The Centre for Research in Assessment and Higher Education's (CRADLE) research program seeks to establish what works to improve learning in higher and professional education. This includes research in areas including, but not limited to, academic security and academic integrity; assessment design (including self/peer, authentic and programmatic); feedback and feedback literacy; developing evaluative judgement; assessment in a digital world; digital identities; inclusion and belonging in a digital world; learning in and for the workplace; representation in and beyond assessment; and quality and standards. Throughout these programs, we use cross-cutting approaches, including innovative methodological and theoretical approaches and knowledge transition. We collaborate with Deakin faculties and divisions, and also work with a range of industry partners and international collaborators.
The Centre links with other initiatives in the Faculty of the Arts and Education and will build key components of a doctoral program in its specialist area. CRADLE has an international network of research students working on assessment and learning with the aims of providing mutual support and interaction and seeking to foster joint supervision internationally. It collaborates with Faculties in integrating doctoral students in programs in cognate areas of the University.
Students will be based at CRADLE’s Melbourne CBD location Deakin Downtown.
The scholarship is available for projects that align with CRADLE’s research themes and our current programs of research. Areas in which applications for PhD are being considered are listed below. Alternative project topics that support CRADLE’s research agenda will be considered. Please note each doctoral student has at least two supervisors. Please contact the person named for each topic for information about it
- Developing evaluative judgement in university courses: How can learners develop the ability to make judgements about their own learning? How can it be fostered in different contexts? How does it develop over time? – Alfred Deakin Professor David Boud
- Ensuring feedback influences learning: What strategies and models are effective in enabling feedback processes to have a positive impact on student’s subsequent work? What types of feedback processes can be effectively incorporated across programs? How can students influence the kinds of feedback most useful for their own learning? – Alfred Deakin Professor David Boud
- Developing feedback literacy for study, work and life: ‘Feedback literacy’ is the capability to seek out, understand and make use of feedback, as well as making productive use of emotions throughout the process. It’s important not just at university, but in life and work in general. But how can we develop feedback literacy in learners, and how can we help learners deploy their feedback literacy? - Professor Phillip Dawson
- Assessment security and online assessment: As assessment has rapidly shifted online, many educators have expressed concerns about cheating. A range of assessment designs and technologies have been deployed in response. This project involves an investigation of the effectiveness of those approaches at addressing cheating, as well as their potential harms and benefits. - Professor Phillip Dawson
- Learning and the digitally-mediated workplace: Workplaces are increasingly mediated by big data, analytics and artificial intelligence. This has implications for universities and for learning-on-the-job. How do we navigate a world with new kinds of knowledge practices? – Professor Margaret Bearman
- Assessment and feedback cultures: Assessment and feedback cultures are often overlooked but have considerable influence on how assessment and feedback shapes learners. This project offers the opportunity to research assessment/feedback as a cultural, social or sociomaterial practice. How might this change what learners, teachers or institutions do? This project could have a digital learning focus, if this is of interest. – Professor Margaret Bearman
- Feedback, emotions and power: The relational aspects of feedback are increasingly coming to be recognised as crucial in how learners make sense of and incorporate feedback. This research seeks to extend understandings of emotions and power relationships in feedback conversations by examining it across different disciplines and learning environments. The research asks how are emotions and power negotiated within feedback processes and how is this mediated through technology to influence the effects of feedback – Associate Professor Rola Ajjawi
- Assessment, authenticity and professional identity formation: Taking part in assessment not only drives students’ learning of knowledge, skills and attitudes, but it also shapes their professional identity. This occurs as students take part in authentic practices of the community, engage with standard and criteria and receive feedback on their work. This research asks: How do assessment practices influence students’ professional identity formation? Other angles might include what makes for authentic assessment and how to design assessment for inclusion. – Associate Professor Rola Ajjawi
- Inclusion and belonging in higher education: Higher education is in the grip of social acceleration, which can lead to alienation in relationships with educational processes being depicted as a technology or instrument, put to work to bring about pre-determined ends, rather than a deep and transformative experience. Relationships of students to space and time and to buildings, objects, interactions, forms of practice – and, therefore, to forms of knowledge – need to be closely examined. This research seeks to explore notions of belonging and social inclusion/exclusion in higher education. – Associate Professor Rola Ajjawi