MELT to Manufacturing

As a university professor I get to work with many different people to develop technical, skill-based and work-related curriculum.  Last week I had the opportunity to collaborate with both education professionals and workforce development professionals at the same meeting.  Tired of waiting for the next grant cycle and the competitive grant process, I identified a need for curriculum development and went directly to economic development representatives with a project proposal.  Fortunately, I went well armed with both the MELT framework and the Work Skill Development (WSD) framework (  All went smoothly.  Everyone was engaged in the activity that introduced the facets of research and the levels of autonomy found in the MELT model.  And then it happened — as it always does.  Before the meeting ended, the conversation turned toward connecting educators with business and industry.  Attendees recognized that educators don’t know how to develop relationships with business/industry and business/industry representatives have a hard time seeing the world through the lens of an educator.  But this time the conversation ended differently.  All participants were able to pull out the WSD framework and start a conversation about how activities in K-12 schools carried over to the workplace.  There was agreement that the WSD framework could be used to facilitate a conversation between educators and business/industry representatives.   It is yet to be determined where these discussions will lead and if the project will be funded.  The fact that all of the participants grabbed extra copies of the MELT and WSD framework as they left the meeting is a hopeful sign of continued interest.
Does anyone else out there have stories to share about their use of the frameworks?  I would be interested in hearing your stories.  work-skill-deve-framework


MELT workshops in each state

Would you like graduates of your programs to have developed deep understandings of subject matter and research or problem solving mindedness?

Do you want to foreground critical thinking and use technology to support its development, not have technology drive the agenda?

How can you help students to connect together the skills associated with problem solving, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and researching in ways that enable these skills to mutually reinforce across multiple semesters of a degree?


The MELT workshop on the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching will help you address these questions. The MELT reflect and are based on organic adaptations of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework to numerous other models, including the Work Skill Development framework (for WIL) and Optimising Problem Solving pentagon (made by students for students in Engineering). The workshop facilitates the development of your own MELT that fits your context. Join us at one of the state-based events run over the next few months:

Queensland: 25 November, University of Queensland

Flyer melt_ws_queensland_25nov16

South Australia: 30 November, University of Adelaide

Flyer melt_ws_sa_30nov16

Victoria: 1 December, Monash University

Flyer flyer_draftvictoria_31oct-16

New South Wales: 2 December, University of New South Wales

Flyer melt_nsw_sent

You may consider passing on this information to colleagues who may be interested.

Events are also being planned in Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

Please register through the links above. If you have any questions, contact me on



I hope you can join us at one of these events.



Mick Healey will give a keynote at I-MELT, December 2017

Emeritus Professor Mick Healey will be giving a Keynote address at I-MELT– the International Conference on Engaged Learning and Teaching. Mick has a strong research interest in Engaging Students as partners, including in all forms of undergraduate research and inquiry.

I-MELT will provide an opportunity for academic, professional and sessional staff and students to share a conceptualisation in common around contemporary issues facing teaching and learning. The concept in common will be the inter-related Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching, including:

  • The Research Skill Development framework (RSD)
  • The Work Skill Development framework (WSD)
  • The Clinical Reflection Skills Framework (CRS)
  • The Optimising Problem Solving pentagon (OPS)
  • The Critical Thinking pentagon (CT)
  • The Researcher Development framework (RSD7)
  • and Research Mountain (for Early Childhood)

The conference runs 4-6 December 2017. Details, including themes and other key dates are at

Hope you can make it



On behalf of the I-MELT Organising Committee

RSD Masterclass on Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT)

For those colleagues who are attending the Monash University RSD MELT, please share with us your experiences related to the following questions, in advance of the workshop:

  1. What is your favourite way of introducing RSD facets? Why this way?
  2. Have you introduced ‘autonomy’ of the RSD framework to any audience?  If so, how did you do this? If not, maybe give us an idea of whether it was not relevant, not possible, or something else.
  3. Have you had any surprises in your use of the RSD?

Scroll down to ‘Leave a Reply’.

I look forward to seeing you on the 24th!

John W


A metaphoric framework: a basis of the RSD

The Research Skill Development ( framework is underpinned by a three metaphors that comprise a metaphoric framework.

The attached powerpoint A metaphoric framework for analysis gives a very brief overview of the metaphoric framework. If you attended the session on ‘Why use a metaphoric framework for analysis?‘ you might answer this question in the comment field:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a metaphorical framework in your research context?


I-MELT RSD: International conference on Mobilising Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT)- December 2017 Adelaide

The Research Skill Development (RSD) conference will bring together those with a passion for developing students’ research, problem solving, critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. The conference will draw on the development and use of the skills that are articulated in the MELT (Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching) family of frameworks, such as the RSD framework, The Work Skill Development Framework (WSD), the Clinical Reasoning Skill (CRS) framework and the Optimising Problem Solving (OPS) pentagon.

The RSD MELT conference will be held at the Adelaide Wine Centre, 4 to 6 December 2017.

A call for abstracts will be made in October 2016, and the abstracts will be due in May 2017, with notifications about success in June. Abstracts will need to draw on the RSD framework or, especially adaptations of it. An abstract may focus on:

  • The use of the RSD and evaluation of outcomes for students
  • Adaptation of the RSD for specific purposes.
  • Critiques of the RSD, whether theoretical or practical.
  • Use and evaluation of the WSD, OPS or CRS with students and teaching staff.

Monday 4 December will comprise 3 hour workshops, each introduced by a speedy presentation (a Pecha Kucha) to help your informed choice.

Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December will have keynotes and 3ominute presentations.

Subsequent to the conference, we hope some presenters may develop their ideas into a full paper for a special issue of a yet-to-be named journal.

We will have keynote speakers who are not the usual suspects, including:

Associate Professor Jito Vanualailai, Director of the Research Office at the University of the South Pacific. Jito will give us a whole-institution look at the use of the Research Skill Development framework across degree programs, that was driven by the needs of the pacific island peoples. The initiative to use the RSD commenced with core general skill courses in 2012, progressively rolled out through discipline-specific courses in the First, Second and Third Years of all undergraduate programs, and is currently being developed at Masters level.

Associate Professor Sylvia Tiala, School of Education, University of Wiconsin Stout. Sylvia will inform us about the RSD community of Practice that she leads with other colleagues at the university. Based on a handbook developed by the University of the South pacific, Sylvia and the team adapted this for the Wisconsin context.

If you live on the equator, USA or Europe, come and visit Australia’s biggest wine growing region in early summer ; you may MELT, but you wont be too hot.


for the Organising Committee

Said Al-Sarawi- STEM

Nayana Parange- Health Sciences

Lyn Torres-Library and Student support

John Willison- Arts, Professions and Education