The Science of Learning Hub

Using digital and visual methods to enhance student voice, agency and leadership.

Presented by:  Kathryn Coleman, PhD

for the: Science of Learning Hub’s Lecture Series 2019


This lecture will explore the potential of visual and digital methods to encourage discussion, collaboration, reflection, creation and curation. Using digital and visual methods inside and outside of the classroom not only provides a learner with the opportunity to speak but also gives them a chance to be heard, develop literacies and skills needed now and for the unknown future as agents of change. Gazing forward into education in this new century, the digital demands new ways of learning and teaching with and through visual culture, creativity and critical engagement with digital and visual practices and pedagogies. This digital turn has pushed the need for me to highlight in learning, teaching and research across sectors that education needs to focus on building cross-cutting digital and visual literacies and capabilities that explicitly teach creativity and criticality. The Victorian curriculum, in response to the new Australian Curriculum, asks that we all incorporate learner capabilities that include critical and creative thinking. The curriculum authority claim that they are inextricably linked and when taught explicitly, invite metacognitive thinking. “Thinking that is productive, purposeful and intentional” (VCAA, 2016). I propose that through visual and digital methods education can support identity development through becoming. Becoming learner through being in the world through creative and critical thinking. How? Creating, curating and documenting the learning journey through personalised, reflective, selfdirected, critical and deep sustained learning 

But what are digital and visual methods for learning? How can we enhance participatory opportunities for student voice, agency and leadership? How can digital and visual methods assist in the design of our classrooms and contribute to the culture of our classrooms, and our schools? What collaborative learning can we do with/as/through digital and visual methods for everything from ideation to implementation? How can we utilise digital and visual methods such as 

  • Multimedia artefacts 
  • Podcasting  
  • Digital video tools 
  • Portfolios 
  • Open Badges 

to enhance student voice, agency and leadership? 

About the Presenter

Kate’s work focuses on the integration of digital pedagogies and digital portfolios for sustained creative practice and assessment. She is a lecturer at MGSE in Visual Arts and Design Teacher Secondary Education. Kate’s praxis includes taking aspects of her theoretical and practical work as a/r/tographer to consider how teachers and students use site to create place in the digital and physical. As an artist and art educator, Kate is a World Council Representative for the South-East Asia Pacific Region for the International Society for Education though Art (InSEA) and co-editor of the open access Journal of Artistic and Creative Education. 


Student Voice and Student Agency

by MGSE: Science of Learning Hub’s Lecture Series 2019


In this presentation Sophie Murphy defines student voice and student agency and discusses how a strong sense of agency can support student learning.  Sophie provides practical strategies that you can use to enhance student voice and student agency in the classroom.

You can access the presentation slides here


Sophie has provided resources to help you support student voice and student agency:


Critique and feedback – the story of austin’s butterfly – Ron Berger

A key feature of the Visible Thinking approach is the Teacher Study Group as described in the School-Wide Culture of Thinking section. In these groups teachers reflect on student work, or documentation, generated by students when using routines or investigating an ideal.

The Jigsaw Method

About the Presenter

Sophie Murphy is currently at the University of Melbourne as a full time PhD candidate, under the supervision of Prof. John Hattie.  With over 15 years of experience as a teacher and an educational leader, Sophie works with teachers and school leaders across Australia to help schools implement and support effective classroom questioning, planning and teaching for deep level learning (SOLO Taxonomy), effective classroom discourse, collaboration and use of assessment and data.

Keynote Address – Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath

Foundations of Student Learning

by MGSE: Science of Learning Centre’s Lecture Series

Presenter:  Dr Jared Cooney Horvath

Date and Time: 3:45pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 31st October

Location: Broadcast to your school


During this session, we will explore the basic learning process.  More specifically, by combining the concepts of modularity, plasticity, and bottom-up/top-down processing, we will examine how the brain takes in, adapts to, and transfers new information/skills.  In addition, we will briefly consider the role of Metacognition during this process and discuss its role in human learning.

About the Speaker

Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath (PhD, MEd) is an expert in the field of Educational Neuroscience with a focus on enhancing teaching and learning practices. He has conducted research and lectured at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, the University of Melbourne, and over 100 schools internationally. Jared has published 5 books, over 30 research articles, and his work has been featured in numerous popular publications, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, WIRED, The Economist, and ABC’s Catalyst.

Keynote Address – Gavin Murphy

Reflections and Possibilities: ‘So How Was School Today?'

by MGSE: Science of Learning Centre’s Lecture Series

Presenter: Gavin Murphy, University College Dublin

Date and Time: 3:45 pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 5th September

Location: Level 9, 100 Leicester Street, University of Melbourne, Carlton Victoria


In this talk, Gavin will speak about: ‘So How Was School Today?’; a study into student perceptions of education, and experiences in schools. Funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland, this report presents the findings from a survey of 3,242 Secondary school students about how they’re taught and how they learn. Gavin will present the report’s background and its findings, and what we can learn – particularly from a school leadership perspective – as a result of this student led survey. To conclude, challenges and possibilities for practice from research in this area will be outlined and raised for discussion, particularly in the context of the Victorian Department of Education’s Amplify publication regarding student voice and agency.

About the Speaker

Gavin Murphy is a Research Scholar at University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Education, where he is a member of the ‘Leading, Teaching, Learning’ research cluster. Working in both initial teacher and educational leadership, Gavin has also contributed to Ireland’s national Postgraduate Diploma in School Leadership in collaboration with two other Irish universities. Gavin has presented research on the interrelationship between research on student voice and participation and educational leadership, and argues for the necessity to interlink these research agendas within the school improvement research tradition. Most recently he has also published on teachers’ experiences of the leadership of school self-evaluation. Gavin is currently visiting the Melbourne Graduate School of Education as an Australia Awards Endeavour Research Fellow. His current research examines school leadership preparation and development, comparing Victorian policy on, and school leaders’ perceptions about, their preparation and development, with school leaders in the Republic of Ireland.

Keynote Address Biography -Aisling Mulvihill

Attention and Executive Functioning for Self-Regulated Learning

 by MGSE: Science of Learning Centre’s Lecture Series

Presenter:  Aisling Mulvihill, The University of Queensland, Brisbane

Date and Time:  3:45 pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 20th June

Location: Room 219, Level 2, Kwong Lee Dow Building, 234 Queensberry Street,  University of Melbourne,  Carlton Victoria

NOTE: Staff of Partner schools do NOT need to register


     Attention and executive functioning are inter-related cognitive functions that are foundational to self-regulated learning. These cognitive functions, and our support of these in the classroom, relate more to ‘how we learn’ rather than what we learn. While we might not always teach these skills explicitly as curriculum content, they are a critical element of our teaching style, and the supports and strategies that we provide to our students.
     This presentation introduces educators to the science of attention and executive functioning. Educators are guided in exploring how they currently utilize implicit knowledge of these cognitive functions to facilitate self-regulation in the education context.


     Aisling Mulvihill is a practicing speech pathologist, clinical educator and researcher at the University of Queensland. Her research activities span the topic of self-regulation from early childhood to adolescence.
     In 2006, Aisling completed a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College, Dublin. She has worked as a paediatric Speech Pathologist in both Ireland and Australia across sectors of public health, education, and private practice. Aisling has specialised practice in supporting children with learning and social-emotional challenges relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) and Specific Language Impairment (SLI). In 2013, Aisling co-authored the Ant Patrol Children’s Stories, a series of six educational children’s stories that aim to support children’s social and emotional learning. The series has been well-received by educators, allied health professionals and parents.
     Aisling’s PhD research investigates the development of self-talk as a self-regulatory tool in children with and without developmental vulnerability. Aisling is also involved in a large-scale interdisciplinary science of learning research project investigating the effect of metacognitive training on attention control in young adolescents.


This event is free and open to the public.  

Each attendee should register using the form below, except for staff at Partner schools who do not need to register.

Once you register you should receive a confirmation email.



If you do not receive the confirmation email, or if you have any queries please email us at:

Event Details

Presenter:  Aisling Mulvihill, The University of Queensland, Brisbane

Date and Time:  3:45 pm – 4:45pm Wednesday 20th June

Location: Room 219, Level 2, Kwong Lee Dow Building, 234 Queensberry Street,  University of Melbourne,  Carlton Victoria


The Science of Learning Schools’ Partnership Initiative is supported by the University of Melbourne Engagement Grants program