06 September 2021

Novel teaching tech earns UniSA scientist Tall Poppy award

VitomirKovanovic2018ByCathLeo-27_web.jpgA novel approach to digital data and an excellence in learning analytics has secured UniSA’s Dr Vitomir Kovanović a Young Tall Poppy Science Award in this year’s prestigious accolades.

A Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia’s Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L), Dr Kovanović has been acknowledged as a South Australian Tall Poppy Scientist for 2021 for his innovative use of data science and machine learning to improve teaching and learning in Australian schools.

The annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards – an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science – recognise achievement in the sciences and helps to communicate the passion and purpose of Australia's finest scientists.

Dr Kovanović’s research focuses on developing novel learning analytics systems that use student-generated data and learning management systems to provide important insights for student learning.

Supported by the Thyne Reid Foundation, he is currently leading a research study to create individual learner profiles at several local South Australian schools.

"Our goal is to help schools better use available data to improve student success and wellbeing," Dr Kovanovic says.

"By working with teachers, we hope to develop new tools that will help them quickly and easily identify children who need additional support and guidance.”

Dr Kovanovic also led the recent project with The Geneva Learning Foundation from Switzerland, developing learning analytics to support professional training of immunisation professionals in the developing world, an essential practice amid the current global pandemic.

Since completing his PhD at the University of Edinburgh four years ago, Dr Kovanovic has developed a strong research track record with over 50 peer-reviewed publications and several international research collaborations. In 2019 year, he was named a ‘Rising star’, one of Australia’s top 40 early career researchers and one of the five most-cited early career researchers in social sciences.

State-of-the-art stroke therapies see UniSA scientist take out Tall Poppy

UniSA’s Dr Brenton Hordacre has been acknowledged as a South Australian Tall Poppy Scientist, having won a South Australian Young Tall Poppy award for his significant work in stroke recovery. Brenton_Hordacre_profile_TMS_web.jpg

A Senior Lecturer in physiotherapy, Dr Hordacre discovered that early stroke recovery is underpinned by a very brief, spontaneous increase in neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to re-wire itself and form new connections.

Dr Hordacre currently investigates, tests, and translates innovative solutions to re-open a period of enhanced neuroplasticity for stroke patients to enable greater recovery from stroke.

He uses a range of therapeutic rehabilitation technologies and has expertise in state-of-the-art tools to investigate the human brain including non-invasive brain stimulation, , magnetic resonance imaging, and electroencephalography.

The winner of the Tall Poppy of the Year award will be announced on 15 November 2021.


 Media contact: Annabel Mansfield M: +61 417 717 504 E: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au

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