Associate Professor Lesley Lluka

Scientific reasoning and critical thinking

To succeed in the 21st century workforce, graduates need to be able to deal effectively with complex, unstructured, novel problems using rigorous evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking skills. In science this includes developing both a deep understanding of the scientific process, and the ability to articulate why scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable through inquiry. In order to aid the development of those skills, we are creating evidence-based learning and assessment tasks that give students specific opportunities to practice and cultivate their scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills. Importantly, our research focus is on gathering evidence of the development of scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills by characterising the variation and measuring the quality of critical thinking taking place as students engage with inquiry-based learning and assessment tasks.

Staff:  Kay Colthorpe, Kirsten Zimbardi, Andrea Bugarcic (IMB)

Current projects:  

1. An evaluation of blended inquiry-based learning in an authentic environment.

2. An analysis of the scientific arguments presented in oral presentations by undergraduate biomedical science students.

Internationalisation of the curriculum

The word “Internationalisation”, as it pertains to a university, will include in its broadest definition the collection and interaction of staff and students from all around the world, teaching and learning that is of international standards and relevance, and the conduct of research that is of international quality and significance. The “Internationalisation of the Curriculum” research group aims to find ways to achieve a curriculum that is suitable to all domestic and international students, with content and form that is easily transferrable and applicable to any country in the world. This is especially of importance in the current times when most of university graduates will inevitably enter a globalised workforce and deal with multinational networks and companies.    

Staff: Prasad Chunduri

Current projects: An analysis of the current internationalisation strategies of Australian universities specifically within the biomedical sciences curricula. 

Assessment and feedback

Assessment plays a number of roles in university, while its primarily used for grading students, it is also important in both encouraging learning and enhancing students’ ability to judge their own performance. It is in these latter roles that providing feedback to students is vital, but evaluating the actual extent to which students engage with and utilise feedback can be difficult. We recently developed a ‘multi-modal’ marking system, to aid provision of timely, detailed and situated feedback, with in-built learning analytics to track marker and student interactions with that feedback, and are using this system to evaluate strategies for effective feedback provision. In addition, we have a strong focus on creating effective and equitable methods to assess the development of scientific and research skills of students, particularly within large cohorts.

Staff: Kay Colthorpe, Kirsten Zimbardi, Andrea Bugarcic (IMB), Prasad Chunduri, Phil Long (CEIT), Andrew Dekker (ITEE)

Current projects: UQMarkUp: Effective feedback and consistent assessment in diverse settings with e-learning enabled ‘in situ’ multi-modal commenting.