Ms Erika Spray

Learning Advisor

Centre for Teaching and Learning (Psychology)

Career Summary


I recently completed my PhD in the School of Education. My research is in the field of Educational Psychology, particularly metacognitive and epistemic beliefs. I have presented overseas at the EARLI and AERA conferences, as well as AARE, SELF and DEAL within Australia.

I also work in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, advising staff and students about the effective integration and development of Academic Literacies. This role involves working with various discipline areas across the University, as well as organising and implementing workshop programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have also conducted research into RHD Students' experiences of Academic Literacies development, which I presented at SRHE 2012 in the UK. 

Research Expertise
My doctoral study focused on individuals’ epistemic, metacognitive and affective characteristics, collectively referred to as dispositional attributes, and their relationships to learning in postgraduate education. It was hypothesised that postgraduate coursework students' academic achievement would be influenced by their dispositional attributes. A second thread of this work was the examination of consistency of such relationships across different groups, with a particular emphasis on relationships between cultural background, dispositional attributes and academic achievement. 

Teaching Expertise
I have a strong background in education, having taught at High School as well as at the Language Centre and the School of Education at the University of Newcastle. My full-time position is as a Language and Learning Adviser in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. I have also taught Educational Psychology within the Bachelor of Teaching.

Administrative Expertise
Primarily, my administrative tasks support my teaching in the School of Education and at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. I am involved in curriculum design and review, marking and assessment, and student consultations. I am also a sub-editor for the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), and a member of the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI), and the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).

My PhD Supervisors were Dr Robert Cantwell, Dr Jill Scevak and Prof Allyson Holbrook.


  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Exeter - UK
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Exeter - UK
  • Master of Applied Linguistics, University of Newcastle


  • Academic Literacies
  • Educational Psychology
  • English as a Second Language
  • Epistemic Beliefs
  • Higher Education
  • Metacognition

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
139999 Education not elsewhere classified 30
130103 Higher Education 10