Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education

Inaugural ASCILITE Spring into Excellence Research School

The inaugural ASCILITE Spring into Excellence Research School was launched by Associate Professor Dominique Parrish on Tuesday 26 September at the University of Wollongong and continued through to Thursday 28 September 2017. Twenty six participants from 10 institutions participated in the school.

The Research School began with a welcome to country by Jade Kennedy who provided a warm welcome. This was followed by a Yarning Circle that enabled participants and facilitators to get to know each other – who they were, where they came from and why there were at the Research School.

Group photo of participants in the inaugural ASCILITE Research School.

We then jumped right into business with Professor Barney Dalgarno presenting “hot” topics in technology enhanced learning (TEL) research. Participants were given the opportunity to commence development of their own research, including research aims, objectives and research questions that they wanted to explore. There were groups of participants exploring similar areas, as well as individuals exploring areas unique to their institution.

Day 2 commenced with Associate Professor Rob Philips discussing how to evaluate a research study and the requirements for creating one. Participants were introduced to various TEL research methodologies and methods as well as research terminology used across various types of research designs.

Participants were also introduced to a range of approaches for collecting data and methods that could be used – qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods and how they may go about analysing the data once collected. Participants then had the opportunity to identify and refine data collection strategies for their own research and think about some of the common research theories that are used in TEL.

Associate Professor Sue Gregory presented an overview of ethics requirements, bearing in mind that all universities have different requirements. Participants were also presented with suggestions on where research funding might be obtained and prospects for funding currently available. They were encouraged to seek institutional and internal grants before moving to the external national/international funding bodies. Budgets were only briefly discussed, as it was noted that each funding body would have different requirements.

Mr Kenton Bell then presented information on creating an academic profile through ORCID, Academia and ResearchGate. He discussed H indexes and provided some suggestions on how individuals could make themselves more ‘discoverable’ and thereby elevate their esteem. Participants then had the opportunity to create/develop their own ORCID account.

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Above: A selection of photos from the school.

Professor Margaret Lloyd completed the activities on the final day by outlining how to disseminate research findings. Participants were given insights on how to write successfully so that their article would have a strong chance of being published. She discussed requirements for outstanding papers through the comparative lens of three very diverse articles and how they were written. Participants also learned where to publish and why.

Finally, Associate Professor Dominique Parrish concluded the Research School with a “where to from here”. Watch this space to find out the next steps for the participants from this Research School and subsequent Research Schools being conducted in the future.

Throughout the Research School, both participants and facilitators had the opportunity to network over lunch as well as morning and afternoon teas. Dinner was also arranged for both evenings. Thanks to Dr Chris Campbell and Associate Professor Dominique Parrish for organising amazing meals, snacks and restaurant choices.

“As an ECR who has more experience in clinical trials and RCTs, I found the research school program very useful for designing a teaching and learning research. It was well designed and well delivered. I felt complete and confident about what I was planning to do in my teaching and learning projects. Networking, mentoring and facilitating the teams were the key complementary elements to the high standard  presentations. I  strongly suggest other academics who are interested in LIT  to attend the research school program.”  – S. Meedya, UOW

Presenters and Facilitators

  • Mr Jade Kennedy
  • Professor Barney Dalgarno
  • Associate Professor Rob Philips
  • Associate Professor Sue Gregory
  • Mr Kenton Bell
  • Professor Margaret Lloyd
  • Associate Professor Dominique Parrish
  • Dr Chris Campbell

Organising Committee

  • Associate Professor Dominique Parrish
  • Dr Chris Campbell
  • Associate Professor Helen Farley
  • Associate Professor Rob Philips
  • Associate Professor Sue Gregory
Institutional Members