Associate Professor Kate Thompson

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Associate Investigator

Doctor of Philosphy (University of Sydney)

I am the leader of the Digital Learning for Change Research Group in the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice. I am also the Research Engagement Leader for VISER in the Research Infrastructure portfolio. I give priority to researching the processes of learning and teaching, particularly with technology. Technology can play a central role in learning and teaching in all subjects, but particularly those in which the complexity of the learning materials could benefit from the use of tools (such as immersive technologies, simulation models, virtual worlds, mobile devices, eBooks, physical and online learning environments) that enable students to understand, create or investigate a particular topic and that support teachers in their pedagogical practice. Digital pedagogies, understanding complex socio-environmental systems, collaborative learning, the learning sciences more generally, and the development of innovative methods to inform design for learning in complex learning environments are important themes of my research. I take a systems view of learning, and consider the activity of both learners and instructors to be as important as the learning outcomes themselves. My main contribution in this area has been the development of methodological tools to generate actionable knowledge for teachers, learners and the designers of learning. Over the last ten years, I have co-developed a method of scaffolding teachers to include learning analytics in their teaching as well as identifying indicators of successful collaboration and progress towards the completion of a task that can be used to provide feedback to learners, instructors, designers and researchers. I also do research about how scientists learn to do interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, the design and use of physical and digital learning environments, entrepreneurship education, makerspaces, and environmental education.