We are looking for a full-time researcher (Level A) to work with us on the Data-Smart Schools project at the Monash Clayton campus. The position is full-time for 24 months, and we are hoping for a start date of July 1st.
You should be able to glean plenty of information about the project from this website!
In short, the project aims to explore the growing use of digital data within secondary schools and identify ways to improve its capture and use. The research problem that the project seeks to address is simple enough: i.e. masses of digital data are generated within schools every day, but despite its potential, this data remains poorly used and understood.
Using in-depth case studies and participatory design research, our project intends to work with school staff, students and parents to develop a deep understanding of the (re)use of digital data, then develop innovative tools/techniques to use the data more effectively. The project outcomes are expected to include insights into the technical, informatic, organisational and social issues surrounding the (re)use of digital data in schools. These insights can then be used to develop models of digital data ‘best practice’, leading to improved student outcomes, stronger teacher and parent engagement, and better use of technical infrastructure investment.
We are seeking to appoint a post-doctoral researcher who will work with Neil Selwyn, Dragan Gasevic and Michael Henderson at the Monash Faculty of Education, and Luci Pangrazio from Deakin University’s REDI centre. This team will be engaged in sustained empirical research in three constrasting case study schools in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
This project builds on Selwyn and Henderson’s previous work on designing open data interventions in school and university settings, and Selwyn and Pangrazio’s work on developing personal data literacies with young people. In addition, Gasevic brings a strong data science input to the project – particularly from the perspective of learning analytics.
This project is genuinely interdisciplinary and so we could envisage appointing an individual from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, but it needs to be someone willing to work across disciplinary boundaries. You absolutely do not need to be a computer scientist or data scientist. However, potential candidates could have prior expertise and/or a desire to work further on:
- Educational data science, in particular the growing trend for the application of data science techniques and approaches to university and school contexts. This might include familiarity with basic computational techniques and data visualisation;
- Research work with school communities, especially working with teachers and/or students to address ‘real world problems’ that they might encounter in the course of their day-to-day work;
- Emerging literatures in the areas of datafication and critical data studies, in particular an interest in ‘data justice’ and ‘good data’ approaches that strive to: (i) problematize inequitable uses of digital data, and (ii) work toward developing alternate equitable arrangements;
- Participatory-design methods: in particular the conduct of participatory design workshops with teachers, students, parents and other school staff. These may lead to simple prototype tools/processes/practices that can then be implemented in schools.
Obviously, this is quite a broad set of interests and we anticipate there will be many excellent candidates who do not already work in all these areas. However, any candidate should be able to demonstrate prior evidence of good writing skills, good fieldwork skills, and an interest in working towards progressive improvement of the everyday lives of people within school communities.
The researcher will be based at Monash’s main campus in Clayton, Melbourne. However, the project will also involve regular fieldwork in three school sites within the Melbourne area, as well as regular city-centre meetings.
We are not requiring any prior specialisation in education research per se, although experience with qualitative school-based research would be welcome. Our activities are driven by a desire for real impact, so intended outputs will include an academic book, papers and conference presentations, alongside public policy reports and a broader set of outputs (we will seek to produce a series of online resources which can be easily accessed and used by school communities and other education/data-industry actors).
Click through for further details and details on how to apply.