Ms Erika Spray

Learning Advisor

Centre for Teaching and Learning (Psychology)

Career Summary


I am currently a Doctoral Candidate and Sessional Academic in the School of Education. My research is in the field of Educational Psychology, particularly metacognitive and epistemic beliefs. I began working in this area during my Master of Education degree in 2010. 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 in the UK in 2012. 

Research Expertise
My doctoral study focuses on individuals’ epistemic, metacognitive and affective characteristics, collectively referred to as dispositional attributes, and their relationships to learning in postgraduate education. It is hypothesised that postgraduate coursework students' academic achievement is influenced by the dispositional attributes they bring to their learning. I am exploring relationships between dispositional attributes and how they might interact to predict academic achievement. A second thread of this work is the examination of consistency of such relationships across different groups, with a particular emphasis on relationships between cultural background and both dispositional attributes and academic achievement. Ultimately, recommendations will be made for pedagogical application of these findings to promote cross-culturally effective teaching and learning. I am also actively engaged in the discipline of Academic Literacies, particularly at the postgraduate level.

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 also regularly teach in to an Educational Psychology class which forms part of 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 are Dr Robert Cantwell and Dr Jill Scevak.


  • 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


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

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
139999 Education not elsewhere classified 30
130103 Higher Education 10
170103 Educational Psychology 60


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Cantwell RH, Scevak JJ, Spray EJ, ''I thought I knew this stuff but apparently I don't': Understanding transition into university-level thinking', Aspirations, Access and Attainment: Current International Perspectives on Widening Participation., Routledge, Abingdon 136-149 (2014) [B1]
Co-authors Jill Scevak

Journal article (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Spray E, Hunt JW, 'Measuring the academic literacies beliefs and researcher identity of research students', Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 1-16 (2015) [C1]
Co-authors Jaime Hunt
2013 Spray EJ, Scevak JJ, Cantwell RH, 'Personal epistemological and metacognitive awareness in first year preservice education students.', Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 13 44-57 (2013) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Jill Scevak

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Hunt JW, Spray E, 'Sweet cupcakes for all: A teaching philosophy to enhance student engagement and success in an enabling linguistics course', NAEEA 2015 Selected Papers, Sydney (2015) [E1]
Co-authors Jaime Hunt
2012 Spray EJ, 'Connecting Concepts: A cross-cultural study of inter-relations between metacognition, affect and epistemic beliefs.', Postgraduate Research in Education: HDR Student Conference Proceedings, University of New South Wales (2012)
2012 Spray EJ, Hunt JW, 'Research students' experiences of Academic Literacies development.',, Celtic Manor, Wales, UK (2012) [E3]
2011 Spray EJ, Scevak JJ, Cantwell RH, 'Personal epistemological and metacognitive awareness (PEMA) in first year university students', EARLI 2011 14th Biennial Conference: Education for a Global Networked Society. Book of Abstracts and Extended Summaries, Exeter (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Jill Scevak
Show 1 more conference

Ms Erika Spray


Learning Advisor
Learning Development (Teacher) and School of Education (Sessional Academic and PhD Candidate)
Centre for Teaching and Learning
Academic Division

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone 4921 7361
Fax 4921 6827


Room MC149
Building McMullin
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308