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2010
APSSA Conference Report




               Hong Co Tran
               The University of New South Wales
            ...
Table of Contents


Conference overview .....................................................................................
1. Conference overview
Event summary
Event name: The 12th International Asia Pacific Student Services Association Conferen...
Conference program

APSSA 2010 Student Conference presentations and workshops which based on the
“Supporting | Engaging | ...
2. APSSA 2010 overall experience
From the student’s perspective, APSSA 2010’s primary conference papers have been
successf...
3. APSSA 2010 personal observations
Professor Don Markwell – Oxford UK
In his speech, professor Markwell placed a great em...
students understand themselves and to offer a reliable measurement of their generic
competencies.
The SAARD questionnaire ...
Example of the SAARD questionnaire, Hong Kong Polytechnic University website




                                         ...
Ehime Leaders School ELS - Ehime University (Japan)
Ehime University is quite a small institution with about 9,000 current...
Design Orientation Camp DOC - Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore)
While most freshman students give priority to academic studi...
The benefits delivered include
      Friendship across faculties and disciplines
      The fun element
      Clarificat...
4. In UNSW context
Dorinda Fung – Hong Kong Polytechnic University
The first factor to consider adopting the e-portfolio i...
Design Orientation Camp DOC - Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore)
Temasek Polytechnic’s DOC program structure and objectives a...
5. Further recommendations
As there exists a gap between undergraduate and postgraduate students, SDI might like to
hold m...
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Apssa report hong co tran

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Apssa report hong co tran

  1. 1. 2010 APSSA Conference Report Hong Co Tran The University of New South Wales July 2010
  2. 2. Table of Contents Conference overview ........................................................................................................................... 3 APSSA 2010 overall experience ........................................................................................................ 5 APSSA 2010 personal observations ................................................................................................. 6 In UNSW context ................................................................................................................................ 12 Further recommendations ................................................................................................................. 14 Image acknowledgement .................................................................................................................. 14 2
  3. 3. 1. Conference overview Event summary Event name: The 12th International Asia Pacific Student Services Association Conference APSSA 2010 Theme: Supporting | Engaging | Building capabilities Date: 6-9 July 2010 Conference organisers: APSSA, Queensland University of Technology Venue: Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, Brisbane, Australia Overview The 12th International Asia Pacific Student Services Association Conference APSSA 2010 held in Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane on 6-9 July 2010 attracted over 300 international and national delegates with the theme of “Supporting | Engaging | Building capabilities”. Specifically, the conference program addressed the current delivery of student support services as well as practice approaches to the development of stronger links between student support services and academic elements in both academic and career enhancement. The parallel Student Conference “Dare to do it – Building capabilities and global cooperation for a sustainable future” focused on the need of individuals to utilise the available support resources and provided an opportunity to discuss the future directions towards a sustainable personal and professional development. 3
  4. 4. Conference program APSSA 2010 Student Conference presentations and workshops which based on the “Supporting | Engaging | Building capabilities” theme, covered a variety of sub-related topics  Positive psychology  Social responsibility  The art of conversation  Team building and management  Benefits of volunteering  Taking the initiatives in self-value enhancement Keynote speakers included  Professor Don Markwell – Supporting the best student experience for the 21st century: Global trends and challenges  APSSA Conference Steering Committee – World Cafe and Open Village  Tony Ryan – Realised potential can enhance our creativity  Dorinda Fung – Partnerships, assessment and e-portfolios  Jean Madden – Street Swags  The Big Lift  Erin Gregor, Brett Smout and Phil Mairu – The Great Debate  Ehon Chan – Online communities and the social media revolution  Dr Prinya Tevanaruemitkul - Thailand's reform toward civil cociety: Education and the roles of university students Non-conference presentation  Ehime University (Japan) – Ehime Leader School ELS program  Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore) – Design Orientation Camp DOC 4
  5. 5. 2. APSSA 2010 overall experience From the student’s perspective, APSSA 2010’s primary conference papers have been successful in raising some key issues regarding the current trends and shortfalls of the existing student support services. These included the opening plenary speech by professor Don Markwell, The Great Debate and Ms. Dorinda Fung’s report. Also, the APSSA 2010 Student Conference itself actively provided a supportive venue for interaction and discussion between university students from around the world. On the other hand, some conference workshops such as World Cafe or Open Village only stopped at raising the concerns at personal and society level without being able to grapple with the optimal resolutions to these problems. Some other demonstrations either too narrowly focused on a single aspect or failed to convince audiences of the long term sustainable and effective development practices, from a personal viewpoint. All of these pitfalls from the Student Conference, however, then encouraged and challenged each individual to think and strive to resolve the problems in their own way. This post conference evaluation process could be seen as one of the learning outcomes from a series of observations and insights during the APSSA 2010 Student Conference. The two non-conference presentations by international student delegates have as well brought in the question of projects that might be applicable to UNSW and modification, if necessary, to suit the local requirements and conditions. 5
  6. 6. 3. APSSA 2010 personal observations Professor Don Markwell – Oxford UK In his speech, professor Markwell placed a great emphasis on the special assistance to freshmen in their first year at university, which he called “the transitional turn”. The support provided to students, in general, should not be in the form of advice but to ask questions. In particular, it brought back to the concept of “Why you do what you do WYDWYD” and guided students to think what this WYDWYD means to them. This question approach would eventually encourage them to think about the ultimate things: what they want to do and to be content and happy. Professor Markwell then highlighted the fact that each student is distinctive and needs the sustained support over three stages: Before students arrive, during their study and after graduation and beyond. In addition, uneven level of support between undergraduate and postgraduate as well as practices that separate local and international students still remain a common global problem confronted by many universities. Dorinda Fung – Hong Kong Polytechnic University The SPECIAL e-portfolio is a personalised portal to assist students with strategic approach to achieve personal development:  Self understanding  Goal planning & setting  Getting experience  Documenting the experiences  Achievements showcase The e-portfolio is built as a social platform for students to public part of their profile and CV to potential employers. Students can control the privacy setting on which information they wish to share, for example SAARD result or social activities. Here is an example of a portfolio showcase from Hong Kong Polytechnic website. http://www.polyu.edu.hk/sao/allround/g1/pages/showcase/589.html For each activity in which students participate, they would be awarded a specific number of SPECIAL points, which counted towards the achievements for the SPECIAL All-Round Award. The Self-Assessment of All-Round Development SAARD, developed and implemented by Hong Kong Polytechnic University through the SPECIAL e-portfolio system, aims to help 6
  7. 7. students understand themselves and to offer a reliable measurement of their generic competencies. The SAARD questionnaire asks students to self assess their capabilities and behaviours with respect to the following 14 generic competencies. Domain Generic competencies S – social development Leadership, teamwork, interpersonal effectiveness, communication P - Physical & psychological development EQ & Psychological wellness, Healthy lifestyle E – ethics Social & national responsibility C – career development Entrepreneurship I – intellectual development Problem solving Critical & creative thinking A – aesthetics Cultural appreciation L – learning Global outlook, interest in local & international affairs, lifelong learning After completing the SAARD questionnaire, students will then have an opportunity to compare their scores with the university average, access to suggestions of improvement as well as resources to the third party for further development. Below is the snapshot of the individual SAARD profile on the e-portfolio. 7
  8. 8. Example of the SAARD questionnaire, Hong Kong Polytechnic University website 8
  9. 9. Ehime Leaders School ELS - Ehime University (Japan) Ehime University is quite a small institution with about 9,000 current students with less than 5% international. The student leadership development program ELS aims to provide exclusive training to current and emerging student leaders in expectation of their favourable influence on other students and the greater society. The expected learning outcomes include presentation skill, social skill, team work, leadership and critical thinking skills. The program consists of 3 components: academic courses on leadership, training for club leaders and ELS seminar, in accordance with beginner, intermediate and advance level. ELS program opens to all second year students and above, with the limit of 30 participants per semester. To be eligible to enter the program, students will be required to submit an expression of interest for further consideration. 9
  10. 10. Design Orientation Camp DOC - Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore) While most freshman students give priority to academic studies, at the same time they are equally anxious about their ability to integrate with the school community at the social level. Aware of this fact, the Orientation Camp DOC which is specially designed for first year students, focuses on forming the good relationship between school and students in the first place. The measurement of effectiveness of DOC is based on how well the benefits match the needs of first year students, including academic concerns, ability to fit in and friend network. The 4-day, 2-night orientation program, undertaken by Temasek juniors and seniors, specifically addressed these needs through some major activities.  Welcome function and introduction  Academic talks  Mass games and competition  Mini design projects  Administrative matters 10
  11. 11. The benefits delivered include  Friendship across faculties and disciplines  The fun element  Clarification of school and course expectation  Leadership skills  Strong relation with alumni Schedule of the DOC 2008 program for reference. http://www-des.tp.edu.sg/des_orientation_programme08.pdf 11
  12. 12. 4. In UNSW context Dorinda Fung – Hong Kong Polytechnic University The first factor to consider adopting the e-portfolio is the resources to make it available to 45,000 students at UNSW, whereas in Hong Kong Polytechnic University, this number is only around 28,000 students. Second, there may be a duplication in case of portfolio showcase since computer engineering or design students might already have their own portfolios on university online system, as part of the course requirements. Also, the issue of whether alumni public profile would still be maintained for a certain time period was not mentioned in Ms. Fung’s talk. Despite these going concerns, the SAARD section emerges as a useful tool for students to identify their weaknesses in the early stage and in turn set goals for further improvement. On the one hand, post activity feedback alone can help reveal the programs’ shortfalls and assess student’s learning results. This, nevertheless, only limits to the activity participants without guiding other non-participant students through the self understanding process to recognise the necessity of extracurricular activities. The use of the secondary transcripts, similar as UNSW, has helped motivate students to engage in extracurricular activities in Hong Kong Polytechnic. Nevertheless, they have gone far beyond that with the SPECIAL point system to create a competitive environment among students to strive towards a particular award in the end of each academic year. The SAARD then reinforces the learning process to ensure that students understand their competencies acquired from those social activities. UNSW or SDI in particular might wish to combine the point system and SAARD in their future student projects. Ehime Leaders School ELS - Ehime University (Japan) The process involved in the ELS by Ehime University is quite similar as Hong Kong Polytechnic’s SPECIAL project (self understanding – actual experience – feedback). If considering applying the ELS, UNSW can include it as a recommendation to students upon their completion of the SAARD questionnaire, especially to those who need assistance in leadership area. 12
  13. 13. Design Orientation Camp DOC - Temasek Polytechnic (Singapore) Temasek Polytechnic’s DOC program structure and objectives are found similar to UNSW SDI Step Up program. Based on my own experience as a senior student and an SDI Peer Mentor, Step Up program has proved useful in equipping new students with essential psychological, academic and administrative matters. As emphasised by the Temasek DOC organisers, assisting junior students with the “ice breaking” task and making new friends is also as important as familiarising them with the university academic environment. SDI Step Up 2010 program, unfortunately, was not able to facilitate the friend making process in many freshmen. New students attending the Step Up tended to gather with their national group or ended up being less active and lack of interest with the group discussion and presentation. As a result, many of them did not follow the program till the end. The Temasek DOC has effectively covered this “ice breaking” issue with the camping environment, where students have the opportunities to mingle and rotate through a variety of outdoor games and competitions. This is believed to deliver a more positive outcome and possibly the long lasting friendship rather than mere acquaintance through chatting and discussion in a formal lecture context. SDI Step Up could adopt this camping structure with some possible modifications (compress the program content to less than 3 days, for example) to inject more of the fun element and engage first year students in a more active multicultural friendship. Other universities Under some universities’ requirements, students are required to participate in a certain number of mandatory co-curricular activities before graduation. These could take in the form of volunteer work, self development workshops or competitions. If possible, UNSW can apply this compulsory program forcing students to take the initiative and proactive attitude to their social development. Some may concern about the final outcome when students might not voluntarily join the activities in the first place. On the contrary, according to one APSSA student delegate, the result turned out positive due to the benefits and friendship acquired from the program. 13
  14. 14. 5. Further recommendations As there exists a gap between undergraduate and postgraduate students, SDI might like to hold more separate activities or info sessions targeting each specific group. As observed from the Step Up semester 2.2010, many undergraduate students were struggling to make friends and communicate with postgraduates due to differences in age and maturity. Also, there is a situation that undergraduate Peer Mentors are more able to help their undergraduate mentees with questions related to study experience, but not in the case of postgraduate mentees. This leads to the question of whether SDI should streamline the Peer Mentor program to address the needs of each particular group of students. Again, proper consideration should be taken before going ahead with the separation, including number of students intake in each degree as well as cost versus benefits. 6. Image acknowledgement APSSA 2010 official website http://www.apssa2010.qut.edu.au/ Hong Kong Polytechnic University website http://www.bre.polyu.edu.hk/BRE_workshop/pdf/Evidence- basedImprovement%20(with%20Appendix).pdf Philip Tan – Nanyang Technological University NTU student, Singapore 14

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