On December 14, 2015, I became the inaugural CRADLE Fellow. I really did not know what to expect; I mean, what is a CRADLE fellow anyway? According to CRADLE’s own blog post:
The Fellowship enables scholars to undertake research for up to 12 months in association with the assessment research centre
I thought, okay, I am interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning… tell me more.
CRADLE Fellows are provided with support and mentoring from CRADLE researchers and are actively involved in research activities of the Centre
Great! To be honest, when it comes to the discipline of higher education teaching and learning research, I felt like a fish out of water.
The Fellowship offers funding of $15k to support the CRADLE Fellow’s research program
Awesome. This certainly will help support my projects, and free up my time.
So, in a practice sense, how did this translate?
For me, one of the great things about the Fellowship was it gave me a place think, write, and discuss ideas with experienced, like-minded researchers. I teach the largest unit in the School of Psychology, in the largest trimesters there are over 1500 students, 50 tutorials running a week, 4,500 assignments to mark, and 25+ casual staff. It is busy, full of distractions, interruptions, and meetings. CRADLE offered me a space in the Downtown office to work from, and I was glad to take up that offer. Throughout the year, I have managed to work from the CRADLE city office around 2-4 times per month. Being away from my normal workspace at Burwood campus helped me to focus on my CRADLE projects, and has given me some quiet time to write.
Not only did the Fellowship provide me with a space to work, it also provided me with numerous opportunities I never would have ordinarily had. I have been able to collaborate on an article with the Centre’s Director, Professor David Boud, had feedback on an article from the Associate Director Philip Dawson, devised an ARC linkage application in collaboration with Dr Rola Awajji and Associate Director Philip Dawson, submitted a chapter as an author on the CRADLE edited book on evaluative judgement, and started new collaborations (including two articles and a book chapter) with their visiting Honorary Professor Dr. Ernesto Panadero. While I haven’t directly worked on projects with all the CRADLE team, I have been lucky enough to share conversations, lunches, coffees, afternoon teas, dinners, and the odd wine (or two!) with them. They are a lovely bunch of people to work with. (Did I mention you get to work with David Boud? David Boud !!!)
What are you waiting for? If you are interested in becoming a CRADLE Fellow, fill out the CRADLE Fellowship application form!