Grant Recipients 2022

In 2022, 15 grants were awarded across four categories, totalling $34,500.

Use the links below to read about the open textbook projects funded in each category:

  • Category: High Impact Projects
    • An introduction to legal reasoning
    • Anatomical variation: An Australian and New Zealand context
    • Threshold concepts in biochemistry
    • Towards improving applied statistical analysis
    • Hola Oceania: Spanish for Australia/New Zealand (Renamed Español downunder: Spanish for Australia and New Zealand)
    • Essential thermodynamics for biologists, chemists and physicists (Renamed Thermodynamics in the Real World: Energy and Life)
    • Working with mentor texts: How authors use grammar to write for effect
  • Category: Australian and New Zealand Content
    • Supply chain management for beginners: Principles, practice and post-pandemic evolution
    • Customer insights
    • Building cost planning: Best practices and insights
    • Medical genomics: An Australian and New Zealand perspective
  • Category: Rebalancing Representation
    • De-colonising practices in Australian contexts
    • Exploring sociology in the Antipodes: Introduction to sociology – First Australian edition
  • Category: Emerging Disciplines
    • Enabling and optimising recovery from COVID-19
    • A contemporary approach to research and statistics in psychology

Category: High Impact Projects

 

Español downunder: Spanish for Australia and New Zealand (Previously Hola Oceania: Spanish for Australia/New Zealand)

Professor Ramon Lopez Castellano (Deakin University)
Dr Israel Holas (Deakin University)

The textbook will offer a comprehensive guide for students of Spanish. The book is aimed at students taking a language within the Australian and New Zealand context, where language study is not as prevalent or widespread when compared to Europe or the United States. As a result, the book will cater to a broad range of students, and emphasise a hands-on, student-centric approach to learning the Spanish language. Pedagogically, it will start from a complete beginner level (students with no prior knowledge or experience) and will progress to an upper intermediate level. It will help students develop and use the 4 basic language skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading) in an engaging and interactive manner. To scaffold and student learning and progression, it will then reinforce the concepts presented throughout the book with interactive (H5P) exercises, practice activities (both individual and group) and revision activities that will be provided throughout the book.

The book will introduce students to important vocabulary, as well as cultural and grammatical concepts in an approachable and appropriately staged manner. In terms of addressing its audience, it will draw on cultural examples from the Spanish-speaking world, and from Australia and New Zealand (rather than Europe or the United States of America). This makes the book unique, as Australian and New Zealand students have frequently commented that Spanish-learning materials produced in Europe or the USA are often somewhat alienating.

The book will introduce students to a standardised or pan-Spanish variant of the language that will take into account the most widely spoken regional variations. It will then provide students with a list of place-related slang and other variations. The reason for this is that most Spanish textbooks focus on just one variant of Spanish: usually Castilian Spanish from Spain if the book is produced in Europe; or Mexican Spanish if the book is produced in the USA. As Australian and New Zealand students have an interest in both regions, our book will equip them with both Peninsular Spanish and Latin American options.

Our book will also link the language-learning journey with cultural themes, with the aim of developing students’ social awareness and understanding, as these are essential aspects of language acquisition. The teaching of this awareness and understanding should not foster mere passive reception by students (as is the case with Spanish textbooks in the Australian and New Zealand context, which do not offer cultural bridges that can help establish a cultural dialogue). Our book will seek to establish those bridges by acknowledging a range of cultural and social realities for students in the Australian and New Zealand contexts.

This book is the only complete OER textbook (aimed at beginner to upper intermediate level students) produced and aimed at Australian and New Zealand students of Spanish.

Finally, to ensure the pedagogical quality of the contents, the book will be aligned to the European Framework (A1-C1) and will aim to ensure that students that complete the course will have a working proficiency in Spanish.

An introduction to legal reasoning

Emeritus Professor John Farrar (Bond University)
Associate Professor Wendy Bonython (Bond University)
Assistant Professor Narelle Bedford (Bond University)

Legal reasoning occupies a central place in legal education and practice; however understanding how lawyers, judges, and legislators ‘think’ about law is not intuitive. Introduction to Legal Reasoning uses a law in context approach to explain how judges determine cases; how legislators create statute; and how policymakers apply laws to citizens. Designed for law students and others who need to understand not just what lawyers think, but also how they think, Introduction to Legal Reasoning considers the sources of information and methodological tools lawyers and law-makers use to identify appropriate legal principles, and apply them to particular circumstances. Drawing on cases and other examples from Australian, New Zealand, and elsewhere, Introduction to Legal Reasoning demystifies the legal reasoning skills law students require to thrive in law school and beyond.

The book adopts a comparative, and at times critical, approach to exploring how the legislature develops and passes legislation; how courts interpret and apply that legislation; and how policy-makers design and implement policies to support that legislation, including through application of administrative law principles. Adopting the approach of Michael Zander’s work on United Kingdom law in ‘The Law-Making Process’, and Hart and Sack’s approach to US law in ‘The Legal Process: Basic Problem in the Making and application of Law’, Introduction to Legal Reasoning considers in detail how laws are made by each of the branches of government, and also how each branch uses the law-making products of the others to inform its own practices, and how they all draw on external sources – including international law, social sciences research, and comparative law – to reinforce and inform future iterations of law. The book particularly considers the normative effects of non-traditional sources of information on law-making and egal reasoning in the information age.

Specific topics include: the preparation and drafting of legislation; legislative consultation; debate and passage of legislation; Statutory interpretation; History and hierarchy of the courts; Judicial reasoning in common law; Precedent and stare decisis; law reporting; Dispute resolution; administrative decision- making and judicial review; law reform; and methods and sources of legal reasoning.

Thermodynamics in the Real World: Energy and Life (Previously Essential thermodynamics for biologists, chemists and physicists)

Professor Trevor Brown (University of New England)
Professor Timothy Schmidt (University of New South Wales)
Dr Ali Bagheri (University of New England)
Associate Professor Erica Smith (University of New England)
Dr Peter Lye (University of New England)
Dr Christopher Hansen (University of New South Wales)
Professor Amir Karton (University of New England)

Thermodynamics is fundamental to biology, chemistry and physics. Traditional textbooks deliver the content such that many undergraduate students find the subject confusing and difficult to grasp. This open textbook is aimed at first and second year students and explores ideas of internal energy, enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy and their importance in understanding, predicting and optimising the outcomes of biological, chemical and physical processes. Applications of the concepts and case studies from all areas of modern science with multimedia, including interactive widgets, and online experiments and formative assessment embedded throughout the text to facilitate the learning of the challenging concepts. Background mathematics are introduced throughout as and when required. This open resource improves the accessibility and relevance of thermodynamics without loss of rigour.

Anatomical variation: An Australian and New Zealand context

Associate Professor Laura Gregory (Queensland University of Technology)
Dr Mikaela Reynolds (Queensland University of Technology)
Ms Annabelle Kimmorley (Queensland University of Technology)

The anatomy of our outwardly facing physical appearance exhibits great diversity between individuals, from different eye, skin and hair colour to the size of our feet and our height. However, it is less known how our anatomy differs beneath the surface… is the anatomy of the internal organs the same between individuals? Most textbooks would like you to think so with simplified standard descriptions of human anatomy such as the lung lobes and fissures, aortic arch branches and bone numbers. But this textbook is different. Here we build your understanding of the scope and clinical importance of human anatomical variation to improve your future patient interactions as a health professional or scientist.

Anatomical variation is a difference in morphology (shape and size), topography (location), developmental timing or frequency of an anatomical structure. It presents during embryological or subadult development and results in no substantive observable interruption to physiological functions. Every organ displays an array of anatomical phenotypes, and for these reasons the anatomy of each person is considered a variant. Understanding anatomical variation is essential for all health professionals to avoid patient misdiagnosis such as confusing a natural variant with a pathology, minimise surgical or procedural errors that may occur if variations are unexpected, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

This textbook is designed to actively engage your exploration and critical analysis of human anatomical variation in an Australian and New Zealand context. Research in anatomical variation has demonstrated significant differences in phenotypic expression of variants between and within geographic, ancestral and socioeconomic populations, as well as displaying significant variance between males and females. It is therefore critical as a health professional to understand anatomical variation in the context of the population you intend to practice in. This textbook compiles this critical information into an easy to read summary of the range and frequency of anatomical phenotypes in Australian and New Zealand patients by drawing from contemporary anatomical science research. Anatomical variation of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples will also be highlighted where research is available.

The textbook is organised to complement your health science studies by developing your depth of understanding to address three key learning outcomes in anatomical variation:

  1. Categorise and describe a range of anatomical variation within the human body.
  2. Theorise the implications of anatomical variation on patient outcomes and in professional contexts.
  3. Investigate the process of anatomical variation formation and its potential causes.

To support the use of this textbook in the classroom, the textbook is divided into three sections based on the level of learning expected for each learning outcome (eg. first year, second year and third year of study). This helps to align each chapter’s content with your stage of learning with relevant discussion and activities to engage your investigation of human anatomical variation.

Towards improving applied statistical analysis

Dr Jaikishan Desai (Victoria University of Wellington)

The current approach to teaching introductory applied statistics puts a lot of emphasis on learning the mechanics of statistics with only a cursory nod to the ‘applied’ part. A standard three-part approach (descriptive statistics, probability, statistical inference) is used to teach basic statistics, and the application part is dealt with by using discipline-specific examples. The emphasis on methods is not to be faulted; it is necessary because statistics is challenging, and there are parts that are not particularly intuitive. The standard approach also creates a shared language that is invaluable in interpreting results of statistical analysis of phenomena one may have no prior knowledge of. All of this, in particular, the systematicity of the methods (of collecting and analysing data) is, without question, the upside of the standard approach.

The downside is a tendency to think of applied statistics in a somewhat mechanical way, and not pay adequate attention to substantive aspects of the phenomena statistical methods are applied to. In applications of statistics, three aspects require attention: (1) nature of variation in occurrences of the phenomenon of interest; (2) extent of observability of occurrences; (3) assumptions in conceptualising the phenomenon, its informational content, and the methods of analysis. These should be examined thoroughly and in a systematic way – before moving on to collecting data on the phenomenon of interest and applying methods of statistical analysis to the data. Not working through these can compromise the choice of statistical methods and the interpretation of the results of the analysis. There is – currently – no systematic approach to working out these crucial (pre-analysis) bits in a way that is applicable across disciplines.

What my book aims to do is make the entire applied statistical analysis process systematic. The proposed (PIA) approach has three steps, each of which is systematic and applicable to all sorts of phenomena in all disciplines. The first step (P) clarifies four essential features of the phenomenon of interest. It then assesses their ‘complicatedness’ with a four-part lens that considers the complexity, observability, dynamicity, and uncertainty of occurrences. The second step (I) examines the informational content of the phenomenon by first specifying what all (conceptually) constitutes information on a phenomenon’s occurrence, then assessing the extent of observability of this conceptual information, and finally examining the quality of information that is likely to be observed. The final step (A) is the standard fare of statistics but – now – informed by what is revealed in the previous steps. It starts by assessing the suitability of statistical methods for the phenomenon of interest, then goes on to formulating a research question and specifying a study design for it, and thereafter looks at appropriate methods for data collection and analysis.

In the book, the PIA approach will be applied to a variety of phenomena about humans, other organisms, mechanical devices, and the environment. These will include – at the very least – various aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic (infection, transmission, preventive behaviour, stress, well-being), performance assessment of organisations, vehicle emissions, and water and soil contamination. Some of the applications will be general, I.e., relevant to any country and context, others will be specific to issues relevant in New Zealand and Australia including issues (healthcare access, health outcomes, etc.) relevant to indigenous populations within the two countries.

Threshold concepts in biochemistry

Dr Julian Pakay (La Trobe University)
Dr Hendrika Duivenvoorden (Monash University)
Ms Kaitlin Clarke (La Trobe University)

Biochemistry (and Molecular Biology) represent one of the fastest-growing fields of scientific research and technical innovation and the resulting biotechnology is increasingly applied to other fields of study.  So, an understanding of Biochemistry is increasingly important for students in all biological disciplines.  However, at the same time, the content is inherently complex, highly abstract, and often deeply rooted in the pure sciences – mathematics, chemistry, and physics.  This makes it difficult to both learn and to teach.

Due to the rapid pace of change and accumulation of knowledge in Biochemistry it is conceded impossible to cover content exhaustively. Therefore, decisions must be made regarding which information is crucial to the study of Biochemistry and which information can be omitted. In response to this, several studies have been undertaken to identify the key foundational concepts and skills required by majors in the discipline.  Our experience in teaching Biochemistry is consistent with others in that many students fail to grasp these concepts early.  This presents a major barrier to learning, progressing in the discipline, and attaining the requisite skills.  Almost always the barriers to learning are misconceptions related to understanding key threshold concepts.

Threshold concepts have been identified in numerous disciplines and while often they are relatively few, understanding them causes a transformative shift in a student’s understanding and appreciation of that field and empowers students to connect prior and new knowledge in more sophisticated ways. Threshold concepts are partly defined by their transformative nature but also by their “troublesome” nature.  In 2014, a study* funded by the American National Science Foundation, identified the key threshold concepts critical for Biochemistry in five major areas. These include:

  1. The Central Importance of the Theory of Evolution to All Biological Sciences
  2. Matter and Energy Transformation
  3. Homeostasis, Control and Regulation
  4. Biological Information
  5. Macromolecular Structure and Function

A key barrier to understanding these concepts is their abstract nature. This resource will help students to overcome this barrier by drawing on real data and case studies to link theory to authentic practice.  It will enhance learning through careful explanation of domain-specific language using vocabulary they already understand, using visualisations and metaphors of complex concepts, applying knowledge-checks, and using a series of thematically linked case studies throughout. Students will also be able to apply their newly acquired conceptual understanding to novel problems with access to worked solutions.

This e-book will be designed as a succinct and focused resource, specifically aimed to help students grasp these key threshold concepts in Biochemistry. Due to their troublesome nature, understanding threshold concepts is a cognitively demanding task. By using a series of thematically linked case studies (e.g., referring to the same thematic analogy for all examples), that accompany theory, the cognitive load will be reduced. This will free up students to focus on learning concepts rather than distracting them with unnecessary specifics.

Furthermore, this eBook presents an opportunity to teach Biochemistry and Molecular Biology through a prism of Australian and New Zealand research. This discipline is represented by outstanding Nobel laureates including Howard Florey (Aus), Maurice Wilkins (NZ), Peter Doherty (Aus) and Elizabeth Blackburn (Australia’s first female Nobel laureate). Students should also feel inspired by current research. The Australian and New Zealand Biochemistry and Molecular Biology community ranks amongst the world’s best in terms of the number and quality of publications per head of population and our research facilities are world class. This eBook will seek to promote the discipline from a uniquely local perspective and allow students to recognise both opportunities for themselves and the importance of the field to society.

* Loertscher, J., Green, D., Lewis, J., Lin, S., & Minderhout, V. (2014). Identification of threshold concepts for biochemistry. CBE Life Sciences Education, 13(3), 516-528.

Working with mentor texts: How authors use grammar to write for effect

Dr Helen Harper (University of New England)
Ms Bronwyn Parkin (University of Adelaide)

It is well established that literary texts provide essential models for students learning to write, from the earliest years of primary school. Picture books, short stories and novels, as well as poetry and newer kinds of multimodal texts, can all serve as resources for study. Ideally, teachers can use these models – often referred to as mentor texts – to teach students about authors’ grammatical choices, to draw students’ attention to authorial intentions, and as models for effective, impactful writing.

This book provides pre-service and practising teachers with the knowledge and skills they need for working with mentor texts in depth.

The book presents a range of examples drawn from literature suitable for study throughout the primary years, and takes the reader step by step through a process of analysing these texts to uncover their structural, grammatical and vocabulary features.

The book takes a novel analytic approach, showing the reader how to notice grammatical features and to ask themselves  ‘So what? Why is this particular grammatical feature important, and to what effect has the author used it?’ This approach helps teachers see grammar as a resource that can be contextualised and brought to life, rather than a dull decontextualised study. In this way, an important element of the English primary curriculum – the understanding and use of grammar – is also addressed in an innovative way. Readers’ attention is drawn to authors’ choices, and the reader is taken, step by step, through an approach to sharing this understanding with their own students.

Examples of literature are drawn from a range of contemporary and classic children’s books and short stories. These include texts by Australian authors, including Indigenous authors. The texts encompass issues that address a diversity of Australian and other issues, and include stories from Indigenous, refugee and other diverse contexts.

The book includes the following sections:

  1. Literature and grammar in the curriculum
  2. Why study grammar through literature:
  3. How authors of literature use structural, grammatical and word choices to create effect and influence readers
  4. Examples from literature suitable for a range of age groups, demonstrating how to begin a story, how to describe settings and characters, how to build suspense, and how to create empathy
  5. Instructions for how to prepare a teaching sequence based on literature, and pedagogic strategies for working with texts, with a range of age groups.

The book includes templates that teachers can use to help them analyse texts, as well as discussion ideas for teachers working collaboratively in planning and programming.

The book is informed by the authors’ commitment to the education of all students, and is intended to benefit preservice and practising teachers working across the full range of teaching contexts in Australia.

The target audience of the book is both pre-service and practising teachers.

Category: Australian and New Zealand Content

Supply chain management for beginners: Principles, practice and post-pandemic evolution

Dr Richard Oloruntoba (Curtin University)

Drawing on years of teaching, academic research and providing advice to the corporate, public and not for profit sectors, the book provides an overview introduction to the foundational concepts and theories of supply chain management, their origins and evolution i.e., an introduction to supply chains, supply chain management, supply chain philosophy, and information, process, relationship and structural links as well as the planning and control of various forward and backward flows.

The book then addresses the relationship between supply chains and other business processes as well as the need for a fit between organisational objectives and supply chains. To illustrate, the book then provides a practical application of such theoretical concepts within Australian/ New Zealand industrial, commercial, government and not for profit contexts. The book then builds on that foundation by foreshadowing with practical real life illustrations and short cases contemporary and emerging developments in supply chain management. Specifically, sustainable supply chains, supply chain digitalisation and industry 4.0, humanitarian and disaster response supply chains, supply chains in developing countries, indigenous perspectives on supply chain management, geopolitics and supply chain management and post-pandemic supply chain resilience.

This book sets out the entire path towards building a comprehensive but concise introduction to supply chain management for 1st year beginner undergraduate students of supply chain management and general management. The book addresses the origins of the SCM concept and evolution, the various perspectives and approaches to supply chain management, and it illustrates contemporary best practice and excellence in the area with practical examples. Furthermore, it foreshadows latest developments, cutting edge issues, debates, challenges and developments in supply chain management in the post-pandemic era. This sets the scene for students to progress into more advanced units, classes and textbooks on supply chain management and its ·practical relevance and applications.

The book is set out in 12 chapters each focused on key areas and themes in supply chain management as discussed, while providing the latest insights into best practice in logistics, transport, procurement, distribution, customer and customer service in NZ and Australia. The book serves as textbook for beginning students in undergraduate education in supply chain management.

Customer insights

Dr Aila Khan (Western Sydney University)

Traditionally, marketers have used tools such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups to undertake marketing research. While these tools are still very important, they have some inherent limitations. For a start, to get good quality data from these tools a key assumption is that respondents will accurately respond to research questions. In many cases, these respondents are expected to recall a previous experience and report on it. In other situations, customers are presented with scenarios and asked to predict the likelihood of them undertaking a certain behaviour (e.g., purchase). Therefore, the key to good quality data depends on respondents’ engagement with, ability, and willingness to provide all necessary information.

Another limitation of the traditional marketing research methods is the bias that can creep in as per the wording or presentation of a question. It is well-known that responses to a question can vary depending on who is asking the question, how it is being asked, and perhaps, even the time when it is asked. Moreover, survey questions are pre-determined and offer little flexibility to bring in new ideas. Respondents are usually restricted in the way they can respond. Similarly, generating good data in an interview usually requires a good rapport between the interviewer and the participant. Not all researchers are skilful in this area.

The current world is making use of digital technologies. With the use of smart wallets, smartphones, smart appliances, streaming services, and social media platforms instantaneous information is being generated. This creates an ever-growing repository of ‘Big Data’ which – logically speaking – should be mined to gain insights into consumer behaviour. While the traditional marketing research methods are still useful, these need to be supplemented by other forms of data which is being created and stored on a regular basis.

Many organizations have developed ‘Insights Teams’ which consist of staff members from a variety of backgrounds. As opposed to a market research department, the task with the Insights Team is to be able to ‘synthesise’ the massive amounts of data being generated. Team members play the role of aggregators, interpreters, and disseminators. It is not sufficient to only present ‘findings’ to survey questions. An Insights-specialist’s key role is to be able to aggregate different pieces of information, interpret the data by collaborating with colleagues from other departments and be able to suggest key action points for future growth.

This open textbook contains digitally enabled learning activities which make it a more engaging platform for students. Relevant videos have also been incorporated which provide a quick overview of the topic. The content is brief and crisp. Young learners will find it relevant and easy to comprehend. This book contains chapters which traditionally have not been part of research textbooks: how to communicate insights, making infographics, and undertaking sentiment analysis.

Finally, this open text fulfils a knowledge gap in higher education. With the launch of this textbook, we have provided the first open access resource in the field of Marketing Research (now referred to as Customer Insights). At this stage, there are few books available in this area. By liaising with the industry (e.g., Australian Bureau of Statistics and Stats NZ) and incorporating current topics it is envisioned that any future work in this area will greatly benefit by the content already curated in this textbook.

Building cost planning: Best practices and insights

Dr Thilini Jayawickrama (University of South Australia)
Dr Ruchini Jayasinghe (University of South Australia)
Associate Professor Rameez Rameezdeen (University of South Australia)
Dr Ravindu Kahandawa (Massey University)
Mr Don Leelarathne (Project Cost Management Group (PCMG), Victoria)
Inoka Withana (Conslab Limited)

Cost management is an integral part of construction management and cost managers play a vital role in the financial and contract management of building construction projects. The role of a cost manager begins with the advisory services for budget setting, cost planning in early stages of the design development through the contract administration during the construction stage of a building project. Cost advice given during pre-construction cost management phases are vital for the project initiation through to the development and drive to the successful cost management of a building project. In this vein, cost planning has been incorporated as a major part of construction management education. This book focuses on the cost planning of building construction projects with special reference to the Australian and New Zealand context. Design development and cost planning with elemental analysis are emphasised in the pre-construction cost management process in the region. This book translates the well-established practice of pre-construction cost management process in the construction industry into a published academic and professional resource which can be used for teaching higher education students and for professional training programs. This book considers building cost planning from the client and the design team’s perspective and focuses on the functions of a cost manager. From the overview of construction industry and the client’s team, to detailed cost planning process and cost planning techniques at progressive stages in the pre-construction phase, this book is ideal as a guide to cost plan building construction projects. The latest volumes Australian Cost Management Manual published by the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and the elemental analysis of costs of building projects developed by the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS) have been incorporated into this text. The book follows AIQS pre-construction cost management process from the brief stage and then through the design development stages (outline and sketch designs) to the final design and documentation. Separate chapters are dedicated to demonstrating cost analysis of building projects, building cost information and design economics concept. These topics are discussed in detail with reference to appropriate examples from the construction industry. Integrated examples are used to showcase the cyclic nature of cost management process with the use of cost information during cost planning stages which produced through cost analysis of building projects. Despite its focus on the pre-construction phase, this book also considers life cycle costing which should be considered as part of the design development and the cost planning from earlier stages of a project. This book provides general guidance to calculations and mensuration required during the cost planning exercises with worked examples for easy understanding of students and new practitioners. It also includes a section for definitions and terminology in cost planning generally used in the region. The book follows an interactive style by featuring learning outcomes, self-review questions and learning activities for each chapter. It also extends theory into applications with the case studies incorporated from Australia and New Zealand construction industries. These approaches make this book useful for both students and practitioners in construction management.

Medical genomics: An Australian and New Zealand perspective

Dr Michael Gabbett (Queensland University of Technology)
Professor Alex Brown (University of Adelaide)
Professor David Sillence (University of Sydney)
Associate Professor Louise Conwell (University of Queensland)
Dr Patrick Yap (Auckland District Health Board)

Enormous advances in genomic technologies have led to discoveries that are rapidly being translated into clinical practice across the globe. It took 13 years and $US13 billion for humankind to first sequence its own genome. Now, we can sequence a genome in a day for less than $1000. Such remarkable progress is transforming medical screening, investigation, and therapeutics. Genomics is becoming mainstream clinical care in general practice, specialist medicine and diagnostics. However, new technologies present new challenges and costs. Routine genomic sequencing raises many social, legal, ethical and economic questions such as who owns the genomic sequencing data? does a parent have the right to the full genomic sequence of their own child? which genomic sequence variants should healthcare professionals be disclosing? how will our society fund this new genomic age?

Aimed at scientists and healthcare professionals, this text examines genetic medicine and diagnostics in the Australasian context. A history of genetic medicine in Australia and New Zealand is covered to provide the reader background information on our genomic journey to this point. We cover the social, legal and ethical aspects of genomic medicine, examining how our regulatory bodies are reacting to the introduction of new genomic diagnostic technologies. The first nations peoples of Australia and New Zealand have a unique view of medical genomics. This text examines how the concepts of Australian Aboriginal Dreaming and Māori Whānau align with modern genomic medicine, and considers the concerns first nations peoples have in light of the colonial history of Australia and New Zealand.

Medical Genomics provides a holistic review of genomic medicine, from contemporary genomic diagnostic platforms through to common conditions encountered in the clinic and the laboratory. Diagnostic and management guidelines for genetic conditions are provided that align with healthcare funding models of Australian and New Zealand.

Category: Rebalancing representation

De-colonising practices in Australian contexts

Dr Leanda Mason (Curtin University)
Dr Reva Ramiah (Curtin University)
Dr Sonia Tascon (Curtin University)
Dr Shaouli Shahid (Curtin University)

A first or introductory level Aboriginal cultural awareness textbook is required to amalgamate the enormous number of resources that we provide to first year students across many different disciplines. During teaching into different discipline units that align to the elevated RAP plan, it became apparent that there are major themes and ideas that cross all disciplines due to the holistic nature of Aboriginal ways of working. A textbook that is written with deep understanding of cultural safety and integrates Aboriginal ways of working effectively into multiple contexts is currently unavailable. We are aiming to fill that gap by creating an accessible, widely applicable textbook that is produced by Indigenous peoples for the purposes of teaching non-Indigenous peoples how to work respectfully and become true allies for Indigenous peoples of Australia.

Exploring sociology in the Antipodes: Introduction to sociology – First Australian edition

Associate Professor Theresa Petray (James Cook University)
Dr Nick Osbaldiston (James Cook University)

Introduction to Sociology is designed to be relevant to a range of introductory sociology classes. As a whole textbook, it is suitable for a one- or two-semester introduction to sociology. It weaves together ‘the canon’ of sociology with contemporary content, and material specifically relevant to learners in Australia and New Zealand. This gives students the necessary foundations to understand how sociology has emerged and developed in different contexts over time. But it ensures that readers are aware that this canon is the product of a number of factors and does not represent the limits of what sociology was and can be. Through an approach that recognises both the European classics and those not talked about enough, which includes sociology outside of the European and American scenes, we highlight classical and contemporary thinkers from a range of backgrounds.

As an online textbook, we take advantage of a range of interactive and multimedia resources to engage learners. We further aim to demonstrate the dynamic, non-linear, and still-active nature of sociological theory. Even those sociological approaches which have long histories are still relevant and constantly adapting. We look to include opportunities to utilise up to date resources, including statistics and other forms of data, to develop a text that is empirically grounded as well as theoretically developed.

The social world is in constant flux, but a number of big, global issues have changed how we think about society in the past few years. With current issues ongoing with covid19, the changing nature of Europe with the Ukrainian crisis, tensions in our region with regional states and the looming issue of climate change, a textbook in sociology needs to be an ongoing resource for students engaging with current world and local issues.

In addition to comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories, we have incorporated section reviews with engaging questions, discussions that help students apply the sociological imagination, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways. This text can be modified and reorganized to suit your needs, either building in the order laid out or re-arranging to suit the needs of your class. Individual chapters also work as stand-alone readings in a cross- disciplinary subject, or as introductory readings to a particular sub-field of sociology.

This textbook is an adaptation of the Introduction to Sociology – 2nd Canadian Edition by William Little.

Category: Emerging disciplines

Enabling and optimising recovery from COVID-19

Ms Danielle Hitch (Deakin University)
Associate Professor Genevieve Pepin (Deakin University)
Ms Valerie Watchorn (Deakin University)
Dr Kelli Nicola-Richmond (Deakin University)

Most people make a full recovery from COVID-19 but a substantial minority (10%-20%) go on to experience sustained symptoms that have come to be known as Long COVID. Based upon current case numbers, approximately 500,000 Australians are living with Long COVID and this number will only continue to grow as the pandemic wears on. Given the novelty of COVID-19, there are very few educational resources available for healthcare professionals, with many currently available based on low-quality evidence. Some basic Open Educational Resources (OER) have been produced about COVID-19 from agencies such as the World Health Organisation, but they all focus on the acute phase of illness and do not have appropriate content regarding Long COVID. Long COVID is an emerging challenge for international healthcare, and our graduates will need to have the skills to treat and support these patients.

The envisioned textbook would be a living resource to which new resources and content can be added over time to keep pace with this fast-moving field. Structured around the World Health Organisations’ International Classifications of Function (ICF) the textbook would contain 4 modules – personal factors, body systems/structures, activity/participation and environment. Each module is founded around a set of ‘personas’. Personas are semifictional character descriptions that provide a basis for case studies, user-centred service design, patient journey mapping and other learning activities. While each persona is aligned to a specific aspect of the ICF, the supporting materials will be designed to enable readers to make links with all ICF domains to promoted integrated care practices.

The team developing this textbook are all occupational therapists, and the resource and content will initially be developed from the context of this discipline. Occupational therapy is one of the fastest growing professions in Australia, but other disciplines are also invested in enabling and optimising recovery from COVID-19. The use of the ICF as an organising structure for the textbook will facilitate its multidisciplinary relevance, as this framework was designed to be used by all sectors.

This textbook will support learning and success by:

  1. Supporting students to clearly describe relationships and interactions between all domains of the ICF regarding long COVID, and the supports and adjustments which may be required by people with this condition at different stages of the lifespan.
  2. Enabling the development of rehabilitation specific knowledge, skills, and practices suitable for people with long COVID, and a person-centred approach to working with this patient cohort.
  3. Extending students understanding of how theoretical models of occupation, disability and function guide practice in this complex area.
  4. Enabling opportunities to practice occupational and functional analysis, assessment, and recommendation skills in the context of people with chronic and complex needs across a range of settings.

Simulating real-life cases to support skill development in the application of theoretical frames, targeted standardized assessments and evidence-informed interventions.

A contemporary approach to research and statistics in psychology

Dr Klaire Somoray (James Cook University)

In a typical introductory textbook to research methods and statistics, readers are introduced to large amount of context without a unifying framework underlying the structure. For instance, they learn about t-tests, ANOVA and regression as if they are separate and distinct concepts.

This leads to students performing statistical analysis in a prescribed, step-to-step manner without a deep understanding of why they did those steps in the first place. Students learn the concepts taught in research and statistics but they often do not see the connections between these ideas and cannot transfer learning into different contexts. This leads to fragmented knowledge and anxiety when starting another statistics subject, even among the best students in the class.

Interestingly, experts see connections between seemingly distinct concepts.

To create this transferable and connected knowledge, core concepts will underpin the structure of this textbook. Research and statistics will be presented as tools to “explain” and “model” variations that occur in human nature. These themes will be threaded throughout the book.

Variation is a fundamental idea in statistics, but it is often obscured by technical concepts like the “sum of square” and getting students to calculate sum of squares by hand. By choosing a few core concepts to underpin the framework of the textbook, students will see the connections between the different concepts and this will help organise their thinking.

Research methods and statistics will also be taught symbiotically. While research design is not the focus of the textbook, readers will be taught how measurement and research design can explain variations in data.

Models (or more explicitly, statistical models), in contrast, are a “simplification of a complex reality” (Rodgers, 2010). Modelling is a fundamental idea in statistics and data analysis, yet, this is often treated as an advanced subject not suitable in an introductory statistics course. In this textbook, the general linear model will be introduced at the very beginning and instead of using the general linear model equation, the following framework is used:

OUTCOME = MODEL + ERROR

It will be explained to readers, that what we do in statistics is quite simple. All statistical procedures that will be discussed in the book are just a variation of the general linear model. This way, students do not need to memorise a large list of information, they just need to know what they are trying to predict (i.e., the outcome) and how the model works in predicting the outcome.

This method of teaching research and statistics will be advantageous in several ways. First, students will be taught like an expert as connections between different concepts will be explicit from the start. These connections will make it easier to decide which analysis to do and mental energy will be expended on interpreting results. Second, by teaching the underlying connections, transition to advanced statistical procedures should be more intuitive. If students want to continue into masters or doctoral studies, more advanced statistical techniques should be easily understood as these concepts are just adding another “variable” into the model or conducting the model in a slightly different way.

This textbook is a humble attempt to help future scholars of psychology, not only to do better science but to be better data consumers. By focusing on transferable knowledge, the aim of this textbook is to build robust learning and deep understanding of research methods and statistics that can be applied in clinical settings and everyday situations.

This textbook also aims to join the on-going conversation in revolutionising research and statistics education (Chambers, 2019; Rodgers, 2016; Son et al., 2021). Not only will this textbook be open access, the software used for data analysis will be open access too (i.e., Jamovi). Lastly, guided by my teaching philosophy, the textbook will also critique “objectivity” and “value neutrality” that permeate the ideas in psychological research (Fox et al., 2009) and discussions on its potential negative implications on research and practice when left unaddressed. The scientific reform movement and alternative framework of knowing (e.g., Indigenous epistemologies) will be discussed.