Projects Complete

Research Grant Projects Complete

But when do I get my mark? Students' responsiveness to adaptively released assessment feedback

Partner/Funding Body: OLT Seed Project
Avondale Researchers: Prof Tony Williams, A/Prof Maria Northcote, Dr Lindsay Morton
Year Complete:2016
This project investigated the impact of feedback on student’s behaviour, and the difference that variations in timing, release sequence and expectation of a response make to students behaviour. During this project we firstly explores students' behaviour in response to established feedback systems. Secondly we developed and implemented an adaptive release assessment feedback (ARAF) strategy, to determine if the adaptive release of feedback and marks affect student behaviour. The Transformational Assessment Toolbox that was created from this project is located at:

Testing a predictive model of resilience among family caregivers supporting relatives with acquired neurological disability

Partner/funding body: Liverpool Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit
Avondale researchers: Dr Malcolm Anderson, Dr Peter Morey
Year complete: 2016
This observational cross sectional study tested an innovative model of caregiver resilience among family members supporting relatives with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI). Previous research shows very limited data underpinning the adoption of resilience into the field of acquired neurological disorders. The model was used to examine the predictive and mediating relationships among personality, coping, caregiver resilience, self-efficacy, social support, and burden and caregiver distress in family members caring for relatives with TBI or SCI. Testing the model provided a new understanding at a national and international level of the nature and process of caregiver resilience when a relative sustains a TBI or SCI and has provided a platform for future large scale studies. The findings will be used to improve family life in Australian society and internationally for caregivers of relatives with TBI or SCI.

Developing an institutional framework to support and improve supervision of honours and higher degree research students

Partner/Funding Body: OLT Extension Projects
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Maria Northcote, Dr Kayle de Waal, Dr Malcolm Anderson, A/Prof Brett Mitchell, Dr Kevin Petrie
Year Complete:2015
This project developed and implemented an institutional framework of support to engage and empower potential and current supervisors of Honours and higher degree students (HDR) to develop and enhance their supervision knowledge and skills, leading to an improved student and staff experience. The development of the institutional framework was guided by the utilisation-focused evaluation research methodology (Patton, 1997, 2011) which has been found to be particularly effective when designing, developing and evaluating learning resources within a participatory research methodology. The Research Training Support Framework can be located at:

A picture of SDA Discipleship in the South Pacific Division

Partner/Funding Body: South Pacific Division of the SDA Church
Avondale Researchers: Dr Kayle de Waal, Dr Kevin Petrie, Dr Lindsay Morton, Dr Sherry Hattingh, Dr RIck Ferret
Year Complete: 2015
In 2014 the South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church commissioned a research team from Avondale University to investigate the nature of discipleship. The aim of the research project was twofold: to provide an objective description of a Seventh-day Adventist disciple of Jesus, and to provide a criterion/criteria by which the attainment of discipleship may be measured and shared in the context of the Church’s mission. The findings of this research project indicate that it is possible to describe and measure discipleship in a variety of contexts. The literature review explores 13 measurement tools currently used by Christian denominations—three of which have been statistically validated. The review of literature also covers a range of definitions of disciples, discipleship and disciple-making, as well as the unique nature of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, from which a definition of a Seventh-day Adventist disciple has been developed. Responses from administrators in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands indicate that there is a very strong emphasis on discipleship within the SPD. There is an extensive range of discipleship resources currently implemented throughout the Division, although there is very little consistency in the type of resources used by respondents.

Developing and testing models for benchmarking and moderation of assessment for private higher education providers

Partner/Funding Body:OLT Innovation and Development
Avondale Researchers: Professor Jane Fernandez
Other researchers:Dr Juhani Tuovinen, Dr Terence Dachs, Dr David Morgan, Ms Jasmina Sesar
Partner Research Institutions:Christian Heritage College, Tabor College Inc. (VIC)
Year Complete:2014
Benchmarking and moderation of assessment are generally recognised as important quality assurance processes in education. They are key mechanisms for ensuring the quality and objectivity of student learning outcomes. This project seeks to use existing information on assessment quality processes, including moderation, to develop processes and procedures for benchmarking that are appropriate for smaller institutions. In the first instance these processes will be developed in the context of the four participating private higher education institutions, but they will be developed and tested with the view of being more broadly utilised in smaller institutional contexts (which occur also in large tertiary institutions, e.g. between campuses, and departments), and in benchmarking assessment quality between small and large, private and public higher education sectors.

The Valley of a Thousand Plants: An inventory of the Native Flora of the Catchment of Dora Creek, New South Wales

Partner/Funding Body: Australian Plant Society & Dora Creek Catchment Group.
Avondale Researchers: Dr Terence Annable, Dr Howard Fisher
Year completed: 2014
This research study involved the identification of over 1,000 species of native flora in the Dora Creek catchment area. The Scientific name, family name, common name and at least one locality is given for each species. Descriptive common names were composed for all those species with no known common name. The major list includes the following major groups: Liverworts, Mosses, Hornworts, Club Mosses, Spike Mosses, Quillworts, Fork Ferns, Ferns, Cycads, Conifers, and Flowering plants. Limited numbers of common Algae, Lichens, Fungi & Slime Moulds are also included. Alphabetic lists were constructed for scientific names, common names, families and threatened/endangered species. A small list of expected but unfound species helps confirm the extensive nature of the research over many years. This landmark study forms a baseline for all future studies and investigations of environmental impacts of anthropogenic activities.

Infection Control

Partner/Funding Body: COVIDEN Pty Ltd
Avondale Researchers: A/Prof Brett Mitchell
Year Complete: 2013
This project explored graduating nurses knowledge and attitudes towards infection prevention and control. It was conducted in four Australian universities.

The effect of Human Disturbance (Beach Cleaning and Off-Road Vehicles) on the Biological Assemblages of Exposed Sandy Beaches in the City of Lake Macquarie

Partner/Funding Body: Lake Macquarie City Council
Avondale Researchers: Dr Jason Morton, Dr Ewan Ward and A/Prof Kevin de Berg
Year Complete: 2012
This study investigated the impact of human activities (notably beach cleaning and off-road vehicle use) on the intertidal biological assemblages on exposed sandy beaches in the City of Lake Macquarie to assess the current risk to these systems and to provide information for assisting with the implementation of effective management strategies. Specifically, the study aimed to determine whether beach cleaning or off-road vehicle use impacts the:
1) total nitrogen and nitrate in the sediments,
2) bacterial abundance,
3) meiofaunal abundance, number of taxa and assemblage composition,
4) macrofaunal abundance, number of taxa and assemblage composition, and
5) ghost crab abundance.

The impact of neurobehavioural impairments on family functioning and the psychological well-being of male versus female caregivers of relatives with severe traumatic brain injury: Multigroup analysis.

Partner/funding body: Australasian Research Institute (ARI)
Avondale Researchers: Dr Malcolm Anderson, Dr Peter Morey
Year complete: 2012
This study examined the differential effect of neurobehavioural impairments (cognitive, behavioural and social) on family functioning, family roles, and psychological distress in male versus female caregivers of relatives with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Structural equation modelling (SEM) with multigroup analysis was conducted in a cross-sectional sample to test a contemporary model of psychological stress. SEM supported the model. Multi-group analysis showed that both male and female caregivers (1) responded similarly to the neurobehavioural impairments experienced by the injured relative and (2) reported behaviour having a direct effect on family functioning, which, in turn, increased psychological distress. However, the effect of disrupted family functioning was more influential on the level of distress in male caregivers than female caregivers. Hence, evidence was found for gender-specific pathways underlying the psychological distress of male versus female caregivers. Such findings can assist in tailoring family support strategies so that they cater for caregivers of both genders.