The Project Team

The Project Team included three members from the lead university - University of Wollongong, in partnership with Victoria University, Central Queensland University and University of the Sunshine Coast.

Associate Professor Irina Verenikina

Dr Irina Verenikina is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong. She holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Russian Academy of Education. She is a Full Member of the Australian Psychological Society and a member of the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong. Irina’s research interests relate to the sociocultural contexts of effective use of digital technologies in education. Her major research focus is on the role of digital tablets in young children's development and play. Other research interests include scaffolding online discussion in higher education and the use of digital technologies in literacy and special education.

Pauline Jones

Pauline Jones: Associate Professor, Language in Education in the School of Education. Pauline has a long history of working with teachers at all levels of education in national and international contexts through language-based projects aimed at addressing educational disadvantage. Her research revolves around educational linguistics and the transformative potential of literacy in all its modes in contemporary educational settings. She is currently project leader of TRANSLIT, a major research project investigating the literacy learning experiences of learners across the years of formal education from preschool to mid-adolescence. She is also investigating the use of digital explanations in tertiary science classrooms as part of an ARC-funded project. She currently teaches educational linguistics/semiotics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and supervises a number of doctoral students undertaking work in this field.

Dr Janine Delahunty

Dr Janine Delahunty has had a sustained interest in the impact of asynchronous discussions on learning and sociality in higher education. Her doctoral thesis, completed in 2014, focused on the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) online learning space, particularly the complexities of asynchronous discussion and the effect on the teaching-learning experience. Since 2014 she has worked as an Academic Developer in the Learning, Teaching & Curriculum Unit at the University of Wollongong, and as Project Manager for a number of externally funded projects. Janine’s interests include how the learning experience can be enhanced – particularly for online students, first-in-family and those from diverse and/or less advantaged backgrounds.

For more information on Janine’s work go to


Dr Gwen Gilmore

Dr Gwen Gilmore is a Senior Lecturer in Literacy and Student Retention at Victoria University. She has brought to Victoria University 30 years of experience in secondary, primary and tertiary teaching settings, as well as education management and policy advice in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Gwen has a long-standing interest in developing strength based approaches to teaching and learning within values informed from an inclusive education perspective. She has interests in systems leadership, developing online and blended learning tools, relational resilience in institutional contexts, transnational education, visual methodologies and the student voice in research and research design

For more information on Gwen’s work go to: https://vu.academia.edu/GwenGilmore

Dr Jo Luck

Dr Jo Luck is a Senior Lecturer in Information Systems in the School of Engineering and Technology at Central Queensland University, based in Rockhampton Queensland. She has 30 years of experience in teaching Information and Communication Technology at the tertiary level. Her research area is how technology can be employed to enhance learning and teaching environments. She has a special interest in using Actor-Network Theory to investigate how people and technologies interact in technology-enhanced teaching environments. She also coordinates a unit for new Research Higher Degree students that is designed to teach the students fundamental research skills and academic writing at the thesis level. She was awarded a Vice Chancellor award for learning and teaching in 2013.

For more information and to see Jo’s contact details: https://phonebook.cqu.edu.au/profiles/view/699/

Ms Caroline Cottman

Ms Caroline Cottman is Senior Academic Developer at the Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching(C~SALT) at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Caroline has received an OLT Citation for her work in mentoring academics, supporting quality teaching practices and promoting reflection and active, learner-centred experiences. Her research interests include peer assisted teaching, providing feedback on learning and preparing academics to teach in higher education. Caroline has a Senior Fellowship with the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

The Guide

Articulates a set of principles for fostering online discussion in higher education, based on theory, the literature and evidence from postgraduate and undergraduate flexibly delivered courses.

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Student Perspectives

Here we present students’ perspectives on their experience of online discussion, in which the teacher used the Guide.

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Lecturer Vignettes

These vignettes capture the essence of how the FOLD strategies have influenced lecturers’ experiences of facilitating online discussion.

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The resources in this section are the literature used to inform the Guide as well as presentations made by the Project Team. These will be added to as we continue to disseminate.

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