The Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI) is focused on understanding and developing research and higher order problem solving skills, and the impact of research training and research outcomes in a wide variety of contexts.

Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact


SORTI activities are directed toward the understanding and development of research and higher order problem solving skills, the impact of research training and knowledge use, professional development and pathways to professions, and e-learning in a wide variety of contexts. Below is a snapshot of research projects and program.

Recent evidence concerning metacognitive learning and affect reveals that research degree candidates are a diverse group of learners, and little is known about explaining wasteful attrition, stress and delays in progress. Such a study is essential, especially given the growth in research degrees, new transitional pathways, diversity in candidate backgrounds and chronic high attrition. This longitudinal study applies new findings about doctoral learning profiles in a direct intervention (DOCLearn) that targets individual differences across students in doctoral and masters degrees to improve learning outcomes significantly and contribute theoretically, methodologically and substantively to advance understanding of researcher development.
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This study investigates the role of an oral examination in PhD assessment, not commonly used in Australia, but common internationally. The quality of doctoral research is important for national well-being, but assessment studies that verify quality are only beginning to emerge. This study will focus on the oral/no oral assessment models to determine if and to what extent the presence of an oral in the PhD examination process makes a difference in examiner expectations, the discourse, content and language of their reports, and the recommendations they make. The intended outcome is a more robust PhD assessment regime.
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Using a mixed-methods approach, this project offers a major reconceptualisation of the role of metacognition in higher-level adult learning. The primary focus is the filtering effects of metacognitive beliefs of PhD candidates moving through the complex demands of doctoral study. Candidates' metacognitive beliefs are described, and their relationships to institutional, supervisory and life issues in successful candidature are identified. The emphasis on individual factors represents a significant advance in potential explanations of candidate progress. The innovative instrumentation and breadth of sampling allows for testing for the independent effects of metacognitive beliefs. The study extends metacognition research into PhD education.
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The Innovative Teaching & Learning (ITL) Australia team is part of a multi-year global research program on ITL practices designed to investigate the factors that promote the transformation of teaching in the 21st century and the impact of students' learning outcomes across a broad range of disciplines. The project helps develop a deeper understanding of ITL practices which can provide students with transformative educational opportunities in schools through the integration of technology across a range of disciplines. Participation in Professional Development workshops are designed to provide an opportunity for teachers to analyse Learning Activities and Student Work using these dimensions.
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Research Training and Transformational Knowledge (RTTK) research is focused on understanding the development of research and higher order problem solving skills including:

  • the impact of research training and knowledge use
  • the impact of e-learning
  • the impact of professional development and professional pathways
These focus areas are studied in wide variety of contexts

Other Recent Projects

   Adaptive Knowledge Production (AKP)

   Engineering Choices, Engineering Futures

   Publishing in Academic Journals in Education (PAJE)