Academic work

Current research grants

SSHRC (Canada) Insight Grant (2016) Disciplinary Discourse Analytics for Deep Learning. (PI Dr Amal Zouaq, University of Ottawa)

Selected publications

McDonald, J., Moskal, A.C.M., Gunn, C., & Donald, C. (2018). Text analytic tools to illuminate student learning. In J. Lodge, J.C. Horvath, & L. Corrin (Eds.), Learning analytics in the classroom: Translating learning analytics research for teachers. Routledge. (Forthcoming)

Gunn, C., & McDonald, J. (2018). Promoting learning analytics for tertiary teachers: A New
Zealand case study, In J. Lodge, J. C. Horvath & L. Corrin (Eds.), Learning analytics in the classroom: Translating research for teachers. Routledge. (Forthcoming)

Gunn, C., McDonald, J., Donald, C., Milne, J., & Blumenstein, M. (2017) Building an evidence base for teaching and learning design using learning analytics. Ako Aotearoa, Wellington NZ. ISBN 978-0-947516-85-7 (online)

McDonald, J., & Moskal, A.C.M. (2017). Quantext: analysing student responses to short-answer questions. In H. Partridge (Ed.), Me, Us, IT! Proceedings ASCILITE2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education. Retrieved from

McDonald, J., Bird, R.J., Zouaq, A. & Moskal, A.C.M. (2017) Short answers to deep questions: supporting teachers in large-class settings. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 33(4), 306–319

McDonald, J & Loke, S.K. (2016) Discursive constructions of teacher in an educational technology journal. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET), 28(7), (pp 1176-1189).

McDonald, J., Liu, D., Moskal, A., Zeng, R., Blumenstein, M., Gunn, C., Leichtweis, S & Pardo, A. (2016) Cross-institutional collaboration to support student engagement: SRES version 2. In S. Barker, S. Dawson, A. Pardo, & C. Colvin (Eds.), Show Me The Learning. Proceedings Ascilite, 2016 Adelaide (pp. 397-405).

Gunn, C., Donald, C. Blumenstein, M., McDonald, J. Milne, J and Nichols, M. (2016) The missing link for learning from analytics. In S. Barker, S. Dawson, A. Pardo, & C. Colvin (Eds.), Show Me The Learning. Proceedings Ascilite, 2016 Adelaide (pp. 255-260).

McDonald, J., Knott, A., Stein, S. & Zeng, R. (2013). An empirically-based, tutorial dialogue system: design, implementation and evaluation in a first year health sciences course. In M. Gosper, J. Hedberg, H. Carter (Eds.) Electric Dreams. Proceedings Ascilite Sydney 2013. (pp 562-572).

McDonald, J., Knott, A. & Zeng, R. (2012). Free-text input vs menu selection: exploring the difference with a tutorial dialogue system. In Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association (ALTA) Workshop 2012, Dunedin, NZ, 2012. (pp 97-105).

Loke, S.K., Al-Sallami, H. S., Wright, D. F. B., McDonald, J., Jadhav, S., & Duffull, S. B. (2012). Challenges in integrating a complex systems computer simulation in class: An educational design research. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(4), pp671-683.

McDonald, J. , Knott, A., Zeng, R. & Cohen, A. (2011). Learning from Student Responses: A domain independent natural-language tutor. In D. Molla & D. Martinez. In Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association (ALTA) Workshop, 2011, Canberra. (pp 148-156).

Loke, S. K., Tordoff, J., Winikoff, M., McDonald, J., Vlugter, P., & Duffull, S. (2011). SimPharm: how pharmacy students made meaning of a clinical case differently in paper- and simulation-based workshops. British Journal of Educational Technology. 42(5), (pp 865-874).

Jeffrey, L., Hegarty, B., Kelly, O., Penman, M., Coburn, D., & McDonald J. (2011) Developing Digital Information Literacy in Higher Education: Obstacles and Supports. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, Volume 10, (pp 383 – 413).

Hegarty B., Penman M., Kelly O., Jeffrey L., Coburn D., and McDonald J. (2010) Digital Information Literacy: Supported Development of Capability in Tertiary Environments Final report to NZ Ministry of Education. 302p. ISBN 978-0-478-34213-0 (print)

Vlugter, P., Knott, A., McDonald, J. Hall, C. (2009) Dialogue-based CALL: A case study on teaching pronouns. CALL Journal. Vol 22. No. 2 (pp 115-131).

Ka’ai, Tania M., McDonald, J., & Moorfield, J. (2006) Te Whanake Online: An Interactive Resource for Maori Language Learning. He Puna Korero: Journal of Māori and Pacific Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, Sept 2006: 62-67

McDonald, J. (2006). Learning Object: A new definition, a case study and an argument for change. In L. Markauskaite, P. Goodyear, & P. Reimann (Eds.) Who’s Learning? Whose Technology?Proceedings Ascilite. Sydney 2006 (pp. 535–544).

Published commentary

McDonald, J (2016) Blindly Counting Academics’ Publications is the Road to Hell. Blog post republished by Times Higher Education Blog. January 5th 2016