Garry Hoban

Garry Hoban

Position: Professor of Science Education and Teacher Education
Phone: (02) 4221 4450


Garry is a Professor of Science Education and Teacher Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He spent the first 14 years of his working life as a secondary science teacher, department head and K-12 Science Consultant in schools before moving into universities as a teacher educator. He completed his M.Ed. (Hons.) at Charles Sturt University and completed his PhD in 1996 at The University of British Columbia in Canada focusing on teachers’ professional learning. In 2013 he was awarded an Office for Learning and Teaching National Senior Teaching Fellowship ($250,000) to lead a national effort targeting new ways for science and science education students to explain content knowledge by creating different forms of digital media.

His teaching and research focus is student-created digital media for learning and explaining science. He has led an ARC-Discovery Grant and ALTC competitive grant in relation to student-created media for science learning. You can see examples of his work at which has received 14 million requests in the last 3 years from users in over 106 different countries. He is the Science Education Coordinator for the Faculty of Education and recently stepped down as Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee (Social Science) for the University of Wollongong and the Illawarra/Shoalhaven Health District. He enjoys his family, surfing on his longboard and playing his baritone saxophone.

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Research Interests

Garry’s research interests include technology-enhanced learning and teaching as well as frameworks for long-term professional learning. He has a particular interest in teaching and researching student-created digital media for science learning.

Technology-enhanced Learning and Teaching

Garry is the creator of a new but simplified form of narrated stop-motion animation called "Slowmation" (abbreviated from "Slow Animation"). This process enables school or university students to engage with science content by using their own technology to create their own narrated animation to explain it. He was the team leader of a $240,000 Australian Research Council-Discovery Grant for 2008-2011 entitled "Generating Science Content Knowledge through Digital Animation in a Knowledge-building Community of Preservice Teachers" and now CI3 on a $225,000 Australian Research Council-Discovery Grant for 2012-2012 entitled "Enhancing the Quality of Science Learning through a Representation-intensive Pedagogy." In 2010-2011 he led a $142,000 Australian Learning and Teaching Council Competitive Grant entitled "Promoting New Way of Teaching and Learning in Science Education with Student-generated Digital Animations". He and his colleague, Wendy Nielsen, have now developed a new theoretical framework called a "cumulative semiotic progression" to explain how students learn content through creating a slowmation, which was a feature article in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (2011), which is the world’s top science educational journal. They are now applying exploring the use of combining different forms of digital media (videos, slowmation, digital story, podcast) into student-created blended media to suit different forms of digital explanations.

In 2005 Garry won the "Technology Leadership Award" for exemplary use of technology in a methods course from the international Society for Technology and Teacher Education. He has also won teaching awards from three organisations- from Charles Sturt University, Wollongong University and the Australian College of Educators. He is an active member of the Self-study of Tertiary Teaching Practices SIG of the American Educational Research Association. In 2005 he published an edited book called "The Missing Links in Teacher Education Design: Developing a Multi-Linked Conceptual Framework" (Springer/Kluwer: Dortrecht) and his co-authored book entitled "Action Learning in Schools" published by Routledge has recently been translated into Korean.

Professional Learning

Garry’s PhD is from The University of British Columbia, Canada (1996) which researched the theoretical nature of long term professional development programs for secondary teachers. The ideas from his PhD were further developed and published in an international book, Teacher Learning for Educational Change: A Systems Thinking Approach published by Open University Press in 2002. He is particularly interested in working with teachers to devise different forms of student feedback on teaching. He has gained several large grants to research different ways to support long term professional learning programs.

Professional Activities

Garry is a committee member of the Illawarra/South Coast Region chapter of the Australian College of Educators that represents teachers at all levels in the community early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary. As a result of his leadership, the presentation of teaching awards has been reorganised into two types awards for outstanding achievement presented in July and peer recognition awards to be held in October. He has a strong commitment to working with teachers in schools especially in regard to supporting their professional development. For the last three years he has been involved in the National Quality Teaching Program as the invited academic partner for three year-long initiatives to promote quality teaching through action learning for eight primary schools and one high school. He has a long term involvement with local schools to promote the teaching of science by preservice students and teachers.


  • (2013) Office for Learning and Teaching National Senior Teaching Fellowship
  • (2010) Best Paper Award, Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Conference (ASCILITE), Sydney.
  • (2010) Runner up, People’s Choice Award, University of Sydney Research festival, Poster section.
  • (2010) Runner up, University of Wollongong UniCentre Competition Trailblazer Award for Original, innovative early-stage research and entrepreneurial ideas.
  • (2009) Best Paper Award: Hoban, G., McDonald, D., & Ferry, B. Improving preservice teachers’ science knowledge by creating, reviewing and publishing slowmations to the internet. Paper presented at the Society for Technology and Teacher Education: Proceedings from the 20th international conference Charlestown, SC.
  • (2009) Best Paper Award: Hoban, G., McDonald, D., Ferry, B., & Hoban, S. Simplifying Animation to Encourage Preservice Teachers, Science Learning and Teaching Using Slowmation In C. Fulford & G. Siemens (Eds.), EDMEDIA World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (pp. 2838-2847). Honolulu: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
  • (2008) Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for outstanding contributions to student learning - For developing innovative teaching approaches to engage preservice primary teachers and school students in new ways of learning science especially through "Slowmation" (learner-generated animations).
  • (2006) Technology Leadership Award for Exemplary Use of Technology for Teaching Content in a Methods Course Science Education. (International Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education)
  • (2005) Vice Chancellors Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning (Faculty of Education)
  • (2000) Australian College of Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to University Teaching
  • (1998) Most Valuable Paper Award from the Australian Science Teachers Association
  • (1997) Charles Sturt University Faculty of Education Outstanding Teaching Award
  • (1995) The University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship (Full research fellowship)
  • (1993) NSW Institute for Educational Research Award for Outstanding Educational Research
  • (1993) Charles Sturt University Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Prize

Research Students

  • Faisal Alghamdi (Doctor of Philosophy): Understanding the change processes resulting from accreditation in Faculties of Education in Saudi Arabian universities
  • Alyce Wall (Doctor of Philosophy): Using "Slowmation" to Enact a Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Developing the Social Skills of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Last reviewed: 25 July, 2016