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Prof Liz Johnson



Deakin Distinguished Professor and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic


Office of the DVC Academic


Office of the DVCA


Melbourne Burwood Campus

+61 3 924 68303


Alfred Deakin Professor Liz Johnson leads Deakin's ambitious Education and Employability strategy, including the drive to premium digital learning and outstanding student experience. Professor Johnson’s portfolio includes Indigenous Strategy, Academic Governance and Standards, Graduate Employment, Faculty Services, Student Services, the Deakin Library, Deakin Learning Futures, the Dean of Students, and the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE). 

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education from 2019-2021, Professor Johnson steered teaching and learning at Deakin through the disruption of the COVID pandemic, building from extensive projects on Deakin’s online learning environment, teaching innovation and course development and staff capability for learning and teaching. During this period, she sponsored re-imagining and restructure of Deakin’s professional services for students and Faculties, substantive renewal of teaching and learning design and an institution-wide transformation to online assessment.

Professor Johnson has led whole-of-institution curriculum reform projects at Deakin University as Pro-Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning (2014-2018) and previously at La Trobe University. She has led nationally funded projects, including Successful WIL in Science, on work-integrated learning in science faculties, funded by the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia and the Department of Education and Training. She was awarded an OLT National Teaching Fellowship in 2012 and worked with the Australian Council of Deans of Science to establish the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre and as its inaugural Director.

Professor Johnson trained as a plant biochemist and taught university biochemistry for over 30 years. She In 2006 she was awarded citations for outstanding contributions to teaching and learning from La Trobe University and from the Carrick Institute. In recognition of her ongoing contributions to biochemistry education, in 2007 she received the prestigious Invitrogen Education award from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), and the 2007 Vice-Chancellor’s award for teaching from La Trobe University.???She now researches and publishes in areas associated with curriculum renewal, work-integrated learning and digital credentialing.

In 2022, Deakin University conferred on Professor Johnson the title of Alfred Deakin Professor, the highest honour the University can bestow on a member of the academic staff, recognising their outstanding and sustained contribution to furthering Deakin’s aims.

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'Transformative': The threshold learning outcomes for science

M Schultz, D Southam, M Buntine, K Colthorpe, S Howitt, E Johnson, S Jones, J Kelder, S Kift, W Loughlin, G O'Brien, S Pyke, J Rice, S Rowland, R Yucel

(2023), Vol. 76, pp. 908-920, Australian Journal of Chemistry, Canberra, A.C.T., C1

journal article

Assessment for distinctiveness: recognising diversity of accomplishments

T Jorre de St Jorre, D Boud, E Johnson

(2021), Vol. 46, pp. 1371-1382, Studies in Higher Education, C1

journal article

The potential of digital credentials to engage students with capabilities of importance to scholars and citizens

K Miller, T St Jorre, J West, E Johnson

(2020), Vol. 21, pp. 11-22, Active Learning in Higher Education, C1

journal article

Aligning assessment with the needs of work-integrated learning: the challenges of authentic assessment in a complex context

R Ajjawi, J Tai, T Huu Nghia, D Boud, L Johnson, C Patrick

(2020), Vol. 45, pp. 304-316, Assessment and evaluation in higher education, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Science students' conceptions of factors that will differentiate them in the graduate employment market

Trina Jorre de St Jorre, Joanne Elliott, Elizabeth Johnson, Stewart Bisset

(2019), Vol. 10, pp. 27-41, Journal of teaching and learning for graduate employability, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

Occupational outcomes for bachelor of science graduates in Australia and implications for undergraduate science curricula

S Palmer, M Campbell, E Johnson, J West

(2018), Vol. 48, pp. 989-1006, Research in science education, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Ready and WILing: science students want more and earlier access to work-integrated learning

Joanne Elliott, T Jorre De St Jorre, Elizabeth Johnson

(2018), pp. 1-4, WIL : Creating connections, building futures : Proceedings of the 2018 7th National Conference on Work Integrated Learning, Brisbane, Qld., E1-1


Implementing and investigating distributed leadership in a national university network - SaMnet

M Sharma, W Rifkin, V Tzioumis, M Hill, E Johnson, C Varsavsky, S Jones, S Beames, A Crampton, M Zadnik, S Pyke

(2017), Vol. 39, pp. 169-182, Journal of higher education policy and management, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Me in a minute: a simple strategy for developing and showcasing personal employability

T Jorre De St Jorre, E Johnson, G O'Dea

(2017), pp. 117-120, ASCILITE 2017 : Me, Us, IT! : Proceedings ASCILITE2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education, Towoomba, QLD., E1


Social network perspectives reveal strength of academic developers as weak ties

K Matthews, A Crampton, M Hill, E Johnson, M Sharma, C Varsavsky

(2015), Vol. 20, pp. 238-251, International journal for academic development, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Inhibition of cereal rust fungi by both class I and II defensins derived from the flowers of Nicotiana alata

Peter Dracatos, Nicole van der Weerden, Kate Carroll, Elizabeth Johnson, Kim Plummer, Marilyn Anderson

(2014), Vol. 15, pp. 67-79, Molecular plant pathology, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Changing the game in science and mathematics Higher Education

Liz Johnson

(2014), Sydney, N.S.W., A6-1

research report/technical paper

Change process for a laboratory program

S Huth, E Yench, I Potter, E Johnson

(2013), Vol. 21, pp. 1-12, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, Sydney, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

A hybrid model of mathematics support for science students emphasizing basic skills and discipline relevance

D Jackson, E Johnson

(2013), Vol. 44, pp. 846-864, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Student and staff perceptions of teamwork in group writing for science honours

E Johnson, R Al-Mahmood, A Maier

(2012), Vol. 20, pp. 25-41, International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, Sydney, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

Where are the learning spaces on the scientific inquiry landscape?

A Boin, K Elliott, H Irving, V Galea, E Johnson

(2009), pp. 81-90, ascilite 2009 : Same places, different spaces : Proceedings of the 26th Annual Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education International Conference, Auckland, N.Z., E1-1


Scientific inquiry: where is it in the educational technology landscape?

K Elliott, K Sweeney, V Galea, H Irving, E Johnson

(2008), pp. 283-286, ascilite 2008 : Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology? : Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2008 Conference, Burwood, Vic., E1-1


Dual location of a family of proteinase inhibitors within the stigmas of Nicotiana alata

Elizabeth Johnson, Elizabeth Miller, Marilyn Anderson

(2007), Vol. 225, pp. 1265-1276, Planta, Berlin, Germany, C1-1

journal article

Encouraging generic skills in science courses

E Johnson, S Herd, J Tisdall

(2002), Vol. 5, pp. 19-23, Electronic journal of biotechnology, Valparaiso, Chile, C1-1

journal article

Introducing problem-based learning into a traditional lecture course

E Johnson, S Herd, K Andrewartha, S Jones, S Malcolm

(2002), Vol. 30, pp. 121-124, Biochemistry and molecular biology: education, Chichester, Eng., C1-1

journal article

A (1→4)-β-mannan-specific monoclonal antibody and its use in the immunocytochemical location of galactomannans

F Pettolino, N Hoogenraad, C Ferguson, A Bacic, E Johnson, B Stone

(2001), Vol. 214, pp. 235-242, Planta, Berlin, Germany, C1-1

journal article

Specificity of binding of β-glucoside activators of ryegrass (1->3)-β-glucan synthase and the synthesis of some potential photoaffinity activators

K Ng, E Johnson, B Stone

(1996), Vol. 111, pp. 1227-1231, Plant physiology, Rockville, Md., C1-1

journal article

The ß-glucan synthase from Lolium multiflorum. Detergent solubilization, purification using monoclonal antibodies, and photoaffinity labeling with a novel photoreactive pyrimidine analogue of uridine 5'-diphosphoglucose

P Meikle, K Ng, E Johnson, N Hoogenraad, B Stone

(1991), Vol. 266, pp. 22569-22581, Journal of biological chemistry, Bethesda, Md., C1-1

journal article

Biosynthesis, cDNA and amino acid sequences of a precursor of conglutin δ, a sulphur-rich protein from Lupinus angustifolius

Kenwyn Gayler, Sotirios Kolivas, Alison Macfarlane, Glenn Lilley, Mauro Baldi, Robert Blagrove, Elizabeth Johnson

(1990), Vol. 15, pp. 879-893, Plant molecular biology, [Dordrecht, Netherlands], C1-1

journal article

Isolation and characterization of protein bodies in Lupinus angustifolius

K Gayler, F Wachsmann, S Kolivas, R Nott, E Johnson

(1989), Vol. 91, pp. 1425-1431, Plant physiology, Rockville, Md., C1-1

journal article

Biosynthesis and processing of legumin-like storage proteins in Lupinus angustifolius (lupin)

E Johnson, J Knight, K Gayler

(1985), Vol. 232, pp. 673-679, Biochemical journal, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Precursors of storage proteins in Lupinus angustifolius

K Gayler, B Boadle, M Snook, E Johnson

(1984), Vol. 221, pp. 333-341, Biochemical journal, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Successful WIL in Science

Prof Liz Johnson, Prof John Rice, A/Prof Cristina Varsavsky, Prof Jo Ward, Prof Malcolm Campbell, Dr John Holdsworth, Dr Trina Jorre De St Jorre

OLT Innovation and Development Grants - Office for Learning and Teaching

  • 2016: $344,700

Industry and Other Funding

Preparing students for the 21st century workplace: the critical role of assessment

Prof Rola Ajjawi, Prof David Boud, Dr Joanna Tai, Prof Liz Johnson

Australian Collaborative Education Network Research Grants

  • 2017: $10,000


Principal Supervisor

Robyn Yucel

Thesis entitled: 'Nature of Science' in undergraduate curriculum: A critical realist exploration

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences