Keynote Address:  Andrea Chester, BA, Grad Dip Couns Psych, MA, PhD
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University

The power of partnerships: transforming learning, encouraging engagement and fostering innovation

Andrea has a background in psychology education and practice, with more than 20 years experience as an academic. She began her career as a casual staff member in the Open Learning Unit at Monash University, when “distance mode” involved the exchange of cassettes in padded envelopes.  As an early adopter of technology, Andrea developed RMIT’s first fully online course in the early 1990s, exploring identity play in multi-player, text-based virtual reality environments. Over the years Andrea has taught across the psychology curriculum, with a particular interest in first year and transition issues and she continues to teach in both first and third year. Her passion and excellence in teaching have been recognised through a series of institutional, national and international awards. 

Andrea has a track record of research that covers both psychology as well as learning and teaching. For more than 10 years Andrea led CROPT, the Collaborative Research Online Psychology Team, a lab for PhD, Masters and Honours students engaged in online psychology research, graduating more than 40 students. More recently her research has focused on learning and teaching, with an emphasis on how social capital can enhance learning. Her work has explored how partnerships between students can be mutually beneficial, how partnerships between staff can enhance reflective practice and how partnerships between students and staff can be leveraged to transform learning.

For more about Associate Professor Chester’s current research please see http://www1.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=cbjxkzjfd7qo;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Sirian%20Marenco;SECTION=1;