Dr Rebecca Vivian

Rebecca Vivian
Research Fellow
School of Computer Science
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

I am a Research Fellow in the Computer Science Education Research Group. I have qualifications in Education and expertise in Computer Science Education, Teacher Training and Educational Technology. I have collaborated extensively with various stakeholders across industry, education, and government to deliver education and research initiatives. I receive invitations to contribute expertise and presentations toward a broad range of communities, including Computing, Higher Education, Teacher Education, government, industry and community associations.

I am a content developer and leader for the F-6 Stream and PL-in-a-Box initiative for our national CSER Digital Technologies Education teacher-training program, which has seen over 13,000 teachers enrol, and has received funding from Google and the Australian Federal Department of Education and Training.

I am passionate about engaging more young people, and particularly women, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) study pathways and careers, and have been involved in initiatives and engagements to support this endeavour.

Connect with me

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Dr Rebecca Vivian

I am a Research Fellow in the Computer Science Education Research Group. I have qualifications in Education and expertise in Computer Science Education, Teacher Training and Educational Technology. I have collaborated extensively with various stakeholders across industry, education, and government to deliver education and research initiatives. I receive invitations to contribute expertise and presentations toward a broad range of communities, including Computing, Higher Education, Teacher Education, government, industry and community associations.

I am a content developer and leader for the F-6 Stream and PL-in-a-Box initiative for our national CSER Digital Technologies Education teacher-training program, which has seen over 13,000 teachers enrol, and has received funding from Google and the Australian Federal Department of Education and Training.

I am passionate about engaging more young people, and particularly women, in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) study pathways and careers, and have been involved in initiatives and engagements to support this endeavour.

I am a multidisciplinary researcher and have expertise in Computer Science Education, Teacher Training and Educational Technology. I have a particular interest in understanding how people learn - their cognitive processes, interactions, self-efficacy and self-regulated learning skills, as well as investigating the way that we can harness technology to enhance and innovate learning experiences. I am a mixed-methods researcher, with particular strengths in qualitative research methods, and have experience in harnessing both qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate research questions. 

Two primary research areas I am currently exploring are: K-6 Computer Science Education and Online Learning:

  • I lead our K-6 Computer Science Education research stream for CSER. This involves understanding how we can harness Learning Sciences and apply Computer Science techniques to understand how young children learn Computer Science (including Computational Thinking) as well as how we can best support teachers to build their capacity to teach the subject. 
  • I work with our research team to apply Education Theories and Educational Psychology to understand how we can understand and enhance learning and collaboration in online spaces, and how we can best design data mining and analysis techniques and tools that are founded on Education Theory. 

I have collaborated extensively with various stakeholders across industry, education, and government to deliver education and research initiatives that are to inform policy or strategic directions, and have acquired over $7.4 million in research funding. This includes $6.9 million from the Australian Department of Education to expand our highly successful CSER Digital Technologies teacher-training program, which has seen over 13,000 teachers enrol. I also co-launched and co-lead PL-in-a-Box, with Google Australia, which is an initiative that empowers educators and leaders to facilitate professional learning in Digital Technologies with free, ready-made resource packs.

Our research group leads the national CSER Digital Technologies Education Program, where we support Australian teachers in developing skill and confidence in the new Digital Technologies learning area, as well as undertaking research into how we scaffold and understand the development of Computational Thinking skills in the primary years 

PhD Opportunities

We are currently seeking PhD student applications for students passionate about Computer Science Education Research. If you are interested, please review these example project descriptions for further details:

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2017 Research Fellow (Level B) The University of Adelaide
2012 - 2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Level A) The University of Adelaide
2009 - 2010 Tutorial Instructor for 'Computers, Communication and Society' University of South Australia
2005 - 2009 Pharmacy Assistant National Pharmacies

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Amount
2016 - 2017 Fellowship Barbara Cail STEM Fellow Chief Executive Women
2016 Award Women's Research Excellence Award (Early Career Researcher) The University of Adelaide $5000.00
2015 Award ACEL "New Voice" In Educational Leadership Research Scholarship Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) $500 gift & national conference attendance

Language Competencies

Language Competency
English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
French Can understand spoken

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2009 - 2013 The University of South Australia Australia PhD
2004 - 2008 The University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Education (Junior Primary & Primary) With Honours

Postgraduate Training

Date Title Institution Country
2014 - 2014 The University of Adelaide Supervisor Induction Program University of Adelaide Australia

Certifications

Date Title Institution name Country
2015 Certificate II in Community Pharmacy National Pharmacies
2014 Google Certified Teacher Google Teacher Academy Australia
2014 The University of Adelaide Supervisor Induction Program University of Adelaide Australia

Research Interests

Curriculum and Pedagogy, Education, Educational Psychology, Educational Technology and Computing, Higher Education, Information and Computing Sciences, Learning Sciences, Primary Education, Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy, Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators

Journals

Year Citation
2016 Vivian, R., Falkner, K., Falkner, N. & Tarmazdi, H. (2016). A method to analyse computer science students’ teamwork in online collaborative learning environments. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 16, 2, 7-1-7-28.
10.1145/2793507
2016 Falkner, K. & Vivian, R. (2016). A review of Computer Ccience resources for learning and teaching with K-12 computing curricula: an Australian case study. Computer Science Education, 25, 4, 390-429.
10.1080/08993408.2016.1140410
2014 Vivian, R., Barnes, A., Geer, R. & Wood, D. (2014). The academic journey of university students on Facebook: an analysis of informal academic-related activity over a semester. Research in Learning Technology, 22, 1, 24681-1-24681-16.
10.3402/rlt.v22.24681
2014 Vivian, R., Falkner, K. & Falkner, N. (2014). Addressing the challenges of a new digital technologies curriculum: MOOCs as a scalable solution for teacher professional development. Research in Learning Technology, 22, 1, 24691-1-24691-19.
10.3402/rlt.v22.24691

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2017 Le, K., Tarmazdi, H., Vivian, R., Falkner, K., Szabo, C. & Falkner, N. (2017). Directing Teacher Focus in Computer Science Online Learning Environments. Latice 2017. Hong Kong.
2017 Falkner, K. E., Vivian, R. & Falkner, N. (2017). Supporting Computational Thinking Development in K-6. Latice 2017. Hong Kong.
2017 Falkner, K., Vivian, R., Falkner, N. & William, S. (2017). Reflecting on three offerings of a community-centric MOOC for K-6 computer science teachers. SIGCSE '17 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. Seattle, WA.
10.1145/3017680.3017712
2016 Falkner, K., Falkner, N., Szabo, C. & Vivian, R. (2016). Applying validated pedagogy to MOOCs: an introductory programming course with media computation. 2016 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE '16). Arequipa, Peru.
10.1145/2899415.2899429
2015 Vivian, R., Tarmazdi, H., Falkner, K., Falkner, N. & Szabo, C. (2015). The development of a dashboard tool for visualising online teamwork discussions. 37th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). Florence, Italy.
10.1109/ICSE.2015.170
2015 Falkner, K., Vivian, R. & Falkner, N. (2015). Teaching computational thinking in K-6: the CSER digital technologies MOOC. 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015). Sydney, Australia.
2015 Falkner, K., Szabo, C., Vivian, R. & Falkner, N. (2015). Evolution of software development strategies. 2015 IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2015)). Firenze, Italy.
10.1109/ICSE.2015.153
2015 Tarmazdi, H., Vivian, R., Szabo, C., Falkner, K. & Falkner, N. (2015). Using learning analytics to visualise computer science teamwork. Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE). V. Dagiene, C. Schulte & T. Jevsikova (Eds.) Vilnius, Lithuania.
10.1145/2729094.2742613
2014 Falkner, K., Vivian, R. & Falkner, N. (2014). The Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum: challenge and opportunity. 16th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2014). Auckland, New Zealand.
2014 Vivian, R., Falkner, K. & Szabo, C. (2014). Can everybody learn to code?: computer science community perceptions about learning the fundamentals of programming. 14th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. Koli Finland.
10.1145/2674683.2674695
2014 Falkner, N., Vivian, R., Piper, D. & Falkner, K. (2014). Increasing the effectiveness of automated assessment by increasing marking granularity and feedback units. 45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '14). Atlanta, Georgia.
10.1145/2538862.2538896
2014 Falkner, K., Vivian, R. & Falkner, N. J. G. (2014). Identifying computer science self-regulated learning strategies. 19th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2014). Uppsala, Sweden.
10.1145/2591708.2591715
2013 Falkner, K., Falkner, N. & Vivian, R. (2013). Collaborative learning and anxiety a phenomenographic study of collaborative learning activities. ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Conference (SIGCSE). Denver, CO.
10.1145/2445196.2445268
2013 Vivian, R., Falkner, K. & Falkner, N. (2013). Analysing computer science students' teamwork role adoption in an online self-organised teamwork activity. Baltic Sea Conference on Computing Education Research (Koli Calling). Koli, Finland.
10.1145/2526968.2526980
2013 Vivian, R., Falkner, K. & Falkner, N. (2013). Building consensus: Students' cognitive and metacognitive behaviours during wiki construction. Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE). Macau, China.
10.1109/LaTiCE.2013.22
2013 Falkner, N., Vivian, R. & Falkner, K. (2013). Computer science education: The first threshold concept. Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE). Macau, China.
10.1109/LaTiCE.2013.32
2013 Vivian, R., Falkner, K. & Falkner, N. (2013). Computer science students' causal attributions for successful and unsuccessful outcomes in programming assignments. Baltic Sea Conference on Computing Education Research (Koli Calling). Koli, Finland.
10.1145/2526968.2526982
2013 Falkner, K., Vivian, R. & Falkner, N. (2013). Neo-piagetian forms of reasoning in software development process construction. Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE). Macau, China.
10.1109/LaTiCE.2013.23
2011 Vivian, R. (2011). University students face-up to their informal learning practices and cognitive learning strategies with Facebook. Ed-Media. T. Bastiaens & M. Ehner (Eds.) Lisbon, Portugal.
2011 Vivian, R. (2011). University Students' Informal Learning Practices Using Facebook: Help or Hindrance?. International Conference of the ICT 2011. R. Kwan, C. McNaught, P. Tsang, F. Wang & K. Li (Eds.) Hong Kong, PEOPLES R CHINA.
2010 Vivian, R. (2010). Social networking: from living technology to learning technology?. ASCILITE. Sydney.
2010 Wood, D., Barnes, A., Vivian, R., Scutter, S. & Stokes-Thompson, F. (2010). The future may have arrived, but engagement with ICTs is not equal among our diverse "net gen" learners. Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Sydney, Australia.

Conference Items

Year Citation
2017 Vivian, R., Falkner, K. & Szabo, C. (2017). Broadening participation in computer science: key strategies from international findings. SIGCSE '17 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. Seattle, WA.
10.1145/3017680.3017810

Report for External Bodies

Year Citation
2017 Chapman, S. & Vivian, R., (2017). Engaging the Future of STEM: A Study of International Best Practice for Promoting the Participation of Young People, Particularly Girls,
in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), Chief Executive Women (CEW) Ltd., https://cew.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Engaging-the-future-of-STEM.pdf,
2015 Falkner, K. & Vivian, R., (2015). Coding Across the Curriculum: Resource Review, Australian Government : Department of Education and Training,

Current Research Contracts

Assessment for the F-10 Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, Education Services Australia (ESA) Research Contract. $114,000 (2016-2018), R. Vivian & K. Falkner. (Research Contract)

The Expanded Rollout and Support of University of Adelaide Digital Technology MOOCs - Closing the Digital Divide for Disadvantaged Students, Department of Education and Training, Falkner, K., Vivian, R., Falkner, N. & Szabo, C. $6.9 million. (2016-2020). (Federal Government Funding). This project has been launched and is currently operating at our CSER Digital Technologies program website

Completed Research Contracts

Building Teacher Capacity in Digital Technologies, Department of Education Western Australia, R. Vivian & K. Falkner, $4545 (2017). (Consultancy Contract). This project resulted in a report for the Department of Education to inform their statewide strategy for professional development. 

Understanding the relationship between social community formation and progression within MOOC environments, Research Contract, Google Australia, K. Falkner, R. Vivian and T. Atapattu, $37,687 (2017). (Research Contract). This project resulted in a report for Google as well as peer-reviewed publications. 

Expanding Teacher Professional Development – Beyond the CSER MOOC, Google Research Contract. K. Falkner, R. Vivian. $95,101. (2016) (Research Contract). This project resulted in the development of PL-in-a-Box, a site with free ready-made presenter packs for implementing Digital Technologies and associated themes. 

Coding Across the Curriculum – Curriculum Mapping and Analysis. K. Falkner and R. Vivian. $77,889. (2015). (Research Contract). This project resulted in a published report for the Australian Federal Department of Education and Training, as well as an extended peer-reviewed publication in Computer Science Education.

Addressing the Challenges of the Digital Technologies Curriculum (Years 7 & 8). K. Falkner, R. Vivian, N. Falkner & C. Szabo, Digital Careers Sponsorship Agreement, $119,588. (2014-2015). (Sponsorship Contract). This resulted in the launch of our Years 7&8 MOOC: Next Steps

Building Digital Technologies Capacity. K. Falkner and R. Vivian, Google Research Contract, $48,312. (2014-2015) (Research Contract). This resulted in the launch of our F-6 Extended MOOC and associated resources.

Digital Technologies Workshop for Primary Teachers, C. Izu, B. Alexander, C. Pope, C. Szabo, A. Weerasinghe, R. Vivian, Grant ($10,000). A workshop for non-CS teachers in schools about computational thinking and computer science, with links to the Australian curriculum. (Google CS4HS grant 2014)

Addressing the Challenges of the Digital Technologies Curriculum: MOOCs for Teacher Development, K. Falkner, N. Falkner and R. Vivian, $65,000 + in-kind. (2013-2014). (Google Research Contract). This resulted in the launch of our F-6 Extended MOOC and associated resources, as well as a number of peer reviewed publications.  

An evidenced-based approach to the design and redevelopment of inclusive, technology-enhanced learning environments, Prof D. Wood (Leader), Dr L. Glenny, Dr C. Snowden, A/Prof S. Scutter, Dr. T. Du, D. Tedmanson, B. Underwood, T. Johnson, Prof N. Lindsay, A/Prof K. Falkner, R. Vivian, and Prof H. Partridge, Office for Learning and Teaching, Australian Government, $211,000 (2013-2016). (Research Contract). 

I am a research fellow and content developer for the national CSER MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) Digital Technologies Education Program. We currently have the following free, online self-paced MOOCs:

  • F-6 Foundations in Digital Technologies
  • Years 7&8: Next Steps in Digital Technologies
  • F-6: Digital Technologies Extended
  • Years 9&10: Explore!

I lead the development of PL-in-a-Box, which is a site with ready-made presenter packs for facilitating professional development in K-12 Digital Technologies education. 

I am a team member for a 6 week AdelaideX introductory programming MOOC on edX: "Think. Create. Code (external link)". April 2015. This course teaches computational thinking and programming concepts through the creation of digital artwork using ProcessingJS.

I have been an invited speaker to numerous events across Australia on the topic of K-12 Digital Technologies (Computer Science) education and teacher professional development, including webinars for Education Services Australia, The Digital Technologies Hub, CSIRO Scientists in Schools Webinar, Google's International 2017 Education on Air event and for Google Apps for Education (GAFE) events.

Previously I have taught UniSA's 'Computers Communication and Society' Foundation course and have presented at UniSA in 2012, 2013 and 2016 as a guest-lecturer for the Bachelor of Education ICT Course on the topic of social network sites: research, theory and current trends and guest lecturer for the Charles Sturt University Masters program on the topic of "CS+Education".

I have had course practicum and volunteer experience working in Reception to Year 7 classrooms in South Australia within both Catholic and Public school systems.

Current Research Students

  • Hamid Tarmazdi, Learning Analytics for Introductory Programming Feedback (PhD)
  • Rita Garcia, Scaffolding Introductory Problem Solving (PhD)
  • Valance Wang, Understanding problem solving in introductory programming environments (PhD)

Undertaking a Research Degree

Are you interested in Computer Science Education Research? We love to have new students join our team! If you have an interest, please view our CSER research page for potential topic ideas or you may contact me with your own ideas. If you have a project idea, please email me your draft research proposal (using the Faculty template) and a copy of your academic transcripts. You may find information about scholarships, application processes and dates on the University of Adelaide website [here]. You may also find a list of current CSER research opportunities that I can supervise listed above in the "My Research" section. 

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2013 - ongoing Member Individual Member of the CSTA (ACM)

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2017 - ongoing Co-Chair e-learning Community of Practice The University of Adelaide Australia
2015 - ongoing Member ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) Journal Reviewer
2015 - ongoing Member The Internet and Higher Education Journal Reviewer
2014 - ongoing Member World Conference on E-learning Program Committee
2014 - ongoing Member IEEE Transactions on Education (TOE) Journal Reviewer
2012 - ongoing Member Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide (HERGA) Australia
2009 - 2012 Board Member Student Leadership Undergraduate Group (SLUGG) (Inc.) The University of South Australia Australia
Position
Research Fellow
Phone
83131894
Fax
8313 4366
Campus
North Terrace
Building
Ingkarni Wardli
Room Number
4 44
Org Unit
School of Computer Science

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