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Dr Ken Sutton

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology (Psychology)

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Ken Sutton is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Information Technology with teaching responsibilities in psychology and education. He has research interests in spatial ability and psychometrics with a strong focus on measuring and improving spatial ability. Ken spent considerable time developing an online test of spatial ability for architects and engineers and he had funding support to achieve this. Ken also has experience in heavy industry working in a field very dependent upon spatial reasoning where understanding the relationship between 2D representations and 3D objects was paramount. Ken also spent 24 years in the Active Reserve at RAAF Base Williamtown as an Operations Officer working mostly with fighter pilots and fighter squadrons. The Active Reserve was almost totally integrated with the Permanent Air Force and the experience included deployments and exercises.

Research Expertise
Research interests are related to understanding 3 dimensional concepts with developing interests in higher education teaching and learning and core skills in science and mathematics.

Collaborations
Dr Ken Sutton is currently working with Professor Anthony Williams (Architecture & Built Environment) in the secondary sector investigating spatial ability performance among years 7 to 10 students looking for positive or negative relationships with other academic skills. For example, mathematics and technology. NAPLAN results are expected to become part of the investigation. The researchers have just completed a pilot study at one secondary school (n = 91). The potential of this project because of the established network is nation wide and international to some extent. This pilot is a forerunner to an ARC grant application later this year. The researchers are seeing spatial ability as a developing essential literacy. Ken is also part of a small academic team from a cognitive search group developing a 4th year psychology student brain training project. This is innovative in many respects and breaking new ground, particularly with ethics. Lessons learnt from the project will lead to improvements in future years and offer publication potential.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Psychology), University of Newcastle
  • Diploma of Teaching (Industrial Arts), University of Newcastle
  • Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Computer Applications
  • Spatial Cognition

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
120199 Architecture not elsewhere classified 40
120399 Design Practice and Management not elsewhere classified 20
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Psychology
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Williams AP, Sutton KJ, 'Spatial ability and its influence on the design process', Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 5 141-152 (2011) [C1]
2007 Sutton KJ, Heathcote AJ, Bore MR, 'Measuring 3-D understanding on the Web and in the laboratory', Behavior Research Methods, 39 926-939 (2007) [C1]
DOI 10.3758/BF03192988
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Miles Bore, Andrew Heathcote
2003 Sutton KJ, Heathcote AJ, 'Acquisition of mental rotation skills', Australian Journal of Psychology, 55 93 (2003) [C3]
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote

Conference (19 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Spatial ability and its implication for novice architecture students', Conference Proceedings 45th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association ANZAScA, Sydney, NSW (2011) [E1]
2010 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Implications of spatial abilities on design thinking', Conference Proceedings. Design & Complexity: Design Research Society International Conference, Montreal (2010) [E1]
2010 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'A rationale for developing spatial skills: In a design environment', Proceedings of the CONNECTED 2010 International Conference on Design Education, UNSW Sydney, Australia (2010) [E1]
2010 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'A multidisciplinary approach to measuring spatial performance in novice designers', Abstracts of the 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Melbourne, Vic (2010) [E3]
2009 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, McBride W, 'Exploring spatial ability and mapping the performance of engineering students', Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Adelaide, SA (2009) [E1]
Co-authors William Mcbride
2009 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, McBride W, 'Spatial ability performance of female engineering students', Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Adelaide, SA (2009) [E1]
Co-authors William Mcbride
2009 Nesbitt KV, Sutton KJ, Wilson JS, Hookham GT, 'Improving player spatial abilities for 3D challenges', Proceedings of the 6th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, Sydney, NSW (2009) [E1]
DOI 10.1145/1746050.1746056
Co-authors Keith Nesbitt
2009 Williams AP, Sutton KJ, 'Spatial abilities and its implication for novice designers', DesignEd Asia Conference 2009: Forget the Future: What are Today's Design Education Issues? Conference Proceedings, Hong Kong (2009) [E1]
2008 Williams AP, Sutton KJ, Allen RJ, 'Spatial ability: Issues associated with engineering and gender', Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Yeppoon, QLD (2008) [E1]
2008 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Developing a discipline-based measure of visualisation', Symposium Proceedings Visualisation and Concept Development, Sydney, NSW (2008) [E1]
2008 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Profiling spatial ability performance of novice designers', Exploring Technology Education: Solutions to Issues in a Globalised World, Surfers Paradise, QLD (2008) [E1]
2007 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Spatial cognition and its implications for design', IASDR'07: International Association of Societies of Design Research 2007. Proceedings, Hong Kong (2007) [E1]
2007 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Research outcomes supporting learning in spatial ability', Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Melbourne (2007) [E1]
2007 Williams AP, Sutton KJ, 'Developing interactive computer-based learning experiences to improve spatial ability', Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2007), Algarve, Portugal (2007) [E1]
2006 Sutton KJ, 'Performance differences on spatial cognition tasks', Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences, Newcastle, Australia (2006) [E3]
2006 Sutton KJ, Williams AP, 'Impact of spatial ability on students doing graphics based courses', 2006 Australasian Association for Engineering Education: Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Auckland (2006) [E1]
2005 Sutton KJ, Heathcote AJ, Bore MR, 'Implementing a web-based measurement of 3D understanding', OZCHI 2005, Canberra, Australia (2005) [E1]
Co-authors Miles Bore, Andrew Heathcote
2005 Heathcote AJ, Sutton KJ, Hayes B, Mewhort D, 'A Cascade Theory of Automaticity', The 12th Australasian Mathematical Psychology Conference, The University of Adelaide, Australia (2005) [E3]
Co-authors Andrew Heathcote
2004 Williams AP, Sutton KJ, 'Graphic Communication: What is it and How can we Teach it to Engineering Students', ICEE 2004, Florida, USA (2004) [E1]
Show 16 more conferences

Report (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Sutton KJ, Allen RJ, 'Assessing and Improving Spatial Ability for Design Based Disciplines Utilising Online Systems. Final Report 2011', Australian Learning and Teaching Council, 40 (2011) [R1]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 5
Total funding $225,904

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20121 grants / $5,623

Establishing the Level of Spatial Competency Required by X-ray Analysts$5,623

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project Team Doctor Ken Sutton, Professor Anthony Williams
Scheme Strategic Initiative Research Fund (SIRF)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1401030
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20081 grants / $17,000

Acquiring expertise in the mental manipulation of visual images: Effects on brain and behaviour$17,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT
Project Team Professor Andrew Heathcote, Professor Scott Brown, Doctor Ken Sutton
Scheme Pilot Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0189040
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20071 grants / $196,331

Assessing and improving spatial ability for design-based disciplines utilising online systems$196,331

Funding body: Australian Learning and Teaching Council

Funding body Australian Learning and Teaching Council
Project Team Doctor Ken Sutton, Professor Anthony Williams
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2007
Funding Finish 2007
GNo G0188331
Type Of Funding Contract - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFC
UON Y

20041 grants / $6,500

Assessing and Improving 3D Understanding$6,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Ken Sutton
Scheme Early Career Researcher Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0184206
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19971 grants / $450

Design Education for the 21st Century, Gold Coast, QLD, 3-6 July 1997$450

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Ken Sutton
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1997
Funding Finish 1997
GNo G0179582
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current2

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.15
PhD0.3

Current Supervision

Commenced Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014 A Study of Student's Ability to Translate 2D Drawings into 3D Form and its Relationship to Spatial Ability
Architecture, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
Co-Supervisor
2013 Examining Prospect-Refuge Theory in Architecture: The Impact of Spatial Dimensions and Style on Preference Ratings for Interiors
Architecture, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
Co-Supervisor
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Dr Ken Sutton

Position

Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Focus area

Psychology

Contact Details

Email ken.sutton@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 6361

Office

Room AVG20
Building Aviation
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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