Projects in Progress

Research Grant Projects in Progress



Owning the rubric: Student engagement in rubric design, use and moderation


Partner/Funding Body: OLT Innovation and Development Grants
Avondale Researchers: Prof Tony Williams, A/Prof Maria Northcote, Dr Peter Kilgour, Mrs Bev Christian, Dr Wendy Jackson, Dr Jason Morton, Dr Carolyn Rickett
Other researchers: Dr Andrew Kilgour (CSU), Dr Sue Joseph (UTS)
Year Awarded: 2016
This project builds on previous research of the educators' and the assessors' roles in rubric design, implementation and moderation. Identified in studies to date is the lack of student involvement in these processes, the students’ role is a passive one. The key innovative value of this project is developing strategies which engage students in assessment construction, traditionally the domain of the teacher. The project investigates the innovative and collaborative use of assessment rubrics, developed in partnership between students and academic staff, in order to develop a model of collaborative rubric practice that can be applied across disciplines. The study employs an innovative two-pronged design using the Delphi technique followed by multiple case studies. The findings will inform development of an innovative participatory assessment design involving students in the construction, use and moderation of rubrics with their teachers, to enable assessment of learning to be extended into assessment for learning and assessment as learning.



Academic-industry integration in health: Enhancing postgraduate professional learning for specialty infection control practice


Partner/Funding Body: Medtronics
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Brett Mitchell
Year Awarded:2016
The aim of this project is to develop an infection control specific professional practice framework that aligns the postgraduate education curriculum and the health care industry. This project builds on pilot work study which suggests that both industry and universities are driven by different imperatives, resulting in divergent goals and approaches to curricula.



Using online teaching threshold concepts in transformative professional learning curricula for novice online educators


Partner/Funding Body:OLT Seed Projects
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Maria Northcote, A/Prof Daniel Reynaud, Dr Peter Kilgour, Mr Chris Boddey
Other Researchers: A/Prof Kevin P Gosselin, A/Prof Catherin McLoughlin, Mr Tony Rickards
Partner Institutions: Australian Catholic University, Curtin University, Texas A&M University (USA)
Year Awarded: 2016
By exploring the threshold concepts held by experienced and novice online educators, and the perceptions of online learning by teachers and students, this project sets out to develop research-informed curriculum design guidelines that may be used by academic developers and university administrators to develop professional learning programs for novice higher education online teachers. These curriculum design guidelines will comprise pedagogical principles, practical applications and exemplars of effective online course design which will be made available through an open website. Data will be gathered from both university/college lecturers and their students using online questionnaires, focus groups and reflective journals.
Threshold concepts are defined as “core concepts that once understood, transform perception of a given subject” (Meyer & Land, 2003) and troublesome knowledge (Perkins, 2006) is knowledge that challenges the learner and can cause cognitive conflict as learners compare new ideas with their prior knowledge.



The Ethical Supervision of Literary Journalism: managing long form trauma narrative within the Australian tertiary sector


Partner/Funding body: Journalism Education & Research Association of Australia
Avondale Researchers:Dr Carolyn Rickett
Other Researchers: Dr Sue Joseph (UTS)
Year Awarded: 2015
The primary aim of this proposed project is to enhance the knowledge and skills of Higher Degree Research supervisors, leading to a better quality, and a safer and more ethical student and supervisor relationship. The goal of our proposed project is to benchmark current practices and policies around potentially high risk supervision, and gather feedback from current supervisors on training and resourcing needs. Our key questions are: Do supervising academics of long form trauma narrative doctoral research within the field of literary journalism (memoir; life-writing) feel professionally and emotionally equipped to ethically and safely supervise such work; and what further resources and training are needed to ethically and safely support their role?



Effective Dune Restoration to Create Diverse, Functional Ecosystems


Partner/Funding Body: Lake Macquarie City Council
Avondale Researchers: Dr Jason Morton
Year Awarded: 2015
This study investigates the stability and biodiversity of a dune system established from dredge spoil. The site was previously severely impacted by the activities of off-road vehicles but in 2014 received sand from the Swansea Channel dredging program to reform dune contours and the area was fenced to prevent ORV entry. Monitoring of sediment grain size, vegetation type/coverage, and invertebrate assemblages (meiofauna and macrofauna) at this site is compared with nearby control sites and those still impacted by ORVs.



Infection Control


Partner/Funding Body: ACIPC (Australian College of Infection Prevention Control)
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Brett Mitchell
Year Awarded: 2014
This project explored the burden of urinary tract infections in eight Australian hospitals. The project involved hospitals from the Hunter New England Health District and over 150, 000 patient admission over four years. We were able to, for the first time using appropriate methods, able to determine the effect this infection has on mortality and extra length of stay in hospital. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.



Infection Control


Partner/Funding Body: COVIDEN Pty Ltd
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Brett Mitchell
Year Awarded: 2014
This project is a collaborative research between Avondale, QUT, ACU and Columbia University, The project involves undertaking a systematic review and meta-analysis, exploring the relationships between hospital staffing levels and healthcare associated infections. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.



REACH Project


Partner/Funding Body: NHMRC Partnership Grant
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Brett Mitchell
Year Awarded: 2014
This trial will evaluate the use of an evidence-based environmental cleaning bundle intervention in eleven major Australian hospitals. It is randomized control study, using a stepped wedge method. The partnership grant also consists cash and in addition to in-kind support, in addition to in-kind support from range of industry and professional partners. There are two objectives of this study: Objective 1 is to evaluate the effectiveness of the environmental cleaning bundle. Objective 2 is to estimate the cost-effectiveness of adopting the environmental cleaning bundle for Australian hospitals. The project is commencing this year and will continue until 2019.



Surveillance to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections


Partner/Funding Body: Ian Potter Foundation
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Brett Mitchell
Year Awarded: 2014
This project established a national point prevalence study of urinary tract infections in over 100 healthcare facilities in Australia.



Baptismal Research


Partner/Funding Body: South Pacific Division of SDA Church
Avondale Researchers: Dr Merle Cozens, Dr Barry Gane, Dr Wendy Jackson, Sandra Ludlow
Year Awarded: 2014
This empirical research study was to ascertain the current beliefs and practices of the South Pacific Division (SPD) of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) constituency with regard to baptism. The collected data will assist in a deeper understanding of baptism in local SDA churches, and will support SDA ministers, chaplains, educators and church administrators in the nurture, retention and disciplining of young believers and will contribute to a deeper spiritual understanding of the meaning and purpose of baptism in local SDA churches. It is intended that research results will be published in both church related and scholarly journals.



A Survey to Investigate How Seventh-day Adventist Institutional Employees Perceive their Relationship to the Wider Mission of the Church


Partner/Funding Body: The future plans working group of the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventist
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Rob McIver
Year Awarded: 2011



Motives for Tithing amongst Seventh-day Adventist Members, Analysis of Age Related Giving Patterns and Other Tithe-Related Matters


Partner/Funding Body: The future plans working group of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Rob McIver
Year Awarded: 2011
Last Updated:13th September 2016
Updated By: Felicity Sheridan