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Rob Wass Photo 2MSc (Zoology), PGDipArts (Education), PhD (Otago)

Senior Lecturer

Phone: +64 3 479 7091

About Rob

I currently research questions related to the first year experience in higher education. Specifically, I am interested in; supporting the academic development of tutors using video stimulated recall, effective assessment, and peer learning. From a student focus, I am also interested in student conceptions of good teaching, and effective learning. Previously published research is in the areas of scaffolding for critical thinking, assessment, and academic writing.

I am attracted to research questions that require different methodologies and approaches. However, my research is primarily qualitative and situated within sociocultural and interpretive paradigms.


I am particularly keen to supervise students interested in projects with a focus on the 'first-year experience' or ‘peer learning’. Prospective candidates should be comfortable utilising qualitative methodologies. I am happy to co-supervise students with staff from other departments.

Potential research projects

  • Positive emotions that lead to good learning outcomes
  • Experiences of tutors who are also international students
  • Development of metacognition in a peer-learning environment
  • Development of time-management strategies and note-taking strategies in a peer learning environment

Current students

  • Charmaine Kwan (PhD) - What transpired in Fiji's Higher Education sector? A strategic development outlook from 2007 - 2017

Past students

Krishneel Krishna Reddy (PhD 2020) - Using student peer review to enhance a student's learning experience in higher education


Workshops for the tutor and demonstrating programme
Introduction to tutoring, Introduction to demonstrating, Tutor training for residential colleges, Facilitating small groups, Support for tutor co-ordinators

Workshops for Student Learning Development
Preparing and revising for exams, critical reflection and writing an argument, oral presentation skills

Staff workshops and consultations
Large class teaching, Assessment, Peer review of teaching


Ako Aotearoa National funded project: Embedding employability in the curriculum

About the project
The need for universities to equip their students for successful lives and careers in an uncertain and rapidly changing world is unarguable. In a collaborative effort between the University of Auckland, University of Otago and the New Zealand Association of Graduate Employers (NZAGE), this project aims to discover and disseminate pedagogies for embedding employability capabilities in advanced and research informed curricula.