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Issues in Educational Research

Abstracts for Volume 13 Number 1, 2003

The distribution of printed copies of Volume 13 Number 1 (2003) commenced on 17 April 2003. The web version release date was 16 July 2003.

Anthony Imbrosciano
Notre Dame University
Richard Berlach
Edith Cowan University
Teacher perceptions of the relationships between intelligence, student behaviour, and academic performance

Student "success" may be viewed in terms of 3 domains. A "good" student is often referred to as being either "intelligent", or "well behaved", or "academically successful". But what, if any, are the connections between these domains? Is there a strong connection, for instance, between high "IQ" and academic performance? Do students with high "IQs" behave better for their teachers? Do students who behave better for their teachers tend to be the same ones who are ranked higher in terms of their academic performance? This study investigated the nature of such connections by comparing IQ scores with teacher perceptions of academic performance and general classroom behaviour.

Issues in Educational Research, 13(1), 1-12. http://www.iier.org.au/iier13/imbrosciano.html
Lauren Breen, Lisbeth T. Pike & Lucius Arco
Edith Cowan University
From postgraduate student to professional: Work-based learning in psychology

Professional courses in higher education are a suitable domain for investigating the link between coursework and the applied setting via work-based learning (WBL). However, standardised evaluation procedures for WBL are rare. In this study, seventy-four psychologists involved in work-based supervision of psychology postgraduates in Perth, Western Australia, completed a questionnaire. They rated 59 skills according to the level of student competency expected for practica they supervise. Ten of these participants were interviewed to ascertain their views regarding skills training in psychology at the postgraduate level. Results indicate professional conduct skills were most important, followed (in order) by generic skills, intervention skills, assessment skills, and research skills. The supervisors expected students to be competent in administering, scoring, and interpreting a small number of widely used psychological tests. Professional relationships between the student, the WBL supervisor, and the university were important. Recommendations for WBL in postgraduate psychology training are discussed. The research provides a model that ascertains an understanding of the baseline level of skills sought by agencies and organisations where students are placed, informs skills training throughout applied programmes, and form the basis for ongoing evaluation of the teaching of skills within higher education.

Issues in Educational Research, 13(1), 13-30. http://www.iier.org.au/iier13/breen.html
D. Darlaston-Jones, L. Pike, L. Cohen, A. Young, S. Haunold
Edith Cowan University
N. Drew
The University of Western Australia
Are they being served? Student expectations of higher education

The current climate in tertiary education places students as primary consumers. As such, students are becoming more conscious of their customer rights and of gaps between their expectations of service delivery and the reality of that service. Not only does this service gap present a quality assurance challenge for universities, it is also likely to contribute to student withdrawal. In week one of the first semester 2001, a sample of 56 first year psychology students volunteered to complete the SERVQUAL questionnaire (Riddings, Sidhu, & Pokarier, 2000) to assess their expectations of university in terms of academic and Administrative staff. The process was repeated in the final week of semester based on the reality of their experience. Results indicate there is a significant difference between students' expectations and their reality, with expectations being higher. In order to locate these results in context, a number of interviews were conducted with second to fourth year psychology students to identify their experience with the School of Psychology. These results indicate a very high level of satisfaction with the School of Psychology but less satisfaction with the wider university experience in terms of logistical issues. Naturally no assumptions of generalisability are made from this study as the purpose was to elicit detailed information pertaining to the School of Psychology at one specific university. Implications from this study are discussed and avenues for further research explored.

Issues in Educational Research, 13(1), 31-52. http://www.iier.org.au/iier13/darlaston-jones.html
Patricia A. Forster
Edith Cowan University
Ethical pitfalls and political perils of classroom-based research

This paper addresses ethical and political dilemmas of classroom-based research. Ethical stances associated with research purpose, informed consent, epistemology, trust and anonymity are discussed. In addition, I touch briefly on the politics of relations with research participants and the politics of institutional life. The paper is a personal account of ethical implications of the conduct of my doctoral study and is the result of critical reflection on the study at its conclusion. The intended audience is doctoral and other post-graduate students who are about to undertake research projects or who are in the midst of a project.

Issues in Educational Research, 13(1), 53-65. http://www.iier.org.au/iier13/forster.html
Maria Northcote
Edith Cowan University
Online assessment in higher education: The influence of pedagogy on the construction of students' epistemologies

Educators and courseware designers in the higher education sector are currently being challenged by the recent advances in online learning technologies. This paper considers the place of assessment in the teaching and learning context of the modern university, with a particular focus on how the adoption and design of online assessment reflects teachers' pedagogies. The impact on student learning is also considered, especially as the type of assessment task assigned to students can have such an influence on their learning outcomes and developing epistemologies.

The recent trend whereby surface assessment tasks have seemingly dominated assessment choices of curriculum designers in online education is considered. Reasons for this pattern are investigated by reflecting on the role of assessment in both traditionally delivered university courses and courses that incorporate the new computer and online technology.

To redress the perceived current overuse of assessment tools that tend to focus on objectivist knowledge and surface learning, the paper concludes with a recommendation to develop a more balanced approach to student assessment in online environments, one that evaluates a wider range of student learning outcomes and encourages teachers to consider their own epistemologies when designing online assessment tasks. This paper may interest those who are involved in the design and delivery of university courses with online components. It provides insights for educators who are concerned about the pedagogical and epistemological implications of various assessment formats.

Issues in Educational Research, 13(1), 66-84. http://www.iier.org.au/iier13/northcote.html
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