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A Scientia Education Academy lecture presented by Associate Professors Isabella Dobrescu and Alberto Motta

About this event

Associate Professors of Economics Isabella Dobrescu and Alberto Motta will explore a number of thought-provoking questions that have the potential to change the way we think about education:

Can large courses be hands-down better than small ones? Can education be as entertaining as Netflix or Super Mario? Or both? Can students replace academics? Do female students lead better than male students? Do social comparisons help students learn?

Isabella and Alberto have pioneered the use of randomized control trials in redesigning education via technology. Leveraging their 10+ years of research on cutting edge approaches to education, they will outline some entirely new aspects of student behaviour, driven by both their capabilities and their interactions with each other.

These insights are particularly useful in the post-COVID era, with its transition to online education forever changing both the definition of 'classroom experience' and the scale of what was once known as 'large classes'.

About the Presenters

Isabella Dobrescu and Alberto Motta are Associate Professors of Economics at UNSW Sydney.

Isabella's interests are in labour, public finance, and applied econometrics, and she is the Deputy Director (Research) of UNSW's Scientia Education Academy.

Alberto's interests focus on contract theory, labour and development economics, and he is also the incoming Deputy Director of UNSW's Scientia Education Academy.

Together they Co-Chair the STEP UP initiative in Education @ UNSW, working to combine theory, empirical analysis and randomised controlled trials to help design approaches that aim to improve educational outcomes using technology. In addition, Isabella and Alberto are unpaid Co-Founders and Co-Chiefs science at a newly formed lab testing innovative education approaches (LionsHeart Studios, an organisation spun out of the Gamification Group at UNSW).

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This event is a part of the Scientia Education Academy lecture series, a forum for UNSW’s most outstanding educators to contribute thought-leadership to enriching education excellence.

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