Mrs Vivien McComb

Mrs Vivien McComb

Senior Academic Developer

Learning and Teaching

Career Summary


I have more than 16 years of experience working in the higher education context across all faculties and centres at the university. As an academic, I taught into a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and programs in Education, focused on teaching pre-service and in-service teachers. I have been the project lead and manager of a number of university research projects in education, with specialist expertise in qualitative research methods. I am currently in the position of Senior Academic Developer where I am involved in quality assurance and enhancement of Degree Programs and Schools at the university. In addition, I have formal qualifications in education including a Master of Educational Studies and a Bachelor of Education (Hons). I am currently a PhD candidate conducting research in higher education learning and teaching. 

I also worked in academic development for more than 6 years. In this role I provided professional development services and programs to academic staff across all five faculties and centres at the university. This role involved consulting with academic teaching staff on curriculum and assessment design at the course and program level for face-to-face, blended and online learning.

I designed and implemented professional development certificate programs for new, current and sessional teaching academics, and was the lead on the development and delivery of the Fundamentals in University Teaching certificate tailored for sessional academic staff across the university. Individual academic teacher mentoring and support was a key part of this role.

I advised project teams in national teaching and learning projects and academics in the scholarship of teaching and learning; and provided advice to academic staff on the development of teaching award applications, and have been on teaching award application panels at the faculty and university level.

My role allowed me to work with students to gather feedback through focus groups, surveys and classroom observations to seek their input into the improvement and design of curriculum. This provided me with a full picture perspective of the teaching and learning process in the university context, and strengthened my approach and advice on curriculum design to ultimately enhance student academic achievement.

In 2018 I had the opportunity to work on a university-level project to undertake work on the development of teaching staff resources to improve and enhance academic outcomes for students with disability or a medical condition. I developed academic staff resources to support universal design and inclusive practice in curriculum design for all modes of delivery. As part of this project, I was also part of a team who were successful in securing a university Teaching Innovation Investment Scheme grant to develop embedded teaching resources for academics seeking to support students with a mental health condition. 

I am currently a PhD candidate with the School of Education undertaking research focusing on higher education learning and teaching and the professional development and wellbeing of academic teaching staff.

Teaching Expertise

I have been an educator for over 20 years and have taught in the higher education and secondary education context.

Higher Education

I have been the course coordinator for a number of years and have developed curriculum, taught and administered courses in all modes of delivery – face-to-face, blended and fully online. I have taught extensively, for almost fifteen years, in more than twelve courses in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs at the University of Newcastle and Charles Sturt University. These courses have been in the areas of: Educational Psychology, Educational Sociology, Teacher Preparation and Professional Practice, and the final year Teacher Research Project for the Bachelor of Teaching; and in Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development for the Bachelor of Business.

I have also taught into postgraduate education and business programs in the School and Community Partnerships, Boys and Literacies and School Organisation and Structural Issues in Educating Boys courses in the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies and the Master of Educational Studies programs; and I have also provided academic support in assessment for more than eight undergraduate and postgraduate education and business courses.

I provided one-on-one academic tuition, for a number of years to international postgraduate university students who were completing research degrees through the Newcastle Business School and the School of Education - BUSN4300: Research Thesis; EDUC6027: Minor Thesis B 

Secondary Education

I am currently a NESA accredited proficient teacher with the NSW Department of Education. My teaching specialisations are in the English, History, Human Society and Its Environment and Drama disciplines in the secondary school context. 

Research Expertise

I have extensive research experience and have been the project manager on a number of university research projects across a variety of disciplines including education, special and inclusive education, business, psycho-oncology and higher education. I have specialist skills in qualitative research processes. 

I am a reviewer for the International Journal for Academic Development.


  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Diploma of Management, Forsythes IT Training Pty Ltd - NSW - RTO


  • Academic Development
  • Curriculum Design and Development
  • Educational Development
  • Educational Psychology
  • Educational and Instructional Design
  • Higher Education
  • Online and Blended Teaching and Learning
  • Professional Development
  • Teaching and Learning



Year Award
2005 Australian Research Council Postgraduate Award
ARC (Australian Research Council)


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

Journal article (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 McComb V, Eather N, Imig S, 'Casual academic staff experiences in higher education: insights for academic development', International Journal for Academic Development, 26 95-105 (2021) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/1360144x.2020.1827259
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Narelle Eather, Scott Imig
2017 McComb VR, Eather N, 'Exploring the Personal, Social and Occupational Elements of Teacher Professional Development', Journal of Education and Training Studies, 5 60-66 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.11114/jets.v5i12.2794
Co-authors Narelle Eather
2013 Dean A, Cowley K, McComb V, 'Developing foundational generic skills in first year business students: Confirmations and contradictions', International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, 20 1-17 (2013) [C1]

One of the key issues surrounding graduate attributes and their foundational generic skills is that of how to effectively embed them into university curricula. This study reinforc... [more]

One of the key issues surrounding graduate attributes and their foundational generic skills is that of how to effectively embed them into university curricula. This study reinforces and extends the discourse, evaluating specific learning interventions concerned with information literacy and academic integrity embedded into the curriculum of a first year marketing course in a business school. Foundational marketing was selected as an appropriate course in which to embed these particular skills due to their importance to students' academic and later marketing careers. Pre- and posttest methodology was used in the study to identify students' views on their own generic skills' development. Changes to student self-reported skills development are validated using cross check questions. The overall findings of the study confirm the literature reporting successful outcomes of embedding generic skills into course curricula, however some interesting contradictions particularly in the area of referencing skills and student recognition of plagiarism are found. © Common Ground.

DOI 10.18848/1447-9494/cgp/v20i01/48677
Co-authors Alison Dean, Kym Cowley

Conference (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Cooper SA, Lindsay KA, McComb VR, 'Supporting good first year course design: The FY PATI', The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, Wellington, New Zealand (2013) [E3]
Co-authors Sharon Cooper
2011 Lambert S, Girgis A, Turner J, Kayser K, McComb VR, Chambers S, et al., 'Use of the coping-together workbook by couples facing cancer: Insights into preferences for and barriers to self-directed learning', Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology: COSA 38th Annual Scientific Meeting Poster Abstracts, Perth, WA (2011) [E3]
DOI 10.1111/j.1743-7563.2011.01472.x
2011 Lambert SD, Girgis A, Turner J, Kayser K, McComb VR, Chambers S, et al., 'Preliminary findings of a qualitative evaluation of a coping skills intervention for couples facing cancer: Insights into preferences for self-directed learning', Psycho-Oncology, Antalya, Turkey (2011) [E3]

Mrs Vivien McComb


Senior Academic Developer
Learning and Teaching
Academic Division

Contact Details

Phone 02 4921 5032


Room CH320Y
Building The Chancellery
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308