The star undergrad involved in high level research December 17, 2014 A Murdoch University psychology undergraduate is involved in a research project which could see him peer reviewed before he completes his degree. Chris Cunningham, 25, is investigating the teaching of oral communications at Australian universities. He argues the topic should be a compulsory unit at all universities because it will enhance the employment options and improve the professional competence of graduates. The initial stages of his independent inquiry will inform an application for an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Innovation and Development research grant worth up to $500,000. Mr Cunningham has already garnered interest from potential collaborators at other universities after successfully presenting on the topic at the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) National Forum in Wollongong, New South Wales, in October. “Giving presentations and clear oral communications are key skills at many workplaces and yet hardly any Australian universities offer oral communications classes,” explained Mr Cunningham, who is one of seven PASS leaders at Murdoch who facilitate study groups in various units. “At many universities in the United States, oral communications is a compulsory unit. At the PASS National Forum, I argued that the PASS sessions we run with students could be an ideal forum for building presentation skills because it is a safer atmosphere for students to practice and try things out.” Mr Cunningham’s supervisor on the PASS program Pamela Martin-Lynch from the Centre for University Teaching and Learning said he had shown a great deal of initiative in researching peer learning and was himself a highly-skilled presenter. “Chris will have a publications record before he completes his degree which will be thoroughly deserved – he is an exceptional student,” she said. “His ideas and research into layering learning and mentoring students as a form of learning is highly innovative.” Mr Cunningham was also selected to attend the Leadership, Excellence, Accelerating Potential (LEAP) course at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in late July. In addition, he was a national finalist in the Outstanding New Leader Awards at the PASS National Forum. Print This Post Media contact: Jo Manning Tel: (08) 9360 2474 | Mobile: 0408 201 309 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Future Students, Domestic students, Research Tags: centre for university teaching and learning, chris cunningham, leap course, office for learning and teaching, oral communications, pamela martin-lynch, pass national forum, peer assisted study sessions Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!