Higher-degree research being undertaken by Alisha Portolese

Degree:

PhD

Supervisors:

Professor Michael Jacobson, Associate Professor Lina Markauskaite, and Dr Robbert Duvivier

Thesis title:

Redesigning problem-based learning in medical education: Contrasting solutions and improving consolidation

Email:

alisha.portolese@sydney.edu.au


Project description

What can we do to help medical students learn more deeply, and in a way that they will be able to apply their knowledge at just the right moment? As medical students are learning, how do we know when to provide students with feedback, how much feedback they should be given, and what the nature of that feedback should be? Medical students learning using a Problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum are usually expected to be independent learners. The timing, nature, and extent of feedback can be variable, yet a large body of recent education research argues that feedback can be optimised when it is delayed, but not denied. This project aimed to redesign some components of the traditional PBL learning design by integrating theory from Productive Failure and Analogical Encoding research. The overall goal was to see if a redesign that focused on integrating feedback in a particular way could help medical students learn more deeply and transfer their learning better, while spending the same amount of time on their learning.

Alisha Portolese is in the final phases of her PhD candidature within the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI), currently working on data analysis. She was born in Toronto, Canada and first came to Australia in 2009 as part of an exchange program, settling more permanently in Australia in 2012. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour from McMaster University and a Masters in Learning Sciences and Technology from Sydney. She loves to teach, and has enjoyed lecturing and tutoring Educational Psychology courses at The University of Sydney while working on her PhD.

Awards

  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), University of Sydney (2014 – 2017)
  • University of Sydney Merit Award, University of Sydney (2014 – 2017)

Publications

  • Jacobson, M. J., Markauskaite, L., Portolese, A., Kapur, M., Lai, P., & Roberts, G. (2017). Designs for learning about climate change as a complex system. Learning and Instruction. Available online 17 April 2017 at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.03.007
  • Lai, P., Portolese, A., Jacobson, M. (2016). Does sequence matter? Productive failure and designing online authentic learning for process engineering. British Journal of Educational Technology, Online first. Available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjet.12492/abstract
  • Jacobson, M. J., Markauskaite, L., Portolese, A., Lai, P., & Kapur, M. (2016). Understanding the complexity of climate change with agent-based models: A study of contrasting learning designs. Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.
  • Portolese, A., Jacobson, M. J., Duviver, R., & Markauskaite, L. (2016). Redesigning problem-based learning in medical education: Contrasting solutions to improve consolidation. In C. K. Looi, J. L. Polman, U. Cress, & P. Reimann (Eds.), Transforming Learning, Empowering Learners: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2016, Volume 2 (p. 1405). Singapore: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P. K., & Jacobson, M. J. (2016). Analyzing patterns of emerging understanding and misunderstanding in collaborative science learning: A method for unpacking critical turning points. In C. K. Looi, J. L. Polman, U. Cress, & P. Reimann (Eds.), Transforming Learning, Empowering Learners: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2016, Volume 1 (pp. 410–417). Singapore: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Portolese, A., & Jacobson, M. J. (2015). Optimal sequencing of contrasting cases and procedural instruction in productive failure. Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), Fremantle, Australia.
  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P. K., & Jacobson, M. J. (2015). How collaborative successes and failures become productive: An exploration of emerging understanding and misunderstanding turning points in model-based learning with productive failure. In O. Lindwall, P. Häkkinen, T. Koschmann, P. Tchounikine, & S. Ludvigsen (Eds), Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning: The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Gothenburg, Sweden (pp. 655-656). International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Portolese, A., Markauskaite, L., Lai, P. K., & Jacobson, M. J. (2015). Model-based learning with productive failure and analogical encoding: Unpacking learning dynamics with contrasting designs. Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.