Dr Claire Leonie Donald

PhD Science Education

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Curriculum Development Manager


Claire is a senior lecturer in the Engineering Faculty. Her background is in science education and educational technology in higher education. She supervises postgraduate students in higher education and engineering education, and contributes to teaching and learning initiatives across the Engineering Faculty. Her research is on educational applications of machine learning, learning analytics, learning design, evaluation and the scholarship of teaching and learning in engineering.

Research | Current

My research is on the theory and practice of the educational use of technology in higher education.  I investigate how tertiary teaching and learning can be enhanced by educational technology in three areas: learning outcomes (how effectively curriculum development supports learning, particularly in engineering and science education), teacher beliefs (the effect of teacher beliefs on technology adoption), and learning analytics (how teachers use analytics data to support learning).

I evaluate how teaching interventions address specific learning needs. My research on teacher beliefs investigates their influence on course design and teaching practice in higher education. The courageous dimensions of 'ako' is a project that examines the conditions of, and for, academic and intellectual courage in inclusive higher education contexts.

My learning analytics research explores how university teachers use learning analytics data to inform their teaching and course design. The goal of this research is to promote the adoption of learning analytics in teaching practice.

Postgraduate supervision

The design and evaluation of online learning in science and engineering education.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • McDonald, J., Moskal, A., Gunn, C., & Donald, L. (2018). Text analytic tools to illuminate student learning. In J. M. Lodge, J. C. Horvath, L. Corrin (Eds.) Learning analytics in the classroom: Translating learning analytics research for teachers. New York: Routledge.
  • Donald, L. C., Ramsay, E., & Joerg, I. (2017). Designing for learning in a MOOC: A pedagogical model in disguise. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5 (3), 90-101. 10.14297/jpaap.v5i3.287
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/36279
  • Donald, C., & Barker, M. (2016). Science and poetry as allies in school learning. Educational Research for Social Change, 5 (2), 51-64. 10.17159/2221-4070/2016/v5i2a4
  • Gunn, C., McDonald, J., Donald, C., Blumenstein, M., & Milne, J. (2016). The missing link for learning from analytics. ASCILITE Adelaide 2016: Show Me the Learning: Conference Proceedings 33rd International Conference of Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational, Technologies in Tertiary Education, 255-260. Adelaide, Australia.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Marion Blumenstein
  • Gunn, C., & Donald, C. (2015). Mapping analytics data to the learning design cycle to promote evidence-informed teaching practice. Paper presented at Australasian Learning Analytics Summer Institute (ALASI) 2015, Sydney, Australia. 26 November - 27 November 2015. ALASI 2015: Australasian Learning Analytics Summer Institute.
  • Gunn, C., McDonald, J., Donald, C., Milne, J., Nichols, M., & Heinrich, E. (2015). A practitioner’s guide to learning analytics. In T. Reiners, B. R. von Konsky, D. Gibson, V. Chang, L. Irving, K. Clarke (Eds.) Globally connected, digitally enabled. Proceedings ascilite 2015, 672-675. Perth, Australia.
  • Donald, C., & Ramsay, E. (2014). Designing for learning in the MOOC environment: Early experiences at the University of Auckland. Paper presented at Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology: Ascilite, Dunedin, New Zealand. 23 November - 26 November 2014.
  • Miller, G., & Donald, C. (2014). Investigations into students’ information sourcing patterns in a postgraduate blended learning course. Paper presented at Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference (AAEE 2014), Wellington, New Zealand. 8 December - 10 December 2014. 25th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education: Engineering the Knowledge Economy: Collaboration, Engagement& Employability.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/25305
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Garry Miller


Contact details

Office hours

Part-time: 9.00 - 16.00 daily except Wednesdays

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 605
New Zealand

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