Associate Professor Jill Willis

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Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Education (James Cook Uni. of North Qld), Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) (Kelvin Grove C.A.E), Bachelor of Arts (University of Queensland)


Jill Willis is an Associate Professor in Education. Her research investigates how learners navigate performance expectations in assessment systems, so learners of all ages can be supported to experience greater success and agency. This interest has led her to teach about assessment for learning, leadership of change, and research in areas such as assessment, learning spaces and middle leadership. Jill particularly enjoys working with teachers and school leaders who undertake higher degree learning and research.

Research Areas:    Her research interests include

  • teacher and student agency
  • classroom assessment practices
  • digital feedback loops
  • collaborative learning in physical and digital learning spaces
  • leadership of change
  • Innovative qualitative research methodologies.

Prior to her work at QUT, Jill had twenty years of teaching experience in Queensland state and independent schools as a teacher, Head of Department and Director of Studies. At QUT Jill seeks out collaborative research opportunities with industry partners to address real world problems and generate research evidence that informs practice, policy and theory. QUT highlights so far have included:

  • Co-leading an ARCLinkage project with Professor Linda Graham, investigating how to design formative and summative assessment to be more accessible (2019-2022).
  • Collaborating with Dr Andrew Gibson to bring together his field of reflective writing analytics with my sociocultural commitments to self assessment and feedback loops that build collective agency. The design led learning is ongoing through a series of collaborative research inquiries using the reflective writing tool GoingOk.
  • Working with Independent Schools Queensland to support their Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers, and how teachers represent their impact on student learning in this professional evaluation process.
  • Investigating the impact of physical and digital learning environments on learner agency in a series of projects that have culminated in an edited book School Spaces for Student Wellbeing and Learning.
  • Working with schools  to understand how assessment within the changes to Queensland Senior Assessment and the Australian Curriculum can enhance student experiences of learning in schools.
  • Involvement in establishing the Kelvin Grove Teacher Education Centre of Excellence partnership program (2011 – 2013) with Education Queensland and Kelvin Grove State College and partner schools.
  • Collaborating in digital Transform agendas for teaching postgraduate learners.
  • Supporting experienced teachers throughout Queensland through the Mentoring Beginning Teacher project.


Projects (Chief investigator)