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The teaching-research nexus

The teaching-research nexus at the University of South Australia links teaching and research through critical enquiry. Students experience enquiry-based learning that helps them develop research skills and critical dispositions. More information


In practice

Student Engagement Project: STEP 2010

STEP 2010 (staff access only) is the University's project for the implementation of the Teaching and Learning Strategy. This strategy encapsulates the core concept of experiential learning as a means of increasing student engagement. The intention is to make what students do, rather than what staff do, the central focus of UniSA's approach to teaching and learning. This approach is based on research that indicates student who are undertaking active learning tasks perform better, enjoy their studies more and rate their overall satisfaction more highly.


In Art, Architecture and Design

The School of Art, Architecture and Design has a keen understanding of the teaching-research nexus. Teaching as research is constantly being emphasised in work that brings the overlap between the 'scholarship of teaching' in line with 'research practice'. A snapshot of the teaching-research nexus in practice in the School of Art, Architecture and Design is provided below.

Speaking in Tongues

The Speaking in Tongues Workshop held on Friday 29 October 2010 was an opportunity to informally workshop/discuss the kinds of writing - required, encouraged and 'accidental' - that emerge from studio/theory learning and teaching. As part of the STEP 2010 project, Recasting Art & Design Writing, staff/research across the School considered creative approaches to writing by practice-based students.

Speaking in Tongues discussed a number of approaches/models across art, architecture and design that often remain unrecognised beyond their immediate discipline/program. Through the STEP 2010 project we hope to allow wider access to some of these models and to share productive ideas about student writing beyond - and perhaps even including - 'the academic essay'!

Theory Spine

Kathleen Connellan, project leaderThe Theory Spine initiative was developed through a University teaching and learning grant (initiated by Kathleen Connellan), and the dedication of lecturers and researchers across the three disciplines art, architecture and design. Students are encouraged to take Theory Spine courses and electives during their undergraduate or postgraduate degree, focusing on art, architecture or design theory and history. Themes are cross-fertilised in a 'spine' or rich theoretical pathway so that students benefit from interdisciplinary teaching rather than focusing on a single art, architecture or design medium. Seminars enrich learning and support lectures and tutorials.

Staff involved in the teaching-research nexus

Jane LawrenceRachel HurstRachel Hurst and Jane Lawrence

Rachel Hurst and Jane Lawrence, Lecturers in Architecture and Interior Architecture, have developed a joint architecture and interior architecture studio teaching practice which uses the universally tangible realm of food as a design language and frame of reference, employing themes of the everyday, memory, place and identity as additional emphases. They have:

Olga Sankey

Olga SankeyOlga Sankey is a Senior Lecturer and Program Director: Visual Arts (Honours). Her particular area of studio expertise is in printmaking and she is a practising artist, regularly exhibiting locally and nationally. Olga's research activities centre on her art practice - solo exhibitions, participation in curated national and international exhibitions, and selection for inclusion in major print competitions in Australia and overseas. Her work is held in both private and public collections, such as the Australian National Gallery, Australian Parliament House Collection, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, Print Council of Australia, Adelaide University, Flinders University and the National Museum of Modern Art - Seoul, Korea.

Pam Zeplin

Pam ZeplinPamela Zeplin is Portfolio Leader of Research Education in Art, Architecture and Design. As a widely published author, artist and educator, her research and teaching practice specialises in contemporary non-Indigenous and Indigenous visual culture in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. This provides a strong foundation for research in regionality, intercultural art education, performance and collaborative practices. As well as supervising numerous PhD and MA research students to successful  completion in theory and studio programs, Pamela's teaching expertise includes Research Methods, Arts Writing, Asia-Pacific Art, and Australian Art, Craft and Design.