Staff profile

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Aprof Richard Tucker

Position: Associate Professor
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Science Engineering & Built Environment
Department: School of Architecture and Built Environment
Campus: Geelong Waterfront Campus
Phone: +61 3 52278308 +61 3 52278308


Teaching Interests

Academic Career Synopsis: Through sustained evidence-based innovation and research, Richard has become an internationally recognised specialist (with approaching 50 publications) in the pedagogy of architectural design and related contexts; an area of education previously largely neglected by researchers. His work has involved substantial competitive grant-funded projects (ten investigations, funded for over $1 million) including six as project leader) that have enhanced learning satisfaction and outcomes for his students. For five years he has been in Teaching & Learning and then Research leadership roles in the school, a period that has coincided with dramatic improvements in school-wide SET scores and research outputs. His acknowledged teaching excellence lies in the area of innovation through research in the areas of: teamwork, multidisciplinary collaboration, assessment, studio-based problem-based learning, flexible delivery, environmental and ‘sustainable’ design, Work Integrated Learning (WiL) and universal design. Richard’s research has led to improvements in teamwork learning across the University, improvements in this area in other higher education institutions, and has been recognised through a Carrick citation and the WJC Banks Award as the most outstanding teacher at Deakin University in 2007. Richard was responsible for implementing a new model of WiL in his school, and also designed Self-and-Peer-Assessment software that has been used across faculties and other institutions.

In 2011, Richard became only the second teacher in the discipline of Architecture to be awarded the prestigious Australian Learning and Teaching Council Award for Teaching Excellence.

Subjects and units currently teaching

Richard teaches design from 2nd year to fifth year, with a focus on sustainable design and the learning of teamwork skills.

He also teaching Building Environmental Studies, which focuses on passive solar design.

Expertise summary

Teamwork, multidisciplinary collaboration, assessment, studio-based problem-based learning, flexible delivery, ESD, Work Integrated Learning (WiL) and universal design. Research design, and quantitative analysis.

Student supervision

Richard is currently principle supervisor of three PhD studies.

1. Parisa Izadpanahi – “The Role of Children's Participation in Creating Effective Learning Environment”

2. Bahareh Motamed – “An inquiry into colour space and and architectural choices”

3. Zainab Ibrahim Abass     - “Social sustainability through social interaction: the design of Australia’s suburbs.”

Related Links


Awards and prizes

2011 ALTC Teaching Excellence Award

2010 Deakin Commendation for Teaching Excellence
2010 F E Crowle Hansen and Yunken Australian Institute of Building Award for Excellence in Teaching – the top award for teachers in the Construction Management discipline.

2009 Deakin University Teaching Award

2007 Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
2007 Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence
2007 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching
2007 WJC Banks Award for Distinguished Contributions To Teaching and Learning - the Banks Award is the Deakin University Teacher of the Year.


Research interests

My approach towards higher education research is one guided by a firm belief in the efficacy of collaboration.  In an extremely competitive funding climate, which sees, for instance, the chance of ARC Discovery grant success at around 1 in 700 for researchers in the Built Environment Disciplines, there is a compelling need for the proposition of transdisciplinary outcomes using the interdisciplinary knowledge and methods of multidisciplinary research expertise. Thus, I have authored and formed research teams around assessment and teaching innovation with over 40 colleagues from seven academic institutions and a dozen industry partners. I have led numerous cross-faculty research projects on assessment practices with colleagues from the faculties of health, Arts and Education, and Business and Law. And in my roles as Associate Head of School (Research) and AHOS (Teaching & Learning) I have helped encourage and support interdisciplinary teaching and research approaches in a school that had become restricted by the boundaries of interdisciplinary silos. A passion for collaboration has not just informed whom I have worked with, but also what the focus of this work has been. For instance, my teaching and research has coalesced in the leadership of a recently completed Category 1 funded multi-institutional project on Teaching and Assessing Teamwork in the Design Disciplines. Effective assessment and learning in teamwork contexts has thus become the key aim of my teaching, informing a expertise increasingly relevant and valuable in a higher education environment where group learning is the almost ubiquitous result of ever growing cohorts.

I have been at the forefront of assessment research and innovation in my discipline area for approaching ten of years. This work has spanned a number of roles in projects that have had institutional and national influence: from the development of an on-line self-and-peer-assessment tool that is used to evaluate individual contributions to teamwork (SAPCA); to the ALTC funded project “Assessing Creativity: Strategies & Tools to support Teaching and Learning in Architecture & Design,” for which I was one of three principal investigators and the author of two chapters of the resulting book, to the recently completed OLT funded Innovation & Development project Enhancing and assessing group and team learning in architecture and related design contexts. I was project leader for this project, which has made recommendations for sector-wide changes to the assessment of teamwork in design learning. I am about to submit a further OLT application Ecologically Sustainable Design in Built Environment Education: Curricula Redesign for Multidisciplinary Learning. This project brings together Engineering with all the Built Environment disciplines, and has established a team of three higher education providers, one government body, two industry partners (leading multi-disciplinary design practices in Australia) and four professional/accrediting bodies. I have over 40 publications in the areas of assessment and design education. The following pages will elucidate how these and other related projects have informed the practices of my peers, as well as having contributed to outstanding teaching and learning contributions.

Research grants

Category 1 funded projects.

OLT (ALTC) project 3 “Re-casting Tarra Nullius Blindness: Empowering Indigenous Protocols and Knowledge in Australian University Built Environment Education.”

Abstract: Llittle has changed in Australian built environment professional education to integrate a better understanding of the need for engagement with Indigenous knowledge and cultural systems and relevant protocols, as distinct from cultural competency articulation. This project seeks to re-dress this deficiency by providing Australian universities with strategies and tools to address practice realities and complexities through nationally applicable cross-discipline educational resources that will aid Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural literacy in this context. Grant Awarded - $220,000

ALTC Project 2 (2011): “Enhancing and Assessing Group and Team Learning in Architecture and Related Design Contexts.”

Abstract: Architects must be able to design as part of a team, yet this essential professional competency is largely neglected by architecture schools. Thus, this project : (1) investigated how best to support through teaching and assessment the learning of teamworking skills in architecture and related design disciplines; (2) proposed curricula renewal to include a structured framework for teaching teamworking skills with an associated suite of assessment tools; and (3) developed and document best-practice models of assessing individual contributions to teamwork within the emotive and highly subjective learning context of creating architecture. Grant Awarded - $220,000

ALTC project 1 “Assessing Creativity: Strategies & Tools to support Teaching and Learning in Architecture & Design.” Grant Awarded - $220,000

Internal grants (as project leader)

2010 - Teacher Performance Incentive Fund Project “Piloting a Teaching in Practice “Academic Practitioner” Program for Built Environment Students.” The overall aim of the TiP program is to help bridge the growing gap between academia and the profession by giving students the opportunity to learn design within a practice environment. Grant Awarded - $35,000

2009 - STALGS Project 4 (2008/9): “Negotiating Flexible Learning: A Tool for Matching Learners’ and Teachers’ Perceptions and Expectations of Flexible Pedagogies.” This project developed a process for designing flexible pedagogies through the consideration of flexibility from multiple stakeholder perspectives. The process reconciled the competing demands of learner's increasing flexibility demands, teacher’s attributes and pedagogical objectives, and the structural limitations that ‘may’ militate against the resourcing, maintenance and delivery of flexibility. Grant Awarded - $35,000

2007 - STALGS Project 3 (2006/7): “Fair Assessment and Reflective Learning: A cross-faculty online self-and-peer-assessment tool for teamwork assignments piloted in architecture and business communications.” This project presents on-line self-and-peer-assessment as a fair, valid and reliable improvement on teacher-only assessment of individual contributions to groupwork. Grant Awarded - $38,000

2006 - STALGS Project 2 (2005/6): “Enhancing Independent Experiential Learning for International Undergraduate Students.” This project analysed the effects of learning preferences on the performance of Australian and international architecture students. Grant Awarded - $31,500

2005 - STALGS (Strategic Teaching and Learning Grant Scheme) Project 1 (2004/5): “Establishing Best-Practice Principles for the Teaching of Group Design Projects.” This project formulated best-practice principles for the studio teaching of group projects. Grant Awarded - $31,100

Research groups

Richard is leader of the the Built Environment Education research group at Deakin.

One of the most successful areas for research within the school over the last 10 years has been the discipline-based investigation of learning and teaching in the built environment subject communities of Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape and Urban Planning. Researchers in the school have been leaders and investigators of Category 1 grant funded projects approaching a total value of nearly $1 million. Visit the Teaching Teamwork in Design website for more information.

Primary aims

    To support academics in enhancing the quality and effectiveness of their teaching
    To facilitate the identification, analysis and dissemination of information on good educational practices
    To stimulate and facilitate communication on innovative teaching
    Provide opportunities for staff development
    Advance discipline-based research on learning and teaching
    Promote stronger links between research, scholarship, teaching and practice


The focus of the group is research carried out with rigor: empirical studies, quantitative or qualitative, investigating substantive data, and applying, examining, and extending methodology derived from educational research and research in other social science disciplines. Such studies aim to provide scholarly insights through methodological rigor and relevant and important results.

The group aims to promote stronger links between academia and practice and to expand the international community of educators in the built environment. As a means for disseminating pedagogic knowledge throughout the community of educators, BEER thereby aims to provide a stronger intellectual basis for practice.


Two of the school’s academics have been awarded Carrick Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, and one has received the highest level of teaching award in Australia - an ALTC (OLT) Teaching Excellence Award.


Associated staff

A Prof Richard Tucker

Prof David Jones

Prof Anthony Mills

Jeremy Ham

Susan Ang

Research page



From 2011 only

Abbasi, N., Tucker, R., Fisher, K., & Gerrity, R. (2014) “Library Spaces Designed with Students in Mind: an Evaluation Study of University of Queensland Libraries at St Lucia Campus” 35th IATUL,  Proceedings of the International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries Conference, Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. [E1]
Tucker, R, N. Abbasi, G. Thorpe, M. Ostwald, A. Williams, L Wallis. (2014) “Enhancing and assessing group and team learning in architecture and related design contexts” OLT Final Report
Tucker, R. (in press). " Self inflated opinions: overmarking in self-and-peer-assessment of contributions to teamwork" Studies in Higher Education [C1-A]
Tucker, R. (under review). "Out-group bias: peer assessment and teamwork learning experiences for international students in multicultural cohorts" Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education [C1-A]
Tucker, R. and N. Abbasi (in press) “The Architecture of Teamwork: Improving Student Experiences of Designing in Teams” Architectural Engineering and Design Management [C1-A*]
Jones, D., Low Choy, D., Heyes, S., Revell, G.,Tucker, R. & Meikle, H. (2014). “Reverse Greening Australian Landscape Architecture Education: Charting an Indigenous Perspective on Country Respect and Design” IFLA Asia Pacific Congress, Sarawak 28-30 April, 2014. [E1]
Jones, D., Low Choy, D., Revell, G., Heyes, S., Tucker, R. & Meikle, H. (2013). Planning Education and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Australia:  Where Are We? Australian & New Zealand Association of Planning Schools Conference, Canberra, University of Canberra, 27th September – 29th September 2013. [E1]
Tucker, R. (2013) "Sex does not matter: gender bias and gender differences in peer assessments of contributions to group work." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education: 1-17 [C1-A]
A. Williams, L. Henry, R. Tucker, N. Abbasi (2013) “Group-Work: Does It Have To Be That Bad?” Proceedings of the 38th Australasian University Building Educators Association Conference (AUBEA 2013) [E1]
Tucker, R. and Morris, G. (2012) By design: Negotiating flexible learning in the build environment discipline, Research in Learning Technology, vol.20, Co-Action Publishing, Jaerfaella, Sweden  [C1-A]
Tucker, R and Abbasi, N. (2012) Conceptualizing teamwork and group-work in architecture and related design disciplines: Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) 2012. Building on Knowledge: Theory and Practice, pp. ?-?, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia [E1]
Tucker, Richard (2012) Collaboration Down Under : investigating team learning in Australia in architecture and related design contexts, in Shoniregun, Charles A. and Akmayeva, Galyna A. (eds), CICE 2012 : Proceedings of the Canada International Conference on Education, pp. 324-329, Infonomics Society, Ontario, Canada [E1]
Beynon, D. and Tucker, R. (2012) The Role and Value of the Esquisse in Architectural Studio, Creativity, Design and Education. Theories, Positions and Challenges Vol 2 (Williams, Ostwald & Askland)
Tucker, R. and Beynon, D. (2012) Delineating Boundaries: Assessment in Crit Panels in Architectural Studio, Creativity, Design and Education. Theories, Positions and Challenges Vol 2 (Williams, Ostwald & Askland)
Tucker, R. (2011). The architecture of peer assessment: do academically successful students make good teammates in design assignments? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 1-11. [C1-A]
Tucker, R. and Morris, G. (2011), Anytime, anywhere, anyplace: Articulating the meaning of flexible delivery in built environment education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42: 904–915 [C1-A]

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