Dr John Willison

John Willison
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Faculty of Arts

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.

Connect With Me

External Profiles

Dr John Willison

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.

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2004 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
1999 - 1999 Lecturer Curtin University

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2014 Fellowship National Teaching Fellowship Office for Learning and Teaching Australia $90,000

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
University of New South Wales Australia B.Sc DipEd.

Postgraduate Training

Date Title Institution Country
Ph.D. (Science Education) Curtin University Australia
Master of Education Curtin University Australia

Research Interests

Journals

Year Citation
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.
DOI
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.
DOI
2016 Wilmore, M., & Willison, J. (2016). Graduates' attitudes to research skill development in undergraduate media education. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 26(1), 113-128.
DOI
2015 Bandaranaike, S., & Willison, J. W. (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 & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(1), 21-37.
DOI
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.
Scopus1
2013 Willison, J. (2013). Inquiring ape?. Higher Education Research and Development, 32(5), 861-865.
DOI
2012 Willison, J. (2012). When academics integrate research skill development in the curriculum. Higher Education Research and Development, 31(6), 905-919.
DOI Scopus9 WoS8
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 Scopus11 WoS9
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.
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.
DOI
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.
DOI
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.

Book Chapters

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2015 Willison, J. W. (2015). Researching, problem solving, critical thinking… same ship, different bay.. In SRHE Annual Conference Papers. Newport, Wales, UK.
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 Peirce, E., Ricci, M., Lee, I., & Willison, J. (2012). First year human biology students in the ivory tower.. In Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education. Sydney.
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.
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 Peirce, E., Ricci, M., Lee, I., & Willison, J. (2009). First-year human biology students in the ivory tower. In Proceedings of the Motivating Science Undergraduates: Ideas and Interventions Conference (pp. 91-97). Sydney: UniServe Science.
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.
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.
2007 Peirce, E., Ricci, M., & Willison, J. (2007). Incorporating the development of research skills into level 1
undergraduate human biology courses.. In Proceedings of Teaching and Research: Making the connection in Health Sciences Conference. Adelaide.
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.
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.
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..

Conference Items

Year Citation
2012 Priest, S. J., Pyke, S. M., Williamson, N. M., & Willison, J. (2012). Using Laboratory Experiences to Investigate Learning Trends in Chemistry. Poster session presented at the meeting of Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Educatio. Sydney.
2011 Willison, J., Ricci, M., & Peirce, E. (2011). Long-term performance measures of research skill development with first year human biology students. Poster session presented at the meeting of Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education. Melbourne.
2010 Willison, J., Jerram, C., Hazel, S., Davidson, R., & Foley, B. (2010). 'Team Based Learning': students do read in advance and transform lectures into zones of analytical discussion. Poster session presented at the meeting of The Education Research Group of Adelaid. Adelaide, Australia: The University of Adelaide.
2010 Willison, J., Al-Sarawi, S., Ng, B., Karanicolas, S., Snelling, C., & Hazel, S. (2010). Research skill development and assessment across entire undergraduate degrees. Poster session presented at the meeting of The Education Research Group of Adelaid. Adelaide, Australia: The University of Adelaide.

Report for External Bodies

Recorded/Rendered Creative Works

Year Citation
2006 Publication status: Published
NTRO sub category: 5 Website/web based exhibition
Title: Research Skill Development for Curriculum Design and Assessment
Authors: Willison J
Place of publication: www.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/rsd
Publication date: 2006
Extent: 250 pages
Description: Type of work : WR - Website Extent : 250 pages
Language: en
Notes: Migrated record 20140814
Verification-status: Verified
Record created at source: 14 August 2014

Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2018 Principal Supervisor Influencing the Learning Trajectory of Voc. Ed. Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds by Lecturer Practice Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Allyson Kaye Dutschke
2016 Co-Supervisor An Investigation of Developmental Process of The National Curriculum 2006 for English Language ( Govt of Pakistan Ministry of Education, Islamabad) : A Case Study of Grade I to V Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Imtiaz Ali Bughio
2015 Co-Supervisor The relationship between assessment and autonomy is the Vietnamese Higher Education context Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Ha Thi Ngoc Tran
2014 Principal Supervisor Accelerating Academic literacy Development: Issues, Possibilities and Challenges for Intergrating Scholary 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
2012 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Valid Measurement of Laboratory Learning Experience Quality from the Student Perspective Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Samuel James Priest

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2008 - ongoing Council on Undergraduate Research
2005 - ongoing Member Higher Education Research and Development Australia

Consulting/Advisories

Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
2011 - ongoing University of the South Pacific Fiji
2010 - 2016 Univeristy of Alberta Undergraduate research Office
2009 - 2009 Trinity College Dublin School of Nursing and Midwifery Ireland
Position
Senior Lecturer
Phone
83133219
Fax
8313 3604
Campus
North Terrace
Building
Nexus 10 Tower - Marjoribanks Wing, floor 8
Room Number
8 08
Org Unit
School of Education

top