Enhancing learning through innovative technology: education in a course on 'Surf Equipment, Design, Materials and Construction'

Jaromir Audy
Edith Cowan University
Bunbury, Australia

This paper presents the results of a study on innovative practice and outcomes in the 'Surf Equipment, Design, Materials and Construction' course unit taught in the Surf Science and Technology (SST) course at the South West Campus of Edith Cowan University. The main topic discussed is surfboard-making activity.

The study covers a three-year period (2003 to 2005) and focuses on two groups of second-year SST students who, after acquiring the necessary scientific and technological skills related to the production and performance of surfboards, were asked to design and produce surfboards that would best suit their surfing skills -- which resulted in the production of a variety of geometrically different surfboards. The results were analysed using a comparative statistical method that allowed the determination of the relative importance of each qualitative criterion with respect to other criteria associated with surfboard design features and performance. Also examined was students' attitudes to project-related issues in technology education, derived from the pre-test and post-test experiments and surveys. The author used a two-group design with a two pre-test and one post-test experimental scenario. The results were analysed for homogeneity of variances and means by using the Fisher test and t-test, respectively. Following the discussion of the results, the main conclusions are outlined, highlighting the outcomes of interest for both pedagogical and professional practice.