Seminars and events

CRADLE hosts a series of seminars that bridge research and practice. Featuring local and international guest speakers, the informative and collaborative seminars are held via video conference across all campuses, Deakin Downtown in Melbourne's CBD and the Burwood Corporate Centre.

Previous CRADLE seminars

'Am I just another number?' Personalising large class teaching: A case study

15 November 2016
Dr Jaclyn Broadbent
CRADLE Research Fellow

With the massification of higher education it's easy for students to feel like a number, especially in a subject with large enrolments. Dr Broadbent presented a case study of a large class (2100 students annually), and discussed how problems of scale were overcome and engagement increased.

She discussed a number of solutions from her case study, including:

  • Automated emails and SMS, based on learning analytics, to connect with students based on their grades, login activity, assessment submission and completion.
  • Improving the quality and students’ satisfaction with feedback, using audio feedback and feedforward strategies.
  • Giving ‘just-enough, just-in-time, just-for-me’ support using a Live Chat widget within the unit’s Learning Management System site.

Dr Broadbent also presented data on increased retention (e.g. 98%), high student satisfaction with teaching within the subject (e.g. 95-98% satisfied), and high student satisfaction with feedback received (e.g. 93-99% satisfied).

Dr Broadbent specialises in large class teaching, annually teaching more than 2000 students at Deakin University. She is a senior lecturer in Health Psychology, a CRADLE Research Fellow, and a leading educator for learning management platform Desire2Learn. Dr Broadbent is passionate about delivering high-quality, challenging and supportive learning experiences for students. She has won a number of awards, including an Australian national learning and teaching citation for outstanding contribution to student learning, a D2L Teaching Impact Award, and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Deakin University Teacher of the Year.

Rubrics: Are They Evil? Empirical-Based Reflections

10 October 2016
Dr Ernesto Panadero
CRADLE Honorary Professor and Visiting Academic 

In his seminar, Dr Panadero discussed the current state of research into rubrics, which are acknowledged to be one of the hottest topics in educational assessment, and raised a number of questions for consideration: what are the known effects of rubrics? what is positive about them – if anything? what are their flaws? and what are their main misuses? Discussing the divided state of opinions within the literature, Dr Panadero observed that while the majority of evidence around rubrics’ potential effect on student learning has grown steadily, so too have ‘behind the curtain’ critiques on their use and implementation. It was noted that only a small number of critiques are exceptions to this rule, based instead in good-quality research. This discussion led Dr Panadero to his final, provocative question with which to leave his audience: are rubrics as evil as some people depict?

Dr Panadero is a CRADLE Honorary Professor and is currently undertaking an academic visitation with the centre. He is funded at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid under the Ramón y Cajal Excellence Program for Research, and has an excellent publication record in respected English-language journals. His research interests include assessment for learning, self-assessment, peer assessment, and self-regulated and socially shared regulated learning.

Peer Assisted Learning: Opportunities and Benefits for Clinical Medical Education

9 August 2016
Dr Joanna Tai
CRADLE Research Fellow

This seminar provided an overview of the literature relating to peer-assisted learning and evaluative judgement, presented Dr Tai’s doctoral research findings on peer learning in clinical medical education, and suggested strategies and techniques to develop both peer-assisted learning and evaluative judgement capacity.

Involving peers in learning has been shown to be useful in creating supportive learning environments and assisting students in better understanding concepts, as ‘to teach is to learn twice’. Dr Tai discussed the ethnographic component of her doctoral research, which enabled her to investigate in depth how and what types of successful peer-assisted learning occurred during undergraduate medical students’ clinical placements.
Dr Tai also reported on the findings of her research, in particular the role of peers in developing students’ evaluative judgement during their clinical placements. She found that, rather than simply providing moral support to one another, students observed each other and gave each other feedback. Through this process, students were able to comprehend a range of performance standards and practice making judgement of performance in relation to standards. Students report this to be a key aspect of learning with and from their peers.

Dr Tai completed her PhD, ‘Peer assisted learning in clinical medical education: a mixed methods study’, in 2015 at Health Professions Education and Educational Research (HealthPEER) at Monash University. She has published peer-reviewed papers on a range of health professions education topics, and has presented at both national and international conferences. Her research interests include peer-assisted learning, developing the capacity for evaluative judgement, student perspectives on learning, and research synthesis.

Improving assessment literacy and self-regulation through feedback dialogue

22 June 2016
Dr Rola Ajjawi
CRADLE Senior Research Fellow 

In this seminar, Dr Ajjawi emphasised that the primary purpose of feedback should be to promote students’ self-regulation of learning (SRL), and presented on the development and implementation of the interACT process. InterACT was developed to promote assessment literacy and SRL in a medical education program, with the researchers considering how the interACT process influenced the development of assessment literacy across the program for students and staff.

Dr Ajjawi addressed several issues which informed the development of interACT, including the underlying assumptions which accompany conceptions of effective feedback. Effective feedback was identified as: promoting SRL in order to afford opportunities for feedback to be used in future assignments; dialogic in nature; encouraging self-evaluation and monitoring of own work and seeking of feedback; and developing students’ evaluative judgement. Implicit in these pedagogical principles is the understanding that students need adequate assessment and feedback literacy in order to seek, judge and use feedback effectively. InterACT was developed in response to these principles and to promote assessment literacy and SRL amongst students – and staff – in a medical education program. 

Dr Ajjawi also presented on the pedagogical rationale for interACT, discussed the implementation process and its challenges, and highlighted research findings.

Dr Ajjawi is Senior Research Fellow at CRADLE. She has over a decade of experience in health professions education and research, attracting over $850,000 in research funding, and has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books. Dr Ajjawi is also Deputy Editor of the journal Medical Education.

Designing assessment: Hidden enemies and how to overcome them

12 April 2016
Dr Gordon Joughin
CRADLE Honorary Professor

In his seminar, Dr Joughin discussed research into decision-making and unconscious psychological factors that impede good decisions when planning assessment tasks. He emphasised that in designing assessments, as in many things in life, our decisions are often influenced by factors we are not aware of but which nevertheless can have a profound impact on our conclusions. For instance, the strong pull of the status quo is one such factor. The seminar detailed some of the more critical factors that usually go unnoticed in decision-making, how to recognise them, and how to deal with them when we make decisions about assessment tasks.

Dr Joughin is a higher education consultant working with CRADLE on decision-making in assessment. He is a former Director of the Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI) at the University of Queensland and has published extensively on assessment and learning in higher education, including editing Assessment, Learning and Judgement (Springer, 2009). His current research considers decision-making theory in assessment design and the nature of the spoken work in oral assessment.

2015 Seminars

'Scarily personal: assessment feedback via video, audio, and screencast technologies'
Dr Michael Henderson, Learning with New Media Research Group, Faculty of Education, Monash University, 27 May 2015.

'Analysing exemplars to support students' understandings of assessment'
Professor David Carless, Professor of Educational Assessment and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, 17 September 2015.

To browse all CRADLE news, seminars and events please visit our blog.