About C3L Research

The centre researches an individual’s lifespan of learning and applies these findings to develop new opportunities for UniSA programs. This involves investigations into the learning skills, mindsets and developmental aspects of education that are necessary for a digitally rich and complex age. C3L pursues research that directly impacts education, and society. C3L investigates learning and development through the collection of diverse data sets about how learners engage in formal and informal learning settings. These data provide an important lens into the development of people within a society, the impact of interventions, and how the interaction points that a person has with society’s institutions impacts their education and well-being development.

C3L Research Streams

  • Change in Complex Systems (CCS)
  • Infrastructures for AI (IAI)
  • Human and Artificial Cognition (HAC)
  • Learning Analytics (LA)


  • Undertakes research in learning analytics and personalized and adaptive processes. The outcomes will lead to the development of personal learning graphs for students to better support and guide learners both within and beyond formal education contexts, particularly in helping to prepare the workforce for future jobs.
  • Undertakes competency-mapping to ensure learners transition into new roles in organizations and receive the support needed by UniSA. This will enable employees to shift into new fields and develop opportunities for career progression. For example, working with local South Australian Principals and the DECD to map teaching education competency framework to aid just in time learning and professional development conducted through UniSA Education Futures.
  • Connects with Adelaide community agencies (health care, education, cultural) to research the lifespan of learning and the role of UniSA in serving the needs at different stages of these learning processes.
  • Acts as a focal point for multi-disciplinary collaborations to aid securing of high profile research funding.
  • Works with UniSA Education Futures and DECD to advance learner success for underrepresented populations.
  • Promotes and support adoption and uptake of applied research outcomes into UniSA teaching and learning practice.
  • Provides an exemplar research model for integrating industry, government and university stakeholders to address complex societal challenges at University, local, national and international scales.


List of C3L projects

Learning analytics framework for delivering effective training experience for medical professionals

Experiential learning proposes a highly engaging environment in which learners, instructors and mentors interact around team-based projects. The high levels of engagement present in these environments need an equally high level of interaction with teaching and mentoring staff. The key to transform this scenario into an effective learning experience is to provide personalised feedback to learners throughout their journey. Practera offers a virtual environment to enact this type of experiences. Learners undertake their real-world, collaborative projects, upload their deliverables, inputs and reflections and a team of mentors and reviewers offer personalised feedback for the next stages. This feedback cycle requires a comprehensive knowledge of the student and is challenging to deploy for large student cohorts. Practera and the Centre for Change and Complexity (C3L) at the University of South Australia are working together to explore how learning analytics methods can support this teaching environment, identify patterns of engagement, connect the knowledge with the right type of personalised support, and evaluate its impact.

Corporate Learning Analytics

Through the Corporate Learning Analytics project, C3L examines what technologies are available for learning and development at the enterprise, what data are available to corporate leaders, and how they are using it for capability development. The project targets two distinct groups of businesses: SMEs that comprise a larger part of the economy and require to be agile to adapt to digitization processes; large corporations with resources and a wide range of tools available to their employees.


  • Review of grey literature and analysis of 80 analytics-based technologies available for learning and development in the corporate sector. The research resulted in an official report funded for the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), Singapore. 
  • Submission of a large grant to the Workforce Development Applied Research Fund (WDARF) targeting corporate learning analytics in small and medium enterprise 
  • Interviews with Chief Learning Officers of international corporations. Preliminary analysis of the data is to be disseminated at the Corporate Practitioner Track of the International Conference. 

Project lead: Professor Maarten de Laat

Covid-19 Scholar Peer Hub - The Geneva Learning Foundation

The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) is a Swiss non-profit with the mission to develop, trial, and scale up new ways to lead change to tackle the challenges that threaten our societies. To provide support to immunisation professionals, TGLF is starting a new COVID-19 focused programme, supporting immunisation professionals as they reshape programmes in response to the global pandemic  C3L is working in partnership with TGLF to evaluate the programme's effectiveness and contribute to ongoing decision-making and understanding of the effectiveness of workforce training programmes on public health outcomes. To provide a comprehensive analysis of the programme, the research team developed an extensive dashboard to track and monitor Scholar's learning progress in the course that together paint a picture of the knowledge creation and spread within the learner network, and also the impact of such exchanges on immunisation programme performance. 

To learn more, follow the link to the UniSA press release. https://www.unisa.edu.au/Media-Centre/Releases/2020/covid-19-peer-hub-combats-vaccine-avoidance-amid-pandemic/ 

Project lead: Dr Vitomir Kovanovic

Epic Challenges

Students in the 21st century require a combination of soft skills and STEM-based skills to ensure a successful transition into university and the emerging workforce. This course is designed with a project-based curriculum coupled with an enterprise education focus. The innovative nature of the curriculum involves student engagement in an ‘Epic Challenge’, an open-ended, real-world complex problem which does not have an existing or known solution and is multi-disciplinary by nature.

Students will participate in a connected learning environment and work in teams to design their solution for the specified challenge. Through this, students will develop their teamwork skills, knowledge capture skills (problem definition and problem immersion), creative concept generation (creativity tools, creative ideation, concept evaluation), rapid concept development (analysis, prototype, test, design/optimise), and, finally, concept evaluation and selection. Students will also develop STEM skills such as engineering design practices, mathematical literacy, technical expertise and empirical data analysis.

During this program, students will become familiar with space programs, providing them with opportunities to become part of the hub for future space industry development. The final product for this course requires students to present their work in a symposium which will include an audience of real-world engineers and space industry representatives, including NASA astronauts.

Project lead: Dr Rebeca Marrone