Michelle Somerton

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Michelle Somerton

Michelle Somerton

Adjunct Lecturer

Room D204
Cradle Coast Campus

+613 6430 4986 (phone)


  • Jul 2015  -  Postgraduate Tertiary Student Award (Tasmania) 2015 iAwards for research and innovation in IT
  • Jun 2014  -  Author iTunes Application 'The Adventures of Billy Possum'.
  • Oct  2012 -  UniQuest Trailblazer University of Tasmania – Student Highly Commended
  • Aug 2012 -  University of Tasmania Postgraduate Research Conference Cradle Coast – Most Outstanding Presentation
  • Mar 2012  - Scholarship: University of Tasmania Elite Scholarship
  • Dec 2011  - Award: T.E. Doe Prize in Education
  • Dec 2011  - Award: Dean's Roll of Excellence
  • Dec 2009  - Award: Dean's Roll of Excellence

Teaching Responsibilities

Tutor in:



  • Somerton, M. (2015). Who is billy possum? The Journal of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria, 2(2), 45-47.

Mobile Applications

  • Somerton, M. (2014). Billy possum's interactive comprehension (v1.1.2) [mobile application software]. Retrieved from the itunes store.

Conference proceedings

  • Somerton, M. (2015). Educational Software Design for Mobile Technologies – Research and Development of a Literacy App. Paper presented at Conversations on Knowledge for Teaching, Launceston, Australia.
  • Somerton, M., Fielding-Barnsley, R., Rayner, C., & Hay, I. (2014). Embedding Teaching Strategies into iPad Technology to improve Reading Comprehension in students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Paper presented at the 2014 International Society of Technology and Education Conference. Atlanta, U.S.

Career summary


Teaching experience

Feb 2013 – present Sessional Tutor

University of Tasmania, Australia - Inclusive Practices in Education Settings ESH303. This unit focuses on the nature of inclusive education in contemporary classrooms with particular emphasis on the diverse needs and abilities of students.


Mar 2012 – Dec 2015
University of Tasmania - Doctor of Philosophy

Jul 2008 – Dec 2011
University of Tasmania - Bachelor or Education (Hons)

Research Themes

  • Education Research
  • Special Education
  • Educational Theory
  • Primary Education
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Inclusive Education Research
  • Literacy
  • Technology and Education
  • Reading Comprehension.
Research experience

Mar 2012–Dec 2015

Reading between the lines - Embedding research based teaching strategies into an 'app' platform to assist students with reading comprehension difficulties.

Research has highlighted some areas of learning which seem to be problematic across the Autism spectrum, such as reading comprehension.
The aims of this research project are to:

  1. synthesise research findings on reading comprehension difficulties in Autism;
  2. embed the remedial strategies identified by research into an interactive 'app' format;
  3. evaluate the effectiveness of the approach in applied settings; and
  4. refine the approach in order to deliver a high quality educational product grounded in research.


  • Associate Professor Ruth Fielding-Barnsley
  • Dr Christopher Rayner
  • Professor Ian Hay
Feb 2011–Oct 2011

It's not what you say but how you say it - An investigation into the relationship between phonological and visual spatial processing in children diagnosed with Autism.


  • Associate Professor Ruth Fielding-Barnsley
  • Dr David Moltow