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Dr Russell Butson

DipTchg, BA, PGDipArts, MA, PhD

Email russell.butson@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 5789

Learning Sciences Research Cluster

About Russell

Butson-photo

I am a senior lecturer in higher education and educational technology. My research is focused on the evolving ‘wicked’ problems associated with the changing nature of 21st century education. I deploy methods that are applied in nature and draw heavily on the use of digital devices and sensors to capture naturally occurring data. In line with my research, my teaching and supervision work is focused on liberating and empowering students to become authentic, critical, innovative thinkers who can recognise and address these problems.

Teaching

Consultations – one-to-one and departmental support

Whether you are a staff member, postgraduate or undergraduate, please feel free to contact me to arrange for an informal chat about any aspect of your teaching or learning.

Online Teaching & Learning Environments

I work with staff interested in exploring the use of online environments to support their teaching.

  • xOtago
  • Teams for Teaching

Postgraduate Programmes

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education
Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education
Master of Higher Education (MHEd)

Research interests

My research is primarily applied and focused on addressing ‘wicked’ problems that are associated with the 21st century educational landscape and include…

  • The Science of Learning
  • Digital learning environments
  • Authentic, situated learning
  • Reality mining
  • New educational research methods/methodologies

Supervision

I am available to supervise postgraduates in higher education who wish to undertake research into any aspect of academic life/teaching/learning within professional and university settings, particularly where there is a focus on my research interests.
Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss your ideas.

Email russell.butson@otago.ac.nz

Current students

Cho Wonhyuk (PGDipHighE)

Past students

Farah Shawkat (PhD) Teacherpreneurship and the digital learning landscape in higher education. 2022
Larian Nkomo (PhD) - Students' engagement patterns with digital learning technologies: An empirical case of lecture recordings. 2022
Ifeanyi Glory Ndukwe (PhD) - Teaching analytics and teacher dashboards to visualise SET data: Implication to theory and practice. 2021
Miriam Gibson (PhD) Making Meaning: The role of activity in learning. 2020
Taylor Wilson (MHEd) An exploration of learning and performance in high-fidelity critical care simulation through the use of data sensors. 2020
Kait O'Callahan (MHEd) Life’s Nurse: Exploring the Impact of Sleep on Performance and Wellbeing in Medical Imaging Students Using Fitbit Devices. 2020
Senorita John (PhD) Mining reality to explore the 21st century student experience. 2019
Belinda Lawrence (PhD) Individual, Institutional and Environmental Factors Influencing Online Distance Tertiary Teaching in New Zealand. 2019
Hamid Mahroeian (PhD) Big Data and Analytics in Higher Education. 2018
Nick Baker (MHEd) The Dynamics of Online Group Learning. (2017)
Senorita John (MHEd) An investigation into the study practices of health science students. 2016
Kwong Nui Sim (PhD) An investigation into the way PhD students utilise ICT to support their doctoral research process. 2015
Suzie Bartlett (MHEd) Use of Actor-based Simulations in Heath Education. 2015
Dallas Knight (PhD) Digital Channels in healthcare service delivery. 2014
Belinda Lawrence (PGDipHighE) Web Based Technology Use in Online and Distance Learning. 2013
Kwong Nui Sim (MA) The importance of personal computers in Higher Education. 2012
Khalaf Alsalm (MSc) Factors and Characteristics of Successful Research Collaboration and E-collaboration Tools, 2011

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Publications

Butson, R., Barnes, T., & Wright, D. (2022). Fostering authenticity in surgical education: Creating a safe space for medical students to practice as doctors. Journal of Surgical Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.08.014

Wright, D., Boren, M., Butson, R., Lesche, S., & Barnes, T. (2022). Exploring medical student perspectives on the use of real-life/real-time video to enhance operating theatre learning. Colorectal Disease, 24(Suppl. 1), (pp. 141-142). doi: 10.1111/codi.16048

Butson, R., & O'Callahan, K. (2022). Personal analytics in the science of learning. In A. Kaplan (Ed.), Digital transformation and disruption of higher education. (pp. 377-390). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781108979146.036

Nkomo, L. M., Daniel, B. K., & Butson, R. J. (2021). Synthesis of student engagement with digital technologies: A systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 18, 34. doi: 10.1186/s41239-021-00270-1

Wright, D., & Butson, R. (2020). Revolutionising the undergraduate surgical attachment: Using technology to enhance legitimate peripheral participation. In M. Anakin & Q. Liu (Eds.), Proceedings of the Otago Medical School Health Professions Education Research Group Symposium [Online]. (pp. 11). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Medical School, Dunedin Campus, University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/10591

Butson, R., & O'Callahan, K. (2022). Personal analytics in the science of learning. In A. Kaplan (Ed.), Digital transformation and disruption of higher education. (pp. 377-390). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781108979146.036

Chapter in Book - Research

Daniel, B. K., & Butson, R. J. (2017). The rise of big data and analytics in higher education. In E. Rodriguez (Ed.), The analytics process: Strategic and tactical steps. (pp. 113-126). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781315161501-6

Chapter in Book - Research

Perumal, V., Daniel, B., & Butson, R. (2017). Learning analytics of clinical anatomy e-cases. In B. K. Daniel (Ed.), Big data and learning analytics in higher education: Current theory and practice. (pp. 253-263). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Chapter in Book - Research

Butson, R., Cook, J. M., & Kardos, R. (2009). The oral health e-portfolio: A three-year project. In J. Zubizarreta (Ed.), The learning portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. (2nd ed.) (pp. 97-108). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chapter in Book - Research

Nkomo, L. M., Daniel, B. K., & Butson, R. J. (2021). Synthesis of student engagement with digital technologies: A systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 18, 34. doi: 10.1186/s41239-021-00270-1

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R., John, S., & Suazo, A. (2020). The behaviour of learning: Exploring independent study practices of undergraduate heath science students. Medical Science Educator, 30, 917-925. doi: 10.1007/s40670-020-00974-5

Journal - Research Article

Jeremiah, F., Suazo, A. E., & Butson, R. (2020). Contemplating the value of liminality for entrepreneurs. Tamara Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, 18(1), 1-11. doi: 10.7206/tamara.1532-5555.5

Journal - Research Article

Ndukwe, I. G., Daniel, B. K., & Butson, R. J. (2018). Data science approach for simulating educational data: Towards the development of teaching outcome model (TOM). Big Data & Cognitive Computing, 2(3), 24. doi: 10.3390/bdcc2030024

Journal - Research Article

Mahroeian, H., Daniel, B., & Butson, R. (2017). The perceptions of the meaning and value of analytics in New Zealand higher education institutions. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 14(35). doi: 10.1186/s41239-017-0073-y

Journal - Research Article

Perumal, V., Butson, R., Blyth, P., & Daniel, B. (2017). Clinical anatomy e-cases: A five-year follow-up of learning analytics. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1449), 22-29. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Sim, K. N., & Butson, R. (2017). Visualising the doctoral research process: An exploration into empirical research processes of emerging researchers. International Journal of Learning, Teaching & Educational Research, 16(9), 42-59. doi: 10.26803/ijlter.16.9.4

Journal - Research Article

Bartlett, S., & Butson, R. (2015). Trained actors help students learn mental health nursing skills. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 21(8), 17-19.

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R., & Thomson, C. (2014). Challenges of effective collaboration in a virtual learning environment among undergraduate students. Creative Education, 5(16), 1449-1459. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.516162

Journal - Research Article

Sim, K. N., & Butson, R. (2014). To what degree are undergraduate students using their personal computers to support their daily study practices? IAFOR Journal of Education, 2(1), 158-171.

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R., & Sim, K. N. (2013). The role of personal computers in undergraduate education. International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence, 4(3), 1-9. doi: 10.4018/ijdldc.2013070101

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R., Hendrick, P., Kidd, M., & Brannstrom, M. (2012). Developing a virtual interdisciplinary research community in clinical education: Enticing people to the "tea-room". Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice & Education, 2(3), 320-338.

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2011). Does higher education need deschooling? Industry & Higher Education, 25(3), 153-160. doi: 10.5367/ihe.2011.0042

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R., & Thomson, C. (2011). Reflections on the use of autovideography in an undergraduate education context. Journal of Research Practice, 7(2), Article D1. Retrieved from http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/article/view/243/236

Journal - Research Article

Kardos, R. L., Cook, J. M., Butson, R. J., & Kardos, T. B. (2009). The development of an ePortfolio for life-long reflective learning and auditable professional certification. European Journal of Dental Education, 13(3), 135-141. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0579.2008.00551.x

Journal - Research Article

Miyahara, M., Butson, R., Cutfield, R., & Clarkson, J. E. (2009). A pilot study of family-focused tele-intervention for children with developmental coordination disorder: Development and lessons learned. Telemedicine Journal & e-Health, 15(7), 707-712. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2009.0022

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2005). The role of faculty in the digital education of tomorrow. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 17(1), 3-16.

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2003). Learning objects: Weapons of mass instruction. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34(5), 667-669.

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2003). Teaching as a practice of social injustice: Perspectives from a teacher. Radical Pedagogy, 5(1). Retrieved from http://radicalpedagogy.icaap.org/content/issue5_1/10_butson.html

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2003). That 'teaching' is a prodigious illusion: In the words and form of Soren Kierkegaard. Essays in Education, 6(Summer). Retrieved from http://www.usca.edu/essays/vol62003/butson.pdf

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2003). Transcending the flatland. Teaching in Higher Education, 8(3), 447-451.

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R. (2002). The experience of practitioners with technology-enhanced teaching and learning: A response. Educational Technology & Society, 5(3). Retrieved from http://ifets.ieee.org/periodical/vol_3_2002/butson.pdf

Journal - Research Article

Butson, R., Barnes, T., & Wright, D. (2022). Fostering authenticity in surgical education: Creating a safe space for medical students to practice as doctors. Journal of Surgical Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.08.014

Journal - Research Other

Collins, J., Regenbrecht, H., Langlotz, T., Can, Y. S., Ersoy, C., & Butson, R. (2019). Measuring cognitive load and insight: A methodology exemplified in a virtual reality learning context. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE. doi: 10.1109/ISMAR.2019.00033

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

John, S., Butson, R., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2018). Mining digital reality: Exploring the virtual activities of undergraduate students. In M. Campbell, J. Willems, C. Adachi, D. Blake, I. Doherty, S. Krishnan, … J. Tai (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) International Conference: Open Oceans: Learning without Borders. (pp. 418-422). Retrieved from http://ascilite.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Butson, R. (2017). Measuring stress in doctoral research: A case for reality mining across psychological, physiological and environmental dimensions. Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE). (pp. 45-49). Retrieved from http://icce2017.canterbury.ac.nz

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

John, S., Butson, R., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2017). Mining for meaning: Detecting behavioural patterns in student spatiotemporal data. In F.-Y. Yu, S. Murthy, G. Biswas, B. Chang, M. Chang, J. Mason, … A. Mitrovic (Eds.), Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE) Doctoral Student Consortia. (pp. 13-16). Taoyuan City, Taiwan: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Mahroeian, H., Daniel, B., Butson, R., & Kumar, V. (2017). The impact of analytics within the institutions of higher education in New Zealand. Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE). (pp. 17-19). Retrieved from http://icce2017.canterbury.ac.nz

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Sim, K., Butson, R., Stein, S., & van der Meer, J. (2014). Seeing between the lines: How do PhD students use computer technologies in their research practices? In B. Hegarty, J. McDonald & S.-K. Loke (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite) Conference: Rhetoric and Reality: Critical Perspectives on Educational Technology. (pp. 233-241). Retrieved from http://ascilite2014.otago.ac.nz/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Daniel, B. K., & Butson, R. (2013). Technology enhanced analytics (TEA) in higher education. In P. Kommers, T. Issa, N. M. Sharef & P. Isaías (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Educational Technologies (ICEduTech). (pp. 89-96). Lisbon, Portugal: IADIS Press. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Sim, K., & Butson, R. (2013). Do undergraduates use their personal computers to support learning? Procedia Social & Behavioral Sciences, 103, (pp. 330-339). doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.341

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Sim, K., & Butson, R. (2013). The role/importance of personal computers to support learning in higher education. Proceedings of the Inaugural European Technology in the Classroom Conference. Nagoya, Japan: International Academic Forum. Retrieved from http://iafor.org/Proceedings/ECTC/ECTC2013_proceedings.pdf

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Kardos, R., Chrzan, J., & Butson, R. (2007). Professional ePortfolio Project: Bridging the divide between student and practicing professional. Proceedings of the Health Informatics New Zealand 6th Annual Forum & Exhibition. Auckland, New Zealand: HINZ. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Butson, R., Carr, S., & Bosselman, G. (2006). Engagement as a more helpful measure of student learning. In J. M. Jennings & T. Angelo (Eds.), Proceedings of the Student Engagement Symposium. (pp. 26-28). Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Wright, D., Boren, M., Butson, R., Lesche, S., & Barnes, T. (2022). Exploring medical student perspectives on the use of real-life/real-time video to enhance operating theatre learning. Colorectal Disease, 24(Suppl. 1), (pp. 141-142). doi: 10.1111/codi.16048

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Wright, D., & Butson, R. (2020). Revolutionising the undergraduate surgical attachment: Using technology to enhance legitimate peripheral participation. In M. Anakin & Q. Liu (Eds.), Proceedings of the Otago Medical School Health Professions Education Research Group Symposium [Online]. (pp. 11). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Medical School, Dunedin Campus, University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/10591

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

John, S., & Butson, R. (2017). I am what I do: Detecting behavioural patterns in student spatiotemporal data. Proceedings of the University of Otago Student Research Symposium: Te Wānaka Rakahau: Ākoka. (pp. 39-40). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/scholarships/otago643219.html

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

John, S., Butson, R., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2017). I am what I do: Using digital devices to detect behavioural patterns in student spatiotemporal data. In L. G. Chova, A. L. Martínez & I. C. Torres (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN). IATED Academy. doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1443

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Shawkat, F., Daniel, B., & Butson, R. (2017). Teacherpreneurship: A paradigm shift within the digital landscape of higher education. Proceedings of the University of Otago Student Research Symposium: Te Wānaka Rakahau: Ākoka. (pp. 84). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/scholarships/otago643219.html

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Butson, R. (2016). Learning potentialities against the backdrop of the digital revolution. Proceedings of the First Year Biology Educators' Colloquium (FYBC). (pp. 4). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/fybec/programme-and-speakers/index.html

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Butson, R. (2016). The digital academic: Measuring daily practice. Proceedings of the 5th International Academic Identities Conference. Retrieved from http://sydney.edu.au/education-portfolio/ei/getinvolved/aic2016/program.htm

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Gibson, M., & Butson, R. (2016). Making meaning: The role of activity in learning. Proceedings of the Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand (TERNZ) Conference. Retrieved from http://herdsa.org.nz/ternz/2016

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

John, S., Butson, R., & Spronken-Smith, R. (2016). Mining reality: Detecting behavioural patterns in student spatiotemporal data. Proceedings of the Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand (TERNZ) Conference. Retrieved from http://herdsa.org.nz/ternz/2016

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Shawkat, F., Daniel, B., & Butson, R. (2016). Teacherpreneurship: Transforming teaching within higher education. Proceedings of the Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand (TERNZ) Conference. Retrieved from http://herdsa.org.nz/ternz/2016

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Sim, K. N., & Butson, R. (2016). Blackboard: Its future as an agent of change. Proceedings of the Innovate & Educate Teaching & Learning Conference by Blackboard. Retrieved from https://experience.blackboard.com/TLC-Sydney/the-conference/detailed-program/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Sim, K. N., & Butson, R. (2016). Visualizing the doctoral research process. In M. Picard & A. McCulloch (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Quality in Postgraduate Research (QPR) Conference. (pp. 34). Adelaide, Australia: QPR Organising Committee. [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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