Lecturer in Learning Analytics, University of Technology Sydney

I’m interested in how people think about knowledge, and take action on that knowledge. Evidence, and sound argumentation are under the splotlight, with increasing availability of data, alongside a growing mistrust in the media, politicians, and ‘experts’ more broadly. Understanding how people navigate their own, and others’ knowledge is one of the most pressing social issues of our time in order to develop a sustainable society. My research particularly focuses on how people and policies implicate views on ‘knowledge’, through the ways they find and talk about information, and define ‘knowledge’ in documents such as assessment policies.

Evidence and information seeking: One strand of this work explored how small groups search for, and evaluate, information on the internet. My interest is in understanding how people think about information needs, find information, and how we can support them to do that better whether it’s trying to reconcile competing political views, or evaluating health evidence. I’ve used the lens of ‘epistemic cognition’, particularly in social/collaborative contexts to explore this issue. As a corollary to that I’m interested in the ways that tools like search engines shape our view of evidence (their epistemological implications), particularly as it relates to assessing students. My current work as a Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney’s Connected Intelligence Centre, takes a primary focus on student writing – how students write about evidence, and assess the evidence in other’s written texts. I’m hoping to develop work on ‘fact checking’ that combines both writing and information seeking.

Data and evidence: My teaching now focuses particularly on quantitative literacy, and teaching students to spot where statistical information has been used well, poorly, or omitted where it should not have been. A key method across my research is in learning analytics – the use of data derived from learning contexts to help us understand learning, and support it more effectively. In this space I’m particularly interested in thinking about how people think about and use data as evidence, especially educator’s use of learning and assessment data. Developing change models to drive use of evidence by students and educators is increasingly interesting to me.

Experience

  • 2017–present
    Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2015–2017
    Research Fellow in Learning Analytics, University of Technology Sydney
  • 2013–2015
    Trustee (voluntary), Wikimedia UK
  • 2012–2013
    Teaching Associate, University of Cambridge
  • 2011–2012
    Social sciences teacher, Saffron Walden County High
  • 2011–2012
    Associate researcher, Nominet Trust

Education

  • 2015 
    Open University, PhD Learning Analytics
  • 2012 
    University of Cambridge, MPhil Educational Research Methods (distinction)
  • 2011 
    UCL Institute of Education, MA Philosophy of Education
  • 2010 
    UCL Institute of Education, PGCE (Social sciences 14-19)
  • 2008 
    University of Leeds, BSc (International Hons) Psychology and Philosophy

Professional Memberships

  • British Psychological Society
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
  • Society of Learning Analytics Research