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Projects and Partnerships

CREATE research and the partnerships which make it possible are digitally connected throughout Australia and Internationally. In the 2018 Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) ratings in Field of Research 13 Education, CQU achieved an Engagement and Impact Assessment (EIA) ranking of 5 with excellence above world standard; and was at world standard in its Specialist Studies in Education. Our multidisciplinary research projects inform other Fields of Research including, but not limited to, Agricultural Sciences; Information and Computing Sciences; Medical and Health Sciences; Creative Arts & Writing; Language, Communication and Culture.

Since its inception in mid-2016, and previously known as Learning, Equity, Access and Participation, the Centre’s research external income has exceeded $3.9m. From 2016 to 2019 inclusive, grants have been awarded by: Australian Research Council (Linkage) and the former Office for Learning and Teaching; Australian Government Departments of Education and Training, Social Services, Health and Aging, Environment & Science; Australian Red Cross Society; Australian Collaborative Education Network Limited; ConocoPhillips Australia/Australian Pacific LNG; Departments of Education in Northern Territory, NSW, Queensland, Victoria; Community Services Industry Alliance; Regional Councils and Community Agencies in Australian States & Territories.

Going forward, CREATE’s current research projects include as June 2020:

APLNG STEM Central Research Project – Embedding STEM in Learning and Teaching

Staff member Linda standing infront of the STEM Central wall logo holding a robot dog

Researchers:

Dr Linda Pfeiffer, Professor Bruce Knight, Ms Kathryn Tabone, Ms Ondine Bradbury

Description:

In response to the identified shortage of future STEM professionals, particularly in regional locations, the overall aim of this research is to improve the STEM capacity of regional teachers, thereby potentially influencing the STEM skills of future generations. Specifically, this project aims to investigate the impact of an intensive PD intervention undertaken with primary teachers on their self-efficacy and attitudes to 21st century skills; build on the research findings to design and develop strategies for effectively embedding STEM education into the classroom; and dentify how the intervention has impacted on students’ experiences.

Primary school students learning in a STEM Virtual Reality Classroom

This project includes embedding STEM into the Australian Curriculum Science through project-based learning; developing a program for Indigenous primary students; and investigating impacts of STEM Challenges.

Funded by:

Australia Pacific LNG

Impact:

  • Fitzgerald, A., Haeusler, C., & Pfeiffer, L. (Eds.). (2020). STEM Education in Primary Classrooms: Unravelling Contemporary Approaches in Australia and New Zealand. Routledge.
  • Forbes, A., Chandra, V., Pfeiffer, L., & Sheffield, R. (2020) STEM Education in the Primary School: A Teachers Tookit. Cambridge

STEM Central Program and Event Book


CQ Regional Arts Services Network

The Regional Arts Services Network is an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.  CQUniversity has been appointed as the Central Queensland provider.

Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network

Researchers:

Associate Professor Sue Davis & Dr Liz Ellison

Description:

The initial funding has been provided for three years and activity will focus on networking, capacity building and a number of cross-regional projects. The research arm of this project aims to research and evaluate the establishment of a regional arts network across the wider Central Queensland region and use an iterative process to help build sector capacity and arts programs in the region. This work aims to promote a vibrant and sustainable regional arts and cultural sector in regional Queensland with a focus on the wider Central Queensland region. The Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network (CQ RASN) includes 14 local government areas from Wide Bay Burnett to Central Queensland and the Whitsundays in the north.

Funded by:

Arts Queensland

Key Partners:

Include local Councils across the following Local Government Areas: Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, South Burnett, North Burnett, Cherbourg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Livingstone, Banana, Central Highlands, Woorabinda, Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac.

Impact:

The CQ RASN, and the research team, has established partnerships with major arts organisations across Central Queensland, delivered arts activities employing artists and engaging thousands of audiences and participants, and developed a strong network of cross-regional arts advocacy.

CQ Regional Arts Services Network First Nations Digital Workshop Artwork being projected onto a hung sheet

Work created during a CQ RASN Digital Workshop facilitated by artist Donna Maree Robinson - June 2019


Evaluating the Efficacy of Digital Instruction for Mathematics Education: A Case Study with CK-12’s Digital Tools

Researchers:

Dr Robert Vanderburg & Associate Professor Michael Cowling

Description:

This project is to develop and evaluate a digital instruction framework which increases instruction in mathematics following the current curriculum maths instructors are already using.  In other words, this program is designed to help teachers improve the instruction of their current curriculum without changing their current curriculum.  A partnership with an industry leader in online mathematics instruction, CK-12, provides a firm foundation of a digital platform to work with. We will be training teachers to implement CK-12’s platform into their current teaching methods.  The current curriculum and teaching will not be changed but enhanced using the CK-12 platform. CK-12 is a website already used by over 5,000 schools around the world.  This project will emphasise the evaluation of a case study of an Australian school using a digital instruction framework comprised of CK-12’s platform and our pedagogy.

Partner Funding Bodies:

  • CK-12 Foundation, United States of America
  • CQUniversity (Linkage Pilot Grant)

Impact:

Digital Education is becoming increasingly relevant in the education sector and work on how best it can be applied has potential for wide reaching impact. This work will provide insight into this area and is anticipated to lead to further funding and work.


Global Competence Pilot Program

Researchers:

Dr Karena Menzie-Ballantyne & Dr Miriam Ham

Description:

The release of the Sustainable Development Goals and the introduction of a global competence assessment to the OECD’s PISA suite have provided international impetus for nations to focus on global competence in their domestic educational policies and curricula.

The Global Competence Pilot Program is the Queensland Department of Education International’s (DEi) first step in responding to this international impetus.  The Program involves Karena and Miriam using their experience and expertise in the field to provide advice to DEi staff and the Department’s curriculum team as they work together with educators from 13 lead schools to develop a framework, exemplar curriculum units, and other resources which will guide Queensland State Schools in fostering global competence through their curriculum, pedagogy and whole of school approaches.

Data gathered from the research component of the Pilot is also contributing to Miriam and Karena’s larger cross-cultural exploration of classroom teachers’ interpretations of global competence.

GLOBAL COMPETENCE

SkillsExamine local, global and intercultural issues
KnowledgeUnderstand and appreciate the perspectives and world views of others
ValuesEngage in open, appropriate and effective interactions across cultures
AttributesTake action for collective well-being and sustainable development

Partners and/or Funding Body:

Queensland Department of Education International

Impact:

The inclusion of research and critical guidance by CQUniversity staff is providing rigor and depth in the development of the framework, exemplar units and other resources, ensuring they will provide best practice in terms of professional development in global competence as they guide educators across Queensland.


Three GPS Cows Researchers standing infront of a cattle yard holding the GPS's that will be used on the cows

GPS Cows

Researchers:

Dr Amy Cosby, Dr Jaime Manning, Associate Professor Mark Trotter

Description:

A key issue facing regional, rural and remote communities around the world is the low level of digital literacy among some cohorts of students. This is particularly the case for students involved in agricultural studies where it is commonly perceived that digital literacy is not relevant to their future occupation. However, this perception is far from the truth, as the reality of farming today means students who intend on entering the agricultural workforce must have excellent comprehension of technology. The agricultural industry is changing with the ever-increasing use of technology across the supply chain demanding a workforce with higher degree skills in STEM and digital literacy to facilitate the transformation of this sector.

The GPS Cows program (GPS Cows) is a collaborative project bringing together researchers, industry professionals and educators in both Australia and the USA who understand the importance of, and are passionate about engaging students in agri-tech.  The aim of GPS Cows is to increase the knowledge and skills of high school students in emerging agri-tech, specifically tools and systems which provide animal location and behaviour data, and to encourage them to consider tertiary study and a career in the agricultural sector.

GPS Cows Staff at a conference in Sydney with a picture of the Sydney Opera House in the background

It is also hoped that the international collaboration will demonstrate to students the importance of agriculture globally and increase their knowledge and appreciation of the industry in other countries.

Partner:

NSW Dept of Education

Impact:

Over 200 teachers across NSW have completed the GPS Cows teacher professional development workshop.

GPS Cows Website


Make the Maker

Researchers:

Dr Wendy Fasso and Dr Michelle Vanderburg

Description:

The development of a makerspace on Bundaberg campus will serve multiple student and community priority needs. It is anticipated that for many students and community members, the CQUniversity Makerspace (Make the Maker) provides an entry-level making and hacking experience that articulates into more complex and industry-level engagement with the state-of-the-art facility at Community Lifestyle Support (CLS), Kalki. Make the Maker will provide an entry point to engage students and participants to articulate a pathway to more complex design and technologies activities. Make the Maker will encourage the extension of thinking of participants that they can transition into professional life, such that the place of advanced manufacturing in every profession and business is valued and acknowledged. Embedded in this outcome are entrepreneurial and futures-thinking.

Funding Body:

Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning

Impact:

Make the Maker will extend the relevance and reach of the makerspace to non-traditional makers, and attract a broader sub-set of the community to the makerspace to engage in gender, culture and skills-relevant activities that will upskill participants, and open up entrepreneurial thinking about the processes and new ideas that are likely to fuel start-up ideas.  Participatory design research methodology will be used and can lead to insight into ways in which makerspace can engage with the local community.


NDIS Workforce and Skills Needs

Researchers:

NDIS Project - 2019-2021, Wood, D., Knight, B.A., Mason, C., & Livingstone, A. ($836,696).

Description:

A multi-year quantitative and qualitative research project to assess and respond to skills demand and supply issues resulting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rollout across Queensland.

The aims of the project are to:

  • Assess the impact of the NDIS on labour markets and skills supply across Queensland;
  • Identify labour market and skill supply gaps, occupations that may be difficult to fill, training needs, resilience, and employment growth opportunities in different regional locations where the NDIS has already been rolled out; and
  • Track NDIS related workforce and skills supply changes at the Queensland regional and state level over a three-year time period.

Funding Body:

Community Services Industry Alliance & Jobs Queensland.


Regional Employment Trial – Bundaberg

Researchers:

Dr Amanda Rebar, Kristie Lee Alfrey (MoHB student) and Kim Waters (MoHB student) with Professor Denise Wood

Description:

Long-term unemployment comes with burdens for individuals and for society at large. For individuals, long-term unemployment, and its impact on family income, leads to declines in physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. There is a 50-100% increase in death rates the year following displacement from employment, and each year in unemployment comes with a 10-15% increase in death rate. To provide an independent study of participants’ experiences with the Regional Employment Trials project, CQUniversity conducted a qualitative study consisting of focus groups, email-based interviews, and phone calls occurring pre-trial, mid-trial, and post-trial.

Based on what came out through the focus groups, experiences were described about expectations of the Regional Employment Trial, the causes of unemployment, how/whether the Regional Employment Trial mapped onto the proposed causes of employment and what strategies were implemented to help overcome the stated barriers.

EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE
PEER SUPPORT
ENGAGEMENT
TRUSTWORTHY LEADERSHIP

Smoothing Assessment Transitions for VET students (SATVS)

Researchers:

Dr Lois Harris, Dr Joanne Dargusch, Dr Robert Vanderburg and Dr Susan Richardson

Description:

The Smoothing Assessment Transitions for VET students (SATVS) Project is a multi-year Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program funded Project (HEPPP) funded initiative aiming to improve the transitions and outcomes of students entering university via Vocational Education and Training (VET) pathways. With a particular emphasis on investigating the experiences of students from low SES VET backgrounds, the first year of the project (2019) focused on scoping the issue, including analyses of archival admissions and achievement data from this group, examination of existing support mechanisms, and collection of student survey and interview data.

The second year of the project (2020) is focused on collaboratively creating change. The project team is in the process of creating a Moodle site for transitioning VET students, assisted by a team of student reviewers who are providing input into the design and evaluating created resources. Additional work is being done to support educators in the higher education sector to better understand the needs of their VET students and to create resources they can use to more successfully support transitions. Additional exploratory work will also occur with VET educators and students to identify possible ways to support VET students’ higher education aspirations and provide early opportunities to develop academic literacy skills required in higher education.

In addition to multiple presentations to the CQUniversity committees and the wider academic community, the project has also presented findings at the Australian Association for Research in Education annual meeting and has two journal manuscripts in preparation.

The VET sector, and its students, are of increasing importance to the growth of higher education and work on how these students can be recruited and helped in the transition to higher education has potential for wide reaching impact. The SATVS Project will provide insight into this area and is anticipated to lead to further funding and work.


Four female Agri-Tech researchers standing with their ideas written on a white board

Women in Agri-Tech

Researchers:

Dr Amy Cosby, Dr Jaime Manning, Dr Kym Patison, Associate Professor Mark Trotter, Professor Bobby Harreveld, Professor Sally Ferguson

Description:

The ‘Women in Agri-tech’ project will create and foster a strong network of female teachers who will become leaders in digital literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship in regional, rural and remote areas. They will be guided by female researchers, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop engaging learning resources which will in turn inspire girls in the classroom to realise the opportunities available to them.

A group of female Agri-Tech staff and researchers sitting tiered

Partners & Funding Bodies:

  • Australian Government, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • Cotton Australia
  • NSW Department of Education
  • Queensland Government, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

& supported by:

  • AgForce
  • CiboLabs
  • Northern Territory Government
  • Pasture.io

Impact:

  • Best Practice Guide for Teachers
    Cosby, A., Patison, K., Manning, J., Trotter, M., Ferguson, S. & Harreveld, B. (2020). Best Practice Guide for Effective Engagement Between Teachers and the Agricultural Industry