School of Education
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Dr John Willison has twenty five years of experience in formal education, and throughout that time has been most enthralled in how to help students to engage in research-based learning, beginning with Year 8 classes, where he strived to make science laboratories hands-on and minds-on. Dr Willison found that this necessitated a raft of scaffolding and literacy strategies, and resulted in the development of resources called writE Science (writing and reading integrated with talking about experiments). As Dr Willison completed his PhD in Science Education he coordinated an Early Childhood and Primary Science course in a Teacher Education program, then subsequently found himself at the University of Adelaide as the Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. This shift to students who were academics from all disciplines caused Dr Willison to broaden his research agenda to search for something in common across disciplines: a framework representing how all educators may facilitate their students’ research skills.
In collaboration, Dr Willison developed early versions of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework and colleagues in First Year Human Biology began to trial the RSD, followed by other courses in various contexts showing positive outcomes for students. This success inspired Dr Willison to lead two five-university ALTC Innovation and Development projects, one for course-level implementation of RSD (2007-2009) and the other for program-level implementation (2011-2013). These projects and new AQF 9 research requirements led to demand for RSD to inform coursework Masters programs and Dr Willison held a National Teaching Fellowship on this theme 2014-2015. As the use of the RSD escalates nationally and internationally, he is currently keen to bring the RSD ‘full-circle’ and begin to influence Faculties of Education through High Schools’ use of the RSD, as well as consolidate RSD use in undergraduate, Masters and PhD studies across all disciplines. This is the focus of the National Senior Teaching Fellowship he holds from the Australian Government's Department of Education and Training.
Date Position Institution name 2004 - ongoing Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide 1999 - 1999 Lecturer Curtin University
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2016 Fellowship National Senior Teaching Fellowship Office of Learning and Teaching Australia 2014 Fellowship National Teaching Fellowship Office for Learning and Teaching Australia $90,000
Date Institution name Country Title University of New South Wales Australia B.Sc DipEd.
Date Title Institution Country Ph.D. (Science Education) Curtin University Australia Master of Education Curtin University Australia
Year Citation 2020 Willison, J., Zhu, X., Xie, B., Yu, X., Chen, J., Zhang, D., . . . Sabir, F. (2020). Graduates' affective transfer of research skills and evidence based practice from university to employment in clinics.. BMC medical education, 20(1), 89.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1 Europe PMC1
2020 Mataniari, R., Willison, J., Hasibuan, M. H. E., Sulistiyo, U., & Dewi, F. (2020). Portraying students' critical thinking skills through research skill development (RSD) framework: A case of a biology course in an Indonesian University. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 17(2), 302-314.
2019 Ain, C. T., Sabir, F., & Willison, J. (2019). Research skills that men and women developed at university and then used in workplaces. Studies in Higher Education, 44(12), 2346-2358.
DOI Scopus10 WoS3
2018 Willison, J. (2018). Research skill development spanning higher education: Critiques, curricula and connections. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 15(4), 1-17.
2018 Missingham, D., Shah, S., Sabir, F., & Willison, J. (2018). Student engineers optimising problem solving and research skills. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 15(4), 1-19.
2017 Willison, J., Sabir, F., & Thomas, J. (2017). Shifting dimensions of autonomy in students' research and employment. Higher Education Research and Development, 36(2), 430-443.
2016 Willison, J., & Buisman-Pijlman, F. (2016). Ph.D. prepared: research skill development across the undergraduate years. International Journal for Researcher Development, 7(1), 63-83.
2016 Wilmore, M., & Willison, J. (2016). Graduates' attitudes to research skill development in undergraduate media education. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 26(1), 113-128.
2015 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. (2015). Building capacity for work-readiness: bridging the cognitive and affective domains. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 16(3), 223-233.
2014 Wu, C., Chanda, E., & Willison, J. (2014). Implementation and outcomes of online self and peer assessment on group based honours research projects. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(1), 21-37.
2013 Williamson, N., Metha, G., Willison, J., & Pyke, S. (2013). Development of POGIL-Style classroom activities for an introductory chemistry course. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 21(5), 27-41.
2013 Willison, J. (2013). Inquiring ape?. Higher Education Research and Development, 32(5), 861-865.
2012 Willison, J. (2012). When academics integrate research skill development in the curriculum. Higher Education Research and Development, 31(6), 905-919.
DOI Scopus29 WoS25
2010 Willison, J. (2010). Development of all students' research skill becomes a knowledge society. AISHE-J, 2(1), 12.1-12.8. 2009 Mohammadzaheri, M., Chen, L., Ghaffari, A., & Willison, J. (2009). A combination of linear and nonlinear activation functions in neural networks for modeling a de-superheater. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 17(2), 398-407.
DOI Scopus25 WoS21
2009 Willison, J. W. (2009). Multiple contexts, multiple outcomes, one conceptual framework for research skill development in the undergraduate curriculum. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 29(3), 10-14. 2009 Willison, J., Peirce, E., Ricci, M., Al-Sarawi, S. F., Harper, R. L., & Donnelly, F. P. (2009). Handbook for research skill development and assessment in the curriculum. 2007 Willison, J., & O'Regan, K. (2007). Commonly known, commonly not known, totally unknown: a framework for students becoming researchers. Higher Education Research and Development, 26(4), 393-409.
2007 Willison, J. (2007). Vision & choice ethical characteristics of academic development programs. Journal of University of Teaching & Learning Practice, 4(2), 73-88. 1999 Willison, J. (1999). Who writes the recipes in science? Possibilities from four years of action research with students and their scientific literacy. Research in Science Education, 29(1), 111-126.
1996 Willison, J. W. (1996). How RU Integrating Hands-On, Writing and Reading for Understanding in Your Students' Science Learning?. Australian Science Teachers' Journal, 42(4), 8-14. Willison, J., Draper, C., Fornarino, L., Li, M., Sabri, T., Shi, Y., & Zhao, X. (n.d.). Metacognitively ALERT In Science.
Year Citation 2017 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. W. (2017). Building learner autonomy into work-integrated learning: Challenges for the 21st Century. In Refereed Proceedings of the 20 th WACE World Conference on Cooperative and Work-Integrated Education (pp. 1-10). Chiang Mai. 2017 Abdurrahman, D., Sabir, F., & Willison, J. W. (2017). International postgraduate students’ perception of the research skill development framework. In Proceedings of The 1st National Conference on Teachers' Professional Development (pp. 77-81). Banda Aceh. 2016 Willison, J., & Missingham, D. (2016). Optimising Problem Solving: student and tutor perceptions of problem-solving within mechanical engineering. In Conference Proceedings of the Annual conference Australian Association for Engineering Education. Coffs harbour, NSW. 2016 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. W. (2016). A framework for cultural competency in the workplace. In Refereed conference proceedings of Australian Collaborative Education Network 2016 National Conference (pp. 42-49). Sydney. 2015 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. (2015). Understanding emotional work readiness in the workplace.. In Proceedings of the 19th World Conference on Cooperative & Work Integrated Education (pp. 18-22). Kyoto. 2015 Willison, J. W. (2015). Researching, problem solving, critical thinking… same ship, different bay.. In SRHE Annual Conference Papers. Newport, Wales, UK. 2014 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. (2014). Boosting Graduate Employability: Bridging the Cognitive and Affective Domains. In Refereed conference proceedings of Australian Collaborative Education Network 2014 National Conference. Tweed Heads, NSW. 2013 Al-Sarawi, S., Willison, J., Ng, B., & Liebelt, M. (2013). Degree level evaluation of research skill development framework for higher education. In Proceedings of the 2013 International iCampus Symposium, The Intelligent Campus, IC13 (pp. 46-49). USA: IEEE. 2012 Williamson, N. M., Huang, D. M., Pyke, S. M., Willison, J., & Metha, G. F. (2012). Constructing a First Year University Chemistry Course for the ‘Late Bloomers’. In ERGA 2012 Proceedings. Adelaide. 2012 Priest, S. J., Pyke, S. M., Williamson, N. M., & Willison, J. (2012). Representations of Scientific Concepts and Learning Experience of First Year Undergraduate Students. In ERGA 2012 Proceedings. Adelaide. 2012 Bandaranaike, S., Snelling, C., Karanicolas, S., & Willison, J. W. (2012). Opening Minds and Mouths Wider: Developing a model for student reflective practice within clinical placements. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education. Istanbul. 2012 Ricci, M., Peirce., Lee, I., & Willison, J. (2012). Potential and problems of explicit research skill development in
undergraduate physics, chemistry, biochemistry and geology. In Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education. Sydney.
2011 Willison, J. W., & Bandaranaike, S. (2011). Engaging students in work integrated learning : drives and outcomes. In . Proceedings of the World Conference on Cooperative and Work Integrated Learning. Philadelphia. 2010 Wu, C., Chanda, E., & Willison, J. (2010). SPARKPLUS for Self- and Peer Assessment on Group-Based Honours’ Research Projects. In The Education Research Group of Adelaid (pp. The Changing Face of Education, 24-25 September, 2010). Adelaide, Australia. 2010 Peirce, E., Ricci, M., & Willison, J. (2010). Teaching research at a research-intensive university - can it be done in first year courses?. In Proceedings of the First Year in Higher Education Conference. Adelaide. 2010 Ng, B., Al-Sarawi, S., Willison, J., Phillips, B., Liebelt, M., & Green, C. (2010). A New Electronic Engineering Honours Assessment Scheme Based on Research Skills Development Framework. In The Education Research Group of Adelaid (pp. The Changing Face of Education, 24-25 September, 2010). Adelaide, Australia. 2010 Davey, K., Cheung, J., Visvanathan, R., & Willison, J. (2010). A unique assessment of stress and stress factors on engineering academics in the research and teaching environment. In Proceedings of 21st Annual conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (pp. 1-10). Australia: AAEE. 2010 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. (2010). Work Skill Development Framework: an innovative assessment for Work Integrated Learning. In Proceedings of the Australian Collaborative Education Network National Conference 2010 (pp. 1-19). Australia: ACEN Inc. 2009 Willison, J., Peirce, E., & Ricci, M. (2009). Towards student autonomy in literature and field research. In Proceedings of the 32rd HERDSA Annual Conference (pp. 483-491). New South Wales: HERDSA. 2009 Peirce, E., Ricci, M., Lee, I., & Willison, J. (2009). First year human biology students in the ivory tower.. In Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (pp. 91-97). Sydney. 2009 Willison, J. W., Schapper, J., & Teo, E. (2009). Multiple measures of improvement of research skills in business ethics and business law. In Proceedings of Qualitative Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education for Business Economic and Commerce Conference (pp. 79-95). Melbourne. 2008 Ashman, P., Scrutton, S., Stringer, D., Mullinger, P., & Willison, J. (2008). Stakeholder perceptions of chemical engineering graduate attributes at the University of Adelaide. In Proceedings of the Chemeca 2008 Conference (pp. 912-921). CD: Engineers Australia. 2007 Peirce, E., Ricci, M., Willison, J., & O'Regan, K. (2007). Incorporating the development of research skills into level I undergraduate human biology courses. In Teaching and Research: Making the Connections in Health Sciences, Health Sciences conference 2007: a conference for University Teachers, 8th-9th November, 2007, University of South Australia. Adelaide, South Australia: Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia. 2006 McEntee, J., Coulson, M., Botten, J., & Willison, J. (2006). Supporting research-readiness in PhD candidates through undergraduate research skills development. In Quality in Postgraduate Research: Knowledge Creation in testing times (pp. 269). Canberra: The Australian National University. 2006 Coulson, M., McEntee, J., & Willison, J. (2006). Annotated bibliographies can help maximize benefit of literature research skills exercises. In International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference (pp. 43-44). Washington DC: International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference. 2006 Ricci, M., & Willison, J. (2006). Developing the research skills of first year students: five years on.. In Proceedings of the Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA). Adelaide. 2005 Willison, J., & O'Regan, K. (2005). 2020 vision: An information literacy continuum for students primary school to post graduation. In A. Brew, & C. Asmar (Eds.), Proceedings of the HERDSA conference 2005 'Higher education in a changing world' (pp. 633-641). Milperra, New South Wales, Australia: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Inc..
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 2019 Willison, J. W. (2019). Putting student research mindsets to work for a coherent Higher Education. 2016 Willison, J. W. (2016). Realising research modes of learning for Masters by coursework using state-based clusters. Department of Education and Training. 2014 Willison, J. W., Al Sarawi, S., Bottema, C., Hazel, S., Henderson, U., Karanicolas, S., . . . et al. (2014). Outcomes and uptake of explicit research skill development across degree programs (ID11-1984). Office for Learning and Teaching. 2010 Willison, J. W., Le Lievre, K., & Lee, I. (2010). Making Research Skill Development Explicit In Coursework: Final Report (CG7-497). Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
Recorded/Rendered Creative Works
Year Citation 2016 Authors: Willison J. Title: Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching website. Description: N/A. Extent: multiple webpages. 2006 Authors: Willison J. Title: Research Skill Development for Curriculum Design and Assessment. Description: Type of work : WR - Website Extent : 250 pages. Extent: 250 pages.
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2022 Principal Supervisor An investigation of facilitating critical thinking in English language classes when speaking and listening are practised in Indonesian senior high schools Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ricky Fernandes 2022 Principal Supervisor What are the characteristics and perception of authentic assessment that foster international ESL student learning, engagement and progression through Science degrees? Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Ms Natalia Zarina 2019 Principal Supervisor Kenyan and Australian Science Teachers' Knowledge of Inquiry Based Learning and Learner Autonomy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nemwel Nyakenyanya Aminga 2018 Principal Supervisor The Impact of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Organisation on Student Success and Study or Employment Pathways Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Allyson Kaye Dutschke 2014 Principal Supervisor Accelerating Academic Literacy Development: Issues, Possibilities and Challenges for Integrating Scholarly Writing Development into Mainstream Curriculum in Australian Higher Education Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Ursula McGowan
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2015 - 2019 Co-Supervisor English Language Learner Autonomy in the Vietnamese Higher Education Context: Enabling Factors and Barriers Arising from Assessment Practice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Ha Thi Ngoc Tran 2012 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Valid Measurement of Laboratory Learning Experience Quality from the Student Perspective Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Samuel James Priest
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