in the process.

    View record details
  • In search of key drivers for success in first year engineering courses

    Leaver, Jonathan; Fernando, D. Achela (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND In 2010 and 2011 staff at Unitec Institute of Technology (Unitec) became increasingly concerned at the declining success rate of students in undergraduate Diploma level engineering courses. Unitec is the largest provider of technician and technologist level engineering education in New Zealand with over 340 full time equivalent students enrolled in either the two year New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil) or the three year Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil). In order to identify key drivers to student success a study of 73 classes incorporating 95 courses offered in 2010 and 2011 across a range of civil engineering subjects was undertaken to identify the causes for the declining success rate and implement systems to address the issue. PURPOSE The purpose of this study is to identify key drivers for success for first year students studying in the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil). The study focused on this group as they have the lowest success rates but are the most important single source of students with most of them staircasing into the Degree. The findings of this study are to be used to bring in changes to the course delivery in a way that the student retention, course completion and overall student satisfaction is improved. DESIGN/METHOD In this study 95 engineering courses offered over an 18 month period were examined. Each course was classified according to three criteria. These are firstly the proportion of mathematical content in the course; secondly class size; and finally the percentage of degree and diploma students in each class. Success rates were then analysed both by course level and by programme to determine course content based key drivers. RESULTS The study found that successful completion rates for first year (Level 4) Diploma students declined from 54% to 47% from 2010 to 2011 while those in the Degree (Level 5) rose marginally from 67% to 69%. For students who completed at least one assessment individual course success rates were as low as 38% in the Diploma and 50% in the Degree. Student dropout rates nearly halved after the first year of study in both the Degree and the Diploma from 17% and 21% respectively to 8% and 12%. However success rates were persistently low in both the Degree and Diploma with the overall success rate in the Degree ranging from 68% at Level 5 to 88% at Level 7 while in the Diploma success rates ranged from 51% at Level 4 to 76% at Level 6. Success rates showed no dependence on class size, mathematical content or the mix of degree and diploma students in a single class. CONCLUSIONS An analysis of success rates in the three year civil engineering degree and two year civil engineering diploma shows that there is no significant dependency of success rate on either class size, mathematical content of the course, or the percentage mix of degree and diploma students in combined classes. Students’ ability to make the transition from a directed learning environment at high school to a self-directed learning environment at Unitec is considered to be the most significant factor. We propose pre-semester credit-bearing introductory block course(s) in engineering fundamentals for first year students to assess and develop self-directed learning skills.

    View record details
  • Painting below zero-the Antarctic challenge

    Kestle, Linda; Gooch, Colin (2013)

    Conference paper
    Unitec

    The task set was to scrape down, prepare and repaint (3coat system) a selection of exterior timber windows at Scott Base, to very strict environmental protection rules/requirements. ‘Zero Harm’ was the catchphrase. No electric tools. Temps ranged from +1ºC to -17ºC when windchill was taken into account. Never painted at temps below -12ºC. Very low humidity averaging 19-35% so the atmosphere very dry. No rain, only snow precipitation. 24/7 daylight in December, January

    View record details