iyarn’s Research Partnership with University of Technology Sydney

iyarn’s Research Partnership with University of Technology Sydney

iyarn is pleased to announce the signing of a strategic partnership with University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to continue to strengthen our platform’s capabilities to support schools and students through regular check ins.

An Increasing Need for Student Support

COVID and the recent new strains has had significant impact on many Australians, particularly on the generation in the school system. Recent research by the University of NSW showed that three quarters of a sample of Australian adolescents had experienced a worsening in mental health since the pandemic began. Negative impacts on learning, family and friendships were reported, alongside higher levels of sleep disturbance, psychological distress and health anxiety.

This situation highlights the importance of supporting students through this period. As a technology that can reach beyond the classroom to collect data and offer support to students in need, we’re excited to be working with UTS to further enhance our platform and extend the evidence base for student check ins.

The Focus of the Research

Through this new research partnership with UTS, we’ll be working to enhance the resources offered by our platform. These resources are ultimately intended to support and enhance wider benefits around:

  • reducing stress, anxiety and mental health risk in young people
  • improving wellbeing and social cohesion outcomes for young people
  • improving performance of students in school (including reducing absenteeism and presenteeism)

The Research Team

UTS are a globally recognised university. The research team for this project will include:

Dr. Simon Knight

Simon is Director of the Centre for Research on Education in a Digital Society, and leads the Transformative Learning research theme in the UTS Transdisciplinary School.

He is a recognised researcher in learning and technology and a UTS award winning teacher. He holds a PhD in learning analytics, and education Masters from both Cambridge and UCL Institute of Education, where he also did his high-school teacher training.

Peter Lee

Peter is Senior Manager, Advisory at the UTS Institute for Public Policy & Governance (IPPG) and a highly experienced public policy expert, strategist, research consultant and project manager. 

He has extensive experience leading and managing complex policy, social and technical research projects and programs, both within government agencies in the UK and Australia and as a consultant for federal and state government agencies, local councils, private industry and not-for-profits.

Monique Potts

Monique Potts is a PhD Candidate in the UTS Transdisciplinary School undertaking research on resilience and experiential learning for secondary school students. 

Her professional background is in online learning, innovation, and strategy having held senior program management roles at ABC, UTS and TAFE. Monique has developed and delivered a range of interactive online learning programs including ABC Splash and suite of award-winning interactive learning games and tools.

Clara Mills

Clara is an emerging social researcher at IPPG with experience across a diverse range of research and consultancy projects for local, state and federal government and NGOs, including in areas such as mental health. 

She is a capable researcher with skills in research design, primary and secondary data collection and analysis. Clara holds a BA in History & Psychology from the University of Sydney and is currently completing a Master of Public Policy at USyd. 

Research Funding via NSW State Government

We’ve received funding support from Invest NSW under the COVID-19 TechVoucher program.

The COVID-19 TechVoucher program provides support funding for technology-rich startups, scaleups or small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with Publicly Funded Research Organisations (PFROs) to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative R&D products and services that address the many health and economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding covers part of the cost of this research.

Part of iyarn’s Ongoing Efforts

We’re committed to ongoing development of the iyarn platform. Our system of check ins assists schools to support students and start conversations between teachers and students. We’re continuing to extend and improve this system through structured efforts, such as this new partnership with UTS.

We also work with experts in the field: see more at About Us. If you’re interested in finding out more about our platform’s support of school students, request a demo of our platform for schools.