CREATE – Contributions to Research in Engineering & Applied Technology Education

CREATE was established to:

  • Bring together staff and students from across the Institute who are engaged in education research in engineering and technical discipline areas;
  • Support and foster education research and in particular to support postgraduate research;
  • Encourage and support collaboration (internal and external);
  • Nurture, develop & support 'excellence' in STEM education research;

In 2001, the Physics Education Research Group (PERG) was established in DIT and over the next 12 years it evolved to also include education research in the following disciplines:

  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Architecture
  • Surveying

To reflect this growth and diversity CREATE was established in September 2013. While the original aim of PERG was to evaluate new and innovative pedagogies, the scope and complexity of the research studies developed to include investigations and examinations of different aspects of student learning. Across the wide variety of research studies a broad range of research methodologies and methods are employed, ranging from positivist (quantitative) studies to interpretive (qualitative) studies. Research methodologies such as phenomenography, phenomenology, collaborative action research, and grounded theory have been successfully used to examine:

  • Development of conceptual understanding;
  • Development of problem-solving skills;
  • Approaches to learning;
  • Perceptions of learning environment;
  • Learning experiences;
  • Epistemological development;
  • Pedagogical practice.

Regardless of context or objective, all CREATE research studies are situated in an epistemological position, underpinned by education theory and involve a rigorous methodological approach and meticulous data analysis whether it is qualitative or quantitative.

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