Campus News
Published: 27 November, 2012

Double grant success for Faculty of Education academic

UOW Faculty of Education researcher, Dr Sarah Howard, has been announced as joint recipient of a two-year, $219,000 Office of Teaching and Learning grant to evaluate a tool that aims to help academics improve university students’ written communication skills.

It follows the announcement earlier this month that Dr Howard is a Chief Investigator on a three-year, $360,241 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grant examining how teachers use all of the resources in a modern classroom to help students build knowledge in specific subject areas. This project is led by Dr Karl Maton of the University of Sydney.

The Office of Teaching and Learning grant will allow Dr Howard and her collaborators from the University of Sydney, UNSW and UWS to improve the take up of an existing technology aimed at improving students’ written communication by evaluating why take up has been low, despite a recognised need for the tool. The grant is jointly led by Associate Professor Rafael Calvo at the University of Sydney.

Both grants reflect Dr Howard’s research interest on frameworks of cultural change in education, focusing on the uptake and use of new technologies.

“My aim is to help teachers and students take advantage of all of the resources available to them to create the best learning environment. To do this, we need to examine why teachers use the resources they do, as well as evaluate what new resources they do and don’t use, and provide evidence of resources that could help them do what they do even better.”

This month’s grant success was in a large part due to the quality of the collaborations on each project, she said.

“I’ve been well supported by UOW to build linkages that have resulted in the collaborations that have led to these successful grants.”

Dean of Education Professor Paul Chandler congratulated Dr Howard on her successes.

"This is a stellar outcome that celebrates Dr Howard's commitment to leading quality teaching practices in higher education,” Professor Chandler said.

“On the back of a recently announced ARC Discovery Grant, it has been a great year for Dr Howard from both a teaching and research perspective.

“It yet again demonstrates how quality research and teaching work go hand in hand to the benefit of our students."

Published: 27 November, 2012

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