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Celebrating emerging researchers published in Research Today


09 July 2021

Celebrating emerging researchers published in Research Today

The new Research unit in the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training (VET) at Box Hill Institute is already making its mark – with two research reports by emerging researchers/teaching staff at BHI published in AVETRA’s Research Today magazine recently.

The reports featured in Research Today are by Erin Emblin and Saini Nikolakakis – both work in roles as Trainer/Assessors at BHI and recently completed the new Research unit in the Diploma of VET.

First time researchers

Teaching and Learning Specialist at BHI, Annemaree Gibson, who submitted the research reports to AVETRA for consideration, said that Ms Emblin and Ms Nikolakakis had not done research before or submitted reports of research projects for publication previously.

“Erin and Saini are VET teachers at BHI who were looking to advance their careers with an additional qualification in research – neither had carried out any research before they studied our new Research unit.

“They are over the moon about having their reports published in AVETRA’s Research Today. It’s an excellent start to their academic research journey,” said Ms Gibson.

Erin Emblin’s research report: “Should educational leaders be required to upskill to fill in the gaps? Educational leadership skills in the Early Childhood setting” found, “a desktop review of the literature makes clear that educational leaders in Early Childhood Education and Care need certain skills to be successful in their job role.”

Supporting BHI strategic plan and enhancing student outcomes

In an industry constantly evolving to meet the needs of early learners, Ms Emblin showed, “… regular adaptation of the tools required to develop future generations of educational leaders will ensure ongoing, high quality education and care for children.”

Saini Nikolakakis’ report: “What is the relationship between mentoring a graduate trainer and the quality of the initial training delivery?” demonstrated throughout the research, “… it is evident that adding a mentoring program to the induction process will not only benefit the trainers but the students by ensuring they will have the best possible training delivery and a trainer who is confident and knowledgeable in their industry.”

Ms Nikolakakis also concluded that: “It will enhance and enrich our TAFE’s quality of student outcomes. Furthermore, this will support Box Hill Institute strategic plan and themes.”

As first time researchers, both Ms Emblin and Ms Nikolakakis found the research journey had its ups and downs.

A rollercoaster ride and an exhilarating experience

Ms Nikolakakis said: “It’s been like a rollercoaster ride! Some scary parts, where you question your ability to carry out the research as English is my second language.

“And then, some parts where the pure thrill of finding the perfect article after hours of researching makes you want to throw your arms up in the air and enjoy the ride. An exhilarating experience!”

Ms Emblin agrees and said she had been through highs and lows as well on her research journey.

“It’s been an interesting experience. I think the fact that I found more questions than answers in my research has ended up being a good thing.

Many different ways of research and endless possibilities

“It’s shown me the many different ways that research can go and given me more ideas in my research field to explore and analyse further,” Ms Emblin said.

Ms Nikolakakis agrees and said: “I have also developed a real appreciation and enjoyment of doing applied research. There are endless possibilities and future developments to consider.”

The new Research unit at BHI is aimed at experienced Australian vocational educators who are 23+ years of age, who hold or are working towards the TAE50116 Diploma of VET or equivalent and are currently working as a VET educator.

Taught by blended delivery – via MS Teams with scheduled tutorials, 24/7 access to materials on Student Web, and with Research Ethics and BHI Library support – the Research unit builds VET educator applied research capability.

Incorporating the Boyer framework

“Educators can then use this capability to apply research to their own training and assessment practice in the Vocational Education context.

“And, importantly, the new Research unit incorporates the Boyer framework of scholarship that was introduced in 1990 by Ernest Boyer and has been embraced widely across academia,” said Ms Gibson.

The Boyer model of scholarship is an academic model/framework advocating expansion of the traditional definition of scholarship and research into four types of scholarship: discovery, integration/engagement, application, and teaching and learning.

A verifiable and transferable microcredential

“Successful Research unit students are awarded a verifiable and transferable microcredential digital badge.

“A bonus for BHI is that VET educators who work at BHI and study this course will go on to become experienced VET Research practitioners, mentors and leaders for us,” she said.

With a new intake each semester, $600 tuition fees including the Digital Badge, and three to four months completion time, the new Research unit is an appealing and effective qualification for VET practitioners to advance their careers and add research skills to their toolkit.

Executive Director, Educational Delivery, Box Hill Institute, Ms Jane Trewin said that the publication of the two research reports by Ms Emblin and Ms Nikolakakis is exciting news.

Fantastic achievement for emerging researchers

“It’s a fantastic achievement for two emerging researchers who recently completed the Diploma of VET Research unit at Box Hill Institute.

“It is a great recognition of not only their excellent research work, but also the delivery of our new Research unit. It shows that applied research is definitely up and running at BHI,” said Ms Trewin.

The next Applied Research Short Course for this Microcredential commences on Monday 2 August.

For further information, please contact the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Team via email at: tle@boxhill.edu.au .



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