15. “We’re singing in the dark?!?” A pre-European Māori method of teaching in a tertiary institution

Karyn Paringatai (Te Tumu)

In pre-European Māori society much of the education of children occurred informally. They learnt by observing older siblings and elders doing activities and tasks: mimicking what they were doing and asking questions where appropriate. However, there were some forms of knowledge that were singled out as too important for their acquisition to be left to chance and they became subjects of formal study in the whare wānanga (pre-European institutions of learning of esoteric knowledge). Tohunga (knowledgeable experts) were charged with the task of passing esoteric knowledge on to the pupils, who were seen to be gifted with the ability to recall information unaltered, to ensure that its authenticity and antiquity remained intact.

One of the teaching methodologies employed in the whare wānanga involved instruction occurring in total or semi-darkness. Students entered the whare wānanga in the middle of the night when the mind was said to be free of distractions. It was thought that limiting external stimuli and keeping students isolated was more conducive to enhancing the retention skills of the student. Tohunga would often use mnemonic type instruction, for example formulaic verses, melodic chants, genealogical recitations and karakia (prayers), to teach their students.

This presentation will demonstrate how this particular teaching methodology was employed at the University of Otago. It will include the audience being immersed in darkness whilst being taught the lyrics and tune to a simple Māori song. By providing the opportunity for people to learn in this particular environment it will enable them to gain an insight into how this teaching method can extend beyond Māori performing arts and be adaptable to any subject to help enhance the aural receptive skills of students.


Best, E. (1976). Maori religion and mythology, Part 1. Wellington: A. R. Shearer, Government Printer.

Best, E. (1982). Maori religion and mythology, Part 2. Wellington: P. D. Hasselberg, Government Printer.

Best, E. (1986). The Maori school of learning. Wellington: V. R. Ward, Government Printer.

Caccioppoli, P., & Cullen, R. (2006). Maori education. Auckland: Kotahi Media Limited.

Hemara, W. (2000). Māori pedagogies: A view from the literature. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Education Research.

Hond, R. (2001). He puna wānanga hirere i te tauira: He aha te hanga o te ihi ki te ingoa ‘whare wānanga’ e mou nei ki ngā kura tuatoru? Master’s thesis, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi.

Walker, M. (2006). Higher Education pedagogies: A capabilities approach. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Whatahoro, H. T. (2011). The lore of the Whare-wānanga or Teachings of the Maori College on religion, cosmogony, and history: Part I – Te Kauwae-runga (S. Percy Smith, Trans.). New Plymouth: Thomas Avery. (Original work published 1913)

Whatahoro, H. T. (2011). The lore of the Whare-wānanga or Teachings of the Maori College on their history and migrations, etc.: Part II – Te Kauwae-raro (S. Percy Smith, Trans.). New Plymouth: Thomas

20. Feed the Research Monster: Making RSS feeds work for you!

Charlotte Brown, Shiobhan Smith and Sarah Gallagher (Library)

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about RSS:

  • What is it?
  • Why you would use it?
  • We will explore some of the top RSS readers and help you decide which one is best for you.

There are so many RSS readers available that it can be a challenge to find the right tool for your needs. Whether RSS is completely new to you, or you have been looking for an alternative to Google Reader, come along and learn how to feed the research monster inside you!

Workshop structure and activities

This interactive session aims to share examples of good research practice and to foster a community of practice for staff interested in using RSS to keep up-to-date with the latest research, innovations in teaching, and to track their research impact (find out who has cited you lately).

By modelling the collaborative learning technique, “Zeus: the cloud-gatherer”, the librarians will facilitate discussion about seven simple alternatives to Google Reader. This discussion will focus upon the tools and their application, sharing examples of how these can be applied in an academic setting, and suggesting further uses/applications.

Participants will also have an opportunity to reflect on how they may apply the tool in their own practice. After the workshop, the community will be invited to contribute to a Google Doc listing relevant RSS readers, descriptions of each, examples of how they can be used, and a video tutorial (where available).


Fryer, C., & Seeker, J. (2008). Information literacy and RSS feeds at LSE. In P. Godwin, & J. Parker (Eds.), Information literacy meets library 2.0. (pp. 95-102). London: Facet.

Gerolimos, M., & Konsta, R. (2011). Services for academic libraries in the new era. D-lib magazine, 17(7), 1.

Graham, C. (2012). Changing technologies, changing identities. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 17(2), 62-70.

Gray, K., Thompson, C., Clerehan, R., Sheard, J., & Hamilton, M. (2008). Web 2.0 authorship: Issues of referencing and citation for academic integrity. The Internet and Higher Education, 11(2), 112-118.

JISC. (2009). RSS: Change the way you read the web. Subscribe to your favourite sites and let new content come to you! Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/wp/rss-2/

Mu, C. (2008). Using RSS feeds and social bookmarking tools to keep current. Library Hi Tech News, 25(9), 10-11.

Woods, B. (2013, March 13). Goodbye Google Reader: Here are five RSS alternatives. ZDNet. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://www.zdnet.com/goodbye-google-reader-here-are-five-rss-alternatives-7000012604/

24. Is that what you think? Exploring commonly held perceptions about student evaluations

Sarah Stein and Adon Moskal (HEDC)

Despite research that suggests tertiary teaching staff recognise the general usefulness of student evaluations (e.g., Beran & Rokosh, 2009; Nasser & Fresko 2002; Penny & Coe, 2004; Schmelkin, Spencer & Gellman, 1997), misconceptions persist regarding their reliability and validity (Benton & Cashin, 2012). Following a survey of over 1000 New Zealand higher education staff, including 60 in-depth follow-up interviews, Stein et al. (2013) compiled six composite ‘case studies’ exemplifying a range of teacher perceptions of student evaluations (Stein et al., 2013).

In this workshop/discussion session, 6 panelists will take on the roles of the personalities depicted in the case studies and ‘debate’ a range of commonly-held opinions about student evaluations. Audience members will engage with the discussion via clickers (audience response system), offering their own feedback on the views being presented. As reported by Simpson and Oliver (2006), the use of clicker technology in conjunction with a seminar presentation can:

  • support an individual’s active engagement with ideas;
  • encourage safe (anonymous) participation from all members of the audience;
  • foster a sense of community within the group; and
  • summarise group understanding and illuminate different viewpoints.

A live graphical representation of the ‘mood’ of the room will be constantly displayed throughout the proceedings. In addition, input from the workshop facilitators about the Stein et al. (2013) study will provide the basis for general discussion about the range of perceptions illustrated through the panelists’ presentations.


Benton, S. L., & Cashin, W. E. (2012). Student ratings of teaching: A summary of research and literature. (IDEA Paper No. 50). Manhattan, KS: The IDEA Center. Retrieved June 21, 2013, from http://www.theideacenter.org/category/helpful-resources/knowledge-base/idea-papers

Beran, T. N., & Rokosh, J. L. (2009). Instructors’ perspectives on the utility of student ratings of instruction. Instructional Science, 37(2), 171-184.

Nasser, F., & Fresko, B. (2002). Faculty views of student evaluation of college teaching. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(2), 187-198.

Penny, A., & Coe, R. (2004). Effectiveness of consultation on student ratings feedback: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 74(2), 215-253.

Simpson, V., & Oliver, M. (2006). Using electronic voting systems in lectures. Retrieved June 21, 2013, from http://tlc.zmml.uni-bremen.de/resource_files/resources/386/ElectronicVoting Systemsin_lectures.pdf

Schmelkin, T. A., Spencer, K. J., & Gellman, E. S. (1997). Faculty perspectives on course and teacher evaluations. Research in Higher Education, 38(5), 575-592.

Stein, S. J., Spiller, D., Terry, S., Harris, T., Deaker, L., & Kennedy, J. (2013). Tertiary teachers and student evaluations: Never the twain shall meet? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI:10.1080/02602938.2013.767876.

29. Reaching the unreached: The role of ICT to support PhD students’ research process

Kwongnui Sim (HEDC)

Widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has changed the way we work, learn and communicate. In higher education, ICT has had a dramatic impact on teaching and learning. Research has indicated that ICT is a necessary part of academic practice in higher education. Under normal circumstances, PhD students have to use ICT (e.g. computer technology) throughout their research journey (i.e. preparation phase, fieldwork phase, analysis phase, and write-up phase). Nevertheless, there is little attention being given to their use of ICT in this research process. With their ready access to new technologies, PhD students are well positioned to take advantage of existing varieties of ICT in order to efficiently (in terms of means to an end) and effectively (in terms of reaching goals within a task) carry out their research. A considerable portion of the current literature on computer use in academia suggests that students’ use of technology will result in students being efficient in their learning (Smith, Salaway, & Caruso, 2009). In addition, a number of studies claim that computer technology now plays a significant role in supporting undergraduate study (Aspden & Thorpe, 2009; Dahlstrom, Grunwald, de Boor, & Vockley, 2011; Guidry & BrckaLorenz, 2010; Smith & Caruso, 2010). It seems ideal that ICT should also help PhD students to complete their research journey in the best possible ways (Jackson, 2005; Onilude & Apampa, 2010). But to what extent PhD students utilise ICT to support their research process is unclear. This poster seeks to summarise the findings and the key points from a review of significant parts of the existing literature associated with ICT use among graduate/postgraduate students. With that, it aims to provide the background to a planned investigation through a data-driven emergent design that takes a new angle of looking at the role that ICT plays in supporting PhD students’ research processes at the University of Otago. The focus of the study will be on the context(s) in which PhD students integrate or utilise ICT to support their research process. The study then intends to address the gap in the literature about how ICT plays a role in PhD students’ lives.


Aspden, E. J., & Thorpe, L. (2009). “Where do you learn?”: Tweeting to inform learning space development.  Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/where-do-you-learn-tweeting-inform-learning-space-development

Dahlstrom, E., Grunwald, P., de Boor, T., & Vockley, M. (2011). ECAR National study of students and information technology in higher education. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research.

Guidry, K., & BrckaLorenz, A. (2010). A comparison of student and faculty academic technology use across disciplines. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/comparison-student-and-faculty-academic-technology-use-across-disciplines

Jackson, M. (2005). The Impact of ICT on the development of information literacy by students in further education. Journal of eLiteracy, 2(1), 15-26.

Onilude, O. O., & Apampa, O. R. (2010). Effects of information and communication technology on research and development activities: The FIIRO Experience. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/onilude-apampa.htm

Smith, S. D., & Caruso, J. B. (2010). The ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2010. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research.

Smith, S. D., Salaway, G., & Caruso, J. B. (2009). The ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2009. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research.

30. Effective teaching strategies for a flipped classroom

Megan Anakin (UOCE)

Over the last two years, several teaching teams at the University of Otago College of Education have been exploring alternatives to the use of the lecture format for teaching large courses. These teams have been exploring ways to flip their university classrooms. “[F]lipping describes the inversion of expectations in the traditional college lecture. It takes many forms, including interactive engagement, just-in-time teaching…and peer instruction” (Berrett, 2012, p.1). To change expectations in our classrooms, we replaced lectures with video clips and implemented structured learning activities during our tutorial time to increase student interaction and achievement (Huston & Lin, 2012; Tucker, 2012). While the idea that students are expected to be active and engaged participants in the learning process rather than passive recipients of information is not new, higher education has been slow to develop effective teaching practices to support teaching teams who want to flip their large courses (Berrett, 2012). While exploring new technology and practice at such a large scale is not without pitfalls, the benefits we have experienced outweigh those costs (van der Meer & Anakin, 2013). This workshop will feature the teaching strategies we have designed to help students to understand the course content, ease first-year students’ transition into the university setting, promote the University of Otago’s graduate attributes, and demonstrate congruent teaching (Poulson-Genge & Paris, 2013).

Workshop structure and activities

During this interactive session, participants will experience a set of inter-linked teaching and learning strategies that were used in the flipped classrooms of a large first year undergraduate course during the first semester of 2013. First, participants will surface prior knowledge about a topic using a collaborative summarising strategy. Secondly, participants will use an active reading and note-taking strategy to help them process new information. Finally, participants will apply and evaluate their understandings by generating criteria, giving and receiving peer-feedback, reflecting on their progress, and setting goals for their next steps of learning.


Berrett, D. (2012). How ‘flipping’ the classroom can improve the traditional lecture. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12. Retrieved August 7, 2013, from http://chronicle.com/article/How-Flipping-the-Classroom/130857/

Houston, M., & Lin, L. (2012, March). Humanizing the classroom by flipping the homework versus lecture equation. In P. Resta (Ed.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2012 (pp. 1177-1182). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Polson-Genge, A., & Paris, J. (2013). Congruent teaching. Akoranga, 9, 9-11.

Tucker, B. (2012). The flipped classroom. Education Next, 12(1), 82-83.

Van der Meer, J., & Anakin, M. (2013). Students’ perceptions of mobile-bite sized learning. Paper presented at 18th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Human Development Association (AHDA), July 1-4, Queensland, Australia.

31. Using attachment to guide tertiary students teaching

Kumari Valentine (Psychological Medicine)

Attachment relationships have traditionally focussed on the relationship between infant and primary carer(s). They are secure when carers are consistent, attuned with the infant and provide a safe haven as well as a secure base from which children can explore the world (e.g., Bowlby, 1988). Insecure attachments result from non-optimal carer behaviour (e.g., Bowlby, 1988) and are associated with numerous negative outcomes (e.g., Belsky & Fearon, 2004; Benoit, 2004). Early attachment relationships are relatively stable over time (e.g., Fraley, 2002) and generalise, such that attachment relationships with carers allow individuals to develop internal working models regarding how to behave with others (e.g., Ammaniti, Van Ijzendoorn, Speranza, & Tambelli, 2010) and what to expect of others’ behaviour. Thus, relationships other than those between children and carers, for example, romantic relationships, are also considered attachment relationships (e.g., Hazan, Zeifman, Cassidy, & Shaver, 1999). I argue that the relationship between teachers and (tertiary) students is another example of an attachment relationship. The functions of an attachment relationship, certainly in infancy, are to provide safe haven and a safe base (e.g., Bowlby, 1988). I argue that these functions become more psychological than literal as infants grow and that (tertiary) teaching is a context in which the teacher has a role to provide these important conditions for optimising learning. While there has been some writing about the importance of an attachment focus in teaching children (e.g., Libbey, 2009), there is a scarcity of writing about the role of attachment in tertiary education. In this theoretical paper, I argue that an attachment model is useful for informing teaching practice at the tertiary level and that enhancing attachment relationships is likely to be associated with good learning outcomes. Based on the literature about attachment and my experience as a clinical psychologist, I discuss how an attachment framework might influence some teaching decisions and propose strategies (with associated research hypotheses) for improving tertiary attachment teaching relationships.


Ammaniti, M.,  Van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Speranza, A. M., & Tambelli, R. (2010). Internal working models of attachment during late childhood and early adolescence: an exploration of stability and change. Attachment & Human Development, 2(3), 328-346.

Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Clinical applications of Attachment Theory. Routledge: London.

Belsky, J., & Fearon, R. M. P. (2004). Infant–mother attachment security, contextual risk, and early development: A moderational analysis. Development and Psychopathology, 14(2), 293-310.

Benoit, D. (2004). Infant-parent attachment: Definition, types, antecedents, measurement and outcome. Paediatric Child Health, 9(8), 541–545.

Fraley, C. (2002). Attachment stability from infancy to adulthood: Meta-analysis and dynamic modeling of developmental mechanisms. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6(2), 123-151.

Hazan, C.,  Zeifman, D., Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.

Libbey, H. P. (2009). Measuring student relationships to school: Attachment, bonding, connectedness, and engagement. American School Health Association, 74(7), 274–283.

34. Developing Health Sciences students’ information skills through online self-paced learning

Sarah Gallagher and Trish Leishman (Library)

StudySmart is a self-paced online course originally designed for second year medical students at the University of Otago by the Health Sciences Liaison Librarians (1). The course replaced in-class information skills labs and lectures and was piloted with this group in 2012 (2). In 2013, with support (3) from the Schools, StudySmart was additionally rolled out to second year Dentistry, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy students. With the exception of Dentistry, StudySmart has been accepted as a terms requirement or compulsory element within the Medical, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy curricula.

The content comprises of learning objects developed in-house (4) as well as appropriate Open Educational Resources (OERs) from external sources. It comprises a series of topics, tasks and quizzes which are built within the extant Learning Management Systems (LMS); Moodle and Blackboard. Academics are able to choose topics that meet their students’ need from an available pool that is edited or added to as required.

We intend to report on the qualitative and quantitative evaluation data we have collected that demonstrates the students’ level of knowledge and understanding after completing StudySmart, as well as reporting on what the students felt were the most valuable and least valuable aspects of the course. The majority of students who completed the course reported a increase in knowledge and understanding about the topics covered and were positively disposed to the value of the online course (5, 6). We also intend to report on some of the challenges we faced, upcoming changes we hope to implement, some of which are in response to student feedback, and the next step in the development of the course within the Health Sciences programmes for 2014.


1. Harker, E. (2009). Developing the library curriculum. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(4), 331-335.

2. Gallagher, S. K. J. (2012). Developing medical students’ information skills through online self-paced learning. In M. Brown, M. Hartnett, & T. Stewart (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite) Conference: Future Challenges/Sustainable Futures. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Massey University.

3. Aida, F. (2001). End-user training in a virtual medical library setting – a case study of an academic medical library in Lebanon. Library Management, 22(8/9), 351-356.

4. Annie, A., & Helen, G. (2006). Using interactive technology to teach information literacy concepts to undergraduate students. Reference Services Review, 34(4), 491-497.

5. Schimming, L. M. (2008). Measuring medical student preference: a comparison of classroom versus online instruction for teaching PubMed. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96(3), 217-222.

6. Zhang, L., Watson, E. M., & Banfield, L. (2007). The efficacy of computer-assisted instruction versus face-to-face instruction in academic libraries: A systematic review. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 33(4), 478-484.