I strongly believe in the power of educational research to have a positive and lasting influence on the lives of students, teachers, schools, and their communities. I believe that research should be used before, during and after the implementation of educational programs/interventions, and that all stakeholders should be consulted throughout the process to ensure that there is ground-up support.

Beginning in 2011, I spent two years researching the ways that changing teacher practice may positively affect the sense of community within online courses. As the basis of my study, I used the 'Community of Inquiry Framework' by Dr Randy Garrison et. al to plan a series of Professional Development sessions in which I assisted three teachers at the Distance Education Centre Victoria (an online Primary-Secondary school) to change the way they designed and delivered online courses. I surveyed and interviewed students and teachers within these courses before and after the intervention to ascertain the ways in which these changes may have changed the students' perceptions of their experience, and discovered that just by using some relatively simple online tools and strategies we could greatly improve the perceptions of our students. In recognition of these findings, I received the award for Best ICT-Related thesis from the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education in 2013. 

I have recently completed a PhD at Deakin University, Australia, under the supervision of Associate Professor Joanne O'Mara and Professor Julianne Moss, in which I investigated the role of the writer in the development of narrative-driven educational games. As games become a more popular tool for teachers wishing to better engage their students and improve learning outcomes, I am certain that we will see an increase in the number of narrative-based games; and, if that is the case, I believe that we need to look at what makes a really compelling narrative for games in order to utilise these features within games that are designed primarily for learning which, otherwise, can end up being didactic and unappealing for their target audience. As well as learning more about these games, and the people who create them, I am interested in experimenting with getting students to create their own games as a way of demonstrating their subject knowledge.

Peer-reviewed publications:

Jackson, L. C., Toniolo, A., & Bitz, M. (2016). Comics Go Global: Reporting on a four-year transnational pilot project. New Scholar, 4(1). (Click here to view in a separate window)

Jackson, L. C., Jackson, A. C., & Chambers, D. (2013). Establishing an online community of inquiry at the Distance Education Centre, Victoria..Distance Education, 34(3), 353-367.

Intnernational Conference presentations:

‘Using the Games as Action, Games as Text framework to analyse game construction’, Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), 2016

‘Fostering Multiple Literacies through Online Collaboration’, GLOBALEDCON, 2012

‘Young People and Alternative Futures’, Royal Geographic Society Conference, London , 2011

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