Rachel Thompson

Faculty Learning & Teaching Fellow, Convenor of Quality of Medical Practice
Senior Lecturer

My undergraduate training was in Medicine, gaining MBChB with an intercalated BSc Hons (Epidemiology) at Sheffield University, England in 1990. Following registrar training positions in paediatrics and public health, I gained a Masters in Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UCL) in 1999 and emigrated to Australia in 2000. I have been an academic at UNSW since 2004, with a focus on teaching as the L&T Fellow for the faculty since 2007, transferring to an Education Focussed role, 2017.  In October 2019 I was award a PhD from School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW, thesis entitled: "A Vygotskian Exploration of Medical Students’ Critical Thinking Within Threshold Concept Liminal Spaces."

SOTL AND SUPPORT FOR TEACHING STAFF:

As Faculty of Medicine Learning and Teaching Fellow, I aim to promote and support learning and teaching and related scholarly activities within the faculty and across faculties at UNSW. Please see our support webpages: http://staff.med.unsw.edu.au/learning-teaching

I facilitate the community of practice Medical Education Interest Group in the Medical Faculty (the MedEd group). This group was formed in November 2006 and brings together medical faculty staff interested in education issues to support scholarly practice, to encourage research and develop new networks amongst its members. I organise the monthly seminar series, a monthly faculty-wide newsletter, the annual faculty learning and teaching forum, a Moodle support module and a MedEd group Twitter feed. For more details and link to sign up for the group, please see: http://staff.med.unsw.edu.au/medical-education-interest-group

INTEREST IN GENERIC STUDENT LEARNING:

Web-based / blended learning; teaching of threshold concepts; learning modes; critical thinking; self-directed learning; assessment methods; research into course evaluation.

TEACHING AWARDS:

  • 2014 Australian Government, Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning: "For leading the development of a vibrant medical education community that has fundamentally enhanced and enriched teaching and learning at the Faculty of Medicine."
  • 2010 UNSW Medicine Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2009 UNSW Medicine Award for Innovation in Learning & Teaching

SOCIETY MEMBERSHIPS & PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES:                    

  • Member of ISSOTL 2007
  • Member of ANZAME 2008 - present
  • Member of HERDSA 2013-present 
  • Invited advisor for: AMSA policy (2013)
  • Invited reviewer for: AMSJ (2013, 2016, 2018), MSJA (2014)
  • Invited reviewer for: FHPE (2016)  

Publications

Book Chapters
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Thompson R; Michell M, 2019, 'Vygotsky, Threshold Concepts and Liminality', in Threshold Concepts on the Edge, Brill | Sense, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004419971_005
2019
Thompson R; Michell M, 2019, 'Vygotsky, Threshold Concepts and Liminality: Using Vygotsky to illuminate the edge of conceptual understanding.', in Timmermans JA; Land R (ed.), Threshold Concepts on the Edge, Brill Sense, Leiden, The Netherlands, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004419971_005
2019
Li J; Thompson R; Shulruf B, 2019, 'Struggling with strugglers: Using data from selection tools for early identification of medical students at risk of failure', BMC Medical Education, vol. 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12909-019-1860-z
2019
Thompson RE; Shulruf B, 2016, 'On the Verge: the tipping point to transformation in statistical threshold concept', presented at 6th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference: Thresholds on the Edge., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 16 June 2016 - 17 June 2016, http://www.dal.ca/dept/clt/events-news/Threshold_Concepts/program3/C3_2130a.html
2016
Thompson RE; Michell M, 2016, 'East meets West: Using Vygotsky to illuminate conceptual learning in the liminal space', presented at 6th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference: Thresholds on the Edge., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 16 June 2016 - 17 June 2016, http://www.dal.ca/dept/clt/events-news/Threshold_Concepts/program3/C1_2118a.html
2016
Lo WW; Rhee J; Challinor K; Zwar N; Balasooriya C; Damadoran A; Bhalla S; Thompson R; Vuong K, 2015, 'Don’t BLAST your medical students! Teaching clinical supervisors how to support students experiencing difficulties', in Don’t BLAST your medical students! Teaching clinical supervisors how to support students experiencing difficulties, Australasian Doctors Health Conference, Melbourne, presented at Australasian Doctors Health Conference, Melbourne, 22 October 2015 - 25 October 2015, http://www.adhc2015.org.au/Winston%20Lo%20-%20Don't%20Blast%20your%20Medical%20Students.pdf
2015
Suttle CM; Challinor KL; Thompson RE; Pesudovs K; Togher L; Chiavaroli N; Lee A; Junghans B; Stapleton F; Watt K; Jalbert I, 2015, 'Attitudes and barriers to evidence-based practice in optometry educators', Optometry and Vision Science, vol. 92, pp. 514 - 523, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/OPX.0000000000000550
2015
LeBard RJ; Thompson R; Quinnell R, 2014, 'Quantitative skills and complexity: How can we combat these challenges and equip undergraduate students to think and practice as biologists?', International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, vol. 22, pp. 1 - 14
2014
Huo YR; Niles N; Braithwaite H; Cheng A; Kong V; Shulruf B; Withall A; Thompson RE, 2014, 'Childhood Immunisation and Parental Education Levels: A Comparative Survey across 50 Years', Medical Student Journal of Australia, vol. 5, pp. 59 - 63, http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n1682/pdf/book.pdf?referer=1682#page=61
2014
Quinnell R; Thompson R; LeBard RJ, 2013, 'It's not maths; it's science: Exploring thinking dispositions, learning thresholds and mindfulness in science learning', International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, vol. 44, pp. 808 - 816, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2013.800598
2013
Mitrofanov O; Thompson R; Brener I; Pan W; Yu W; Berger C; de Heer WA; Jiang Z, 2013, 'THz near-field microscopy of graphene nano-ribbon arrays', in 2013 CONFERENCE ON LASERS AND ELECTRO-OPTICS (CLEO), IEEE, San Jose, CA, presented at Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), San Jose, CA, 09 June 2013 - 14 June 2013, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000355262501255&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2013
Meyer LD; Jones P; Thompson R; Lawrence G, 2013, 'The Faculty of Medicine: Diversity, Validity and Efficiency of Assessment', in Marshall S; Henry R; Ramburuth P (ed.), Improving Assessment in Higher Education: A Whole of Institution Approach, edn. 1, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, pp. 208 - 233
2013
Quinnell R; Thompson RE; Lebard , 2013, 'Characterising the underlying dysfunctional attitudes and stances of students in biology and medicine adopt when faced with calculations.', presented at CETL-MSOR Conference, Coventry University, England, 10 September 2013 - 11 September 2013, http://www.sigma-network.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Quinnell_R_CETLMSOR_2013_abstract.pdf
2013
Challinor KL; Jalbert I; Thompson RE; Togher L; Jacobs RJ; Alnahedh T; Pesudovs K; Junghans BM; Pianta M; Hendicott P; Stapleton F; Weisinger HS; Suttle CM, 2012, 'Evidence-based practice in Optometry - the Australasian collaborative project.', in Evidence-based practice in Optometry - the Australasian collaborative project., 14th Scientific and 8th Educators’ Meeting in Optometry (SEMO), Melbourne, Australia, presented at 14th Scientific and 8th Educators’ Meeting in Optometry (SEMO), Melbourne, Australia, 22 September 2012 - 24 September 2012
2012
Quinnell R; Thompson R; LeBard RJ, 2012, 'Academic numeracy in Life Science learning: challenging perceptions', in Aiming for excellence in STEM learning and teaching proceedings, Higher Education Academy (UK), Imperial College and The Royal Geographical Society London, England, pp. 1 - 9, presented at STEM Annual Conference 2012, Imperial College and The Royal Geographical Society London, England, 12 April 2012 - 13 April 2012, https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Rosanne_Quinnell.pdf
2012
Thompson RE, 2012, 'Criticality as a Threshold Concept, Defined and Limited by Disciplinary Power', in Criticality as a Threshold Concept, Defined and Limited by Disciplinary Power, NAIRTL, University of Dublin, presented at 4th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference and 6th NAIRTL Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 27 June 2012 - 29 June 2012, http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/BookofAbstracts_ONLINE.pdf
2012
Quinnell R; LeBard R; Thompson RE, 2012, 'Academic Numeracy: Challenging Thinking Dispositions to Enable Students to Enter and Cross the Liminal Space.', in Academic Numeracy: Challenging Thinking Dispositions to Enable Students to Enter and Cross the Liminal Space., NAIRTL, University of Dublin, presented at 4th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference and 6th NAIRTL Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 27 June 2012 - 29 June 2012, http://www.nairtl.ie/documents/BookofAbstracts_ONLINE.pdf
2012
Quinnell R; Thompson RE; Micolich AP; Lebard R, 2010, 'Numeracy as an obstacle to learning for students entering the discipline domains of science and medicine', in Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, presented at 3rd Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 01 July 2010 - 02 July 2010, http://www.thresholdconcepts2010.unsw.edu.au/Abstracts/QuinnellR_etal.pdf
2010
Quinnell R; Russell C; Thompson RE; Marshall N; Cowley J, 2010, 'Evidence-based narratives to reconcile academic disciplines with the scholarship of teaching and learning.', Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, vol. 10, pp. 20 - 30, https://www.iupui.edu/~josotl/archive/vol_10/no_3/v10n3quinnell.pdf
2010
Quinnell R; Thompson RE, 2010, 'Conceptual Intersections: re-viewing academic numeracy in the tertiary education sector as a threshold concept.', in Meyer JH F; Land R; Baillie C (ed.), Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning, edn. 1st Edition, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 147 - 164, http://www.sensepublishers.com/
2010
Thompson RE; Quinnell R, 2010, 'The advantages of a discipline “tour guide” approach to teaching statistics in medicine and biology', in Third Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, presented at 3rd Biennial Threshold Concepts Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 01 July 2010 - 02 July 2010
2010
Lebard R; Thompson RE; Micolich AP; Quinnell R, 2009, 'Identifying common thresholds in learning for students working in the 'hard' discipline of science.', in UniServe Science Conference : motivating science undergraduates : ideas and interventions, UniServe Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, pp. 72 - 77, presented at UniServe Science 2009, Sydney, NSW, 01 October 2009 - 02 October 2009, http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/images/content/2009_papers/LeBard.pdf
2009
Brawley SS; Clark S; Cowley J; Cockburn T; Eijkman H; Marshall NG; Quinnell R; Russell C; Thompson RE; Zamberlan L, 2009, 'Learning and Teaching Fellows in the Australian Higher Education Sector.', Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) News, vol. 31, pp. 12 - 14, http://www.herdsa.org.au/publications/herdsa-news/herdsa-news-vol-31-no-3
2009
Quinnell R; Thompson RE, 2008, 'Re-viewing academic numeracy in the tertiary education sector as a threshold concept', presented at 2nd Biennial International Threshold Concepts Symposium, Kingston, Canada, 01 June 2008
2008
Thompson RE, 2008, 'Sexing up stats: dealing with numeracy issues and threshold concepts in an online medical statistics course', presented at Australasian and New Zealand Association for Medical Education 2008, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, 10 July 2008 - 13 July 2008
2008
Thompson RE, 2007, 'Crossing the threshold: the problems of teaching threshold concepts online', presented at International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 4th Annual Conference, Sydney, 02 July 2007 - 05 July 2007
2007
Thompson RE; Haros M, 2006, 'Social Anxiety Disorder', in Andrews G; Tolkein II Team (ed.), Tolkien II : a needs-based, costed, stepped-care model for Mental Health Services : recommendations, executive summaries, clinical pathways, treatment flowcharts, costing structures, edn. 1, World Health Organization, Collaborating Centre for Classification in Mental Health, Sydney, N.S.W., pp. 135 - 236, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/19579090?selectedversion=NBD40476767
2006
Thompson RE; Haros M; Andrews G, 2004, 'Tolkien and beyond: a model for a mental health service', presented at 14th Annual TheMHS Conference, Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia, 01 September 2004 - 03 September 2004
2004
Haros M; Thompson RE; Andrews G, 2004, 'Social phobia and schizophrenia. Two peas in a pod? Tolkien II: Modelling a new mental health service', presented at The Australian Society for Psychiatric Research (ASPR) Annual Conference 2004, Fremantle, Australia, 02 December 2004 - 04 December 2004
2004