Photo: Facilitators and participants in the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) 2020 summer school at Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton. From left to right: Amar Auckaili (UoA), Andrea Kolb (UoA), Pablo German (UoA), Lorenzo Garcia (Auckland University of Technology), Anne Gardner, Alessandro Fascetti (University of Waikato, UoW), Chanelle Gavin (UoW), Rachael Tighe (UoW), Cody Mankelow (UoA), Ken Louie (Wintec), Mohammed Al-Rawi (Wintec), Meng Wai Woo (UoA), Keith Willey and Shanghai Wei (UoA). Nigel Robertson (UoW) & Mostafa Seifan (UoW) not present.



Summary of AAEE Summer School NZ, 3−5 March 2020, Wintec House, Hamilton, New Zealand

By Andrea Kolb, 7 months of work experience as a Professional Teaching Fellow with the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering at The University of Auckland

The Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) comes regularly together for conferences and workshops. In early March 2020, Anne Gardner from the University of Technology Sydney and Keith Willey from the University of Sydney held a 3-day AAEE summer school hosted by Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in Hamilton, New Zealand. The summer school focused on the key principles of doing educational research. This topic attracted a total of fourteen participants (see photo) from New Zealand’s upper North Island including six participants from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Auckland (UoA).

From my novice’s point of view, Anne and Keith did a fantastic job of easing us into the field of engineering education by appropriately scaffolding the content. Among others, we discussed the purpose, design, execution, evaluation, communication and impact of engineering education research. Furthermore, both Anne and Keith are experienced learning facilitators who expertly applied a mix of hands-on exercises, group discussions, interesting anecdotes and transmission of information. We spent a necessary period on exploring theoretical frameworks, methodologies and research methods which seemed confusing at the beginning. In the end, however, things fell into place and I was able to outline a research project which might become reality.

My time in Hamilton was well invested: I learned a lot, ate well, felt inspired, grew my network and planned my next career development – all with the help and generosity of the AAEE community. I can fully recommend the AAEE summer school.


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