Staff profile: Dr Ann Rogerson, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Business

Dr Ann Rogerson with one of her students.

After starting her career as a travel agent with former Australian airline, Ansett, Dr Ann Rogerson - a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Business - spent over 20 years ascending the ranks of management in sales and marketing, operations, human resources and legal affairs.

During this time she gained invaluable experience managing an international cabin crew base, which laid a solid foundation for what was to be her next career move – teaching students from all over the world.

Her decision to study a Master of Management at the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Southern Sydney Campus was Dr Rogerson’s entrée to the University. Her interest in academia grew exponentially and she decided to do a doctorate while also taking up casual lecturing at UOW in 2008. By 2009, she was appointed as a full time lecturer at Sydney Business School, teaching postgraduate students’ leadership and organisational behaviour. But her hunger for learning didn’t stop there.

“My daughter was studying a Bachelor of Primary Education and I was really interested in what she was studying. I knew what I was teaching but didn’t know the theory behind why I was teaching it, so I did a

Master of Higher Education through UOW as well,” Dr Rogerson said.

“When I did my Masters of Management degree, I became aware that there was a disconnect in many areas between theory and what was happening in real workplaces. I felt I could actually build that bridge and that’s what I’ve been doing.

“I don’t rely on text books for case studies, I can actually talk about real situations and encourage students to bring what’s happening in their workplace, pull it apart, analyse it using theory and discuss how to address it. That’s been really exciting and the students seem to respond really well to it,” she said.

Dr Rogerson’s doctoral thesis was on interpersonal conversations in the workplace between managers and their superiors and subordinates. This was prompted by her years working in Human Resources in the corporate environment.

“I believe conversations are the foundation of everything, not only in workplaces, but also with students. Having conversations about learning and academic integrity is really important.

“In my very first teaching session, I was introducing ‘Turnitin®’, which was mandatory in the Business School and the international students were struggling with it. Then I was teaching a domestic class at Rail Corp, as it was formerly known, and they were struggling with it too. I thought this isn’t a language problem, this is actually not understanding technology and how it can support students”.

“I had documented some things for colleagues to explain what to look for (in assignments) and I also put them into a presentation for students, and the performance improved and issues dropped, which I realised was helping things move in the right direction”.

Together with Dean of Sydney Business School, Associate Professor Grace McCarthy, Dr Rogerson co-authored a paper about how to actually communicate with students about the concept of academic integrity and explain the policy, which they later presented at a conference at UOW in 2009.

With her growing expertise in academic integrity, Dr Rogerson took on the role as Primary Investigation Officer to investigate student misconduct, which was underpinned by her previous HR experience dealing with unions and investigating staff performance issues.

Soon after, she identified a particular cohort of students where an abnormal number of discrepancies had been identified, and it became apparent there was a need for much closer scrutiny on student academic conduct. The process saw her interview 70 students which revealed patterns and helped inform the basis of her subsequent research into academic integrity.

“There was just such a need for that sort of information – how to observe patterns in written documents, because technology doesn’t pick it all up, so I’m trying to educate people about what to look for.”

After presenting her findings at one conference, Dr Rogerson was interviewed by Times Higher Education and contributed a chapter to the Handbook of Academic Integrity. Her further research into paraphrasing tool use places her at the cutting edge of research into academic integrity, with Australia leading the way in this research area.