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Impact Workshop (6): The Australian Research Impact Pathway: A Case Study of Next Generation EdTech

Date & Time:

March 23, 2015 (Mon) | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


Room P6-03, Graduate House


Professor Michael J. Jacobson
Professor and Chair of Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work
Co-director, Centre for Computer Supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo)
The University of Sydney


Identifying the impact of university-based research is increasingly important internationally. The Australian Research Council (ARC) has a Research Impact Pathway with five components: Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Outcomes, and Benefits. In this talk, the speaker will discuss these five components in terms of a basic research project he led that investigated students' learning of science with virtual worlds and computer modelling systems. Of particular importance in the Research Impact Pathway are Outputs, such as the conference and journal papers from the research, media announcements, and policy briefings that resulted from this research project. Key Outcomes from this project include the formation of a start up company — PALLAS ADVANCED LEARNING SYSTEMS  — and the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement with the University of Sydney for IP generated in the ARC funded project. Benefits associated with the research impact of this project are just starting to emerge in terms of job creation by PALLAS and providing next generation EdTech resources to enhance the learning of science in schools.

Background on the Workshops:

Impact is a key element of the University's knowledge exchange (KE) strategy. Since 2012/13, the University Grants Committee (UGC) requires each UGC-funded institution to submit up to 5 impact case studies that are underpinned by excellent research as part of the knowledge transfer/KE annual report each year. The format is similar to the impact case study template of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

It is also important to note that in the Panel-Specific Assessment Criteria for the UGC RAE 2014, all the Panels included under the "Esteem" measure some elements relating to KE/technology transfer. This suggests that the next Hong Kong RAE will likely require evidence of impact and the UK experience indicates that now is the time to start collecting evidence of such impacts.

The Knowledge Exchange Office is organising workshops to be conducted by researchers who have hands-on experience in preparing impact statements and impact case studies for the UK REF 2014 or research councils overseas. The workshops will be of interest not only to colleagues who want to maximise the impact of their research, but also to those who co-ordinate research developments and research assessment in Faculties.

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