Ed advisors PhD

My research

This research concerns the role and value of people working as Academic Developers, Learning/Instructional Designers, Educational Technologists and in similar roles in Higher Education in Australia. Collectively, I refer to people in these roles as ed advisors – educator/education advisors.

While ed advisors bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the work they do, ed advisor roles are frequently undervalued and misunderstood. This research aims to better understand why this is and what actions might be taken to improve this situation, so that ed advisors can work more effectively with academics and institutional leaders.

The core research questions are:

What strategies are used in HE to promote understanding of the roles and value of ed advisors among academic staff, and more broadly within the institution?

How do ed advisors see their role and value in Higher Education institutions?

How are ed advisor roles understood and valued by academics and HE management?

Which among these strategies are the most effective and why?

I started this research in 2016 at the University of Sydney, Australia.


Professor Kalervo Gulson (Chief Investigator)

Professor Lina Markauskaite

Dr Jessica Frawley

Professor Peter Goodyear (Retired Chief Investigator)

University of Sydney Human Ethics Research project 2019/895

Papers from this research (to date)

Simpson, C., Frawley, J., Markauskaite, L., & Goodyear, P. (2021). Factors associated with edvisor perceptions of their work being understood and valued are not what they seem. ASCILITE 2021: Back to the Future – ASCILITE ‘21 Proceedings ASCILITE 2021 in Armidale, 11–21. https://doi.org/10.14742/ascilite2021.0102

Mitchell, K., Simpson, C., & Adachi, C. (2017). What’s in a name? The ambiguity and complexity of technology enhanced learning roles – ASCILITE 2017. In H. Partridge, K. Davis, & J. Thomas (Eds.), Me, Us, IT! Proceedings ASCILITE2017: 34th International Conference of Innovation, Practice and Research in the use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education (p. 449). ASCILITE. http://2017conference.ascilite.org/program/whats-in-a-name-the-ambiguity-and-complexity-of-technology-enhanced-learning-roles/

Survey recruitment call

Dear colleagues, I am looking for ed advisors (learning designers, academic developers, educational technologists and the like) who are working (or have worked) in institutions in Australia that offer Higher Education qualifications to complete a short survey for my PhD research.

I aim to gather data to better understand the factors that influence the working relationships between different types of ed advisors (LDs, ADs, ETs) and also those between ed advisors, academics and management. The goal is to identify practical strategies to enhance these relationships and also to support better understanding of the nature and value of ed advisors in HE institutions.

Who am I?

I am Colin Simpson, an Educational Technologist at Monash University and a PhD student at the University of Sydney. My supervisor in this research is Professor Kalervo Gulson. I have worked in ed advisor roles doing learning design, academic development and learning technology since 2003 in Higher Education and the VET sector.  I have also been a leader in the TELedvisors Network organising group since we started in 2016.

What will be involved if you participate in this study?

You will complete a brief survey about your work and experiences as an ed advisor. (Approximately 15-20 mins)

Eligible respondents who complete the survey will also be able to enter a random draw to win one of four $50 gift cards.

For more information, please refer to the Participant Information Statement above.

If you would like to take this survey, please go to https://sydney.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cMgrReUnl8ZJWWa  

If you have any questions, please contact me by e-mail, csim8899@uni.sydney.edu.au

If you are unable to participate but know of another colleague who would be able to assist, please forward this information to them for follow up.

Warm regards

Colin Simpson