Profile image of Phillip Dawson

A/Prof. Phillip Dawson



Associate Director, Centre For Research In Assessment And Digital Learning (Cradle)


Cent Res Assess Digital Learn


Cent Res Assess Digital Learn


Deakin Downtown


Associate Professor Phillip (Phill) Dawson is Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning. Phill’s assessment research interests include feedback; digital threats to academic integrity; academics’ assessment design thinking; and learning analytics. He also has a research background in mentoring; peer learning and higher education pedagogy. His methodological expertise includes research synthesis; digital research methods; and case study research. This equips him to hack online exams; bring together vast bodies of research to answer practical questions; and work with educators and students to understand what works for them, and why.

A/Prof Dawson holds a PhD in Higher Education and a first-class honours degree in Computer Science. He also has over a decade of university teaching experience and he has been awarded multiple Vice-Chancellor’s awards and a citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Before joining Deakin in 2015, Phill was Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at Monash University. While at Monash he led the $220k Office for Learning and Teaching project Improving Assessment: Understanding Educational Decision-Making in Practice which produced a range of outputs for researchers and practitioners. He also led a $50k industry-funded learning analytics project that produced the Engagement Analytics plugin, which is used at the largest Moodle installations in the world.

Phill disseminates his work through scholarly journals and popular/social media. He has published in the top journals relevant to assessment and educational technology, as well as top generalist education journals. He has been interviewed by all major Australian newspapers, Radio National and Triple J. Phill maintains a strong presence on The Conversation, and his higher education YouTube channel receives more than 100 hours of viewing per month.

Phill's latest publications are available on Google Scholar

Read more on Phillip's profile

Knowledge areas

  • Assessment, particularly assessment for learning and sustainable assessment
  • Cheating and academic integrity
  • Learning and teaching in higher education
  • Educational technology
  • Mentoring and peer learning


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What makes for effective feedback: staff and student perspectives

P Dawson, M Henderson, P Mahoney, M Phillips, T Ryan, D Boud, E Molloy

(2019), Vol. 44, pp. 25-36, Assessment and evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Reframing assessment research: through a practice perspective

D Boud, P Dawson, M Bearman, S Bennett, G Joughin, E Molloy

(2018), Vol. 43, pp. 1107-1118, Studies in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Sharing successes and hiding failures: 'reporting bias' in learning and teaching research

P Dawson, S Dawson

(2018), Vol. 43, pp. 1405-1416, Studies in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Can markers detect contract cheating? Results from a pilot study

P Dawson, W Sutherland-Smith

(2018), Vol. 43, pp. 287-293, Assessment and evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Academics' perceptions of the benefits and challenges of self and peer assessment in higher education

C Adachi, J Tai, P Dawson

(2018), Vol. 43, pp. 294-306, Assessment & evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


A framework for designing, implementing, communicating and researching peer assessment

C Adachi, J Tai, P Dawson

(2018), Vol. 37, pp. 453-467, Higher education research and development, Abingdon, Eng., C1


A framework for developing and supporting student leadership in higher education

J Skalicky, K Warr Pedersen, J van der Meer, S Fuglsang, P Dawson, S Stewart

(2018), Studies in Higher Education, C1


Can training improve marker accuracy at detecting contract cheating?: A multi-disciplinary pre-post study

W Sutherland-Smith, Phillip Dawson

(2018), Assessment & evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Threats to student evaluative judgement and their management

G Joughin, D Boud, P Dawson

(2018), Higher Education Research and Development, C1


Assessment rubrics: towards clearer and more replicable design, research and practice

P Dawson

(2017), Vol. 42, pp. 347-360, Assessment and evaluation in higher education, C1


Competition, education and assessment: connecting history with recent scholarship

R Nelson, P Dawson

(2017), Vol. 42, pp. 304-315, Assessment and evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


How technology shapes assessment design: findings from a study of university teachers

S Bennett, P Dawson, M Bearman, E Molloy, D Boud

(2017), Vol. 48, pp. 672-682, British journal of educational technology, London, Eng., C1


How university teachers design assessments: a cross-disciplinary study

M Bearman, P Dawson, S Bennett, M Hall, E Molloy, D Boud, G Joughin

(2017), Vol. 74, pp. 49-64, Higher education, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1


Improving assessment tasks through addressing our unconscious limits to change

G Joughin, P Dawson, D Boud

(2017), Vol. 42, pp. 1221-1232, Assessment & evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


The development of a tailored, career-focused interactive online learning tool for physical activity and health students: a pilot study

M Teychenne, S Sahlqvist, D Teychenne, S Macfarlane, P Dawson, S Costigan

(2017), Vol. 8, pp. 60-74, Journal of teaching and learning for graduate employability, [Melbourne, Vic.], C1


How does technology enable scaling up assessment for learning?

Phillip Dawson, Michael Henderson

(2017), Vol. 5, pp. 209-222, Scaling up assessment for learning in higher education, Singapore, B1


Developing evaluative judgement: enabling students to make decisions about the quality of work

J Tai, R Ajjawi, D Boud, P Dawson, E Panadero

(2017), Vol. 76, pp. 467-481, Higher education, Cham, Switzerland, C1


Five ways to hack and cheat with bring-your-own-device electronic examinations

P Dawson

(2016), Vol. 47, pp. 592-600, British journal of educational technology, Chichester, Eng., C1-1


Support for assessment practice: developing the assessment design decisions framework

M Bearman, P Dawson, D Boud, S Bennett, M Hall, E Molloy

(2016), Vol. 21, pp. 545-556, Teaching in higher education, London, Eng., C1


Knowledge acquisition for learning analytics: comparing teacher-derived, algorithm-derived, and hybrid models in the moodle engagement analytics plugin

D Liu, D Richards, P Dawson, J Froissard, A Atif

(2016), Vol. 9806, pp. 183-197, Knowledge Management and Acquisition for Intelligent Systems : 14th Pacific Rim Knowledge Acquisition Workshop, PKAW 2016 Phuket, Thailand, August 22?23, 2016 Proceedings, Phuket, Thailand, E1


Enabler or inhibitor? Educational technology in self and peer assessment

C Adachi, J Tai, P Dawson

(2016), pp. 11-16, ASCILITE 2016 : Show Me The Learning : Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference of Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education, Adelaide, South Australia, E1


Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom : definition, rationale and a call for research

L Abeysekera, P Dawson

(2015), Vol. 34, pp. 1-14, Higher education research & development, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Beyond a definition: toward a framework for designing and specifying mentoring models

P Dawson

(2014), Vol. 43, pp. 137-145, Educational researcher, London, Eng., C1-1


Our anonymous online research participants are not always anonymous: Is this a problem?

Phillip Dawson

(2014), Vol. 45, pp. 428-437, British journal of educational technology, London, Eng., C1-1


On the effectiveness of supplemental instruction: a systematic review of supplemental instruction and peer-assisted study sessions literature between 2001 and 2010

P Dawson, J van der Meer, J Skalicky, K Cowley

(2014), Vol. 84, pp. 609-639, Review of educational research, London, Eng., C1-1


A contribution to the history of assessment: how a conversation simulator redeems Socratic method

R Nelson, P Dawson

(2014), Vol. 39, pp. 195-204, Assessment & evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Exploring tablet PC lectures: lecturer experiences and student perceptions in biomedicine

J Choate, G Kotsanas, P Dawson

(2014), Vol. 30, pp. 167-183, Australasian journal of educational technology, Perth, W.A., C1-1


Conversational reading: History and context for a new genre of virtual learning

R Nelson, P Dawson

(2014), Vol. 6, pp. 374-387, Digital culture & education, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1


The new higher education reality: what is an appropriate model to address the widening participation agenda?

P Dawson, K Charman, S Kilpatrick

(2013), Vol. 32, pp. 706-1721, Higher education research and development, Abingdon, England, C1


Qualitative synthesis and systematic review in health professions education

Margaret Bearman, Phillip Dawson

(2013), Vol. 47, pp. 252-260, Medical education, London, Eng., C1-1


Assessment might dictate the curriculum, but what dictates assessment?

Phillip Dawson, Margaret Bearman, David Boud, Matt Hall, Elizabeth Molloy, Sue Bennett, Gordon Joughin

(2013), Vol. 1, pp. 107-111, Teaching & learning inquiry, Bloomington, In., C1-1


Networked interactive whiteboards : rationale, affordances and new pedagogies for regional Australian higher education

P Dawson

(2010), Vol. 26, pp. 523-533, Australasian journal of educational technology, Figtree, N.S.W., C1


Supporting first year student supporters : an online mentoring model for supplemental instruction leaders

P Dawson, L Lockyer, B Ferry

(2007), pp. 1-10, Engage, regenerate, experiment : 10th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference, 4-6 July 2007, QUT Gardens Point (city) Campus, Brisbane, Australia : conference proceedings, Brisbane, Queensland, E1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Feedback for learning: closing the assessment loop.

Dr Michael Henderson, Prof David Boud, A/Prof Elizabeth Molloy, A/Prof Phillip Dawson, Dr Michael Phillips

OLT Innovation and Development Grants - Office for Learning and Teaching

  • 2018: $5,475
  • 2017: $78,024

Industry and Other Funding

Improving contract cheating detection by markers and algorithms ¿ Data Collection Phase

A/Prof Phillip Dawson, A/Prof Wendy Sutherland-Smith

  • 2017: $10,000


No completed student supervisions to report