Prof. Alison Ferguson
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 5716|
|Fax||(02) 4921 6933|
School of Humanities and Social Science
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||GP226, General Purpose Building|
I commenced my career as a speech pathologist in 1981, working with a generalist community and hospital caseload in Orange, NSW. I developed specialist expertise with adults with communication disorders of neurological origin through my work in a number of settings including Prince of Wales Hospital, The Parramatta Hospitals (now Westmead Hospital), and Lidcombe Hospital (which was a specialised rehabilitation hospital). My academic career commenced at Cumberland College of Health Sciences (now Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney), and following completion of my doctorate from Macquarie University, I began my work here to establish the discipline of Speech Pathology at University of Newcastle.
- PhD, Macquarie University, 1993
- Bachelor of Applied Science, Cumberland College of Health Sciences, 1981
- Bachelor of Arts, Canberra College of Advanced Education, 1973
- Clinical education
- Clinical linguistics
My research expertise is in the area of applications of sociolinguistic approaches to the development of assessment and intervention for people with acquired language impairment due to brain damage (for example, following a stroke). I have a strong track record of collaborative funded clinical research, mainly in the area of social interactions involving people with aphasia. I have disseminated this work through publications and presentations in international and national peer-reviewed forums. My work is cited in influential papers and leading reference works in the area of aphasia. In 2008, my book on Expert Practice: A Critical Discourse was published by Plural Publishing, and in 2009 Researching Communication Disorders (co-authored by myself and my colleague Professor Beth Armstrong) was published by Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.
I also have a strong and sustained track record in successful research supervision, and this work was recognised by the Vice-Chancellors Award for Supervision Excellence in 2007.
My research collaborations include:
- Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation - working with a national and international team led by Professor Linda Worrall from University of Queensland (see www.ccreaphasia.org.au )
- Benchmarking in Speech Pathology Education - working with a national team led by Associate Professor Michelle Lincoln from University of Sydney and Dr Sue McAllister from Flinders University
Fields of Research
|130200||Curriculum And Pedagogy||10|
Centres and Groups
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Member - American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Fellow - Speech Pathology Association of Australia
- Member - Aphasiology (journal)
- Member - Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics (journal)
Australian Award for University Teaching - Award for Programs that Enhance Learning
Australian Learning & Teaching Council (Australia)
Awarded in recognition of the development and national implementation of a competency based assessment tool for speech pathology professional practice (Team Award: Associate Professor Michelle Lincoln, Dr Sue McAllister, Associate Professor Alison Ferguson, & Associate Professor Lindy McAllister)
Carrick Award for Australian University Teaching
Carrick Institute for Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (Australia)
Citation for outstanding contribution to student learning - for the development of a valid & reliable national competency based assessment for speech pathology students (Team Award: Associate Professor Michelle Lincoln, Dr Sue McAllister, Associate Professor Alison Ferguson, & Associate Professor Lindy McAllister)
Award for Excellence in Teaching (Team award)
University of Newcastle (Australia)
In recognition of integration of competency-based assessment within the professional practice curriculum.
I have administration experience at discipline level (as Speech Pathology Program Convenor for over 12 years), at School level (in roles as Deputy Head, and School Convenor for Teaching & Learning, and for Research for 4 years in total), and at University level (as Chair, University Human Research Ethics Committee, 2009-2011).
- Acquired neurogenic communication disorders
- Speech-language pathology
In late 1993 I took up the inaugural position in the speech pathology discipline at University of Newcastle, and was responsible for developing the curriculum and teaching approach for the four year undergraduate professional preparation program (Bachelor of Speech Pathology) which commenced in 1994. I led the ongoing development of the program through my roles of Speech Pathology Discipline and Program Convenor for over 12 years since its commencement. In 2001, the University acknowledged the consistent high quality of the teaching program by the speech pathology teaching team through the Award for Excellence in Teaching. The program was the first competency-based curriculum in speech pathology, and the ratings of overall satisfaction and teaching quality by graduates are consistently high for the discipline.
As part of a cross-institutional team (with colleagues from University of Sydney, Flinders University and Charles Sturt University) I have contributed to the development of the first validated performance assessment tool for the evaluation of speech pathology students, COMPASS®. The research development, validation and implementation of this tool received competitive grant funding from the Australian Research Council, and from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. This assessment tool is now in use nationally for all speech pathology professional preparation programs (both undergraduate and postgraduate) in Australia, as well as being adopted by all programs in New Zealand (with further interest currently being shown in other countries).
Communication disorders of neurological origin