MELT: Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching

Presented by Dr John Willison (Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide)

MELT: Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching

Dr John WIllison presented an interactive seminar and workshop for university colleagues in NSW.

Many have adapted the Research Skill Development (RSD) Framework so that the concepts underlying it are useful in their context. Example modifications include the Work Skill Development (WSD) framework for WIL, or the Optimising Problem Solving (OPS) pentagon for Engineering. The resulting family of models is called MELT: Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching.

MELT provides a variety of models that share core features and that can help you facilitate student cognitive engagement with content while developing a raft of thinking skills.





Registration and Coffee: 10am.

Part A 10.30-12.30 Learn about or retune your understanding of the six facets of thinking in the MELT and adapt these to your context in a collaborative environment.

Lunch 12.30- 1.30

Part B 1.30-4.00 Use your adapted version of MELT to plan specific learning activities.


This workshop is geared towards all involved in educating students: academics, sessional staff, professional staff, peer-support students, PhD supervisors.

More information available 


Dr John Willison has twenty five years of experience in formal education, and throughout that time has been most enthralled in how to help students to engage in research-based learning. Initially this concerned making science laboratories both hands-on and minds-on and necessitated a raft of scaffolding, including literacy strategies. As this initiative broadened to other disciplines and interdisciplinary contexts it led to the development of early versions of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework. Colleagues in first year Human Biology began to trial the RSD, followed by courses in Engineering, Nursing and English, showing positive outcomes for students.

This success inspired John to lead five-university ALTC Innovation and Development projects, one for course-level implementation of RSD (2007-2009) and the other for program-level implementation (2011-2013). These projects and new AQF 9 research requirements led to demand for RSD to inform coursework Masters programs and Dr Willison held a National Teaching Fellowship on this theme 2014-2015.

As the use of the RSD escalates nationally and internationally, he is currently keen to help educators develop the overlapping skills associated with researching, problem solving, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and evidence-based decision making. In these various learning contexts, educators have developed a number of variations on the RSD, known together as the Models for Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT). John’s focus is on how the MELT can facilitate a coherent spine for students’ programs of study in undergraduate, Masters and PhD across all disciplines.

For more detail see

2nd Dec 2016, 10:00am to 4:00pm

Room 1025, Level 10, Library (stage 2) near the IT service centre

Public: Event open to all



Christina Kingen