Dr John Willison

Dr John Willison

2016 | OLT National Senior Teaching Fellow

The University of Adelaide | Profile

Putting student research mindsets to work for a coherent higher education

Fellowship years: 2016 - 2017 (year due to complete)

Abstract: In collaboration, Dr Willison developed early versions of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework and colleagues in First Year Human Biology began to trial the RSD, followed by other courses in various contexts showing positive outcomes for students. This success inspired Dr Willison to lead two five-university ALTC Innovation and Development projects, one for course-level implementation of RSD (2007-2009) and the other for program-level implementation (2011-2013). These projects and new AQF 9 research requirements led to demand for RSD to inform coursework Masters programs and Dr Willison held a National Teaching Fellowship on this theme 2014-2015. As the use of the RSD escalates nationally and internationally, he is currently keen to bring the RSD ‘full-circle’ and begin to influence Faculties of Education through High Schools’ use of the RSD, as well as consolidate RSD use in undergraduate, Masters and PhD studies across all disciplines.

Fellowship discipline: Multidisciplinary

Realising research modes of learning for Masters by coursework using state-based clusters

Fellowship years: 2014 - 2015

Abstract: Universities in Australia and internationally are adopting research modes of learning to cognitively and socially engage students and to demonstrate how their research environments genuinely influence programs of study. For Masters by coursework, this pedagogical shift is accentuated by the research requirements of Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 (Masters) and the expected through-traffic to PhD studies. However, pedagogies that facilitate effective learning in research mode are currently underdeveloped at Masters level. This fellowship will facilitate the development of research pedagogies appropriate for Masters by coursework degree programs. Using the Research Skill Development framework as a language in common, the fellowship will foster collegial networks in four states that act as points of crystallisation and action for developing these pedagogies and draw widespread attention to the project. Such clusters and emerging research pedagogies will be of particular importance in enabling international students to satisfy the research requirements of Masters study and all students to develop appropriate cognitive skills for employment or PhD study.

Fellowship discipline: Learning and Professional Development