Monday, August 08, 2016

ARA - research week presentations - Day 1 - staff presentations

Annual research weekat Ara with researchers providing short 6 minute overviews of their projects. Half of the presentations across lunch time today and another batch of presentations scheduled for tomorrow. Here are brief overviews of each presentation. As usual, the diversity through Ara is of interest and I find research week presentations to be a good way to keep in touch with the many interesting projects of our staff..

“Te hone moana – the ocean swell: learning to live by the sea” with Dave Irwin from Outdoor and Sustainability Education. Condensed the themes of a book chapter focused on the role of the ocean in our lives. Summarised planetary boundaries (Rockstrom et al., 2009) with the need to realise that there is incredible stress being put on our eco-systems and how students are able to engage in their own ways. Through knowledge, action, adaptation and living in the moment – finding our place and contributing something to meet the challenges.

Rory Greenan on “Cleaner, greener transportation and buildings in NZ”. Defined types of green – from vanilla to dark green. How can architects, building information management / modelling (BIM) contribute? Summarised work undertaken with improving insulation using different classifications – 3 star to 5 star. Proposes less use of energy through improved energy use can then be channelled to better transport options.

Then, Imran Ishrat from Business on “optimisation of the Pod manufacturing process parameters using the Taguchu method” summarised project to streamline production of pods made from expanded polystyrene foam. Required to cope with demand of the product post-earthquake Chch. A strong applied project.

Mehdi Asgarkhani presented on “domains of information technology governance”. Provided rationale for project. Need to contextualise international research to NZ context due to high number of small businesses.

Rea Daellenbach and Mary Kensington presented on “the politics of childbirth in NZ” from their study on evaluating maternity units in Australia and NZ. Evaluated differences in birth outcomes in primary unit or tertiary hospital. Found importance of ‘safety’ as a consideration in making decisions about where birth occurred. Confidence in primary unit but if women perceived birth as difficult, selected  specialised hospital.

Kerstin Dofs who is Learning Self-Assessed Centre manager, spoke on the topic “use your noodle to activate students’ potential in Moodle: bridging the gap to automous language learning”. Summarised the ongoing projected, begun almost 10 years ago. A good example of using research to continually improve provisions to assist students’ learning through providing students with the learning skills and resources for self-chosen and self-organised learning. Students become active learners, in control of their learning. Overviewed process of setting up Moodle support course site including own upskilling in on-line learning using a MOOC. Showed example of Moodle course and strategies.

Lorna Davis provided “barriers to sustainability in midwifery practice”. An overview of her PhD study in progress. Defined sustainability in the heath context. Explored how midwifes might operationalise aspects of sustainability into their practice. Build model using actor-network theory to unpack midwifery identity and where sustainability fitted into the ways they saw themselves and their practice.

Tony McCaffrey updated on his on-going project “How can theatre involving actors with intellectual disabilities have a history?” Summarised a presentation made at conference in Stockholm. Made links of his work to 1940 German work on performity. Provided some case studies of actors and connected to his hypothesis.

Derek Thurnell presented on “NZ main contractors’ use of BIM during pre-construction stage”. Provided background on BIM and potentialities and challenges. Project focused on tendering stage to find out how to deploy in NZ. Small sample qualitative approach. Limited use in NZ. Culture of organisation seen to be a major barrier in NZ due to need to work differently – collaboratively from the beginning.

Cameron Pearce showcased his book “Etudes for Jazz”. Presented on rationale. Provided a series of etudes useful for students learning trumpet in the jazz genre, filling a gap in the market. In doing, put into practice the many skills attained through many years of work as an arranger, musician and teacher. Involved notable jazz trumpeters to record the etudes to model the genre to student.

Marie-Louise Barry from Business spoke on “towards determining a living wage”. Defined the concept of a ‘living wage’ as being different from a ‘minimum wage’. Proposed regional differences are important to how living wage is calculated eg. Auckland will be different to Christchurch. Project involves 2 researchers in South Africa and 2 in NZ. At least 200 participants in each city. Project still in progress.

Ada Campbell from Nursing presented on the project “crafting resilience: a study of the connections between craft and wellbeing in post-earthquake Christchurch”. Summarised project and main themes identified. Participants seemed to find craft as a strong contributor to maintaining mental health through the stress induced by a major disaster.  

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