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Robyn Muldoon


Dr Robyn Muldoon

Project Title

Investigating assessment and academic development practices

Project Summary

Robyn was funded by her own university to visit the UK in her academic sabbatical time and was hosted by the OLnet project, providing practical support for the period of her visit.  Her research was not directly related to OER.

Her aim was to investigate assessment practices both current and emerging, in higher education in Great Britain. Several of her past and current research interests, her then responsibilities, and also the strategic directions of her university converged and pointed to a need, in her view, for a massive culture change in regard to student assessment.

A related interest and core part of Robyn's work is academic development. With her period of study she wished to take the opportunity to investigate the practices of Teaching and Learning Centres in Great Britain in tandem with her investigation of assessment practices here.

Part of her ongoing research has involved investigating the benefits of reflective practice in student learning and the benefits to be gained from allowing students to manage and plan their learning and development. From this she developed an appreciation of benefits of ePortfolio practice and the opportunities presented for creative, student centred, meaningful assessment and feedback for lifelong learning. She is interested in the potential of virtual learning environments, including new and emerging technologies, to facilitate online and mobile communities of practice and related assessment and feedback opportunities.

Dates visited OU UK

27 June - 9 August 2011


University of New England, Australia

Biographic information

Robyn Muldoon was Leader of the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) Academic Team, at the University of New England (UNE), and Acting Director of the TLC for the 2 years prior to the Fellowship.

Robyn has been the recipient of several Australian awards for her work. In 2002 her team won a national teaching award for a university preparation program. In 2006 she was the leader of teams that won two national citations for exemplary, innovative support of non-traditional students and sustained excellence in creating an inclusive first year learning community. In 2010 Robyn received a personal national citation for leadership in the development of the New England Award, an innovative program which fosters students’ personal and professional development at university through extra-curricular activity.

The New England Award program, established  in 2004, has quickly gained recognition as a valuable adjunct to a student’s academic program in terms of both personal development and readiness for employment. Six other universities have invited Dr Muldoon to assist them in establishing similar programs.

Main Output

The primary outcome was an extensive report with recommendations for the UNE context submitted to UNE’s Assessment Policy Review. Robyn says "My thanks to the many enthusiastic OU staff, particularly in IET, and other OLnet Fellows, who generously shared their ideas and experience with me about innovative assessment practices, particularly in the e-learning environment."


  • Extensive report with recommendations for the UNE context submitted to UNE’s Assessment Policy Review
  • Article submitted to leading Australian higher education journal (under review)
  • Article published on enabling education


Muldoon, R. 2011. Tertiary Enabling Education: Removing barriers to higher education. In P. Cunningham and N. Fretwell (eds.), Europe’s Future: Citizenship in a Changing World. London, CiCe: 288 - 297