The Belonging Project

The Belonging Project is a four-year project investigating, designing and trialling an integrated program and school-based approach to enhancing the student experience at RMIT.

Initiated by academic staff in the School of Media and Communication, the project centered around promoting an ethos of belonging.

Our longitudinal research proves that is possible to embed an ethos of belonging into formal and informal curriculum activities. Using small-scale, low-cost initiatives informed by The Belonging Project's Narrative Model we built confidence and capacity for students in disciplinary, interdisciplinary and global learning environments providing real life employability outcomes.

About

The Belonging Project team deploys grassroots and inclusive approaches to improve the student experience within the School of Media and Communication.

It does this while having the following overall aims within an Australian Higher Education undergraduate context:

  • To develop strategies to support the participation and integration of students from diverse backgrounds, circumstances and cultures, including in particular those from low socioeconomic status backgrounds.
  • To enhance student satisfaction and retention rates.
  • To help develop and make known a distinctive RMIT student experience.

Project model

The Belonging Project Narrative Model of Student Engagement

The narrative model is aligned to the three-year undergraduate degree structure within the School of Media and Communication.

The model builds students’ sense of identity and belonging across the three years of their undergraduate degree. Students begin with a strong disciplinary and professional base before becoming more aware of their place within a transdisciplinary community as future media professionals working in a wider world of global links and experiences.

Initiatives

The concept of an internationalised or global curriculum is not new. While study tours and exchange programs will continue to remain the peak global experience for a limited number of students, The Belonging Project seeks to scaffold an inclusive, universal ‘globalised’ experience ‘at home’ to benefit all students.

In this phase, The Belonging Project seeks to design interventions to help students develop their intercultural skills, knowledge and awareness through a series of phased experiences situated in local contexts.

The project team aims to develop an integrated model for targeted interventions in curriculum design and pedagogy that can:

  • recognise and celebrate our ‘already global’ student and staff cohorts
  • scaffold the further development of global literacies throughout the experience of an RMIT program
  • provide peak ‘global’ experiences based from the student’s home campus as an alternative or adjunct to overseas exchange and study tours options.

In this phase, The Belonging Project team’s focus shifted from key first-year transition experiences to the interdisciplinary student experience, while building on research findings from Phases 1 and 2 (2011–2012). Specifically, the project investigated in greater depth preliminary student focus groups findings that provided valuable insights into the perceived value of and need for interdisciplinary student experiences within an undergraduate context, and where these are best timed.

In 2013, a typology of interdisciplinary student experiences was developed in collaboration with the School’s staff and students, as well as colleagues from the RMIT Study and Learning Centre and RMIT Libraries. The project team aim to mobilise this typology into action through the School’s undergraduate program renewal project, the MC2015 Review.

The project team aimed to test and refine The Belonging Project Narrative Model of Student Engagement(The Belonging Model) by rolling out a number of pilot initiatives, both formal and informal, across all three years of each undergraduate program in the School of Media and Communication.

The Belonging Model is intended to be flexible and agile, thus a further aim of piloting these activities and interventions was to prove the model’s efficacy as having measurable benefit across the School, beyond the School, across the University and across the tertiary sector more generally.

For more information, download the 2012 Report, Phase 2: Focus on the First Year Experience (PDF 1.7 MB).

During this initial six month phase, The Belonging Project team worked to develop The Belonging Project Narrative Model of Student Engagement (The Belonging Model), which proposed a three-tier student experience.

The Belonging Model was progressed from theory to concrete plans for its implementation in the School of Media and Communication by conducting focus groups with students and iterative workshops with staff. This work culminated in a number of recommended pilot activities for an improved first-year experience, which were trialled within the School in 2012.

For more information, download the 2011 Report: Phase 1: Planting the Seeds (PDF 2.8 MB).

Scholarly outcomes

The Belonging Project scholarly outcomes include grants, peer reviewed journal articles, conference papers and reports.

Successful grants relating to The Belonging Project

  • Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Lukas, K. & Araújo, N. (2014). Global at Home: At Home in the Global. A framework for embedding global competencies across the curriculum ‘at home’. Learning and Teaching Investment Fund, RMIT University ($100,000).
  • Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Carlin, D., Lukas, K., & Araújo, N. (2014). The Belonging Project. Phase 4: Focus on the Global Experience. Supported by the Academic Portfolio through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, RMIT University ($50,000).
  • Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Carlin, D., Lukas, K., & Morieson L. (2013). The Belonging Project. Phase 3: Focus on the Interdisciplinary Experience. Supported by the Academic Portfolio through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, RMIT University ($160,000).
  • Clarke B., Wilson R., Carlin D., Lukas K. & Morieson L. (2012). The Belonging Project. Phase 2: Focus on the First Year Experience. Supported by the Academic Portfolio through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, RMIT University ($166,000).
  • Carlin D., Clarke B. & Wilson R. (2011). The Belonging Project. Phase 1: Planting the Seeds. Supported by the Academic Portfolio through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, RMIT University ($104,236).

Peer reviewed journal articles about The Belonging project

  • Morieson, L., Araújo, N., Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Carlin, D., & Lukas, K. (N.D.) ‘Belonging in Space:  Informal Spaces and the Student Experience’.  HERDSA. (Under review).
  • Araújo, N., Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Morieson, L., Lukas, K., & Wilson, R. (2014). ‘Belonging in the first year: a creative discipline cohort case study’. International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 5(3). Retrieved from https://fyhejournal.com/article/view/240.
  • Morieson, L., Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Lukas, K., & Wilson, R. (2013). ‘Belonging in Education: Lessons from the Belonging Project’. International Journal of First Year in Higher Education, 4(2). Retrieved from https://fyhejournal.com/article/view/173.

Conference papers presented as part of The Belonging Project

  • Araújo, N., Wilson, R., Clarke, B. & Carney, L. (2014, November 22–25). The Global at Home, At Home in the Global. Paper presented at Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference, University of Waikato, New Zealand. 
  • Araújo, N., Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Lukas, K., Morieson, L. & Wilson R. (2014, July 8–10). Belonging in First Year. Proceedings of the 17th International First Year in Higher Education Conference, Darwin. Retrieved from http://fyhe.com.au/past_papers/papers14/fyhe14_proceedings.pdf
  • Morieson, L., Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Lukas, K. & Wilson, R. (2013, July 7–10). Belonging in Education: Lessons from the Belonging Project. Proceedings of the 16th International First Year in Higher Education Conference, Wellington, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://fyhe.com.au/past_papers/papers13/fyhe13_proceedings.pdf

Unrefereed conference, symposium and workshop papers produced as part of The Belonging Project

  • Carlin, D., Clarke, B., & Wilson, R. (2012, May 7-9). Case Study: The Belonging Project. Invited paper presented at 2nd Annual Satisfaction in Higher Education Conference, Sydney.
  • Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Araújo, N. & Lukas, K. (2013, December 4). The Belonging Project (PDF 3.2 MB). Poster presented at OLT National Senior Teaching Fellowship Symposium, Monash University, Melbourne. 
  • Araújo, N., Clarke, B., Lukas, K. & Wilson, R. (2013, November 21). Approaches to Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching. Presentation at The Interdisciplinary Student Experience Workshop, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • Morieson, L., Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Lukas, K. & Wilson, R. (2012, November 20). Thinking About Interdisciplinarity (PDF 237 KB). Presentation of position paper and workshop to School of Media and Communication staff, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • Morieson, L., Lukas, K., Carlin, D., Clarke, B. & Wilson R. (2011, November). But what do our students (really) want? (PDF 2.4 MB) Presentation of paper to all staff about student focus group findings and project update, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne. 

Conferences and workshops convened by members of The Belonging Project

  • The Belonging Project. (2015, forthcoming). Focus on the Global Student Experience. Workshop with School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project. (2013, February 5). Inaugural School of Media and Communication Learning and Teaching Forum. School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project. (2013, November 21). The Interdisciplinary Student Experience. Workshop with School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project team co-organised and sponsored a staff development opportunity: Ben McCann presented his OLT project findings to staff in the Schools of Architecture and Design as well as Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne (June, 2013). A Collaborative Multi-faceted Approach to Address the Gaps Between Student Expectation and Experience at Universitywww.olt.gov.au/project-gaps-between-student-expectation-and-experience-adelaide-2009.
  • Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Moeller, R. & Lukas, K. (2012, Feb). Ice Breakers and Transition Teasers for the First Year Experience. School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project. (2012, November 20). Thinking About Interdisciplinarity. Workshop with School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Lukas, K., & Morieson, L. (2011, August). Project Launch and Staff Workshop. Program Directors’ Retreat, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Kalorama.

Panels, workshops and presentations by members of The Belonging Project

  • The Belonging Project. (2014, October 29). Invited co-presented panel discussion at RMIT University DSC L&T Innovators in Conversation 2014, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project. (2014, July). First Things First. Invited co-presented panel discussion at RMIT Learning and Teaching Expo, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • The Belonging Project. (2013, March). Interdisciplinary Speed Dating. Presentation at Inaugural School of Media and Communication Learning and Teaching Forum, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project. (2012, December). The Belonging Project: 2012 Update.  Presentation on key first year initiatives and findings at RMIT School of Media and Communication All School Meeting, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • The Belonging Project. (2012, October). Let’s Talk About First Year: Lessons from The Belonging Project. Presentation at Teachers @ Work Staff Development Seminar Series, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • The Belonging Project. (2012, August). The Student Cohort Experience Project. Invited co-presented panel discussion at RMIT Learning and Teaching Expo, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • The Belonging Project. (2012, August). The Belonging Project: An Overview. Presentation to staff in the College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • The Belonging Project. (2011). The Belonging Project. Presentation at RMIT University Business Plan Student Cohort Experience Forum, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • The Belonging Project. (2011, November). But what do our students (really) want? Presentation at whole-of-School meeting, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Strategic outcomes

The Belonging Project is prolific in its strategic outcomes.

The Belonging Project Citations

National significance

Internal significance

  • Nomikoudis, M. & Bolt, S. (2012). Pilot Projects to Define the Student Cohort Experience: 2012 Final Report.
  • Peterson, F. & Hansen, S. (2012). Media and Communication 2015: Program Suite and Delivery for the future. Cited as influencing the School’s vision for enhancing the student experience and program retention (p. 3). Consequently, the project team was invited to contribute to the M&C2015 Review project.
  • RMIT University School of Media and Communication. (2013, March). Learning and Teaching Strategy 2013–2015. Cited as both a key enabler of and reporting partner for the School, and formally acknowledged as a contributing member of the School Learning and Teaching Committee. (pp. 3, 4, 8, 9). 
  • RMIT University College of Design and Social Context. (2012). Program Annual Review (PAR) Report. Indirect acknowledgement: under key activities to prioritise and support, the College highlights the School’s plans to enhance the student experience and retention “through improved orientation and transition activities; acting on student feedback and strengthened student engagement”.
  • RMIT University School of Media and Communication. (2013). Strategic Priorities and Profile 2013: Response to University Strategic Plan. Cited as informing the School’s strategies for accessing and widening participation through its L&T strategic action plan (p.3).

The Belonging Project invited consultations and contributions to committees, working parties and external projects

National significance

  • Devlin, M., Kift, S., Nelson, K., Smith, L. & McKay, J. (2012). Effective Teaching and Support of Students from Low Socio Economic Status Backgrounds: Final Report, Office of Learning and Teaching. Acknowledged as contributors to the project’s final report and staff resources in relation to design and content (Clarke, B. & Wilson, R.).

Internal significance – University level

  • Student Services, I Belong Project. (2012–ongoing). Project advisors and key School liaisons. Responsible for recruitment, design and implementation of discipline-specific workshops for visiting disadvantaged secondary school students.
  • First Year Experience and Transition Project. (2013–ongoing). Invited to participate in the project’s Reference Group, Systems Working Group and Transition Principles Working Group.
  • Inclusive Teaching Practices Project. (2012-–ongoing). Advisors to project team and key School liaisons.
  • Equity and Diversity Committee. (2011–ongoing). Invited participatory membership (Clarke)
  • Education Abroad Student Mobility Photographic Competition. (2012–ongoing). Advisors to event organisers and key School liaisons.
  • Property Services, Informal Student Spaces Redevelopment Project. (2012–ongoing). Advisors to project team and key School liaisons.
  • Office of the DVC (Academic), Student Cohort Experience Project Reference Group. (2011–2012). Invited participatory members.
  • Student Services, Student to Student Video Competition. (2013). Advisors to competition organisers and key School liaisons.

Internal significance – College level

  • College of Design and Social Context, Retention and Attrition Project. (2012–onging). Invited contributors (Clarke and Lukas).
  • College of Design and Social Context, Selection Review Project. (2012–ongoing). Invited contributors (Clarke, Wilson and Lukas).
  • College of Science, Engineering and Health, First Year Experience Community of Practice Group. (2012–ongoing). Invited participants.

Internal significance – School level

  • School of Media and Communication, Learning and Teaching Committee. (2011–ongoing). Invited participatory membership.
  • School of Media and Communication, MC2015 Review Project. (2011–ongoing). Advisors as participatory members of the steering committee and key School liaisons to program teams.
  • School of Media and Communication, Learning and Teaching Investment Fund Round. (2014). Advise School staff as participatory members of the School’s LTIF Community of Practice Group and advise staff in other schools on request. 
  • School of Media and Communication, Transition and Orientation Coordination Team Proposal (DOC 75 KB) (2012 Oct) (staff login needed). Submitted and endorsed by the School Executive and Learning and Teaching Committees. (Lukas, K., Clarke, B., Wilson, R., Carlin, D., & Morieson L.)

The Belonging Project presentations

  • (2014 Oct). Business Case for Student Atelier Refurbishment. Presentation to Property Services Group, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • (2014 Jun). The Belonging Project: Project Update. Presentation at RMIT School of Media and Communication Program Directors Retreat, Kalorama.
  • (2013 Nov). The Belonging Project: Overview of FYE Initiatives & Findings. Invited presentation to First Year Experience and Transition Project Reference Group, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • (2013 Jun). The Belonging Project: Overview of FYE Initiatives & Findings. First Year Experience and Transition Project Reference Group, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • (2013, Feb). Creating Lively Informal Student Spaces: Lessons from The Belonging Project. Invited presentation to Property Services Group staff, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • (2012, Aug). The Belonging Project: An Overview. Presentation to the College of Science, Engineering and Health, First Year Experience Community of Practice Group, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • (2012, Jul). The Belonging Project: Project Overview and Key Student Focus Group Findings. Invited presentation at the RMIT University Communications and Marketing Forum, RMIT University, Melbourne. 
  • (2012, May). Project Update. Presentation at the RMIT School of Media and Communication Program Directors’ Retreat, Kalorama.

The Belonging Project committee, working party and external project contributions

National significance

Devlin M., Kift S., Nelson K., Smith L., McKay J. (2012). Effective Teaching and Support of Students from Low Socio Economic Status Backgrounds: Final Report, Office of Learning and Teaching. Acknowledged as contributors to the project’s final report and staff resources in relation to design and content (Clarke B. & Wilson R.).

Internal significance – University level

Equity and Diversity Committee (2011-ongoing). Invited participatory membership (Clarke).

Education Abroad Student Mobility Photographic Competition (2012-ongoing). Advisors to event organisers; key School liaisons.

First Year Experience and Transition Project Reference Group (2013-ongoing). Invited participatory members.

Informal Student Spaces Redevelopment Project (2012-ongoing), Property Services. Advisors to project team; key School liaisons.

Student Cohort Experience Project Reference Group (2011–2012), Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). Invited participatory members.

Student to Student Video Competition (2013), RMIT Student Services. Advisors to competition organisers; key School liaisons.

Internal significance – College level

College of Design and Social Context’s Retention and Attrition Project (2012-onging). Invited contributors (Clarke and Lukas).

College of Design and Social Context’s Selection Review Project (2012-ongoing). Invited contributors (Clarke, Wilson and Lukas).

College of Science, Engineering and Health’s First Year Experience Community of Practice Group (2012-ongoing). Invited participants.

Internal significance – School level

School of Media and Communication’s Learning and Teaching Committee (2011-ongoing). Invited participatory membership.

School of Media and Communication’s MC2015 Review Project (2012-ongoing). Invited participatory members.

The Belonging Project conference, lecture, round-table and workshop attendances

2013 RMIT University Learning and Teaching Expo. RMIT University, Melbourne, July 2013. Attended university event as delegates.

2013 Inaugural School of Media and Communication Learning and Teaching Forum. School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne, March 2013. Proposed, organised, managed this event and attended as delegates.

2012 OLT Report Launch for Devlin M., Kift S., Nelson K., Smith L., McKay J. (2012). Effective Teaching and Support of Students from Low Socio Economic Status Backgrounds project, funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching., Melbourne, September 2012. Invited attendance as acknowledged contributors/advisors.

2012 RMIT University Learning and Teaching Expo. RMIT University, Melbourne, August 2012. Invited to co-present a panel discussion on the Student Cohort Experience Project; attended other sessions as delegates.

Public lecture by Karen Nelson on the QUT student Experience Model, RMIT University, June 2012. Invited guests.

2011 RMIT University Learning and Teaching Expo. RMIT University, Melbourne, August 2011. Attended university event as delegates.

The Belonging Project workshops and seminars

Morieson L., Clarke B., Wilson R., Carlin D., (2012), ‘Thinking About Interdisciplinarity’. Presentation of position paper and workshop to School of Media and Communication staff, RMIT University, Melbourne, TBC 2012.

Clarke B., Wilson R., Moeller R., Lukas K., (2012), ‘Ice Breakers and Transition Teasers’. Developed and implemented workshop for staff involved in the undergraduate First Year Experience in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, February 2012.

Morieson L., Lukas K., Carlin D., Clarke B., Wilson R., (2011), ‘But what do our students (really) want?’ Presentation to all staff about student focus group findings and project update, School of Media and Communication, November 2011.

Carlin D., Clarke B., Wilson R., Lukas K., Morieson L., (2011). Project launch and staff workshop, Program Directors Retreat, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Kalorama, August 2011.

Reports and position papers

The Belonging Project reports and position papers.

The Belonging Project Reports

The Belonging Project position papers

  • Araújo, N., Clarke, B., Lukas, K. & Wilson, R. (2013, Nov 21). Approaches to Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching. Presentation at The Interdisciplinary Student Experience Workshop, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • Lukas, K., Clarke, B., Wilson, R., & Araújo N. (2013, Sep). Know Your Students First: Unlocking the Potential of Diverse Commencing Student Cohorts Using Existing Systems and Data. Position paper submitted and endorsed by the First Year Experience and Transition Reference Group, RMIT University, Melbourne.
  • Morieson, L., Carlin, D., Clarke, B., Wilson R., & Lukas K., (2012), Thinking About Interdisciplinarity. Position paper circulated to academic staff within the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Resources

These videos have generated much interest in The Belonging Project since their launch online in 2012.

They demonstrate the success of The Belonging Project’s Phase One initiatives in the School of Media and Communication. These initiatives were first implemented in 2012 and have been continued as core business practice in the School ever since.

Watch on YouTube

After conducting focus group research with staff and students in the School of Media and Communication in 2011, The Belonging Project worked with staff and students in the School to reframe orientation from a one-off event to a series of coordinated, purposeful transition activities supporting students through each program intake over the 2012 academic year.

Specifically, this initiative strove to respond to students who said that during transition to RMIT they needed:

  • further assistance to make early social connections with their peers
  • early information, feedback and advice from program peers in second and third years of their home program
  • orientation sessions that mixed social activities with workshop-style collaborative academic tasks.

This video evaluates the success of this initiative via a series of short interviews with students in the School immediately after the School Welcome Session in February 2012.

Watch on Vimeo

This video was produced by The Belonging Project team to open the School Welcome Session for commencing students in February 2012. The video was designed to:

  • showcase student work across a variety of professional disciplines
  • increase student awareness of the range of programs offered by the School
  • increase student awareness of interdisciplinary connections and opportunities through curricular and extra-curricular projects.

Watch on YouTube

Discussions with students in the School of Media and Communication identified that they required more support to transition both socially and academically. Students suggested that access to more informal spaces, particularly for group work, would help them to establish cross-discipline connections with their peers. On the basis of this feedback, The Belonging Project decided to revamp the School’s main student common room, the Student Atelier.

In 2012, an Interior Design graduate was commissioned to work with third-year Communication Design students to refurbish this space through a temporary spatial installation. The brief: turn an empty, white box that nobody visited into a visually dynamic, comforting and fun space that aesthetically reflected the diverse talents and personalities of the School’s students. Equally important was ensuring the space catered for a variety of uses.

This video documents student responses to the refurbishment of the Student Atelier space throughout the 2012 academic year.

Strategic links

The project team have developed significant strategic relationships with both academic and professional staff colleagues, both within and external to RMIT.

The Belonging Project team is guided by a group of selected senior executive, academic and professional staff.

The reference group provides support, ideas and critical feedback, as well as guidance on how to turn the project’s findings and recommendations into core RMIT University business.

External projects

Devlin, M., Kift, S., Nelson, K., Nagy, J. & Smith, L. (2010–2012). Effective Teaching and Support of Students from Low Socioeconomic Backgrounds: Resources for Australian Higher Education

Brinkworth, R., McCann, B. & McCann, J. (2009–ongoing). A Collaborative Multi-faceted Approach to Address the Gaps Between Student Expectation and Experience at University.

Internationalisation of the Curriculum in Action<.

Nelson, K. & Clarke, J. (2010–ongoing). Good Practice for Safeguarding Student Learning Engagement in Higher Education Institutions.

Nelson, K., Joughin, G., Thomas, G., Lodge, J., Clarke, J. & Stoodley, I. (2011–ongoing). Establishing a Framework for Transforming Student Engagement, Success and Retention in Higher Education Institutions.

RMIT projects

Bolt, S. & Nomikoudis, M. (2011–2012). Student Cohort Experience Project. Academic Portfolio.

Clarke, B., Johal, T. & Quinn, S. (2013–ongoing). First Things First: Transition and Transformation of the Student Cohort Experience in the Creative Disciplines. School of Media and Communication.

Crisp, G., Hughes, O. & Pierce, J. (2013–ongoing). First Year Experience Project. Academic Portfolio.

De la Harpe, B. & Terrill, S. (2012–ongoing). Closing the Loop: Strengthening and Supporting PAR action plans on the ground. College of Design and Social Context.

De la Harpe, B., Mayson, S., Mason, T., Blythe, R., Grierson, E. & McPherson, M. (2012–ongoing). Contribute: Peer learning for inclusive practice in Art and Design. College of Design and Social Context.

Fels, M. & Smith, V. (2011–ongoing). The I Belong Project. Equity and Diversity Group, Student Services.

Nomikoudis, M., Harley, J., Gopal, S., Wallace, A. & Porcaro, P. (2012–ongoing). Inclusive Teaching and Assessment Practices Project. Academic Portfolio.

Peterson, F. et al. (2011–ongoing). MC2015 Program Review Project. School of Media and Communication.

Sharp, K., Clarke, A. & Johal, T. (2011–2012). Equal Local: Future-proofing RMIT’s global reach by promoting equivalence in onshore and offshore learning. Schools of Art and Media and Communication.

Vivekananda, K. & Brown, A. (2011–ongoing). Student Success Program. Student Wellbeing, Student Services.

Abma, T.A. (2000). Fostering learning-in-organizing through narration: Questioning myths and stimulating multiplicity in two performing art schools, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 9(2), 211–31.

ALTC. (2008). ALTC Dissemination Framework. Sydney: Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Aries, E. & Seider, M. (2005). The interactive relationship between class identity and the college experience: the case of lower income students. Qualitative Sociology, 24(4), 419–43.

Arkoudis, S. (2011). Teaching International Students: strategies to enhance learning. Melbourne: University of Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

Aronson, E. (2004). Reducing hostility and building compassion: Lessons from the jigsaw classroom. In A. G. Miller (ed.), The Social psychology of good and evilNew York, NY: Guilford Press, 469–88. 

Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd. (2009, Feb 18). Top Universities Slam Bradley Review. AAP General News Wire. Retrieved from search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/448471682?accountid=13552.

Australian Government, Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. (2009). Powering Ideas: An Innovation Agenda for the 21st Century.

Australian Universities Quality Agency. (2008). Education of International Students in Australia Quality Framework of AUQA

Baird, R. & Boin, K. (2008). Transition in the First Year Curriculum: Supporting transition to university life and study. Melbourne: University of Melbourne Academic Enrichment Services.

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Baumeister, R. F. & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.

Baumeister, R. F., Twenge, J. M. & Nuss, C. (2002). Effects of social exclusion on cognitive processes: Anticipated aloneness reduces intelligent thought. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 817–27.

Bradley, D., Noonan, P., Nugent, H. & Scales, B. (2008). Review of Australian Higher Education Final Report. Canberra: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Brown, J. & Isaacs, D. (2005). The World Café: Shaping our Futures through Conversations that Matter. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Brown, J. S. & Adler, R. P. (2008). Minds on fire: open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0. Educause Review, January/February, 16–32.

Chesterton, P. & Cummings, R. (2007). ALTC Grants Scheme – Evaluating Projects. Developed under contract for Australian Learning and Teaching Council. 

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Coates, H. et al. (2008). Attracting, engaging and retaining: new conversations about learning.Australasian Student Engagement Report: Australasian Survey of Student Engagement. Camberwell, Vic.: Australian Council for Educational Research Ltd.

Colvin, C. & Jaffar, F. (2007). Enhancing the International Student experience: the importance of International Student groups and peer support at Edith Cowan University. Paper presented at the 10th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference 2007, Brisbane, Australia. 

Council of Australian Governments. (2010). International Students Strategy for Australia 2010–2014

Creagh, T. A., Nelson, K. J., & Clarke, J. A. (2010). The development of a 'Good Practice Guide' for first year curriculum development, revision and evaluation – a moving feast. Paper presented at the 13th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference: Aspiration, Access, Achievement, Brisbane, Australia. 

Devlin, M., Kift, S., Nelson, K., Smith, L. & McKay, J. (2012). Effective Teaching and Support of Students from Low Socioeconomic Status Backgrounds: Resources for Higher Education. Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

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Examples of good practice in assisting international students to integrate with Australian students and the wider community (2009). Canberra: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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The project team

The Belonging Project is driven by an academic lead team and a project implementation team.

Bronwyn Clarke

In her role within the School of Media and Communication, Bronwyn is researching and reviewing best-practice models of selection and retention of students in line with her study and experience as a Program Director and Selection Officer in the College of Design and Social Context. Bronwyn has also been involved with RMIT's Equity Database Implementation as an advisor and database tester.

Bronwyn's professional background is as a graphic designer, where she sat on the AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) council as the Communications Manager.

Bronwyn has been involved in offshore teaching for more than 11 years, most currently with the delivery of the Communication Design Program in Singapore, delivered in partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). Bronwyn is also an advisor on the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority review of Year 13 programs and assessment models, and how this experience transitions into Higher Education.

Bronwyn's staff profile

Rachel Wilson

Prior to undertaking a role as Program Director, Rachel was the Media program's Selection Officer and Careers Officer. She has also received a number of teaching awards.

Rachel's professional background is as a media practitioner, and she has been teaching within the higher education sector for 18 years, specialising in the Screen Production discipline. She is currently teaching media production and applied research in the School of Media and Communication.

Rachel's current research includes archiving, memory and representations of trauma. She served as the President of the peak discipline body ASPERA (Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association) from 2010 to 2011, and she currently holds the position of National Secretary.

Rachel's staff profile

Dr Natalie Araujo, Research Officer

Natalie was most recently employed in the Institute for Koorie Education at Deakin University and has previously worked as a sessional staff member at La Trobe University, Monash University, University of Manchester (UK) and Mount Holyoke College (USA).

She has completed a PhD in Social Anthropology, Juris Doctor in Law, MA in Latin American Cultural Studies, and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Latin American Studies. Her research interests include: cosmopolitan narratives of belonging; cultural and creative representations of race and ethnicity; gender and embodiment; the cultural construction of childhood; migration and mobility; storytelling; and trauma and memory.

Laetitia Shand, Project Officer (October – December 2014)

Laetitia is a professional manager in communications, arts, design and academia. From a background in commercial product marketing, she has since worked extensively in academic research management. From 2011 to 2013 she was Project Manager for the Circus Oz Living Archive ARC Linkage Project at RMIT University. She has recently co-edited RMIT Design Research Institute’s six-year retrospective publication RMIT Design Research Institute Designs on the Future (Melbourne Books 2014).

Associate Professor David Carlin

David was Program Director, Media from 2009 to 2010 and is now a researcher, creative practitioner and teacher working in the fields of creative writing, media and interdisciplinary communication research projects.

David's professional background is as a writer, director and producer in film, theatre and circus.

He currently teaches an undergraduate course in Literary Non-fiction, and a lab in the School of Media and Communication's Honours program.

Dr Lucy Morieson, Consultant Research Officer

Lucy graduated from RMIT’s Journalism program before working as a researcher and reporter, most notably at online news publication Crikey. Inspired by her work in the world of online publishing, she returned to RMIT to complete her PhD on the political development of online journalism in Australia. While pursuing her PhD research, she also taught extensively across a range of courses and programs in RMIT’s School of Media and Communication.

Her current role provides an opportunity to combine the writing and interviewing experience developed as a journalist and researcher with the insights into the student experience gained through her teaching work.

Karli Lukas, Project Officer

Karli's current role enables her to combine the research, writing, interviewing, project management and video production skills she developed in the film and television industries with her extensive higher education experience.

As both an Academic Services Officer and graduate of the School of Media and Communication, Karli brings unique analytical and holistic perspectives to the project. Her extensive knowledge of RMIT staff networks and processes further enables her to contribute to position papers and represent the project lead team on various working parties.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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