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
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:
- Project: Understanding learner behaviour in visual programming environments
- Project: A touch-sensitive programming experience for children
- Project: Connect to create: Multi-user, collaborative visual programming environment
- Project: Detecting Computational Thinking with smart sensor analytics
|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|
|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|
|English||Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review|
|French||Can understand spoken|
|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|
|2014 - 2014||The University of Adelaide Supervisor Induction Program||University of Adelaide||Australia|
|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|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.|
|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.
|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.
|2013 - ongoing||Member||Individual Member of the CSTA (ACM)|
|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|