Kerry has extensive experience teaching applied language and literacy in the workplace and at universities. At UTS she is responsible for coordinating and implementing the embedding of academic and professional literacy development in the curriculum.
Her research interests include critically examining the embedding of disciplinary specific academic language and literacy into undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and exploring assessment processes in the university, including the role of moderation and socialisation sessions in reducing grader variation. Publications related to these areas have appeared in national and international academic journals and conference papers.
In 2009 Kerry was a member of a collaborative team that was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for outstanding contribution to student learning. The citation was for an innovative, scholarly collaboration that has embedded analytical writing skills into an intermediate economics subject assessment structure, improving the quality of student writing. She has won three UTS Learning and Teaching awards, 2008, 2012 and 2014. The awards commend the outcomes of discipline specific programs establishing collaborative and sustainable practices in the development of academic literacies.
Hoadley, S & Hunter, K 2018, 'Whole of institution academic language and learning practice: Systemic implications', Journal of Academic Language and Learning, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 48-63.
According to Biggs (1993) higher education can be understood as a system of nested sub-systems and good pedagogical practices need to be capable of working throughout this system. As academic language and learning has changed from focusing on specific (groups of) students to whole of institution approaches (Harper, 2013), academic language and learning practices now have to occur throughout the systems of higher education. In undertaking these practices, academic language and learning practitioners have had to adapt to specific disciplines, different learning and teaching environments as well as a range of professional and institutional roles. In this paper, we map the practices of an academic language and learning unit throughout the sub-systems of a large metropolitan university, comparing and contrasting areas where academic language and learning practices are successful with areas where there are gaps and deficiencies. Using actor and agency theory, we discuss factors and parameters that contribute to the success of academic language and learning practices (Fenton-Smith & Gurney, 2016) and also how these differ depending on the location of the practice within the system. We also identify and discuss the multiplicity of identities academic language and learning practitioners have to adopt (Webb, 2001) and transition between in order to function successfully throughout the system. Finally, we draw conclusions in relation to the extent to which changes in academic language and learning practices have been a result of, or have driven, systemic change, and conversely, whether they have simply been absorbed by the system, reverting to the status quo (Biggs, 1993).
Support for developing writing within a disciplinary context has led to widespread embedding of academic literacy in the curriculum. Yet when embedding does take place it is often left to delivery from writing specialists working collaboratively with the discipline academic. Despite the widely held opinion that it is "the tutor"s role as expert speaker of a specialized discourse" (Northedge, 2003) to give students access to that discourse, programs that embed writing practices into academic content teaching taught by disciplinary academics remain largely under-researched. This paper explores student perceptions of three different embedded writing programs taught by tutors who had attended professional development sessions with ALL staff. The paper briefly outlines the three different programs and presents the results of surveys of and interviews with students who participated in embedded writing programs of different class size, intensity and epistemological content. One of the key issues arising from students" responses relates to tutors" academic identity, in particular whether the disciplinary staff saw themselves as able and willing to deliver the program.
The paper examines the determination of academic performance in tertiary economics by adding a slightly broader range of factors that include socio-economic background to the main factors already identified in the literature.
Hunter, KA & Tse, HP 2013, 'Making disciplinary writing and thinking practices an integral part of academic content teaching', Active Learning in Higher Education, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 227-239.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Educators and researchers are increasingly calling for the processes of writing and knowledge construction to be an integral part of disciplinary learning. This article contributes to the literature by presenting an empirical analysis of a programme that was designed to expose students to the complexities of academic practices in conjunction with disciplinary concepts. The impact of the programme was evaluated through analysis of student grades before and after its implementation and student and tutor perception of its effect. Data collected included surveys, interviews and focus groups. The data showed that the programme generated student engagement with the processes of knowledge construction and reflected better thinking in the subject. This was evidenced by effective utilisation of feedback and improved grades in written assignments. The findings suggest that similar programmes are of value potentially to any discipline.
Hunter, KA & Docherty, PT 2011, 'Reducing variation in the assessment of student writing', Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 109-124.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper extends the literature on grader variation and the role of moderation and socialisation processes in reducing this variation. It offers a fresh categorisation of academics' assessment beliefs and expectations, and uses this categorisation to analyse the interaction between implicit and explicit expectations in relation to grader variation and socialisation processes. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data from a large class grading moderation process was used to identify the existence and character of residual implicit grader expectations, the impact of these implicit expectations in causing grader variation, and the effectiveness of socialisation in reducing the extent of variation. An effective strategy for designing and focusing socialisation processes is also outlined.
Griffiths, N & Hunter, K 2015, 'The role of assessment in developing a professional disposition', International Conference: Assessment for Learning in Higher Education, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong.
Hunter, KA & Tse, H 2011, 'Maintaining standards: teaching writing in conjunction with disciplinary concepts', Research and Development in Higher Education: Higher Education on the Edge, HERDSA, Gold Coast Australia.
Hunter, KA & Tse, HP 2011, 'The other side of teaching: Prior learning, language skills, chosen discipline and high school performance also matters', The Quantitative Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Business, Economics and Commerce, The Quantitative Analysis of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Business, Economics and Commerce, The University of Melbourne, The University of Melbourne, pp. 25-36.
Hunter, KA 2009, 'A case of embedding graduate attributes: student perceptions of their learning outcomes', 32nd Annual International HERDSA Conference 2009, The Student Experience, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
Tse, H & Hunter, KA 2009, 'Enhancing written communication skills in economics: material developed to reach large classes', UTS Teaching and Learning Forum, University of Technology, Sydney.
Hunter, KA 2008, 'Repositioning writing as a key graduate attribute: reviewing a strategic approach at UTS', Writing development in Higher Education Times and Spaces for Writing, University of Strathclyde Glasgow, Glasgow.
Godfrey, H, Richards, K & Hunter, KA 2006, 'The effectiveness of embedded academic support in addressing retention', The First Year Experience in Continuing Education, The First Year Experience in Continuing Education, ESCalate, University of Stirling, Scotland, pp. 31-38.
Hunter, KA 2007, ''I cannot describe it but I know a good piece of work when I see it': ALL advisors and macroeconomics lecturers in assessment dialogues', AALL Eight Biennial National Conference, La Trobe University, Melbourne.
Hunter, KA 2009, 'Six degrees of collaboration: Using pepped up PowerPoint to improve Gen Y writing skills', Ninth Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning, The University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Hunter, KA 2005, 'Embedding academic literacy development in the curriculum: a University of Technology, Sydney case study', Supporting Learning in the 21st Century, Proceedings of the 2005 Annual International Conference of the Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors Aotearoa/New Zealand (ATLAANZ), Annual International Conference of the Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors Aotearoa/New Zealand (ATLAANZ), Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors Aotearoa/New Zealand Inc, AATLAANZ, Dunedin, New Zealand, pp. 115-128.
Hunter, KA 2004, 'Integration of Academic Skills in Teaching and Learning', UTS Teaching and Learning Forum, University of Technology, Sydney.