Dr Renee Morrison | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Renee Morrison

PhD Griffith, MEd Griffith, BEd UQ, BA UQ

  • Lecturer, Curriculum & Pedagogy
  • School of Education and Tertiary Access
Office location
SD C.2.50
Sunshine Coast
Renee Morrison

Dr Renee Morrison is an innovative scholar. Her research uses both empirical and critical methods to investigate the indispensable digital literacies required in the 21st century. Renee’s research also investigates the changing role of educators today, including those in flexible (and remote) educational environments, and considers the relationship between digital practices and discursive practices. Her work predominantly considers how online technologies are being used in education and how they may be better used to enhance pedagogy, to promote continuous learning, as well as a more just society. A focus on understanding the role of technology in society, particularly the role search engines play in constructing versions of ‘truth’ and ‘knowledge’ is also present in her research. Renee is interested in problematizing asymmetries in power and knowledge, in ensuring discourse is a resource, not an obstacle for digital learning, and in contributing understandings which challenge outdated and inequitable ideologies. She has experience supervising HDR students and in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, particularly Critical Discourse Analysis and semiotics.

Renee has been a passionate educator for over 20 years. Prior to academia, she taught secondary English, Legal Studies, and Digital Technologies in Australia but has also taught abroad in Canada and the UK. For nine years now, she has been fortunate enough to deliver Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at several universities. Renee has supported pre-service teachers in areas including (but not exclusively): curriculum and pedagogy; assessment; digital technologies in education; inclusive education; and literacy and numeracy. She is passionate about developing and delivering innovative, engaging and reflexive learning opportunities and materials for face-to-face, as well as online and blended modes, and has experience doing so with both undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts. In the past, Renee has had success leading fellow-educators, assisting them in establishing the highest quality learning environments for more than 300 students. She has had experience managing the human, financial, facilities and curriculum resources for various schools. Connecting both contemporary and seminal theory with practical pedagogy is a passion of Renee’s, as is modelling high quality, constructivist teaching.


Professional memberships

  • Australian Literacy Educators’ Association
  • Australian Association for Research in Education
  • Tasmanian Society for Information Technology in Education
  • ACARA's Technologies Education Masters and PhD group
  • Australian Home Education research group


  • State head commendation for excellence in teaching, Australian Catholic University, 2022

Professional Social Media

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Research areas

  • digital literacy
  • search engines (Google)
  • information retrieval and information behaviours
  • internet literacy
  • technology in education
  • digital pedagogies
  • discourse analysis, conversation analysis and linguistics
  • critical theory
  • alternate education (including home-education / home-schooling/ unschooling)

Teaching areas

  • Digital literacies
  • Assessment in education
  • Curriculum and pedagogy
  • English curriculum
  • Critical literacy
  • Postgraduate research skills (education coursework)

Program coordinator


  • Morrison, R. (2022). ‘Google Speak': The discursive practices of search in home-education. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 10, DT82-DT106. https://doi.org/ 10.5195/dpj.2022.387
  • Beasy, K., Morrison, R., Coleman, B. & Mainsbridge, C. (2022). Reflections of a student engagement program designed and delivered by academics. Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 5(1), 1-12.
  • Coleman, B., Beasy, K., Morrison, R., & Mainsbridge, C. (2021). Academics’ Perspectives on a Student Engagement and Retention Program: Dilemmas and Deficit Discourses. Teaching in Higher Education, Article 2000387. ISSN 3562517 DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2021.2000387
  • Morrison R. (2021). Internet Use in Home-Education: Enablers and Barriers. In R. English (Ed.), Global Perspectives on Home Education in the 21st Century, (pp. 200-228). IGI Global.
  • Morrison, R., & Barton, G. (2018). Search engine use as a literacy in the middle years: The need for explicit instruction and active learners [online]. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 26 (3), 37-47.
  • Morrison, R. (2018, November). Faith in the ‘Digital Native’ during online search in Australian home-schools. Yang, J. C. et al. (Eds.) (2018). Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Computers in Education. Philippines: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education, 169-174.
  • Morrison, R. (2017). Not a school in site: Search engine use in Australian home-schools and the influence of a generational digital divide. Paper presented at the 19th DiscourseNet conference. July, Bucharest, Romania.
  • Morrison, R. (2016, July 27). [Review of the book Misunderstanding the internet, by J Curran, N Fenton & D Freedman]. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 11(3), 270. ISBN 978-1-138-90622-8.
  • Morrison, R. (2016). Surfing Blind: A study into the effects of exposing young adolescents to explicit search engine skills. Paper presented at the conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education. December, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Morrison, R. (2015). Silver Surfers Search for Gold: a study into the online information-seeking skills of those over fifty. Ageing International, 40(3),300-310. doi: 10.1007/s12126-015-9224-4

Public engagement outputs

  • Morrison, R. (2022). Search Engine Use in Australian Home-Schools: An Exploration Framed by the Generational Digital Divide Construct [Doctoral thesis synopsis]. British Journal of Sociology of Education, DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2022.2142136
  • Angel, C., Morrison, R., Prudente Osorio-Stevens, R., & Schmidt, M. (2022, November 11). Going Glocal: Towards a pedagogy of place-based education for Tasmania’s Cradle Coast [Poster presentation]. Celebrating the impact of regional research and education, Tasmania, Australia.
  • Morrison, R. (2021). Drowning in information while starving for wisdom'. Helping students to maximise their online searching. Scan: the Journal for Educators, 40(1) pp. 22-38. ISSN 2202-4557
  • Morrison, R. (2021, August 26). Learning from home is testing students' online search skills. Here are 3 ways to improve them. The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, Australia.
  • Morrison, R. (2020, February 12). Don’t ‘just Google it’: 3 ways students can get the most from searching online. The Conversation. theconversation.com/dont-just-google-it-3-ways-students-can-get-the-most-from-searching-online-116519
  • Morrison, R. (2020, February 25 ). Devoirs scolaires : comment mieux tirer profit des moteurs de recherche, The Conversation, France.

Dr Renee Morrison's specialist areas of knowledge include digital literacy, internet (particularly search) literacy, information retrieval and information behaviours, search-engines (Google), technology in education, digital pedagogies, critical discourse analysis, alternate education (including home-education / home-schooling/ unschooling and COVID-related remote emergency learning).

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