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August 2014

Carlos González and Karen Scott completed PhDs at CoCo in the topic area of conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching using elearning. Both were supervised by Prof Peter Goodyear and Dr Mary Jane Mahony; Carlos’ PhD was awarded in 2009 and Karen’s in 2013. Below is a list of their PhD student publications. They have been fortunate that there is sufficient interest in this topic area to have had papers published in high ranking journals in higher education, the learning sciences and elearning:

  • González, C. (2012). The relationship between approaches to teaching, approaches to e-teaching and perceptions of the teaching situation in relation to e-learning among higher education teachers Instructional Science, 40(6), 975-998.

  • González, C. (2011). Extending research on 'conceptions of teaching': commonalities and differences in recent investigations. Teaching in Higher Education. 16(1), 65 - 80. (ISI)

  • González, C. (2010). What do university teachers think eLearning is good for in their teaching? Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 61-78.

  • González, C. (2009). Conceptions of, and approaches to, teaching online: A study of lecturers teaching postgraduate distance courses. Higher Education, 57(3), 299-314.

  • Scott KM. (2014). Change in university teachers’ elearning beliefs and practices: A longitudinal study. Studies in Higher Education, ahead-of-print, 1-17.

  • Scott KM. (2014). Taking over someone else's elearning design: Challenges trigger change in elearning beliefs and practices. Research in Learning Technology, 22: 23362.

  • Scott KM. (2013). Does a university teacher need to change elearning beliefs and practices when using a social networking site? A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44, 4: 571-580.

MJ-Talk-IMG_0084.jpgProfessor Michael Jacobson will be giving two sets of talks as part of a trip to South America in in August and September 2014. He will first visit the Faculty of Education at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile to speak on his work related to learning science with virtual worlds and immersive learning environments.

He then travels to Brazil to present a talk at a four day international seminar Modeling complex systems for public policies. This seminar is being held in Brazilia, Brazil and is sponsored by the Institute for Applied Economic Research, which is an agency that supports public policy formation and development programs in Brazil.

Michael is a Professor and Chair of Education in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. He also is the Co-director of the Centre for Research on Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo) and Deputy Director, Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education. His research has focused on the design of learning technologies to foster deep conceptual understanding, conceptual change, and knowledge transfer in challenging conceptual domains. Most recently, his work has explored learning with immersive virtual environments and agent-based modeling and visualization tools, as well as cognitive and learning issues related to understanding new scientific perspectives emerging from the study of complex systems.

Join us on August 27 when Louise Sutherland presents “Representations in Science: insights using epistemic forms”.

Visual and graphical representations such as graphs, tables, photographs, diagrams, models and equations are intrinsic and integral part of scientific practices. These types of representation are also an inherent part of how science is taught at schools and universities. As such, there is a growing body of research examining the role and effectiveness of the use of representations on students’ learning. Using the conceptual framework of epistemic forms this seminar will suggest a way of categorising existing research. It will discuss how this categorisation can be used to enhance our understanding of the role of representations in science teaching and will offer possible directions for future research.

  • When: 11.00am - 12.30pm (come along at 10.45am for a coffee and chat)
  • Where: Education Building (A35), Room 230

MIT has released a report with recommendations and interesting reflections on the future of education there (blended learning, game-based, modularised, with learning communities, etc). While our context is clearly very different, I think this is worth paying attention to: (note: the pdf has almost 200 pages of appendix; the actual recommendations and discussion are under 30 pages)


Join us on August 13 when Dr Karen Scott presents “Using mobile devices for learning in the hospital setting: Student, physician and patient perspectives”.


In the past five years there has been a phenomenal growth in mobile health and the use of mobile health applications (apps) by health practitioners, patients and families. At the same time, there is growing interest in the use of mobile devices for learning, communication and time management in clinical settings: mobile devices have been found to improve learning and confidence by linking web-based information with the immediacy of clinical experiences. However, junior physicians and medical students often receive mixed signals about their use of mobile devices, with some senior physicians giving directives to use mobile devices and others prohibiting use. Many are concerned about the effect of mobile device use on ethics, patient privacy and data security. Our pilot research examined physicians’ and medical students’ use of mobile devices in clinical settings, as well as their attitudes about others’ use and the attitudes of patients and carers.


Are you an undergraduate student interested in nanotechnology, material science, chemistry, chemical engineering, or physics schools? Associate STL researcher Polly Lai is looking for students to participate a learning activity forming part of a research project to gain an understanding of learning outcomes in undergraduate studies in nanotechnology, material science, chemistry, chemical engineering, o physics programs.


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Research by the University's Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).