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Senior research assistant - Curriculum measurement and evaluation framework (closes 27 Sep)

HEO Level 7, casual, $59.96/hour
2-3 days per week, hours are flexible
Working under the supervision of Dr Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick, Head Quality and Analytics in the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Portfolio
Based within the Education Portfolio space on Level 2 of Fisher Library

The position is related to a project funded by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), ‘Cultural Competence: A Measurement and Evaluation Framework’. The aim of the project is to develop a framework and preferred approach for tracking the success of efforts to embed cultural competence in the University’s curriculum. The two key pieces of work are to produce a framework document, and to collect baseline data for a range of proposed measures.

Cultural competence is one of several graduate qualities outlined in the new Sydney curriculum, details of which are available in the University’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan: http://sydney.edu.au/about-us/vision-and-values/strategy.html. The framework for evaluating the embedding of cultural competence into curriculum will need to be adaptable to other graduate qualities. Closing date: Tuesday 27 September 2016.

Job criteria:
- Take a scholarly and evidence-based approach to evaluation, with knowledge of a range of approaches, frameworks, or forms of evaluation
- Work within a particular evaluation framework to collaboratively design or select measurement tools for curriculum evaluation
- Comfortable to access research literature from a range of relevant disciplines, and to use and present this information in a variety of ways
- Experience in collecting, analysing, and reporting both quantitative and qualitative data
- Analytical writing skills:
: Ability to write in an academic style
: Write clear and accurate evaluation reports for a variety of audiences
: Write short briefing papers for managers and committees, and provide recommendations
- Confident to consult with a range of stakeholders to aide effective evaluation design
- Experience liaising with both academic staff and professional staff, and a demonstrated level of tact and discretion in dealing with stakeholders at all levels of an organisation
- Ability to manage multiple tasks, priortise effectively, meet deadlines, and produce required outcomes
- Strong problem solving skills and the ability to use initiative and exercise sound judgement with attention to detail

Contact kathryn.aufflick@sydney.edu.au or 9351 4955.
To apply: Please send an email to Brooke Fuz addressing how your experience and skills align with the criteria and duties, and attach your CV and up to three examples of your written work.

Empathic Agents to Support Understanding Science Understanding in a Virtual Learning Environment

Research has found that learner relationships (teacher and peer) involving computer-based learning are similar to the equivalent human-human learning relationships in the classroom. Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA) research over the past decade has focused on the creation of characters that are socially capable requiring IVAs to have good verbal and non-verbal communication skills including congruent language, facial expressions and body gestures. More recently, there is strong interest in affective agents who are able to express emotions. The work on empathetic or empathic agents goes even further as the IVA seeks to demonstrate understanding of the emotional state of the human and respond in a way that is supportive. This work has been found to deliver improved interactions. Despite growing interest in affective and empathetic agents to create intelligent agents that are more believable and socially capable, their use in education is emerging. This project will involve the design, development and evaluation of the use of empathetic agents in a multi-user virtual environment to support basic self-regulated learning strategies. The project is likely to incorporate the use of data/learning analytics to inform the IVA about the human’s learning progress to provide personalised support to the learner.

The project is part of larger and ongoing ARC-funded Discovery grant "Agent-based virtual learning environments for understanding science", and it involves a collaboration between Macquarie University and the University of Sydney.

Contact Prof. Deborah Richards at deborah.richards@mq.edu.au or (02) 98509567 for more information. For more information and to see the entry criteria, go to http://www.mq.edu.au/research/phd-and-research-degrees/scholarships/scholarships-for-domestic-candidates and expand the link at "Faculty of Science and Engineering".

The 2016 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $26,288 pa (2016 rate) tax exempt for 3 years. The scholarship is intended for domestic students but international students can apply but, if successful, will need to pay their own tuition fees. Applicants would be expected to have a record of excellent academic performance, especially in the research Masters degree, and additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes. Applicants will need to complete a candidature/scholarship application form and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. Please quote the allocation number (2015113) on your application.

Are you interested in educational innovation, and in collaborating with others on research and development that can improve learning opportunities for everyone? Our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are looking for interested researchers.

Neuroscience and Education SIG
Neuroscience is impacting educational research and practice and many leading educational societies in America and Europe have similar SIGs. In Australia this integration of neuroscience into the study of learning and educational practice is still in embryonic form and there is an urgent need to take this research agenda forward. Here at the University of Sydney, all Faculty of Education and Social Work undergraduates in the last 6 years have been introduced to neuroscience. This SIG was formed in 2014 and is coordinated by Dr. Minkang Kim (returns from leave in mid-September).

Learning Analytics Research Group (LARG)
Technology is offering additional data about how students interact and learn, and Learning Analytics is considered an emerging discipline with consolidated conferences and journals. This multidisciplinary field combining education, psychology, technology has the potential to substantially improve of the overall student experience. This SIG was formed in 2015 in partnership with DVC Education. It is co-directed by Dr. Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick and Dr Abelardo Pardo, for more information see the website at http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/analytics/solar.htm or join the mailing list.

Interdisciplinary knowledge, learning and innovation
This SIG is for anyone interested in understanding and improving translational/boundary work. It will create possibilities for practitioners and researchers who are interested in interdisciplinary and inter-professional expertise, teaching and learning, across individual and team expertise; in research, professional and learning contexts. Coordinated by A/Prof. Lina Markauskaite, for more information see the Interdisciplinary Learning Group on Yammer.

New Learning Spaces - SIG under creation, first call below.
New technologies, new working arrangements and new ways of understanding knowledge and knowing are raising complex questions about relationships between the designed environment and learning. Actionable insights are in short supply. Yet the need for guidance about how to design, manage and use innovative learning spaces is becoming more intense. At CRLI we are well placed to initiate conversations about the challenges these changes bring, and we are pleased to announce the launch of a new SIG dedicated to researching Innovative Learning Spaces. Membership of the SIG is open to all members of the CRLI who have a serious interest in new learning spaces. To find out more, please email pippa.yeoman@sydney.edu.au

CRLI links
:: CRLI website
:: CRLI on YouTube - Who are CRLI and what do we do?
:: Chat with us - We have a Twitter account - @CRLI_Usyd and Yammer group
:: For August's news, see our newsletter

We are currently seeking two Postgraduate Fellows to join our growing team at the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).

  • Complete your PhD in a thriving new research centre
  • Gain valuable research experience and help develop ground-breaking innovations in higher education alongside internationally-renowned colleagues
  • Part-time (0.5FTE), fixed term for 3 years, remuneration package $41K (which includes salary, leave loading and up to 17% superannuation)

Postgraduate Fellows will need to enrol for a full-time PhD on a topic within the centre’s field of study. The positions are part-time (0.5FTE, Level A, Step 1) for three years from commencement, working 18.75 hours a week on a range of CRLI projects, supervised by a senior member of CRLI and with opportunities to work in, and publish with, a team of experienced and early-career researchers. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain a PhD and to develop your research skills and research profile as a valued member of one of Australia’s leading research centres. Together, we will move research on learning and innovation forward, and help invent the future of learning.

For more information see Postgraduate Fellows Ref 1174/0716 on the University recruitment site at http://sydney.nga.net.au/

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The integration of authentic work-based activities and technology-mediated learning can provide important opportunities to bridge education and work contexts and build students’ digital capacities, online professional identities and technology-mediated work practices. However, Workplace learning (WPL) and technology-mediated learning do not always intersect in practice.

The OLT project “Enhancing workplace learning through mobile technology” is developing a set of resources to help students make the most of their WPL experience using mobile technology. As a part of this, the project team has developed a resource "The GPS for WPL" and a set of initial design patterns to help academics and workplace educators/supervisors to create learning experiences that enhance students’ capacities to use personal mobile devices productively for workplace learning.

The project team is now seeking for feedback on how these initial resources and patterns can be improved, and invites all academics, workplace educators, learning designers and students to review these initial resources and patterns, and provide their suggestions. To give your feedback, please review one or all of the following resources and follow the prompts after clicking on “Give us Feedback” icon located at the top and bottom of each resource.


  • The GPS for WPL: An online resource for students to help them navigate the WPL landscape using mobile technology.
  • Initiating Dialogue: A pattern to help design resources or structured discussions that lead to clarifying expectations, pedagogical use and generally a shared understanding about the use of mobile technology on placement.
  • Planning Learning Experiences: A pattern to help design resources or activities to prepare students’ for their WPL experiences.
  • Networking Activities: A pattern to help design resources or activities that support live collaboration and interactions between students, academics, workplace educators or supervisors.
  • Creating Your Own ‘On-The-Go’ Activities: A pattern to help design resources that allow students to construct participatory and self-directed WPL learning activities.
  • Professional and Safe Conduct: A pattern to help design resources or activities to determine ways of developing and maintaining professional and safe conduct for students’ use of mobile technology while on placement.

More information can be found in the information sheet (for academics, for WPE or for students). If you have any questions or would like to take part in a focus group or be interviewed, please email Dr Celina McEwen.

Note: The resources were developed as part of a two-year research project funded by the Commonwealth Government Office for Learning and Teaching, conducted by Franziska Trede (Charles Sturt University), Peter Goodyear (The University of Sydney), Susie Macfarlane (Deakin University), Lina Markauskaite (The University of Sydney), Freny Tayebjee (Western Sydney University), Patricia Parish (Western Sydney University) and Celina McEwen (Charles Sturt University).

STLinvitesml.jpgAre you an educational innovator? Serious about research on learning? Interested in new research collaborations? Then consider joining the University of Sydney’s Sciences & Technologies of Learning research network (STL). Our mission is to pioneer research in learning technology and the learning sciences in order to discover how new technologies and innovative pedagogical approaches can enhance learning and its outcomes.

Membership is open to academic staff and research students of the University. We're primarily of interest to people researching in learning technology & the learning sciences (broadly defined), but also to people who are engaged in innovative uses of new technologies and want to be able to research/evaluate what they are doing and write about it for good journals.

With new research collaborations underway, our regular seminars running twice most weeks in term and four large events planned in the next few months, this is a good time to get involved with STL. Our current members come from diverse areas (education, IT, science, electrical and information engineering, medicine, health sciences, to name a few) and we are always interested in new connections and disciplines.

To find out more, please visit http://bit.ly/joinSTL.

Are you a scholar, staff member or student involved in the learning sciences and technologies? The Network of Academic Programs in the Learning Sciences (NAPLES) would like to hear from you. The NAPLES network was founded in 2012 in Sydney by members of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS) and has 19 universities with more than 31 programs as initial members, including the CoCo Centre's Masters of the Learning Sciences and Technology (MLS&T) and PhD programs.

As a part of creating and expanding the network, NAPLES would like to invite staff and students involved in the Learning Sciences to become involved. If you wish to find out more abut NAPLES, please add your name and details to one of the lists before 15 June 2013.

  • Staff and scholars - What NAPLES hopes to offer includes: the exchange of ideas in teaching and research; access to a resource collection of texts, videos and learning activities for the design of introductory courses for scholars and students in the Learning Sciences; and support for applications for funding of joint projects in the Learning Sciences. NAPLES staff list
  • Students - What NAPLES will offer for students includes: building up an international network; benefiting from specific expertises in other programs; visiting scholarships abroad; and international supervision of doctoral research. To get involved, add your name to the NAPLES student list

Participation is free - for more information see the NAPLES web pages at http://naples.isls.org.

The University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme is open for applications until 31 May 2013.

These Fellowships allow outstanding researchers within 1-6 years of the award of their PhD to undertake research in any School at the University of Sydney. Applicants must have an outstanding track record relative to opportunity in order to be short-listed and the scheme attracts highly talented researchers from around the world.

If you work in the field of learning technology/learning sciences we’d be pleased to hear from you. The deadline for applications is Friday 31st May 2013 but you're strongly advised to contact one of the Sydney STL team as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline.

More information on the scheme can be found here (offsite).

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Are you planning to revise an existing course, create a new unit of study, or (re)design a learning space? Will you work on this collaboratively in a team? If so, we invite you to consider using our state-of-the-art design space in the Education Building (A35).

The Educational Design Research Studio (EDRS) is equipped to support small teams (2-10 people) working on existing or new course development projects. The EDRS offers multiple projectors, interactive whiteboards, and plenty of space on the whiteboard walls to develop your ideas. There are audio, still image and videorecording facilities, so that you can take away a record of your work. Your team can use the EDRS just once, or as many times as needed to develop your project. Potential users might include academics (from any discipline), instructional designers, eLearning specialists, etc.

The EDRS has been created as an educational design research facility. You can use the space at no cost and without any obligation to be involved in our research. If, after viewing the space, you think you’d like to help with our research program, we would be happy to discuss opportunities with you.

In the first instance, please contact Dr. Beat Schwendimann [beat.schwendimann@sydney.edu.au].

The University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme is open for applications until 31 May 2013.

These Fellowships allow outstanding researchers within 1-6 years of the award of their PhD to undertake research in any School at the University of Sydney. Applicants must have an outstanding track record relative to opportunity in order to be short-listed and the scheme attracts highly talented researchers from around the world.

If you work in the field of learning technology/learning sciences we’d be pleased to hear from you. The deadline for applications is Friday 31st May 2013 but you're strongly advised to contact one of the Sydney STL team as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline.

More information on the scheme can be found here (offsite).

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