I currently hold the position of Senior Lecturer in Higher Education: First Year Undergraduate Teaching Adviser, a role that provides me with the opportunity to draw on my knowledge and experience to lead initiatives with as well as support staff who work with first year students. I have worked in higher education for over 20 years in both Australia and England, as a lecturer and in libraries (in a range of different roles). I have also tutored and worked as a research assistant on various projects which explored: support for first year students; preparing academics to teach in universities and redeveloping curriculum. I am committed to ensuring university teaching provides students from a diverse range of backgrounds with opportunities to succeed, my current role builds on this commitment.
In May 2011 my doctoral thesis titled "The knowledge economy goes to work: a critical analysis of policy and practice in Australian Technology Network universities and their libraries" was conferred by UniSA. The thesis utilises aspects of critical discourse analysis to explore policy and practice in higher education.
2002 - 2011 University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, Doctor of Education
2001 University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Graduate Certificate in Adult Education in Training
2001 University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training
1996 - 1997 Thames Valley University, London, UK, Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Research Methods
1991 - 1993 University of North London, London, UK, Postgraduate Diploma in Information Studies
1985 - 1988 James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, Australia, Bachelor of Arts (History/Politics Major)
2015 Co-lead on OLT Seed Grant “Helping first-year students flourish through languages: Integrating positive psychology, transition pedagogy and CLIL principles” (with Dr Antonella Strambi from Italian Studies and colleagues from the University of Sydney)
2015 Reference Group member OLT Seed Grant “The power of things: enhancing employability in higher education through object-based learning” led through the Flinders University Art Museum
2014 Won Internal ETII: Educational Technology Innovation Incubator grant (with Kelly Marshall from the Centre for Educational ICT, to explore the use of Learning Analytics in learning and teaching contexts
2013 Awarded OLT extension grant for project initiated in 2009, titled "A collaborative multi-faceted approach to address the gaps between student expectation and experience at university" (Lead), for more information visit: First Year Student Expectations and Experiences
2013 Winner OLT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning with Heather Smigiel for Flinders Academic Internship Program
2009 Project team member on OLT competitive grant on "A collaborative multi-faceted approach to address the gaps between student expectation and experience at university"
My current responsibilities include:
I am also active in research in higher education particularly in relation to the first year and higher education policy issues.
I have a particular interest in matters related to: teaching and learning issues, perceptions about higher education, first year students and widening participation.
HERDSA member since 2008, Secretary of South Australian group from 2013 - 2018 and involved in the committee organising the HERDSA 2018 conference held in Adelaide.
Based on the previous success of my SIG, in 2017 and 2018 I was invited to develop a network group for the STARS conference. As a result the Sharing Ideas, Resources and Experiences Network (SIREN) was established. The first meeting attracted over 50 participants with many continuing as part of an online community.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016 I ran a Special Interest Group, titled "Implementing First Year Ideas and Resources In Practice SIG" at the First Year in Higher Education Conference and STARS conferences.
I have been a researcher and/or lead on a number of funded research projects in areas covering preparing academics to teach, first year student expectations and experiences, first in family students, flourishing in a second language and learning analytics. I am responsible for co-facilitating two communities of practice. One is related to teaching and supporting first year students and the other to learning analytics. Most recently I have worked on the development of a First Year Support Strategies portal housed in the Flinders LMS (FLO) and accessible to all. The site provides a range of resources related to teaching first year students as well as examples on their potential use. My teaching and research interests are closely aligned to my passion for supporting academic staff interested in ensuring students from diverse backgrounds succeed at university.