Postgraduate Awards 2016

Dr Jenni Parker

Designing authentic online community of learning experiences for higher education

EdD Thesis, Murdoch University

Presentation Abstract

Open education resources (OERs) are becoming more widely used in universities around the globe to support continuous and sustained access to learning tools and resources. However, the potential of these resources goes beyond the simple provision of content to conceivably form the foundation for designing and implementing more authentic and engaging online learning experiences. This paper identifies the various forms of open resources and discusses some of the affordances and issues associated with the use of these resources within higher education. It then describes the design of a study conducted to explore the benefits and issues associated with using open resources and how they were instantiated in an online professional development course for higher education practitioners. Finally, the findings of the study are provided, together with a discussion of how open resources have benefited educators and students.


Dr Siew Yee Lim

Effects of using history as a tool to teach mathematics on students’ attitudes, anxiety, motivation and achievement in grade 11 classrooms

Best Postgraduate Publication, University of Western Australia

Presentation Abstract

For decades, educators have advocated using history of mathematics in mathematics classrooms. Empirical research on the efficacy of this practice, however, is scarce. A quasi-experiment was used to investigate the effects of using history as a tool to teach mathematics on grade 11 students’ mathematics achievement. Effects in three affective domains (attitudes, anxiety, and motivation) were also measured. Four classes from a school in Singapore participated in this quasi-experiment. The experimental group (n51) and control group (n52) were each made up of two classes. Results indicated that using history as a tool to teach mathematics had a significant positive effect on students’ mathematics achievement, in an initial post-test and in two retention tests taken 4 months and 1 year, respectively, after the last intervention session. Significant positive effects were also found on two subscales within the affective domain variables (perceived value of mathematics and introjection, a type of extrinsic motivation), but only at a post-test administered midway through the study. These results suggest that using history in mathematics classrooms have both immediate short- and long-term effects on students’ achievement, but only short-term positive effects in the affective domains. These results were discussed using qualitative feedback obtained from the participants of this study.


Dr Elaine Horne

Biology teachers’ use of their interpretational frameworks for assessing students’ understandings in biology

PhD Thesis, Curtin University

Presentation Abstract

Experienced biology teachers use processes and understanding in their assessment of students’ responses to biology examination questions that we argue are based on their interpretational frameworks. In this study the term interpretational framework refers to a teacher’s construction composed of multiple integrated parts for making sense of situations and data. The aim of the research was to investigate the research questionWhat are the views and perceptions that comprise an experienced teacher’s interpretational framework related to assessment in senior high school biology? It was evident in this study that the experience, knowledge and processing of assessments becomes meaningful only through an internalised interpretational framework constructed by the teacher and that these experienced teachers had developed, and continued to develop, elaborate and sophisticated interpretational frameworks. The data for this study came from interviews with six experienced biology teachers. The data suggest that these teachers interpreted students’ written answers and made judgments based on their own expectations, knowledge and experience of biology, ideas on assessment, knowledge of the students’ learning taxonomies and knowledge of education practices. Further, it was concluded that biology teachers’ interpretational frameworks are complex, three dimensional, relational, predominantly visual, took account of interpretational frameworks held by their students and incorporate dynamic processes in order to form judgments about their students’ work.


Dr Susan Girak

Creative Reuse: How Rescued Materials Transformed My A/r/tographic Practice

PhD Thesis: Exegesis, Edith Cowan University

Presentation Abstract

By immersing myself in the artmaking process, I questioned my own unsustainable artmaking methods and moved towards reducing my environmental footprint. This led me to question whether primary school students would experience similar shifts if they used discard materials in a similar way. Consequently, this arts-led research was conducted to investigate how engaging with discarded materials facilitated environmentally sustainable attitudes; and how the visual arts could be used to demonstrate shifts in sustainability awareness. Students worked in small groups, in a ten session visual arts program, to produce artworks with an environmental focus culminating in a class exhibition. At the end of ten sessions it was observed that students started to display attitudinal shifts, showing that their awareness had increased. The students were able to articulate their personal impact on the environment and recognise and reflect on humanity’s negative impact on the environment, through unsustainable practices and attitudes. This research showed that even though the students had been taught about sustainability in other subject areas, it was the visual arts that had the greatest influence.


Dr Amanda McCubbin

The readiness of primary trained teachers to effectively manage classrooms in Kimberley Schools in Western Australia

EdD Thesis, The University of Notre Dame