(Double blind peer reviewed publications)
Volume 15: 2007
Article: A disciplinary analysis of the contribution of academic staff to PhD completions in Australian universities (PDF* 141 kb)
Authors: Abbas Valadkhani and Simon Ville
Abstract: This paper identifies the major areas of research strengths and concentration across all Australian universities, as demonstrated by the number of PhDs and academic staff members (S) in ten broad fields of education using the average audited data (2001-2003). The ratio of PhD completions to S is then presented to provide a tentative basis for benchmarking and productivity analysis. Inter alia, we found a very interesting relationship between the number of PhD graduates (as the dependent variable) and S using a fixed-effect model with both discipline-specific slope and intercept coefficients. The results provide policy implications for individual universities and government.
Volume 14: 2006
Article: The impact of employment and domestic situations on student performance in introductory economics (PDF* 75 kb)
Author: Geoff Cockfield
Abstract: More time spent on paid and domestic work means less potential study time so students in employment and with domestic responsibilities may be at some disadvantage compared to full-time, unencumbered students. Previous studies of the impacts of paid employment on student results have not produced consistent evidence of positive or negative effects. This study extends such work to include the domestic situation and in particular the time spent on domestic work. Other social variables related to educational background and current living situation are included in the study in order to develop a more comprehensive model of the impact of study context on achievement.
A model of the impact of social and cultural variables on student achievement in an introductory economics course at an Australian university is developed through a stepwise regression and some cross tabulated tables are used to further examine grade distributions. The model suggests that spending more time on paid and domestic work is positively correlated with higher achievement, as is having a permanent partner, although the model does not explain a lot of the overall variance in results. The variable of available study time per course being undertaken was not significant. Analysis of results by categories of work/study combinations suggests however, that there may be some polarisation in achievements within both employed and non-working student sub-groups.
Article: Analysis of ‘On-time' and ‘Late' Assignment Submitter Students (PDF* 71 kb)
Authors: Tek Narayan Maraseni and Geoff Cockfield
Abstract: Assignments can play a pivotal role for students securing higher marks. Each assignment has its due date for submission and missing this date without permission would result in a penalty for the student. Significant amounts of time and money are usually spent on processing, verifying and granting extensions. This study analyses three research questions: (1) Are the students who are seeking permission for late submission really motivated by the objective of securing higher mark?; (2) Does gender type of students play any role for late submission and for securing higher mark?; and (3) Does age group of students play any role for late submission and for securing higher marks?
On the basis of an in-depth analysis of assignments and final examination marks of on-campus students for one of the courses at one of the Australian Universities, we concluded the following. Firstly, late assignment submitters were indicator of poor students in terms of performance. Secondly, the gender type did not play any role for ‘on-time' and ‘late' assignment submissions and mark achievement. Thirdly, the highest percentage (66.7%) of late assignment submitters was from the age group 20-25. Surprisingly, 100 percent of the dropped-out students among the late-submitters were from this age group. This could be due to several reasons but without further investigation, we could not determine the exact reason. Finally, the age group 20-25 was marginally poor in assignment performance but in the final examination they became marginally better than other age groups as the poorest students of that age group had already been dropped-out.
Volume 13: 2005
Article: Evaluating a Virtual Team Assignment in a Distance Education Course (PDF* 196 kb)
Author: Ronel Erwee
Abstract: An assignment in an undergraduate, International Management course was designed to use teams to simulate the complexities of being in a virtual team of persons from diverse backgrounds and countries. The paper describes the design of the task for distance education students to compare and contrast two countries by using discussion boards, email and resources to cooperate to write a coherent report. It documents the students' pre-course experiences, how the teams attempted to deal with the task and their post course feedback on the communication and technological difficulties of virtual teams in a distance education context.
Article: Virtual Construction Negotiation Game - An Interactive Learning Tool for Project Management Negotiation Skill Training (PDF* 456 kb)
Authors: Charnkurt Yaoyuenyong, B.H.W. Hadikusumo, Stephen Ogunlana and Sununtha Siengthai
Abstract: The ability of construction managers to negotiate effectively influences project performance. Although there is a lot of literature in the area of negotiation skills training, a little attention has been dedicated to the development of an interactive computer-based negotiation game. This paper proposes an innovative tool for negotiation skills training by developing an on-line multiplayer game which allows users in different remote areas to play the game under a highly attractive and entertaining learning environment. The result of our study shows that this on-line negotiation game is an effective and useful tool for training negotiation skills. By repeatedly playing the game, users can develop key negotiation skills particularly in planning the negotiation systematically, identifying Zone of Possible Agreements (ZOPA) and understanding value exchange concepts.
Article: Modeling Foreign Student Enrolments in the USA: An Exploratory Analysis (PDF* 80 kb)
Author: Adee Athiyaman
Abstract: This paper attempts to explain the declining trend in foreign student enrolments in the USA. The popular press attributes the negative trend in international student enrolments to factors such as the US foreign policy in the Middle East, and competition from other English speaking countries. This paper adopts the marketing viewpoint and argues that the decline in international student enrolments in the US can be explained using the concept of "brand equity" of the US in the origin places. Data analyses reveal that while increases in brand equity increases enrolments from China and India, the effect of brand equity is minimal for Japan and Korea. The paper concludes by drawing implications for higher education marketing in major source countries.
2005 Special Issue: Outcomes of University Education
Article: The Conference Paper as Classroom Genre for Teaching the Postgraduate Chinese Learner (PDF* 93 kb)
Authors: Gina Curro and Chi-Yan Tsui
Abstract: The literature on the influence of cultural factors in learning is extensive. In Australian higher education, these days, the social practices among learners from Confucian Heritage Cultures (CHC) are relevant. This paper reports a study of two Chinese scholars learning academic English at James Cook University. The visiting scholars participated in the group learning practices by collaborating with an international postgraduate group of CHC students who met weekly to improve academic writing and oral communication in Business, Economics, and other disciplines. The scholars also collaborated within the discourse community in the School of Business. The theoretical framework was genre-based teaching together with reciprocal reflection of teaching and learning to complement study of the conference paper genre. Initially the scholars expected to improve their writing and speaking overnight, but they soon came to understand the development nature of learning to write and communicate using academic English. Findings indicate that the scholars improved not only in spoken and written English, but also in language confidence.
Article: Three Fundamental Challenges for the Modern University Arising from Stated Purpose and Globalization (PDF* 102 kb)
Authors: Ewa-Maria Richter and Ernest Alan Buttery
Abstract: As large multinational businesses, universities of the 21st century communicate their purpose through mission statements and promotional materials. A brief investigation of such data identified that the modern university mirrors many of the tenets that underpinned the university during its history. While there always have been obstacles to universities to achieving their purpose, incorporating the responsibilities of knowledge diffusion and knowledge accumulation, three additional, fundamental challenges exist today largely in direct response to globalization pressures. They are: (a) new funding realities, proprietary knowledge and knowledge diffusion are contradictory concepts; (b) new media realities shape knowledge and public opinion; and (c) new sectoral challenges subjugate knowledge collection and diffusion to economic rationalist notions. Universities must be mindful of these challenges and adjust their strategic thrust through appropriate strategic architecture building including engaging in lobbying.
2005 Special Issue: Postgraduate Research in Innovative Methods of Teaching and Learning
Article: Educating Businesses About Digital Signatures (PDF* 259 kb)
Author: Aashish Srivastava
Abstract: In the last two decades the Internet has not only proved itself as an efficient means of communication but also a suitable medium for businesses to conduct commercial activities. However, one area in which businesses are reluctant to use the Internet is 'electronic signatures' (ESs), including digital signatures (DSs), for entering into online contracts and agreements. So far, the business community has considered the pen to be mightier than the ESs/DSs.
This paper undertakes the role of trying to explain to businesses the advantage of using DSs and will use the Australian context as an exemplar. In doing so, it focuses on three things. First, it provides a brief overview about DSs. Second, it explains, with the aid of diagrams, the process of receiving and using DSs. Finally, the paper concludes with suggestions and recommendations as to how businesses should further educate themselves about DSs.
Voted best paper
Article: Estimation of Shrub Biomass: Development and Evaluation of Allometric Models Leading to Innovative Teaching Methods (PDF* 266 kb)
Authors: Tek Narayan Maraseni, Geoff Cockfield, Armando Apan and Nicole Mathers
Abstract: Accurate estimation of biomass is becoming vital for selling carbon into national and international markets. Being a dry continent, Australia's natural forest has several shrub species. However, because of the limited availability of methodology and difficulty in estimation they are unaccounted for in many cases. This paper has three objectives: (a) to address the major problem in multiple regressions, (b) to develop the best allometric equation for the biomass estimation of a popular shrub species, wild raspberry (Rubus probus) and (c) to prepare a teaching tool, by following systematic and logical steps, for biomass estimation using ForecastXTM software.
Article: Towards quality in multiple-choice assessment (PDF* 122 kb)
Authors: Colin Carmichael and Rod St Hill
Abstract: To many researchers in the area of teaching and learning, the above title may be an oxymoron. However, the use of multiple-choice in assessment programs has been and continues to be a popular choice amongst academics in the tertiary sector. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, while academics using multiple-choice tests may check the overall associated mark distribution for a test, few check its psychometric properties (for example, test reliability) and fewer still check the psychometric properties of the items within the test. The building blocks of quality multiple-choice tests are quality multiple-choice items. The psychometric quality of an item can be determined in part through an assessment of its ability to discriminate adequately between students of high and low ability. In a pilot study of three Faculty of Business courses at the University of Southern Queensland, statistical tests associated with the application of Rasch models to multiple-choice test results were used to identify items that failed to discriminate between students of high and low ability. This article reports on the findings of this study, discusses the consequences of using items with low discrimination and examines simple precautions that academics can take in order to avoid using such items.
Note: this article was published in 2006.
Article: An effective system for electronic peer review (PDF* 215 kb)
Authors: Michael de Raadt, Mark Toleman and Richard Watson
Abstract: Electronic peer review can empower instructors of large courses to produce rapid feedback, promote social interaction and encourage higher order learning by students. But what are the payoffs for educators? Do students recognise the benefits of such a system? Foundation Computing is one of the largest courses at the University of Southern Queensland. A system of electronic submission and peer reviewing with instructor moderation is now being used in this course. This system is innovative and unique and delivers benefits to students, instructors and the University. This system has been evaluated, proven successful and is being considered for wider use.
Note: this article was published in 2006.
Volume 12: 2004
Article: The Past, Present and Future States of Russian Management Education (PDF* 139 kb)
Authors: William Judge, Sergey Miassoedov and Irina Naoumova
Abstract: Russia is undergoing a rapid and historic shift from a centrally-planned economy with an authoritarian political structure to a market economy with a more open political structure. Most observers agree that the management education sector in Russia will be pivotal to the success of this transition. Consequently, this paper attempts to describe the past and present state of the Russian Management Education sector, as well as identify key drivers of its future using an institutional economics perspective. Using archival data and personal interviews, we find that private entrepreneurial "experiments" are co-existing and sometimes clashing with established state-supported universities. Furthermore, we assert that institutional forces (e.g., the local economy, foreign and domestic businesses, accreditation agencies, and government) serve both as constraints as well as drivers for these experiments.
Business Research Papers
The papers listed below were the Faculty's working paper series, which have now been discontinued due to the launch of the International Journal of Business and Management Education.
Volume 11, No. 2, 2003
Theme: The Role of Technology in Teaching and Learning Business
Article: Defining a Framework for Effective Distance Education for Project Management and the Role of Educational Technology (PDF* 376 kb)
Author: Barrie Todhunter
Abstract: Evaluation of effective project management education is a poorly researched area as is the role of educational technology in professional education. Technology is being embraced at an increasing rate into all administrative and educational aspects of university life, and particularly so in distance education, but much of the research in this area is focused on the efficiency of the processes rather than the effectiveness of the outcomes. Additionally, there is little research on how technology influences the effectiveness of learning outcomes and the development of professional competencies for students in higher education. This paper suggests a framework for the evaluation of effective project management education and the relationship between technology and the development of professional competencies, based on preliminary exploratory research comprising a review of literature, plus interviews with representatives of the major stakeholder groups in project management education and training.
Article: A Quantitative Analysis of the Performance, Success, and Demographic Differences between Internet Students and Traditional Classroom Students (PDF* 170 kb)
Author: Jim Messinger
Abstract: Students and faculty have reported satisfaction with course work presented through the Internet. However, little work has been done to determine if the Internet students are learning as well as the students in the traditional classroom. This paper compares the learning of students taught in a community college in Texas that select Internet courses when traditional classes are available taught by the same instructor with similar students choosing the traditional classroom. Student performance is compared using six measures: pretest score, posttest score, gain score, final course grade, grade distribution, and drop rates.
Volume 11, No. 1, 2003
Theme: Business Education
Article: Developing a Sequential Framework for Mentoring Student Project Teams in a Business School: A Case Study (PDF* 278 kb)
Author: Cec Pedersen
Abstract: The use of an academic mentor and a sequential framework may improve both the functionality of student project teams and enhance the learning outcomes by building learning partnerships between the mentor and the team, and between the team members. The sequential framework has several phases: Establishing the ground rules, Team dynamics, Feedback and information sharing, Personal autonomy, Reaffirmation, Personal and professional growth outcomes, and Debriefing. This framework removes many of the personal dynamics that create detractor tensions within teams and enables a higher level of team functionality towards achieving negotiated outcomes. These outcomes will involve personal outcomes (leadership, co-ordination, tolerance etc) that develop throughout the mentorship as well as professional outcomes (that are usually imposed by course assessments). Desired levels for professional outcomes can be negotiated and established at the commencement of the mentorship, although reaffirmed during it. Professional outcomes typically culminate in some form of team presentation or report. A team debriefing enables closure and provides the mentor with informal evaluation of the mentoring arrangement.
Article: Rethinking the Value of Older Workers: A Resource Growing in Importance (PDF* 387 kb)
Author: Chris Kossen
Abstract: Many managers are denying their organizations valuable returns and productivity levels due to misguided employment practices based on inaccurate perceptions of the capacity of older workers, rather than reliable performance indicators. Employment practices that discriminate against age are widespread in Australia and in other developed countries - despite a growing body of research showing that productivity levels (and potential for productivity) among older workers are favourable. It will be argued that managers who do not seek to take full advantage of the available labour resource pool, by discriminating against older workers, are failing to act in the best economic interests of their organizations.
While labour surpluses in recent decades have invoked discrimination against older workers, our demographic shift toward an older population is predicted to cause major labour shortages in the future. According to (Meltzer 2000) there will not be enough younger workers to replace those older workers exiting the workforce.
While it is argued that managers need to be better informed about the productive capacities of older workers, communicating this message is problematic due to deeply embedded negative perceptions of older workers (and the ageing process) within both our social and organisational cultures.
This paper reviews the literature on age discrimination in modern labour markets. Idealised cognitive modelling theory is then used as a framework for examining how biases residing in the preconceptions that inform society's understanding of ageing workers function to create and sustain negatively distorted perceptions of older workers.
Article: Development of MBA Education in China: Opportunities and Challenges for Western Universities (PDF* 341 kb)
Author: Zhou Peng
Abstract: China's embrace of the market economy has created a growing demand for business education, in particular for MBA programs. This paper first reviews development of MBA education in China as a basis for then discussing problems with current Chinese MBA teaching. Next, suggestions of how to solve these problems are presented. Finally, opportunities and challenges for Western universities to participate in China's MBA education are addressed.
*This file is in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should contact the Faculty of Business and Law, telephone +61 7 4631 2968 to obtain this information in an alternative format.