Other Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants Register

Feedback for learning: closing the assessment loop

Feedback (during and after) assessment tasks is critical for effectively promoting student learning. Without feedback students are limited in how they can make judgements as to their progress, and how they can change their future performance. Feedback is the lynchpin to students’ effective decision making, and the basis of improved learning outcomes. However, feedback is under-utilised and often misunderstood by both students and academics. This project is about improving student learning (and experience) through improving institutional, academic, and student capacity to stimulate and leverage assessment feedback.

The aim of this project is to improve student learning and experience by improving the way in which the Australian Higher Education sector enacts feedback. Our approach will deliver a pragmatic, empirically based framework of feedback designs to guide academics, academic developers and instructional designers, as well as institutional policy. This will be supported by large scale data highlighting patterns of success and 10 rich cases of feedback designs to demonstrate how that success can be achieved. In addition, this project will facilitate the likelihood of adoption through a series of dissemination activities including national workshops built on a participatory design approach.

Investigators

Grant

Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development Grant (ID 16-5366): 2016 $280,000


Engaging and partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents and community to improve student outcomes

More than ever, initial teacher education needs to better prepare teachers and leaders to ‘engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community’ (Standard 7, Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, AITSL) and to know how to work more inclusively with parents/caregivers from diverse backgrounds to lift the achievements of all students. This is particularly the case in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families. If teachers are key to lifting student outcomes, then all initial teacher education providers must immediately redesign their teacher education curriculum and develop powerful partnership models in professional experience (clinical practice) to embed culturally responsive strategies and resources.

This project aims to address this imperative and better prepare future teachers through the development of a culturally responsive teacher education curriculum and professional experience (clinical practice) resource package for the higher education sector and school communities. The package will inform all teacher education providers, teachers and school leaders across Australia on the best ways to prepare graduate teachers to build productive, effective school-community partnerships with families, key local Elders and community based Indigenous and non-Indigenous mentors. This project ultimately will improve the future outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a grounded model of addressing social and education inequality at the grass roots: namely starting with schools and teachers and building effective partnership and relational tools to maximise and create effective school-university-community links.

Investigators

Grant

Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development Grant (ID16-5428) 2016: $210,000


Improving teacher education for better Indigenous outcomes

Remote Indigenous schools need to better staffed with teachers who are well equipped and know how to work more inclusively within and for diverse geographic communities. This project adopts a well-planned, long-term approach to improving Indigenous outcomes by focusing on improving teacher education. Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers must be better informed and ready to embed culturally responsive strategies and resources into their ITE curriculum. This project will produce a capstone professional experience unit which will be housed with other key documents including: a set of key curriculum guidelines; partnership protocols and illustrations of practice with videos of exemplary practices of teaching. This project will ultimately contribute to the employment needs of remote Indigenous schools through the provision of highly trained, confident and culturally-responsive teachers.

Investigators

Grant

2015 (Round 2) Office for Learning and TeachingInnovation and Development Seed Grant Project (SD-15-5215) - $40 000


A cross-disciplinary, contextual approach to improving work placement for international students, their mentors and stakeholders

Much current research on international students describes the many challenges that they face when undertaking study in another country. There are additional challenges when these students participate in work environments. An understanding that international students have distinct needs, in particular during work placement components of study, is not present in existing learning, teaching and research studies. This project aims to improve the ways in which international students, as individuals, engage with their work placement as well as with their mentors or industry partner throughout the assessment process. The project will identify current procedures and practices; identify challenges and concerns, as well as successes for international students; and develop a working model of effective practice which will inform a website and accompanying supporting materials and resources.

Project led by Griffith University.

Investigators

  • Dr Georgina Barton withDr Kay Hartwig, Associate Professor John Sands, Associate Professor Liz Jones - all Griffith University.
  • Professor Marilyn Campbell, Dr Donna Tangen Dr Erin O'Connor, Theresa Harvey and Ingrid Larkin - all Queensland University of Technology
  • Dr Anna Podorova - Monash University
  • Dr Dawn Joseph - Deakin University
  • Associate Professor Marilyn Chaseling - Southern Cross University

Grant

2014 Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development Project (ID14-3837) - $220,000
Led by Griffith University


The role of training in social inclusion: geographic and regional aspects

The programme is investigating the contribution of education and training to social inclusion with a particular focus on its regional and geographical dimension. Many groups or individuals are considered at risk of social exclusion and for a variety of reasons. The multi-dimensionality of social exclusion means that a single strategy to deal with the issue is unlikely to succeed. At the same time, a focus on equity groups as if they are separate and distinct would not reveal overlapping experiences of disadvantages. It is important to examine the problem from various perspectives and to use a number of different research methods to investigate. The programme identified three projects to undertake this programme of research: 1) neighbourhoods effects on predicting post-school destinations of young Australians; 2) skilled migrant women in regional Australia: the role of education and training to improve social inclusion; 3) incentives for relocating to regional Australia; estimates using a choice experiment.

Investigators

Grant

2011-2014 National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation - $476,686


The lesson observation on-line platform (LOOP): Enhancing the professional experience of initial teacher education

In Australia, pre-service teachers are required to complete 60 days of professional experience as part of their initial teacher education. The evidence that pre-service teachers have successfully completed Australian Professional Standards for Teachers is reliant on placement reports that document the competency of preservice teachers. Acting as both mentor and judge, the supervising teacher has responsibility for evaluating the competencies. The potential role conflict places the relationship between pre-service teachers and supervising teacher at risk, and ultimately, the validity of the pre-service teachers' final grade. Based on cohorts in two MTeach (Primary) programs, this project will be the first to test the objectivity of the placement reports that are used to measure competencies. Secondly, this project will develop video-recordings and e-portfolios to support and evaluate pre-service teachers against the Standards. Initially focusing on teacher education, the findings can be applied to professions with field, clinical or practicum placements.

Investigators

Grant

2014 Office for Learning and Teaching Seed Project SD13-3288, $50,000


Reconceptualising mathematics and science teacher education programs through collaborative partnerships between scientists and educators

This project promotes active partnership between researchers and educators in science, mathematics and education to reconceptualise the education of teachers of mathematics and science. Reconstructed coursework and practicum components will require pre-service teachers to connect mathematical and scientific content, thinking, practice and pedagogy in developing expertise in inquiry-based classroom practices. Innovative units and science and mathematics educational activities will exemplify scientific practices, supported by an evidence-based framework and web-mediated public access resources facilitating collaborative work between specialist mathematics and science teacher educators and research mathematicians and scientists. Project dissemination structures anticipate networks connecting university mathematicians, scientists and educators in an enduring partnership with practicing teachers in primary and secondary schools, education systems and associated bodies.

Investigators

  • Professor Stephen Dinham (Project Leader)
  • Professor Russell Tytler
  • Professor Vaughan Prain
  • Associate Professor Michelle Livett
  • Associate Professor Cristina Varsavsky
  • Professor Deborah Corrigan (Monash)
  • Dr Stuart Palmer
  • Dr Elizabeth Johnson
  • Dr Jim Tangas
  • Professor David Clarke

Grant

2013 Maths and Science Teacher Training Project (MS13-3181) - $3,200,000
Funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.
Led by: The University of Melbourne
Partner institutions: Monash University, Deakin University, La Trobe University and Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.


Developing and testing indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific – empowering, evidence-based and effective

The research will develop a set of contextually specific indicators for inclusive education in the Pacific and guidelines for implementation. These will assist countries to evaluate their efforts and develop further plans and targets for providing quality education for children with disability. Trialling the indicators will occur in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and will include a process to validate a method for disaggregating education management information systems by disability. The project will build capacity in a large number of education and disability stakeholders for implementation of, and critical analysis of data arising from, the indicators.

Chief investigators

Grant

2013-2015 AusAID, through the Australian Development Research Award Scheme. With partner organisation: CBM-Nossal Institute Partnership for Disability Inclusive Development Pacific Disability Forum, $1,087,391


'Open for Learning': using open data tools and techniques to support student learning

Universities generate a mass of data related to student learning. This project will explore the extent to which providing open access to these data through digital technology allows students to reconfigure and re-use data in order to address real-world problems relating to their learning behaviours and learning decisions. The project will take a participatory design approach to:

  1. support small groups of students to build-their-own open data systems and practices; and
  2. evaluate how these open data tools and techniques are adopted and adapted by wider student communities.

The immediate outcome of the project will be a set of protocols that can be used by other institutions. More lastingly, the project will also develop realistic understandings of the opportunities and limitations of open data use within student cohorts.

Investigators

Grant

2013 Office for Learning and Teaching Seed Project (SP13-3344), $49,000
Funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching


'What works and why? Understanding successful technology enabled learning within institutional contexts'

This project will provide forward-looking and useful knowledge about digital technology products, processes and practices that can be realistically developed across the Australian university sector to enhance student learning and the student experience of higher education. Through an in-depth analysis of three Australian universities, this project will identify and evaluate successful uses of technology for student outcomes, and develop a realistic sense of the institutional 'ecology' which surrounds and supports that success. Project outcomes will inform the design and implementation of suitable and effective mainstream forms of technology-enhanced learning. The overall aim of the project is to inform systemic change in terms of technology use for learning and teaching. As such, the project will:

  • identify the key enabling elements of already successful forms of technology-enhanced learning;
  • identify possible barriers to replicating these existing models, and how these barriers can be overcome;
  • set out steps by which these interventions can be engineered into practical cost-efficient applications across the Australian university system.

Investigators

Grant

2013 Strategic Priority (Technology-enabled Learning) Project (SP13-3243), $220,000
Funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching


Understanding psychological barriers to widespread acceptance of mass timber construction in Australia

Mass Timber Construction (MTC) is a relatively new building technique for projects in the vicinity of 4 to 8 storeys. It has thus far been used for a small number of projects in Australia, including a 10-storey apartment complex in Melbourne. MTC technologies offer important benefits in terms of sustainability for the commercial and multi-residential construction sector, including improved utilisation of sawn log production, carbon sequestration, lower embodied energy consumption, and use of a renewable resource. However, the Australian construction industry is cautious.

The industry group Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is funding this project with the aim of better understanding the attitudes and beliefs amongst consumers and the construction industry regarding MTC use. Beyond the standard academic outcomes of a thesis and the publication of scholarly articles, the project will also produce easily digestible recommendations for various parts of the construction industry to make it easier for MTC projects to get off the ground. Accordingly, this project will have immediate real-world application with the potential for significant impact in Australia.

Investigators

  • Dr Mark Symmons
  • Paul Kremer (Education PhD Candidate)

Grant

2013-2015 Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA), $70,000


Optimising direct entry success: an online transition course for students beginning university at second year

Universities increasingly offer diploma graduates for VET institutions direct entry into the second year of a widening range of bachelor degrees. Those students often have significant life and/or industry experience and their diplomas have direct relevance to their bachelor degree. However, reports from lecturers and students themselves indicate that these students are often not optimally prepared for the transition. Many direct entrants struggle and their early assessment results are indicative of this. Universities offer first-year pathways and some have discipline-specific programs for direct entry to second year. Through national collaboration, the project team will construct, evaluate and disseminate an online course that aims to smooth the transition, reduce anxiety and position students to achieve optimum success from their university studies. The course will be appropriate for a wide range of entry students and a wide range of destination degrees.

Project led by Monash University.

Investigators:

  • Dr Mark Symmons
  • Dr Meredith McIntyre (MNHS)
  • Dr Ruth deSouza (MNHS)

Grant

2014-2015 Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development Project (ID14-3807) - $199,000.
Funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching
Partner institutions: Charles Darwin University and University of South Australia.


Employer-supported training: prevalence, enablers and barriers

Employer-supported vocational training (fully or partially paid by firms) accounts for the largest share of education and training of the adult workforce in all OECD countries. Organisations invest in the training of their employees because they believe it will improve their performance and productivity. This study will investigate the extent of such training in Australia. It will identify the factors that promote employer-supported training and the factors that are barriers to it from the employers and employees' perspectives. The project is a joint collaboration between CEET and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) and AgriFood Skills Australia will facilitate stakeholder consultations in their respective industries and provide any data pertinent to the research questions.

Project led by Monash University.

Investigators:

Grant

2014-2016 National VET Research Program – $118,998.
Funding for the project is provided through a grant from the National Vocational Education and Training Research Program (NVETR).