Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications

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    Same admissions tools, different outcomes: a critical perspective on predictive validity in three undergraduate medical schools
    Edwards, D ; Friedman, T ; Pearce, J (BMC, 2013-12-27)
    BACKGROUND: Admission to medical school is one of the most highly competitive entry points in higher education. Considerable investment is made by universities to develop selection processes that aim to identify the most appropriate candidates for their medical programs. This paper explores data from three undergraduate medical schools to offer a critical perspective of predictive validity in medical admissions. METHODS: This study examined 650 undergraduate medical students from three Australian universities as they progressed through the initial years of medical school (accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all commencing undergraduate medical students in Australia in 2006 and 2007). Admissions criteria (aptitude test score based on UMAT, school result and interview score) were correlated with GPA over four years of study. Standard regression of each of the three admissions variables on GPA, for each institution at each year level was also conducted. RESULTS: Overall, the data found positive correlations between performance in medical school, school achievement and UMAT, but not interview. However, there were substantial differences between schools, across year levels, and within sections of UMAT exposed. Despite this, each admission variable was shown to add towards explaining course performance, net of other variables. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest the strength of multiple admissions tools in predicting outcomes of medical students. However, they also highlight the large differences in outcomes achieved by different schools, thus emphasising the pitfalls of generalising results from predictive validity studies without recognising the diverse ways in which they are designed and the variation in the institutional contexts in which they are administered. The assumption that high-positive correlations are desirable (or even expected) in these studies is also problematised.
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    Where are the students? A close reading of priorities and silences in scholarly and public debates on VCE English (1990-2021)
    Horton, A ; Davies, LM (SPRINGER, 2022-08-05)
    Debates about subject English in Australia are often conducted through the senior years curriculum. In light of the anticipated interest in the new Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) English study design released in 2022 to be implemented in 2023, this paper outlines the current state of research on the VCE English subject by mapping areas of interest, types of evidence and gaps in research. The authors utilise a hybrid approach of narrative scoping review to identify methodological and thematic trends in the scholarly literature, and intersecting professional and media discourse on VCE English from 1990 to 2021. Finding that the student experience and the enacted curriculum have been largely elided, the paper identifies fresh lines of inquiry into VCE English and advocates for new discussions around scholarly interest and approaches to senior secondary English in Australia.
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    'Kindness and empathy beyond all else': Challenges to professional identities of Higher Education teachers during COVID-19 times
    Cain, M ; Campbell, C ; Coleman, K (SPRINGER, 2022-08-04)
    COVID-19 has continued to effect higher education globally in significant ways. During 2020, many institutions shifted learning online overnight as the sector closed its doors and opened new sites for remote teaching. This article reports on an international study [Phillips et al., 2021] that sought to capture how cross-sectoral teachers experienced these emergency changes during the first months of restrictions. The data, analysed using narrative identity theory, revealed concerns that fall into two broad categories: technologies and relationships. Significantly, it was not a loss of content delivery or changes to assessment that prompted the greatest anxiety for our colleagues, but that they held significant concerns about their students' mental health; inequities of access to a range of services including technological; and challenges connecting emotionally with their students at a distance. The results provide actionable strategies for higher education institutions to apply in future emergencies where remote teaching is necessary.
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    Reflections on the year of change: Adaptive and creative responses to technology as Music Teachers in the tertiary setting
    Johnson, C ; Merrick, B ; de Bruin, L ( 2021-09-18)
    Asia-Pacific Symposium on Music Education Research (APSMER) Conference 2021
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    A critical review of digital game literacies in the English classroom
    Bacalja, A (University Library J. C. Senckenberg, 2022-07-14)
    This paper reviews research into the use of digital games in the L1 English classroom. It deals specifically with qualitative case study research investigating the potentialities of these new social, cultural and textual forms. The aim is to provide a critical review of the research to identify how teachers have been using these new forms of meaning making and to explore the literate practices associated with the study of digital games in the English classroom, as well as the games selected and the forms of classroom play utilised. Analysis of the 16 studies which met the inclusion criteria reveals that digital game literacies present opportunities for meeting the historical imperatives of English teaching, but also for providing new ways of thinking about how we support students to know themselves and the world. Connecting with students’ lifeworlds, developing traditional and contemporary skills, questioning representations within texts, and supporting the aesthetic dimension of textual experience, were reported to be important outcomes that could be achieved through learning about digital games in English.
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    English teacher education in the time of COVID: Australian teacher educators share their experiences
    Bacalja, A ; Parr, G ; McGraw,, K ; Dutton, J ; Diamond, F (Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE), 2021-12-01)
    Many studies have repor ted the disruption and anxiety associated with initial teacher education programs across the world lurching in and out of online and remote teaching because of COVID-19 related lockdowns. Few studies, however, have homed in on the day-to-day experiences of teacher educators in par ticular disciplinary specialisms or ‘methods’, or explored how these disciplinary contexts shaped the experience of teaching in the time of COVID-19. This essay presents extended autobiographical accounts of four English teacher educators from different universities on the east coast of Australia, who taught English methods during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. The study affirms the uniqueness of their experiences, but also recognises four key dimensions of the English teacher educators’ work: relational work; curriculum and pedagogical work; identity work; and professional learning. The study has implications for how English teacher education responds to the challenges of teaching during and beyond the pandemic.uring and beyond the pandemic.
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    What Videogames have to Teach Us (Still) about Subject English
    Bacalja, A (Australian Association for the Teaching of English, 2018)
    This paper reports on a participatory action research project which used videogames as the central texts for play and study in a middle-years English classroom in Australia. Ongoing questions about the nature of subject English have often focused on the discipline's ability to accommodate twenty-first century literacies. Videogames, as increasingly popular and digital forms of texts, are often praised for their ability to engage students (Gee, 2003), yet less is understood about the pedagogies necessary to enable the rigorous study of these texts in classroom contexts. This study found while that existing conceptual and pedagogic models of subject English can be adopted and adapted to suit the unique affordances of this text type, issues associated with play and interactivity complicate the use of videogames in the classroom. It offers a new contribution to the evolving field of study associated with games as texts (Beavis, Dezuanni, and O'Mara, 2017). The study has implications for those seeking to engage more closely with students' textual worlds but unsure of how to negotiate videogames' intrinsic textual features
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    Representing Australian Indigenous Voices: Text Selection in the Senior English Curriculum
    Bacalja, A ; Bliss, L (Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE), 2019-01-01)
    This paper reports findings from a study investigating trends in character, historical setting, authorship and themes across Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) text selection lists between 2010 and 2019. We address the fictionalisation and imagining of Australian history through narratives about Indigeneity and settler-colonisation. While we will describe positive trends that have emerged over time, by and large this study agrees with Leane’s (2016) and Langton’s (1993) assertions regarding the transmission of knowledge and representation of Indigeneity and Australian history in the classroom; namely, there is an under-representation of Indigenous authors, poets, playwrights, film directors, and complex, non-stereotypical charactertypes and an over-representation of non-Indigenous authors representing themes and stories of Indigeneity, reconciliation and colonisation.
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    What critical literacy has to offer the study of video games
    Bacalja, A (AUSTRALIAN LITERACY EDUCATORS ASSOC, 2018-10-01)
    Through the proliferation of digital technologies and the increasing accessibility of video games, young people are engaging with these texts today, more than ever. However, there is a growing concern regarding what exactly young people are taking away from these textual experiences. This paper responds to the call made by Comber (1993), to document multiple cases of critical literacies developed in different contexts. It reports findings from a study which used video games as the focus texts in a middle-years English classroom in Melbourne, Australia. It found that critical literacy pedagogies could be effectively used to build new understandings with this everyday text-type.
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    “There’s More Going On”: Critical Digital Game Literacies and the Imperative of Praxis
    Bacalja, A ; Ávila, J (BRILL, 2021-05-31)
    Digital games represent ubiquitous forms of everyday social and cultural activity. Young people are engaging with these texts across a range of physical and digital spaces, and the speed with which digital game literacies have evolved has raised questions about how teachers can support their students to be critical participants in a digital game literacy world. In this chapter, I explore a case study that involved the development and delivery of an Indigenous storytelling unit combining the play and study of a digital game with a short animation film. The first part of this chapter details the nature of the intervention, including brief descriptions of activities from the case study, highlighting the challenge of progressing beyond literary approaches to texts that focus on decoding and engaging with authors’ intended meanings. The second part engages more closely with Critical Digital Literacies praxis (), re-examining the intervention with the assistance of Luci Pangrazio’s (, ) Critical Digital Design approach. The aim is to demonstrate how both students and teachers can encourage border-crossing in terms of what texts we bring to the literacy classroom and the critical dispositions we seek to nurture.