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SIT Research Institute Publications

SIT Research Report 2014

Welcome to the Southern Institute of Technology Staff Research Report for 2014. The diversity of research achievements among our staff is showcased here, and it celebrates a wide range of research studies and creative projects. Research at SIT continued to develop and flourish during 2014. We have a strong commitment to supporting and growing research capability in this area and to ensuring that teaching on higher level qualifications is informed by research.

Click here to download a copy of the report (10MB PDF)

Earlier research reports are also available here.

Click here for SIT's 2013 Research Report (6MB PDF)

Click here for SIT's 2012 Research Report (1.3MB PDF)

Click here for SIT's 2010-2011 Research Report (2MB PDF)

Click here for SIT's 2009-2010 Research Report (3MB PDF)

ITP Sector Collaboration Practices Project

As core contributors to the New Zealand tertiary sector, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) are committed to enhancing the experiences and achievements of our students through engaging with community, regional, national and international partners. The ITP Sector Collaboration Practices Project reports on a number of effective collaborations between ITPs and other stakeholders and evaluates the factors that make for successful collaborations. The government expects tertiary education providers to work with each other and with other key stakeholders for a variety of purposes: from improving operating efficiency to increasing learning opportunities for students. Collaborative ways of working together are seen as particularly beneficial for the ITP sector.

Click here to download a copy of the report (15MB PDF)

Committed Learners Project

The SIT Research Institute team recently completed a collaborative project that examined student engagement across the student life-cycle. It was a joint SIT/NZITP funded project.

The Committed Learners Project identifies practices to foster student engagement, improve student retention and enhance successful completion of programmes.   The project brings together a ‘basket’ of good practice examples gathered from Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.  It also identifies areas for improvement and possible future action.  The project was carried out by the SIT Research Institute with funding from SIT and NZITP.  Nine ITPs participated in the Committed Learners Project and the report draws heavily on their skills and knowledge.

The Committed Learners Project involved three phases: a review of the literature relating to student engagement; a questionnaire distributed to a variety of staff employed at ITPs, including those in administrative and management roles; and interviews with teaching staff and those involved in learning support.  The project combines a wealth of data from questionnaires and interviews, provided by a wide variety of staff both academic and general, from nine different institutes of technology and polytechnics around New Zealand.  It provides a snapshot of current practices relating to student engagement at different stages of the student life-cycle, from the processes involved in promotions and enrolment, through to what happens when a student finishes a course of study.  It represents the collective knowledge and experiences of ITPs in working towards the goals of student engagement, retention and completion.  The report is designed so that it can be read either in its entirety, or in sections, or opened at random by those in search of a good idea or helpful quote that they can apply in their own institutions.

Click here to download a copy of the report (7.3MB PDF)

‘I can do a dolphin jump, I can!’

An evaluation of the Swim Safe Southland Central Southland Pilot Project.

In 2011 the SIT Research Institute carried out an evaluation of a novel programme aimed at teaching swimming skills and water safety to primary school children in Central Southland. 

Eleven primary schools and 848 children in Central Southland participated in the pilot SwimSafe Programme. The programme was supported by Sport Southland, Water Safety New Zealand and Southern REAP. These organisations approached researchers from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to provide an independent evaluation into how the programme was run and whether it was successful in improving children’s swimming ability.  Research involved working with quantitative swimming data, distribution of a questionnaire to parents, interviews with teachers involved, and focus groups with primary school children from ages five to 11 years old.  The research found the SwimSafe Programme to have been extremely effective in increasing the numbers of children being able to achieve improved swimming skills and distances. There was a large amount of positive support for the SwimSafe programme from principals, teachers, parents and children.

Click here to download the full report (1MB PDF).

Read the SIT Research Report 2014 online


  • Debriefing after Simulation Scenarios in Undergraduate Nursing Education – Andrea Knowler, School of Nursing
  • Food Shed Modelling for a Sustainable Invercargill – Erine van Niekerk, Centre for Research Excellence in Environmental Management
  • The Experience of Raising a Child with Severe Allergies – Cassie Carstensen, School of Nursing
  • Presence: Artistic Practice, Poetry and Phenomenology – Peter Belton, School of Screen and Visual Arts
  • Facilitating Collaborative Learning – Fiona Tyrie, School of Business and Debbie Ruwhiu, Academic Support Unit
  • Treating the Physical Health of People with Mental Illnesses – Debora Anderson, School of Nursing
  • Keeping It Real – Donna Bowman, School of Hairdressing
  • Degree-Based Education for Massage Therapists within New Zealand: Stepping Towards Legitimation for the Massage Therapy Industry - Donna Smith, New Zealand Massage Therapy Research Centre
  • Isolation, Influence and Identity – Emma Cathcart, School of Fashion
  • From Pretend To Real: The Potential of Simulation – Johanna Rhodes, School of Nursing
  • Massage Therapy Research Updating – Jo Smith, New Zealand Massage Therapy Research Centre
  • Performing the DIY Public Museum – Kathryn Mitchell, School of Screen and Visual Arts
  • Who’s Afraid of Mathematics? – John Mumford, School of Computing
  • Geochronological Dating Of Detrital Zircons from the Pegasus Group, Rakiura and Attribution of Mid-18th Century English Porcelains – Ross Ramsay, Centre for Research Excellence in Environmental Management
  • Experiences of Overseas Nurse Educators – Reen Skaria, School of Nursing
  • ‘Being Made’: Performing Disciplining Bodies – Ruth Myers, School of Screen and Visual Arts
  • Sharing Good Practice – Jerry Hoffman, School of Business
  • The Great Mix-Up and Musical Compositions – Sally Bodkin-Allen, School of Contemporary Music
  • Why Students Leave Online Distance Education Programmes – Teri McClelland, Faculty of SIT2LRN
  • Staff Research Outputs 2014