Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Measurement of the ability to generate higher order learning in MOOCs
    Milligan, Sandra K. (University of Melbourne, 2016)
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    The development of a model for the management of major strategic investment decisions in universities
    Miller, Loren Kaye (University of Melbourne, 2013)
    Major investments in infrastructure, growth or productivity enhancement are crucial for a university in shaping its strategic direction and addressing the challenges of a changing landscape. Through a case study of Monash University, supplemented with the investigation of views of practitioners in the field, this research thesis has developed a model to optimise the management of major strategic investment decisions in universities. The model starts from the proposition that effective strategic investment decision making has two primary purposes: � Identifying major investments that are worth doing: Determining the infrastructure, activities and other enablers that are required as major investments to shape the future capacity, capability and operation of the university; and � Prioritising the ones that are best to do: Optimising the prioritisation and allocation of constrained resources to maximise the future benefit that can be achieved consistent with this strategic vision. The research reflects the hypothesis that investment decision making at universities under traditional academic leadership models has had a greater emphasis on the first of these objectives. The research suggests that there are opportunities to learn from business case/cost-benefit financial analysis approaches that are more commonly used in business. It proposes a mechanism (need to do/able to do criteria) for prioritising investments, based on which investments provide the most return given the existing or future capacity of the university to delivery them. In developing the model as mechanism for universities to enhance the management of major investments, the research considers and brings together data and analytical based approaches with the human and organisational dimensions of decision making. The major investment management (MIM) model comprises recommendations for university practices in four areas: Strategic Planning and Prioritising: facilitating effective strategic planning as the context for the identifying major investment needs and to provide a mechanism to evaluate and prioritise a portfolio of major investments. Defining Expected Strategic Outcomes: analysing and articulating the specific expected strategic outcomes for major investments by reference to four major drivers: growth and development of markets and products and services; infrastructure development; productivity enhancement; and improving rankings and reputation. Understanding Financial Implications: enabling the management of information and the development of financial analysis for understanding the financial implications of major investments, setting financial expectations and constructing major investment budgets. Adopting a Governance and Management Framework: establishing roles and responsibilities in an organisational structure that are supported by a framework of policies and processes for the governance and management of major investments, and setting up arrangements for accountabilities, project management and review of investment implementation. The study aims to contribute to the understanding of the context and factors at play in strategic investment decision making at Monash University, as an example of a large Australian public university and, by proposing a structured model, to enhance major strategic investment decision making and the management of an investment portfolio in practice. The study seeks both to add to the body of research on university management and strategic decision making and to inform and assist practitioners in the higher education sector.
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    Gesture-based approaches to language learning
    McKinney, Jennifer. (University of Melbourne, 2012)
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    Parent-professional relationships in early intervention for children with hearing impairment : the Malaysian experience
    Othman, Basyariatul Fathi. (University of Melbourne, 2010)
    Establishing collaborative parent-professional relationships is one of the central values of the family-centred approach to early intervention (Blue-Banning, Summers, Frankland, Nelson, & Beegle, 2004; Dunst, 2002; Park & Turnbull, 2002). The shift from a professionally-centred to a family-centred approach in early intervention has been documented in western countries over the last three decades (Brader, 2000; Espe-Sherwindt, 2008). However, there is a dearth of similar reports based on studies conducted in Asian countries, such as Malaysia. This study describes parent-professional relationships in the context of early intervention for children with hearing impairment in Malaysia. Twenty-two parents of children with hearing impairment and ten professionals who provided early intervention services to the parents were recruited from four programs in Kuala Lumpur and surrounds. The majority of parents were mothers, and all the professionals were speech-language pathologists who had been consistently working with the family for at least one year prior to this study. There were two stages of data collection. During Stage 1, all the parent and professional participants individually completed questionnaires. The questionnaires investigated the beliefs, interaction behaviours, and quality of relationships of the parents and professionals involved in this study. The parent participants also responded to two additional domains of investigation: family functioning and service satisfaction. Five parent-professional pairs who reported highly positive relationships in their questionnaires participated in Stage 2. They were firstly videotaped during an intervention session, and then interviewed separately about their parent-professional interactions. The videotapes were used to study the pairs� interaction behaviours. The interviews provided insights from these participants on their roles and interactions in their parent-professional relationships. The questionnaire, video, and interview data were firstly analysed separately, and then were triangulated to generate case studies. Results yielded from all sources of data have been reframed according to the relational and participatory helpgiving practices (Dunst, Johanson, Trivette, & Hamby, 1991; Dunst & Trivette, 1996). Relational helpgiving practices were strongly evident in this study, such as professionals displaying positive interpersonal skills, and establishing positive relationships with parents. Furthermore, positive attitudes towards parent capabilities were also found, where the parents� knowledge about their child, and the parents� roles as their child�s teachers at home, were highly valued by the professionals. The participants in this study not only believed in equal relationships, they also ranked their parent-professional relationships as equal. However, the participatory helpgiving practices were markedly absent from this study�s findings. The professionals� specialized knowledge and skills, decisions, and behaviours, were the driving factors in the intervention. The professionals also assumed many leading roles in intervention, such as the decision maker, planner, controller, and instructor to parent. Parent involvement, although deemed as important, was defined by the professionals as parent compliance to professionals� instructions. Other less empowering roles assumed by the parents, such as the non-participating observer in intervention session, indicate inequality in the parent-professional relationships. Being trained in a professionally-centred model, the professionals focussed their intervention on the child, rather than on the family. A generic program for all families was also implemented by the professionals. This may help to explain the family�s report that their own strengths and resources being under-utilized, and their specific family needs not addressed by the professionals. The presence of relational helpgiving and the absence of participatory help giving identify the parent-professional relationships in this study as characteristic of a family-allied model of intervention rather than family-centred.
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    Aims and experience in outdoor education
    Nicolson, Malcolm A. (University of Melbourne, 2010)
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