Personal details

Adjunct Professor Hilary Hughes
Adjunct Associate Professor
Faculty of CI, Education & Social Justice,
Office of the Exec Dean, CI, Edu & Soc Justice,
Office of the Exec Dean, CI, Edu & Soc. Justice
Discipline *
Curriculum and Pedagogy, Library and Information Studies
+61 7 3138 3336
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Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Arts in Librarianship (University of Sheffield), BA(CombHons) (University of Birmingham)


International student experience, Learning space design, Higher education pedagogy, Informed learning, Connected learning, Teacher-librarianship, School libraries, Cultural diversity, Information experience, Information literacy

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Dr Hilary Hughes is a passionate-educator researcher with a commitment to informed, connected learning. Through her teaching and research, Hilary promotes innovative, participatory practice in learning space design that enhances learning and wellbeing in schools and libraries. She also seeks to support the transition and academic success of international students.

As Adjunct Associate Professor, Hilary currently conducts research consultancies and professional learning programs in learning space design for schools and libraries.
In 2019 she is teaching the Designing Spaces for Learning unit in the MEd program.

Hilary was a full-time academic in QUT’s Education Faculty from November 2004 until her retirement in December 2018. She mainly coordinated and taught units in the Master of Education and for several years year coordinated the MEd(Teacher-Librarianship) program.

In her academic work, Hilary draws on extensive previous experience as librarian/information professional and information literacy educator.

Hilary’s qualifications include:

  • PhD (QUT)
  • Master of Librarianship (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • BA Combined Honours in Spanish and Romance Linguistics (University of Birmingham, UK)
  • NAATI accredited translator (Spanish-English)
  • Cert IV Workplace training & Assessment (Northpoint Institute of TAFE, Brisbane).
  • AALIA (Associate of Australian Library and Information Association)


  • 2010: Fulbright Scholar in Residence at University of Colorado, Denver
  • 2014, 2012, 2009, 2008: QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Fund Award
  • 2013, 2012: QUT Education Faculty teaching award (individual)
  • 2006: QUT Education Faculty teaching award (for an individual teacher who has shown personal development and outcomes through reflective practice in teaching)
  • 2006: QUT OLT innovative teaching award (nominated by students).

Research (ORCID:
Hilary’s interdisciplinary research interests include:

  • Learning space design
  • School libraries and teacher-librarianship
  • International student experience
  • Information literacy and informed learning
  • Information experience

Hilary has led and contributed as CI to several major projects supported by: ARC (2 Linkage),  ALTC, QCSSI and Queensland Department of Education.

Hilary’s doctoral study (2009) about international students using online information led to her Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence award at Colorado University Denver, USA in 2010. Building on this work, she advances the theory and practice of inclusive informed learning through her research and teaching. Recognising the influence of environment on information use and learning, her related research explores the design of learning spaces, especially in school and academic libraries.

Hilary has particular expertise in the following research methodologies:

  • Expanded critical incident technique (Hughes, 2012)
  • Qualitative case study
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • Thematic analysis

Professional experience

In her teaching and research Hilary draws upon professional experience as librarian and information literacy educator at:

  • Central Queensland University (Brisbane International Campus)
  • QUT
  • Education Queensland Corporate Library
  • Northpoint Institute of TAFE (Brisbane)
  • Glenden Town Library (Nebo Shire, Queensland)
  • Longlands College of Further Education (Middlesbrough, UK).
This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Hilary Hughes.


Teaching: My innovative, student-centred, scholarly approach to learning and teaching has been recognised by several QUT teaching awards and consistently high student evaluations.  I promote connected learning pedagogy across physical and  virtual spaces, mediated by contemporary technologies. The units I have taught include:

  • LCN600 Connected Learning (Coordinator & lecturer)
  • LCN601: Designing Spaces for Learning (Coordinator & lecturer)
  • LCN615: Learning Hubs (Coordinator & lecturer)
  • CLN617: Personalised Language Development (Coordinator & lecturer)
  • EDB006: Learning Networks (Tutor)
  • EDB001: Teaching in New Times (Tutor)

HDR supervision: As a Level 3 Supervisor, I am privileged to supervise students conducting HDR research across Education, Learning environment and Information Science disciplines.

Successful HDR students and their topics:

  • Kay Oddone, 2019, PhD (Principal supervisor) – Professional learning through personal learning networks (PLNs) – connected learning for educators supported by social media; qualitative case study
  • Annie Rolfe, 2019, MPhil (Principal supervisor) – School design and procurement and educational goals; Qualitative case study of two Australian schools
  • Vanessa Miller, 2018, EdD (Principal supervisor) – Learning space design, school teachers; participatory action research
  • Yin Yue, (International), PhD (Associate supervisor) – Alternative teacher recruitment program for university graduates to disadvantaged schools in China; sociological case Study
  • Kylie Andrews, 2016, MEd Research (Principal supervisor) – Learning space experience, school students
  • Kate Davis, 2015, PhD (Associate Supervisor) – Information experience of new mothers in social media
  • Tashi Gyeltshen, 2015, PhD, (Associate supervisor) – Academic leadership  in Bhutan
  • Katherine Howard, 2015, PhD (Associate Supervisor) – Professional education of GLAM information professionals
  • Nicole Johnston, 2014, PhD (Associate supervsior) -Information literacy of EFL students in UAE
  • Ann Gillespie, 2013, PhD (Associate supervisor) – Teacher-librarians as evidence based practitioners – scholarship
  • Sonal Nakar, 2013, MEd Research (Principal supervisor) – Dilemmas of TAFE teachers working with international students
  • Yaxing Zhang, 2012, PhD (Associate Supervisor)– Academic learsership in China -Faculty thesis award
  • Li Wang, 2011, PhD (Associate Supervisor) – Information literacy integration model for HE
  • Xiong Xang, 2008, MEd Research (Associate Supervisor) – Academics’ use of CALL at  a Chinese university

Current HDR student :

  • Lynn McAllister, EdD (associate supervisor) – Reflective learning through eportfolios in higher education; phenomenography

Scholarship of teaching
My research in the areas of informed learning and international student experience informs my teaching. It also underpinned my Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence program at Colorado University Denver, USA in 2010. Publications include: Hughes & Bruce (2013) ‘International students’ experiences of informed learning: A pedagogical case study’ and Bruce & Hughes (2010) ‘Informed learning: A pedagogical construct attending simultaneously to information use and learning’.

This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Hilary Hughes.


In my teaching and research I draw upon extensive experience as information professional/librarian and information literacy educator, especially with international students and in culturally diverse higher education contexts.

This information has been contributed by Adjunct Professor Hilary Hughes.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Fostering digital participation through Living Labs in regional and rural Australian communities
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
digital citizenship;rural & regional;digital literacy