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Dr Peter Kandlbinder


Peter Kandlbinder is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Interactive Media & Learning where his main responsibility is academic staff development in curriculum design, assessment and evaluation. He has experience in supporting academics in developing their capabilities in digital media, assessing student learning, problem-based learning, postgraduate supervision and other forms of small group learning. Peter co-ordinates the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning and the UTS new academic staff development program. He works with faculties and course teams on course and subject design to create effective learning environments for students and assists academic staff in developing their scholarship in teaching and learning by co-ordinating the annual UTS Teaching and Learning Forum. Peter also sits on a range of university and faculty committees related to curriculum review and renewal.


Peter Kandlbinder is an Executive member of Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA). He maintains the Society’s web site and is a regular contributor to HERDSA News, including occasionally co-editing with Maureen Bell. Peter was also a co-editor of oral histories for the HERDSA oral history project, which was published as “Make a Place: An Oral History of Academic Development in Australia”.

Peter has been a member of a number of reference groups associated with Australian Learning and Teaching Council projects and has been an ALTC Assessor on grants and awards.

In addition to his usual duties as an academic developer, Peter regularly participates in consultancies to improve the quality of teaching and learning in a range of institutions, both nationally and internationally. Recent examples include:

Senior Lecturer, Institute for Interactive Media and Learning
BEd (SCAE), MEd (UTS), PhD
Member, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA)
+61 2 9514 2314

Research Interests

Peter Kandlbinder has a broad research interest in the use of research traditions from the arts and humanities to investigate the practice of educational theory in higher education teaching and learning. This research has made a significant contribution to understanding how the field of higher education developed and achieved credibility. Through an empirical analysis of four key higher education journals, Peter has been able to demonstrate that seven authors dominate the literature on higher education and can be considered the key thinkers in the field. This has been confirmed in surveys that demonstrated these thinkers have had the greatest impact on practitioners, and have generated the concepts which frame the curriculum of Graduate Certificates in Higher Education Teaching and Learning courses in the UK, Australia and NZ.

Peter is a core member of the Centre for Learning and Change in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Peter is the Executive Editor of HERDSA Review of Higher Education. 

Peter is an Associate Editor, Reflections on Practice and Reflections on Research for The International Journal for Academic Development. http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/IJAD

Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning

  • Student learning and teaching approaches

  • Scholarly teaching and learning project

  • Reflective Academic Practice

Development program for new academics

Academic Leadership for Course Coordinators

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

  • 58103 Ideas in History


Kandlbinder, P.A. & Peseta, T. 2000, In Supervisors' Words: An insider's view of postgraduate supervision, Institute for Teaching and Learning, Sydney.


Kandlbinder, P.A. 2014, 'Theorising teaching and learning in higher education research' in Malcolm Tight (ed), Theory and Method in Higher Education Research, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, United Kingdom, pp. 1-22.
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Kandlbinder, P.A. 2013, 'The Six Basic Plots of Teaching: Rhetoric of the Teaching' in Travares, S. (ed), Why do We Write as We Write?, Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 41-52.
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Kandlbinder, P.A. & Brunero, S. 2012, 'Simulating Difficult Nurse Patient Relationships: Meeting the Online Continuing Professional Development Needs of Clinical Nurses with Low Cost Multimedia E-Simulations' in Holt, D., Segrave, S. & Cybulski, J.L. (eds), Professional education using e-simulations, Business Science Reference, Hershey, PA, pp. 141-156.
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Difficult nurse-patient relationships are an area where general nurses can improve their knowledge, confidence and skill. This chapter describes a user-centred approach used to create a low-cost e-simulation of a commonly occurring case of manipulative patient behaviour. This e-simulation required nurses to focus on specific problems, gain understanding about the possible causes, and use empathetic understanding of what was needed to improve patient care. Specific examples from our experience of including nurses from the very beginning of the design process illustrate how everyday technology can provide an authentic experience of difficult nurse-patient behaviours to prepare general nursing staff who are facing a higher incidence of mental illness in patients that are now in the general hospital setting.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2009, 'Developing Assessment Performance Indicators' in Lord, T.R., French, D.P. & Crow, L.W. (eds), College Science Teachers Guide to Assessment, NSTA Press, Arlington, Virginia, pp. 129-136.
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Kandlbinder, P.A. 2007, 'Writing about practice for future learning' in Boud, D. & Falchikov, N. (eds), Rethinking assessment in higher education: Learning for the longer term, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 159-166.
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There is a widely held belief in the value of learning through practice. Employers in particular place skills and industry experience above academic knowledge. They often argue that graduates without a period of work experience lack practical skills, such as communication skills, the ability to work in a team, flexibility of thinking and ethical training, which they see as essential for successful future participation in work. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in the ability of many professional courses to provide students with work experience. As such, students are finding it increasingly difficult to learn to apply experience-based knowledge to problem situations they will need for their future learning at work. Frustrated by the difficulty in finding placements, a lack of clear learning outcomes from work experience and the different expectations among students, lecturers and employers, many lecturers committed to equipping students to learn in work situations are searching for alternative forms of practice-based learning by which students can develop insights into themselves as professionals.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2005, 'Postgraduate supervisor development through ICT' in Fallows, S. & Bhanot, R. (eds), Quality issues in ICT-based higher education, Routledge, Oxon, UK, pp. 148-161.
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Mauffette, Y., Kandlbinder, P.A. & Soucisse, A. 2004, 'The Problem in Problem-based Learning is the Problems: But do they Motivate Students?' in Savin-Baden, M. & Wilkie, K. (eds), Challenging Research in Problem-based Learning, Open University Press, Berkshire, United Kingdom, pp. 11-25.


Kandlbinder, P.A. 2014, 'Theorising research on approaches to teaching in higher education', Proceedings website of ICED 2014, ICED2014: Educational Development in a Changing World, Stockholm, Sweden.
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Theorising can best be understood as a practical art. It is embodied in the concrete activities of academic publishing that requires researchers to familiarise themselves with the literature in the field before submitting articles for review. Even researchers with a significant body of work tend to be cited for one publication and that publication is largely used to discuss a single concept. This paper reviews the development of two signature concepts by two by highly respected researchers in the field to familiarise potential higher education researchers with some of the approaches to theorising used in higher education research. A detailed analysis of the narrative that surrounds these signature concepts provides two short case studies in what successful researchers do when formulating their ideas. The paper concludes with an overview of strategies researchers might consider incorporating into their own research repertories when explaining the outcomes of their research into higher education teaching and learning
Kandlbinder, P.A. & Caines, C. 2009, 'Collaborating With First Year Students To Develop Sustainable Digital Literacy In A Communication Degree', Educause 2009, Educause Australasia, Perth, Australia, pp. 1-10.
With digital media being ubiquitous in youth culture there is an expectation that students entering university courses will have well developed digital literacy. At the same time low cost digital communication and information technologies are making it possible for curriculum designers to consider using multimodal forms of communication to assess studentsâ communication abilities beyond the traditional written forms. Yet, in spite of being classified as digital natives, a survey of first year students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) showed that many entering communication degrees are still relatively unskilled in creating and editing digital audio or video and have had no experience of keeping their own blog or creating significant online content. Without the ability to record sound and image (still and moving), edit, and publish online, students will find that they are no longer able to satisfactorily participate in the first year of their course.
Teo, S.T., Morgan, A., Kandlbinder, P.A., Wang, K.Y. & Hingorani, A. 2009, 'Predictors of the groupwork experience: generic skill development, peer appraisals, and country of residence', Proceedings of the ATN Assessment Conference 2009 - Assessment in Different Dimensions, Assessment in Different Dimensions, RMIT University, Melbourne, pp. 313-320.
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Humphrey et al. (1997) argued that a range of generic skills are important in enhancing the experience of groupwork for students. These skills include problem solving skills, leadership skills, research skills, study skills, and communication skills. However, little is known about the extent to which the development of such skills impact on the students' experience of groupwork, Students are also rarely given opportunities to develop their performance management skills in group assignments, despite often being expected to evaluate the performance of their peers. Those doing the appraisal may not learn how to provide feedback and justify their evaluations. It also means that those being appraised do not receive feedback regarding their strengths and whereimprovements are needed. As a consequence, students tend to report negative experiences of groupwork when they have to assess and be assessed by their peers. The current study aims to examine the effects of generic skill development and peerevaluation on the students' evaluation of their group experience, following their participation on a group assignment.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2007, 'Key Thinkers in Higher Education Teaching and Learning Research and Development', Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Annual Conference [CD-ROM], Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference, HERDSA, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 1-7.
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Each discipline has a unique combination of theoretical frameworks that frame the key intellectual traditions of the field. Unlike other discipline areas, the higher education community has only just begun to explore the question of which intellectual traditions make significant contributions to a field and who are the key thinkers in higher education teaching and learning. Instead the key theoretical positions of higher education are more likely to be based on thinkers in allied disciplines like psychology, sociology and cultural studies. This paper begins the process of identifying the key ideas in higher education teaching and learning by reviewing the concepts of the eight most commonly cited scholars in the journal Higher Education Research and Development. It analyses the attraction of these ideas to their authors and presents the key arguments used to support an understanding of higher education teaching and learning.
Grant, B., Manathunga, C., Sutherland, K., Kandlbinder, P.A. & Peseta, T. 2007, 'Seeking fearlessness in teaching and learning.', Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Annual Conference, HERDSA, Adelaide.
Lee, A., Manathunga, C., Kandlbinder, P.A., Grant, B., Barrow, M. & Clegg, S. 2007, 'A history of academic development.', Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, HERDSA, Adelaide.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2006, 'Key Thinkers in Higher Education Teaching and Learning', Enhancing Academic Development Practice: International Perspectives, International Consortium for Educational Development, Sheffield.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2006, 'Unlocking assessment literacy', Enhancing Academic Development Practice: International Perspectives, International Consortium for Educational Development, Sheffield.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2005, 'Academic development through design: An example of learning to improve formative feedback', Higher education in a changing world, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Sydney.
Peseta, T., Manathunga, C., Hicks, M., McKenzie, H., McShane, K., Wilcox, S., Kandlbinder, P.A. & Grant, B. 2005, 'Conceptual transgressions: Explorations in the scholarship of academic development.', Higher education in a changing world, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Sydney.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2005, 'Assessing employability: A comparison between two approaches to practice-based assignments', First International Conference on Enhancing Teaching and Learning, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.
Mauffette, Y. & Kandlbinder, P.A. 2005, 'Relating Popperâ Problem Situation to Problem-based Learning', International Conference on Problem-Based Learning, ProBell Group, Lahti, Finland.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2004, 'The impact of practice-based assignments on student learning and literacy', Issues and Innovations: Third Annual Evaluations and Assessment Conference, RMIT University, Melbourne.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2003, 'Developing assessment performance indicators', A Commitment to Quality: 2003 Evaluations and Assessment Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide.
Alexander, S.A., Kandlbinder, P.A., Howson, E., Lukito, L., Francois, A. & Housego, S.C. 2002, 'Sim Assessment: enhancing academics under-standing of assessment through computer simulation', Winds of Change in the sea of learning, Ascilite 2002, UNITEC Institute of Technology, New Zealand, pp. 47-55.
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Kandlbinder, P.A. & Maufffette, Y. 2001, 'Perception of Teaching by Science Teachers using a Student-Centered Approach.', The Power of Problem Based Learning, PROBLARC, Yeppoon, pp. 46-54.

Journal articles

Kandlbinder, P. 2015, 'Signature concepts of key researchers in North American higher education teaching and learning', Higher Education, vol. 69, no. 2, pp. 243-255.
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Kandlbinder, P.A. 2013, 'Signature Concepts Of Key Researchers In Higher Education Teaching And Learning', Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1-12.
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Early career university teachers often have limited experience of the higher education literature making it difficult for them to identify what ideas have become central to justifying what university teachers ought to be doing in higher education teaching and learning. A review of the research literature in journals focused on teaching and learning in higher education identified seven researchers who the journals' authors consider skilled at making these kinds of arguments. A second-level analysis of the citations within this literature revealed that these researchers were associated with developing distinctive concepts within the field. This study concludes that some ideas have become strongly associated with certain researchers because they are identified as knowledgeable about important aspects of higher education teaching and learning. It found that authors in the sample used these signature concepts to answer five central questions about higher education teaching and learning.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2013, 'Signature concepts of women researchers in higher education teaching and learning', Studies In Higher Education, vol. 38, pp. 1-11.
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The history of research into higher education teaching and learning has been one led by male researchers. Individual women researchers have always been active in the field but their contributions have not received the same level of recognition as their male counterparts. A review of the research literature in journals focused on teaching and learning in higher education identified seven male researchers who the journals authors are more like to cite in their articles than any others. A second-level analysis of the citations within this literature revealed that a group of women researchers were also associated with developing distinctive concepts that have come to be associated with research across the different journals. This study reveals the signature concepts of women researchers as a useful way of examining how reputations within the field of higher education teaching and learning have developed.
Teo, S.T., Segal, N., Morgan, A.C., Kandlbinder, P.A., Wang, K.Y. & Hingorani, A. 2012, 'Generic skills development and satisfaction with groupwork among business students: Effect of country of permanent residency', Education & Training, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 472-487.
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The purpose of this study is to examine variables explaining students' positive and negative experiences of groupwork and connect country of residence with the perception of generic skills development and self-reported satisfaction with groupwork. It also aims to examine the effect of prior training in groups from the perspective of Australian and Non-Australian permanent residency Business students. Respondents were 389 undergraduate and postgraduate Business students at an Australian metropolitan university. A path model was developed and analysed using partial least squares modeling. Students' country of residence had a significant influence on reporting of generic skill development and experience of groupwork. Self-reported improvement in generic skills after groupwork assessment was associated with reporting of fewer negative and more positive aspects of working in groups. The findings were limited by using data collected from students enrolled in one undergraduate and one postgraduate subject at the conclusion of a group assignment from one university. Future research should test the model by extending it to other universities and non-Business units. Future research should rely on a longitudinal design, where the survey is carried out at the beginning and the end of the group assessment. It is important to ensure both domestic and international students acquire generic skills through groupwork and that prior training in groupwork takes place before group assessments. The study provides empirical evidence supporting the incorporation of generic skill teaching into academic practice prior to assigning groupwork to students.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2012, 'Recognition And Influence: The Evolution Of Higher Education Research And Development', Higher Education Research and Development, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 5-13.
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Higher Education Research & Development (HERD) was established to address a perceived gap in higher education publishing: research of interest to practitioners that was engagingly written. After 30 years of contributing to the field, HERD has constructed
Lee, A., Manathunga, C. & Kandlbinder, P.A. 2010, 'Shaping a culture: Oral histories of academic development in Australian universities', Higher Education Research and Development, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 307-318.
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Academic development has had an approximately forty-year history within Australian higher education, paralleling the major expansions and changes in the sector, both nationally and internationally. Its principal concerns have been the improvement of teaching and the professional development of the academics who teach. The history of academic development has gone largely undocumented and unexamined at a national level, in Australia and elsewhere. However, as university teaching has increasingly become important in relation to quality in higher education, academic development has become a central player in the work of universities. It becomes of particular importance at this time to garner a more thorough understanding of the continuities as well as the discontinuities in the meanings and practices of university teaching and in the work of those whose role has been to support its development. This article presents a discussion of two key themes identified from a set of oral history interviews conducted with early leaders in academic development in Australia. These themes offer different insights into issues and understandings of academic development in today's university. The first concerns a perennial issue in academic development - the struggle to define academic development's emerging ethos in relation to research and service to the broader university's endeavour. The second theme represents an issue that has been forgotten or marginalised in the official accounts of academic development but which lives on in the 'lore' of the field - the role of activism in the shaping of university teaching and academic development.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2010, 'The Teagle Debate: Should Academic Economists Think Like Teachers?', Australasian Journal of Economics Education, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 64-80.
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This paper reviews the Teagle Report on ways to return economics education to its liberal arts roots. Twenty-five respondents were invited to argue for or against this proposition and in the process to outline economics educators contemporary views on teaching and learning. The paper argues that there is a strong commitment among the books contributors to critical thinking, finding a balance between depth and breadth of learning, addressing big think questions and demonstrating examples of how economists solve economic problems. It also argues that there is equally strong agreement that the undervaluing of teaching begins with U.S. graduate education in economics which is designed for researchers rather than teachers. The paper compares educational and economic ways of thinking about economics education, and considers the likely impact of the Teagle Reports suggestions for recruiting those who think like economists and encouraging them to think like teachers.
Grant, B., Lee, A., Clegg, S., Manathunga, C., Barrow, M., Kandlbinder, P.A., Brailsford, I., Gosling, D. & Hicks, M. 2009, 'Why history? Why now? Multiple accounts of the emergence of academic development', International Journal for Academic Development, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 83-86.
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More than 40 years after its beginnings, academic development stands uncertainly on the threshold of becoming a profession or discipline in its own right. While it remains marginal to the dominant stories of the university, it has become central to the institution's contemporary business. This Research Note describes an enquiry that uses a multiple histories approach to explore the emergence of academic development in three national sites. Our intention is to provoke a more critical engagement with academic development's current forms and future possibilities.
Kandlbinder, P.A. & Peseta, T. 2009, 'Key concepts in postgraduate certificates in higher education teaching and learning in Australasia and the United Kingdom', International Journal for Academic Development, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 19-31.
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Abstract Since the first postgraduate certificate in higher education teaching and learning was offered in Australia in the late 1970s, similar courses have become a major part of academic development in universities in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This paper describes the outcomes of a survey designed to determine the key higher education teaching and learning concepts developed in such certificates, the readings recommended, and the challenges participants face in their learning. An email survey consisting of four open-ended questions was emailed to coordinators of certificates in higher education teaching and learning programs in 147 institutions spanning Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Based on responses from 46 programs, this paper reports on the concepts of higher education teaching and learning emerging from the survey results, the scholarly readings associated with each concept as reported by coordinators, as well as the challenges experienced by course participants learning these key concepts.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2007, 'The challenge of deliberation for academic development', International Journal for Academic Development, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 55-59.
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Academic developers work in a political space between university decision-makers and the academic community, a gap that Marginson and Considine (2000) showed is becoming increasingly wide. In this essay, I suggest that academic developers might learn from the notion of deliberation , a notion that has been used extensively in recent political theory (see, for example, Bohman, 1996; Young, 2000; Dryzek, 2006). Although deliberation is a demanding form of communication that is different from everyday communicative practices, it offers significant benefits to those who make decisions on the behalf of others.
Kandlbinder, P.A. 2005, 'Review: Learning to teach in higher education', Higher Education Research and Development, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 109-111.
Soucisse, A., Mauffette, Y. & Kandlbinder, P.A. 2003, 'Les Problèmes : Pivots de l'apprentissage par problème (app)' et de la motivation?', Res Academica, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 129-150.
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Kandlbinder, P.A. 2003, 'Peeking under the covers: On-line academic staff development in Australia and the United Kingdom', International Journal for Academic Development, vol. 8, no. 1/2, pp. 135-143.
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This paper describes a study of how academic development units use on-line technologies for academic staff development. Changes in technology and in the academic workplace are making it increasingly possible to use on-line learning opportunities for professional development, and on-line learning environments might thus be expected to provide opportunities for university teachers to reflect on their teaching practice and share these insights and experience with colleagues within and across disciplines. The study reported here reviewed 31 web sites in Australia and the UK to determine what range of aims of academic staff development where being met in their implementation of on-line learning. The paper concludes that in most contexts the World Wide Web was considered useful for the administrative rather than the educational needs of academic staff.
Lechner, S.K., Kandlbinder, P.A., Gonsalkorale, S., Bradshaw, M., Harris, K.M. & Winning, T. 2001, 'Negotiating the Maze: Case based, Collaborative Distance Learning in Dentistry', Medical Education Online, vol. 6.
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The module was developed as an elective to give motivated senior dental students an opportunity to expand their horizons in planning oral rehabilitation. It comprised one tutor and 12 students, from five universities world-wide, communicating on the World Wide Web (WWW), to develop oral rehabilitation plans for simulated patients. Trigger material came from one of two Case Profiles and consisted of diagnostic casts and details of the clinical and radiographic examination in WWW/CD-ROM form. No background material was supplied as to the patients age, sex, history or main concern(s). Students worked in groups of three, each student from a different location. Individual students were given a role within the group: Patient, who developed a personal background belonging to the trigger examination material, Academic who identified state-of-the-art treatment options available for the dental treatment needs identified by the group and General Practitioner who tailored these options to the patients needs and wants. Student feedback focused on their perception of their experience with the program in response to a questionnaire comprising 11 structured and four open questions. All students felt that the program increased their confidence in planning oral rehabilitation.


Trivett, N., Lines, R., Brown, N., Warr, K., Flello, J., McKenzie, J. & Kandlbinder, P. Australian Learning and Teaching Council 2011, Embedding and Sustaining Leadership Development for Curriculum Leaders through Tailored Support during Curriculum Review and Renewal, pp. 1-77.
ALTC funded project final report