See CRADLE’s publications for 2023

branches cold conifers environment

Well, the winter solstice has just passed us and now we can look forward to the days slowly getting longer and the reward of knowing that summer is, slowly, on its way. Meanwhile, the team at CRADLE have been very busy. So far this year we have published an incredible 63 articles, books, book chapters or guides. Here are some highlights of our publications so far for 2023.

Empty exam hall showing chairs, tables and exam papers ready.

Research Theme:

Assessing for Learning

Assessment Security

Awdry, R., & Groves, A. (2023). Why they do and why they don’t: a combined criminological approach to understanding assignment outsourcing in higher education. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 19(1), 7.

Assignment outsourcing is an intractable challenge for higher education. While various academic and legislative approaches have sought to explain/respond to this problem, recent media, community, and government concerns suggest students are increasingly outsourcing assessments. CRADLE graduate and Honorary Fellow Dr Rebecca Awdry‘s fascinating paper reports on the qualitative findings of an international survey of students’ perceptions and experiences of outsourcing, to test the utility of a multi-theoretical criminological explanation for this behaviour. The results reveal a complex learning environment where students’ knowledge is shaped by an assemblage of social, cultural, and institutional influences; a learning environment where engagement in, or avoidance of, cheating are dynamic.

Representation in and beyond assessment

Dawson, P., Nicola-Richmond, K., & Partridge, H. (2023). Beyond open book versus closed book: a taxonomy of restrictions in online examinations. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. Advance Online Publication.

Educators set restrictions in examinations to enable them to assess learning outcomes under particular conditions. The open book versus closed book binary is an example of the sorts of restrictions examiners have traditionally set. CRADLE’s Co-Director Phill Dawson, along with Deakin’s Kelli Nicola-Richmond and Helen Partridge argue that closed book, open book and open web no longer offers enough clarity or specificity when communicating examination restrictions. They proposes a new taxonomy of restrictions for examinations, with a particular focus on online examinations. The taxonomy consists of three dimensions: information, people, and tools.

Research Theme:

Learning in a digital world

The impact of the digital world

Bearman, M., & Ajjawi, R. (2023). Learning to work with the black box: Pedagogy for a world with artificial intelligence. British Journal of Educational Technology. Advance Online Publication.

circuit board with AI chip in centre

As we have heard recently with ChatGPT, artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly integrating into our society. University education needs to maintain its relevance in an AI-mediated world, but the higher education sector is only beginning to engage deeply with the implications of AI within society. Margaret Bearman and Rola Ajjawi come up with a definition of AI that is relatable:

A particular interaction where a computational artefact provides a judgement about an optimal course of action, which cannot be easily traced.

They suggest focusing on working with AI black boxes rather than trying to see inside the technology. Describing a pedagogy for an AI-mediated world that promotes working in complex situations with partial and indeterminate information.

Inclusion and belonging

white paper with text on green vintage typewriter

Tai, J., Ajjawi, R., Bearman, M., Boud, D., Dawson, P., & Jorre de St Jorre, T. (2023). Assessment for inclusion: rethinking contemporary strategies in assessment design. Higher Education Research & Development, 42(2), 483-497.

One of CRADLE’s focus areas at the moment is assessment and inclusion. Assessment has multiple purposes, one of which is to judge if students have met outcomes at the requisite level. Underperformance in assessment is frequently positioned as a problem of the student and attributed to student diversity and/or background characteristics. However, the assessment might also be inequitable and therefore exclude students inappropriately. CRADLE argues that for assessments to be inclusive, assessment design needs to be reconsidered, and educators should look beyond disability or social equity groups, towards considering and accounting for diversity on many spectra. This article introduces the concept of assessment for inclusion, which seeks to ensure diverse students are not disadvantaged through assessment practices.

Research Theme:

Learning through, and for, work


Boud, D., & Dawson, P. (2023). What feedback literate teachers do: an empirically-derived competency framework. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 48(2), 158-171.

One of our most popular publications so far this year, David Boud and Phillip Dawson’s article on feedback has been cited 34 times already. David and Phillip suggest that if feedback is to be conducted effectively, then there needs to be clarity about what is involved and what is necessary for teachers to be able to undertake it well. While much attention has recently been devoted to student feedback literacy, less has been given to what is required of teaching staff in their various roles in feedback processes. David and Phillip have developed an empirical teacher feedback literacy competency framework to help university teachers design and enact effective feedback processes. The paper discusses the different competencies required of those with different levels of responsibility, from overall course design to commenting on students’ work. It concludes by considering implications for the professional development of university teachers in the area of feedback.

Little, T., Dawson, P., Boud, D., & Tai, J. (2023). Can students’ feedback literacy be improved? A scoping review of interventions. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. Advance Online Publication.

Student feedback literacy has been the subject of much conceptual literature; however, relatively little intervention research has investigated how and if it can be developed. CRADLE student Tegan Little worked with the CRADLE team to explore how different aspects of feedback literacy have been developed in higher education. Tegan and the team found evidence that educational interventions enhanced feedback literacy in students. While some interventions have an effect on influencing student feedback literacy, both improved study design and intervention design are required to make the most of future feedback literacy interventions.

Work Integrated Learning

group of people sitting on chair in front of wooden table inside white painted room

Dollinger, M., Finneran, R., & Ajjawi, R. (2023). Exploring the experiences of students with disabilities in work-integrated learning. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 45(1), 3-18.

Work-integrated learning (WIL) or university placements are valuable opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in an authentic work setting and help support their transition from university to employment. However, CRADLE’s Mollie Dollinger and Rola Ajjawi along with Deakin’s Rachel Finneran found students with disability face significant and unique barriers to securing and completing WIL placements. The team surveyed students with disability at an Australian university to explore their experiences and perceptions of WIL placements. They found that while many students are motivated to participate in placements, they have concerns about how their disability, medical or mental health condition(s) will be accepted by the organisations and whether their requests for accommodations will be facilitated without judgement from supervisors. The team suggests that current policies and practices do not adequately support diverse students.

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