ATAR, Prior Knowledge and Performance in Idea Generation

Buskes, G and Belski, I 2018, 'ATAR, Prior Knowledge and Performance in Idea Generation', in 29th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017), Hamilton, New Zealand, 9-12 December 2018, pp. 1-7.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title ATAR, Prior Knowledge and Performance in Idea Generation
Author(s) Buskes, G
Belski, I
Year 2018
Conference name 29th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017)
Conference location Hamilton, New Zealand
Conference dates 9-12 December 2018
Proceedings title 29th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017)
Publisher AAEE
Place of publication New Zealand
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Abstract PURPOSE This paper presents the outcomes of an additional run of the same idea generation experiment that was again conducted at the same Go8 university. The authors planned to establish whether students' performance in idea generation depended on their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). APPROACH Six hundred and five students, who have just enrolled in an engineering systems subject at the same Go8 university participated in an identical experiment to that conducted by Buskes and Belski (2017). Students were asked to provide their ATAR scores in order to evaluate its influence on their idea generation. Student solution ideas were assessed by three independent judges that used the same evaluation criteria as the earlier study. RESULTS Out of 605 students that participated in the experiment, 313 provided their ATAR score. It was discovered that the ATAR scores did not correlate with the number and the breadth of ideas proposed by the students. CONCLUSIONS It seems that the ATAR score on its own is not an adequate criterion for idea generation performance, with prior knowledge in science being found to be a superior estimator. Entry requirements into engineering programs, where idea generation performance is increasingly seen as an essential skill for an engineer to possess, could therefore be adapted to reflect this observation and provide less focus on ATAR score and more on prior science knowledge.
Subjects Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Decision Making
Higher Education
Keyword(s) Prior knowledge
science knowledge
idea generation.
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