Personal details

Associate Professor Jill Willis
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Discipline *
Curriculum and Pedagogy, Specialist Studies in Education, Other Education
+61 7 3138 3798
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles
ORCID iD Twitter LinkedIn

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Education (James Cook Uni. of North Qld), Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) (Kelvin Grove C.A.E), Bachelor of Arts (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations

Centre for Inclusive Education (C4iE) – Program co-lead Engagement and Learning 

Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)

American Education Research Association (AERA)



Assessment, Policy evaluation, Learning Spaces, School leadership, Participatory evaluation methodologies, Student voice, Learner agency

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



Jill Willis is an Associate Professor in Education. Her research investigates how learners navigate performance expectations in assessment systems, so learners of all ages can be supported to experience greater success and agency. This interest has led her to teach about assessment for learning, leadership of change, and research in areas such as assessment, learning spaces and middle leadership. Jill particularly enjoys working with teachers and school leaders who undertake higher degree learning and research.

Research Areas:    Her research interests include

  • teacher and student agency
  • classroom assessment practices
  • digital feedback loops
  • collaborative learning in physical and digital learning spaces
  • leadership of change
  • Innovative qualitative research methodologies.

Prior to her work at QUT, Jill had twenty years of teaching experience in Queensland state and independent schools as a teacher, Head of Department and Director of Studies. At QUT Jill seeks out collaborative research opportunities with industry partners to address real world problems and generate research evidence that informs practice, policy and theory. QUT highlights so far have included:

  • Co-leading an ARCLinkage project with Professor Linda Graham, investigating how to design formative and summative assessment to be more accessible (2019-2022).
  • Collaborating with Dr Andrew Gibson to bring together his field of reflective writing analytics with my sociocultural commitments to self assessment and feedback loops that build collective agency. The design led learning is ongoing through a series of collaborative research inquiries using the reflective writing tool GoingOk.
  • Working with Independent Schools Queensland to support their Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers, and how teachers represent their impact on student learning in this professional evaluation process.
  • Investigating the impact of physical and digital learning environments on learner agency in a series of projects that have culminated in an edited book School Spaces for Student Wellbeing and Learning.
  • Working with schools  to understand how assessment within the changes to Queensland Senior Assessment and the Australian Curriculum can enhance student experiences of learning in schools.
  • Involvement in establishing the Kelvin Grove Teacher Education Centre of Excellence partnership program (2011 – 2013) with Education Queensland and Kelvin Grove State College and partner schools.
  • Collaborating in digital Transform agendas for teaching postgraduate learners.
  • Supporting experienced teachers throughout Queensland through the Mentoring Beginning Teacher project.


This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Jill Willis.


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


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
The Miller-Grassie Award for Outstanding Leadership in Education, and President¿s Citation is the highest honour awarded each year by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (Qld). It is nominated by members and acknowledges and perpetuates the memory of the life and work of educational researchers and administrators, Dr Laurie Miller and Associate Professor McCrae Grassie. Miller and Grassie were pioneers in educational administration in Queensland from the 1970s through to the 1990s.
Reference year
Senior Fellowship demonstrates a personal and institutional commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education. As a senior Fellow of the international Higher Education Academy I have demonstrated a thorough understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning to support high quality student learning. I support and mentor others in relation to learning and teaching, and integrate quality teaching principles and practices into my own tertiary teaching.
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Team award, for innovative use of data to improve learning.
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Vice Chancellor's Performance Award in recognition of a significant and superior contribution to the work of the University.
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Award for teaching excellence, Early Career Award.
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Vice Chancellor's Performance Award in recognition of a significant and superior contribution to the work of the University.

Research projects

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

Improving Outcomes through Accessible Assessment and Inclusive Practices
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year


Current supervisions

  • Diverse experiences of assessment for learning (AfL) pedagogies: student and teacher learning
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Andrew Gibson
  • A National Assessment Model of School-Age Students with Disability: An institutional ethnography of the practice of policy
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Nerida Spina, Professor Gordon Tait
  • How do carer responsibilities impact women's higher education decision-making?
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Melinda Laundon, Dr Andrew Gibson
  • Discreet Disengagement in the Classroom
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Linda Graham
  • Evaluating students' engagement through a student-led reporting process.
    MPhil, Mentoring Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Prue Miles
  • Wrestling with Neoliberalism in Australian Christian Schools
    MPhil, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Nerida Spina

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)