Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 25th Nov 2020, 04:39:33pm SAST

Session Overview
Student experience and perspective
Monday, 16/Nov/2020:
4:30pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Gabriela Cejas
Location: Studio 1

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Students’ preferred mode of teaching: Blended vs. traditional face to face instruction

Tebogo Mashifana

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Using technology in the classroom has in most cases proven to enhance students’ learning experience. There are several teaching methods a teacher may implement in the classroom, namely (a) traditional face to face teaching, (b) blended learning (face to face and incorporation of technology), (c) technology. This study was conducted to determine the instruction of teaching preferred by the students. A survey, through a questionnaire was distributed to the students who have had experience with both face to face and blended mode of teaching. A total of 33 students participated in the survey. From the responses received, it is evident that student did not have positive response on the module that relies heavily on online teaching and learning. Most of the students who participated in the study still prefer the face to face method of teaching and learning. The responses provided also show that most of the students believe that through the face to face instruction they believe their understanding of the content, pass rate, communication with peers is enhanced. The ANOVA analysis on the results showed a significant difference between the students’ responses for the two methods of teaching. Students’ past experiences with the different teaching instructions might have played a significant role on the participants responses and preferences.

An assessment of the students’ attitudes toward engineering design and build projects

Lagouge Tartibu1, Henrietta Steenkamp2

1University of Johannesburg, South Africa; 2University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Engineering design and build projects aims at improving student ability to think and solve problem while enhancing soft skills like communication skills and teamwork. Assessing this outcome could be relatively complicated because in some instances students are being exposed to advanced engineering courses that will allow them to perform complex calculations while completing their project. It is therefore necessary to instill into students the motivation to study independently and integrate engineering concepts into practice. Solving the design problem becomes the main motivation behind self-learning that frame the context for advanced engineering courses. This happens as a result of the Problem-Based Learning approach which pushes students to acquire engineering knowledge they don’t possess. This approach could raise several problem when assessing quantitatively student outcome achievement and the overall effectiveness of the course. This paper focuses on students’ attitudes rather than skills. Design thinking affinities such as team work, problem solving and communication are assessed as part on an ongoing improvement plan. A survey has been developed to measure the course effectiveness. The paper aims at measuring student attitude toward engineering design. Though such instrument has been used in existing engineering education literature, the diversity of students’ attitudes justify this study. The study reveals that problem-solving perception constitute the dimension that require interventions. External motivation are proposed in order to create good attitude.

An exploratory study to determine students’ understanding of sustainability in the clothing and textile sector

Sweta Patnaik1, Krishnavellie Pandarum2

1Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa; 2UNISA, South Africa


Sustainability and cleaner production is the current mantra for the world. Initiatives to implement sustainable concepts are currently the focus and reported in every industry/manufacturing sector. However, no matter the field the sustainable discourse occurs in education which is the key to support the underlying principles to develop these initiatives. Well-prepared future professionals should have a holistic perspective on sustainability that builds on their current knowledge in understanding sustainable production. Despite the omnipresence of the word sustainability, many students in universities are not yet aware of the understanding and meaning of sustainability while entering a qualification.


There is an increased awareness of global problems and on how humans, their actions, behaviour and lifestyles are harming the environment (Abdul-Wahab, 2008; Sia Su, 2008). University students typically belong to Gen Z, a generation that is defined by birth years between 1995 and 2015 and are said to be more focused on sustainable issues than the previous generations. For instance, in 2007, Muhlenberg College’s students published a sustainable living guide with a focus on recycling, reduction in energy consumption, green cleaning products, etc. (June 2007). There has been evidence (Stubbs & Cocklin, 2007) where students are being taught skills to start their own sustainable business. It appears that Gen Z is the most dynamic and the most willing to take action and bring positive changes in their environment and the world they live in than the generations before.

Aim of the research

The aim of this study is to undertake research between two South African universities, located in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively. The underlying concept is to design a comprehensive curriculum focused in the Clothing and Textile discipline for incorporation into the university undergraduate programme. Initially by assessing student’s knowledge and understanding of cleaner production and sustainable production principles and thereafter to incorporate this into the existing literature for teaching and learning.


The researchers initially discussed various ideas and approaches to the data collection however, the current COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to liaise effectively. Therefore, the approach of this study was to develop a brief questionnaire and a consent form for online data collection. The questionnaire will be administered to around 200 students from both the universities and then to conclude on the outcomes. The qualitative responses will be captured and categorized firstly at an institutional level grouped into either a semestrised or yearly module and thereafter compared between the two university student responses for similarities and differences. The intension is to obtain detailed feedback from students on how they see sustainability within the clothing and textile sector towards the development of a teaching module on sustainably.


Currently, the results of the student’s feedback is unknown. However, the researchers believe that Gen Z is more technology and environmentally aware. Therefore, the results of the analysed questionnaire will yield valuable and insightful data/information for the design and development of a module on cleaner production/sustainability in the clothing and textiles discipline.


Abdul-Wahab, S. A. (2008). A preliminary investigation into the environmental awareness of the Omani public and their willingness to protect the environment. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 4(1), 39-49.

June, A. W. (2007, July 20). Muhlenberg College students publish their own guide to sustainable living. (Muhlenberg College Guide to Sustainable Living)(Brief article). The Chronicle of Higher Education. (53)46.p.NA.Retrieved August 06, 2008 from &source=gale&userGroupName=iastu_main&version=1.0

Sia Su, G. L. (2008). Environmental worldview and concern of college students in the Philippines. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(1), 39-47.

Stubbs, W. and Cocklin, C. Teaching Sustainability to Business Students: changing mindsets. (2007). International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9 (3), 206-221.

Understanding the role that non-academic factors play on students’ experience during the COVID-19 pandemic

Maria Chierichetti

San Jose State University, United States of America

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced universities across the USA to close their campuses and quickly transition their classes to an online format. The pandemic caused many students to lose income, health care access and connection to their friends. This paper analyses the role that non-academic factors played on students experience in an aerospace engineering department at a public, Hispanic serving institution during the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that the pandemic is impacting vulnerable groups of students the most, therefore worsening an already existing equity gap.

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