Funding update – Doctoral Scholarships
As part of the inaugural round of our 2008 National Project Fund, three Doctoral Scholarships were awarded to build research capability and capacity in the area of tertiary teaching and learning. The scholarships are $25,000 per annum plus course fees. Each project is now under way and we are delighted to report on their progress to date.
An investigation of undergraduate medical students’ discourses of General Practice and Surgery
Kelby Smith-Han, supervised by Dr Chrystal Jaye
University of Otago
Kelby’s research addresses the current workforce crisis in the area of general practice by examining the vocational choices of medical students. In particular, Kelby’s research examines the discourses of learners within medical schools and teaching hospitals relating to general practice and surgery. This research will highlight the reasons graduate medical students enter general practice at very low rates compared with surgery, thus informing responses aimed at increasing the New Zealand general practice workforce. Kelby has conducted his in-depth interviews with first- and sixth-year learners and data analysis is under way.
Updated information about this project is held in the Ako Aotearoa Research Register.
Integrating information literacy and developing academic voice in the New Zealand tertiary context
Angela Feekery, supervised by Associate Professor Lisa Emerson
Angela’s research examines how students develop information literacy skills and find their “voice” in academic writing. Using participatory action research, Angela will explore how information literacy instruction can be embedded into the disciplines to enhance students’ information literacy and writing skills over the full undergraduate programme. Research suggests that poor information literacy is strongly related to unintentional plagiarism; therefore Angela’s thesis findings will inform organisational policy that focuses on the prevention of plagiarism. Angela has already completed a literature review on information literacy, which was presented at the Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand (TER NZ) conference last November. The next stages include writing a literature review on action research as a methodology, and conducting preliminary interviews.
Māori learning Māori: What works for Māori adults learning Māori as a second language?
Matiu Ratima, supervised by Professor Stephen May
University of Waikato
Matiu’s thesis examines the characteristics of successful adult te reo Māori learners. By quantitatively assessing Māori learners’ te reo competence and triangulating this with qualitative data on the learning experience, the thesis will contribute to our current understanding of how to effectively teach te reo Māori as a second language to Māori adults. A literature review on second language acquisition has been completed, and the language proficiency test is currently being developed. Matiu also presented his work at the joint Ako Aotearoa/Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Colloquium last September.