Dr. Nicola Rolls

Head of School (Acting)

Nicola has worked for more than twenty years in the field of Higher Education Enabling and the first year experience, applying a systemic functional linguistics (SFL) approach to understanding the challenges of academic discourse and culture for new students. She is the lead author on a text for students on university communication and principle editor of a book on university teaching. She has led the development of the compulsory Common units program which provides first year HE students with foundations in academic and cultural literacies.

Open all | Close all

Qualifications

  • PhD (Beyond the Zone of Proximal Development: Teaching Abstract Knowledge to First Year University Students)
  • Grad Dip Applied Linguistics
  • Dip Ed

Areas of teaching expertise

Nicola has taught across VET, undergraduate and post graduate programs in academic and cultural literacies, communication and applied linguistics.

Research Interests

Nicola’s current research interests relate to adult Learning and teaching issues particularly in relation to the transition to higher education, first year retention and success and non-traditional students. Current areas of research include:

  • First year retention and success
  • The international student experience
  • Bridging and access to higher education
  • Academic language and learning
  • Multimodal analysis of online learning
  • Higher Education Learning and Teaching

Publications

Books

Rolls, N., Northedge, A. and Chambers, E. (eds.) (in press) Successful University Teaching in Times of Diversity, Palgrave Macmillan, (pp. 239), ISBN 9781137536686.

Roll, N & Wignell P (2009)(3rd Ed) Communicating at University: Skills for Success, CDU Press, Darwin, Australia.

Book chapters

Rolls, N., Wignell, P., (in press) ‘Learning and teaching through language’, in Rolls, N., Northedge, A. and Chambers, E. (eds.) (in press) Successful University Teaching in Times of Diversity, Palgrave Macmillan, (pp. 00), ISBN 9781137536686.

Rolls, N., Northedge, A.  (in press) ‘Learning and learners in modern times’, in Rolls, N., Northedge, A. and Chambers, E. (eds.) (in press) Successful University

Teaching in Times of Diversity, Palgrave Macmillan, (pp. 00), ISBN 9781137536686.

Chambers, E., Rolls, N.  (in press) ‘Designing and presenting a student friendly course’, in Rolls, N., Northedge, A. and Chambers, E. (eds.) (in press) Successful University Teaching in Times of Diversity, Palgrave Macmillan, (pp. 00), ISBN 9781137536686.

Northedge, A. Rolls, N., and Chambers, E. (in press) ‘Teaching that communicates and inspires’, in Rolls, N., Northedge, A. and Chambers, E. (eds.) (in press) Successful University Teaching in Times of Diversity, Palgrave Macmillan, (pp. 00), ISBN 9781137536686.

Tyler, B. and Rolls, N. (2016). Caught in the Net? Innovation and Performativity in an Australian University Program. In P. Vitale & B Exley (Ed), Pedagogic Rights and Democratic Education: Bernsteinian Explorations, 1st ed. London and New York: Routledge, pp.192-205.

Articles

Catterall, J., Aitchison, C., N, Rolls. (2016) ‘Disconnected pedagogies: Experiences of international students in higher education’, Journal of Academic Language and Learning 10 (2), A70-A79

Marchesi, M., Rolls, N. (2016) ‘Overcoming institutional barriers to interdisciplinary education for sustainability’, 16th International ACTS Conference, University of the Sunshine Coast 2 – 4 November 2016, Australia

Rolls N (2013) [Review of book F. Christie & A. Simpson, (Eds.), (2010) Literacy and Social Responsibility: Multiple Perspectives], Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, Canberra, Australia

Conference Presentations

Rolls N & Wignell (2012) "Unpacking and repacking horizontal knowledge structures: enabling the critical comprehension of first year studetns in times of diversity." 39th International Systemic Fucntional Congress, Sydney, 16th-20th July 2012.

Tyler W & Rolls N (2012) Caught in the Net? Innovation and Performativity in an Australian University Program, Seventh International Basil Bernstein Symposium Aiz en Provence 27 - 30 June 2012.

Rolls N (2011) Inclusive University Education: Approaches To Presenting Knowledge That Allow All Students Access To And Mastery Of Academic Discourse.  ICE 2011, Samos. 15-20 July 2011.

Rolls N (2009) Common Units: setting students on the road to success (Poster) HERDSA 2009, Darwin

Rolls N (2007)Unpacking the Secrets of Academic Discourses: why students get shut out (Paper) Discourses and Cultural Practices International Conference, University of Technology Sydney, 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2007

De Boer F, Jonkman M , Martin L, Rolls (Prichard) N , Wheway R , Wolff R (2005) Innovation and Design, a Technical Subject for all University Students, 4th ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education Australian in Sydney, Australia, 26-30 September 2005.

Rolls N (2004) Jumping the Hurdles of Horizontal Knowledge Structures  (Paper) Conference: Reclaiming Knowledge: registers of discourse in the community and school. University of Technology Sydney 29 Nov – 1 Dec 2004

Reports

Tyler,B., Rolls ,N., Bridgeman,B., Flack, M., (2011)

 First Year Student Progress And The Success Of The Common Unit Program, Charles Darwin University.

Tyler,B., Rolls ,N. (2006) Attrition, Equity and Performance: Monitoring First Year Student Outcomes at CDU: 2003-2005, Charles Darwin University.

Rolls, N (2003) Report Compariong Common Unit Assessment With Assessment in other First Year Degree Units. Charles Darwin University

Tyler,B., Rolls ,N.  (2003) Student Outcomes in Common Units: 1999-2002. Charles Darwin University.

Rolls, N. (1999) English Language Support Needs for NTU Overseas Students. Charles Darwin University.

Contacts

T: 08 8946 6142
E: nicola.rolls@cdu.edu.au

Blue 1.1.69a
School of Academic Language and Learning
Casuarina Campus
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT, 0909