Mediated Environments

Powerhouse Radio Show

Powerhouse Radio Show

Heather Anderson

This research project utilised UniSA’s internet radio station, UniCast, to investigate solutions to the challenges of resettlement for Muslim refugee youth, through their engagement in community radio. The National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting Council acknowledges there are specific settlement concerns relating to practical support, community development, trauma recovery and other complex needs of refugees. This is compounded for younger people with refugee backgrounds who share many of the challenges of other migrant youth, complicated by the fact that their migration was forced rather than chosen, and that they arrive in Australia with past experiences of violence, loss and, for some, the survival of torture.

Radio Show website

UniSA Media Release


United We Read

United We Read, 2015

Heather Anderson

United We Read is an early intervention program in disadvantaged suburbs of Adelaide that aims to build foundation literacy skills in children aged from birth to 5 years, run by United Way South Australia. The program involves a monthly literacy kit posted to each child, which includes an age appropriate storybook and parent help sheet as well as a minimum of six annual family fun events focused on building a rapport with parents as well as literacy. The program was launched in March 2014 and there are more than 300 children registered from Elizabeth Park and Elizabeth Downs. The program approach is evidence based. The association between poor literacy, youth justice, youth mental health, youth unemployment, and teenage pregnancy is widely accepted.  United We Read aims to avert these issues in children and young adults by improving school readiness. This research project aims to explore how a story-time radio show might add value to the United We Read program, and investigate if such a radio show can further engage children in their love of reading, and assist parents’ involvement, regardless of their own levels of literacy.

UniSA Media Release

Interview with Peter Goers 8/3/16 (story is around the 18 min mark)

Messenger Newspaper article March 2016


Digital Enterprise

Digital Enterprise: Pathways to Education and Employment for Young

Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Denise Wood

This project is a joint initiative involving five universities, two registered training organisations (RTOs), schools, state government and not for profit community organisations in South Australia (SA), the Northern Territory (NT), Victoria (Vic), New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (Qld). It deploys a range of leading technology enhanced methods, based on pilot programs around the world, for working with young people who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities, in ways that foster technical skills and sense of personal initiative, reduce levels of isolation, and help to create new futures. The project will create four high-tech spaces, located in NBN-connected areas, within which a number of distinct, but mutually reinforcing sets of collaborative technology-based activities will operate. Each location will host four groups of 12 young people (and their parents and carers) on a weekly basis; two groups of young people with ASD (especially high-functioning) and two groups of young people with other disabilities. The groups will be clustered around two significant `transition points¿: from primary to secondary school (11-14 years of age), and from secondary school to post-school (15 + years of age), with one group focusing on each transition point. The two groups of young people participating in the second transition group activities will undertake entrepreneurship and employability training involving both formal modules delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face workshops, followed by a period of mentoring. The success of project activities will be evaluated via rigorous research undertaken in tandem by the five universities (University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Victoria University and James Cook University).

Visit the project website


Young and Well

Young & Well Cooperative Research Centre – Experiencing Wiltja 

Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre

Denise Wood

This project will investigate the experiences of Indigenous young people participating in the Wiltja residential program, and identifying strategies for improving their well-being, participation, retention and success in the program.


Sustainable Online

The Sustainable Online Community Engagement Project

Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

Jenny Webber 

The Office for Volunteers facilitates a number of programs and initiatives that are specifically designed to help South Australians build stronger communities through supporting, promoting and enhancing volunteering. The Sustainable Online Community Engagement (SOCE) project is a joint initiative between the OFV and the University of South Australia, School of Communication, International Studies and Languages (the `Association¿). The Grant will enable the Association to support and administer the SOCE project to provide a sustainable online mechanism for participating groups to collectively engage with one another to achieve a range of outcomes related to the effective operation of the groups. The SOCE project will require students to assist community groups with a variety of communication, information technology and production related tasks that are based on the needs of the community groups and the ability of the students.

Visit the website


Graduate Qualities

Graduate qualities and journalism curriculum renewal: balancing tertiary expectations and industry needs in a changing environment

Australian Learning and Teaching Council (University of Wollongong)

Stephen J Tanner (UoW) | Marcus O’Donnell (UoW) | Trevor Cullen (ECU) | Kerry Green (UniSA)

Graduate Qualities and Journalism Curriculum Renewal: Balancing tertiary expectations and industry needs in a changing technological environment

Visit the website


Evidence Based

An evidenced-based approach to the design and redevelopment of inclusive online learning environments

Office for Learning and Teaching Grants

Denise Wood |Leanne Glenny |Collette Snowden |Sheila Scutter |Dr T Du |Deirdre Tedmanson | Bruce Underwood |T Johnson | Noel Lindsay |Katrina Falkner |Rebecca Vivian | Marnie Hughes-Warrington |Helen Partridge |Julie Willems

This project involves a collaboration of four Australian universities and two South African universities as well as the not-for-profit sector and the open-source community working together to investigate strategies for improving the online learning experience of students from diverse backgrounds through inclusive design.

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Design Catalyst

Design as a Catalyst for Engaging Students in Creative Problem Solving

Australian Learning and Teaching Council Limited

Denise Wood

The aim of the project is to design and develop a creative problem solving framework and online system that: provides a scaffold for the development of courses through creative design; and develops student understanding of the role of innovation and creativity in research and enhances capacity to undertake creative problem solving. The proposed project outcomes include: 1. A creative problem solving (CPS) Framework for curriculum renewal; 2. An open-source and accessible CPS system suitable for use across various disciplines, and documentation of technical requirements; 3. Guidelines for academics on embedding CPS in a flexible learning environment; 4. Ten case studies exploring pedagogical benefits of embedding CPS in the curriculum; 5. Ten webinars showcasing best practice; and 6. Dissemination via five national workshops and at least six peer-reviewed publications.

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Young and Well

Young & Well Cooperative Research Centre – Technologies for Supportive Communities

Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre

Denise Wood

This project will: evaluate existing technology-based communities for vulnerable young people; investigate how young people conceptualise community and its benefits; delineate the conditions that best provide opportunities for young people to meaningfully connect and engage with community; enhance their social inclusion; investigate the relation between `online’ and `offline’ engagements and how this can be leveraged to support vulnerable young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and develop and implement effective models of peer-mentoring for vulnerable groups.

Visit the project website 

Areas of study and research

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