Christopher Rayner

UTAS Home Dr Christopher Rayner

Christopher Rayner

Senior Lecturer in Education

Room 403 , Hytten Hall

+61 3 6226 2559 (phone)

+61 3 6226 2569 (fax)

Chris' interests relate to student learning and development. He maintains a research focus on the ways educators and educational communities promote access, participation, and achievement for all students and cater for student diversity and exceptionality, particularly students with autism. As a Professional Experience Leader, Chris is also involved with supporting pre-service teachers' school placements and facilitating effective mentoring. His passion is to see people thrive in the context of dynamic, collaborative learning communities.


Chris completed a Bachelor of Science with a major in Plant Science before undertaking the Bachelor of Teaching in 2005-2006 (with First Class Honours). His doctoral thesis (2011) was entitled, 'Video-based intervention for individuals with autism.' Chris joined the Faculty of Education as a research assistant and tutor in 2008 before accepting a position as Lecturer in December 2010.

Career summary


  • PhD (2011) 'Video-based intervention for individuals with autism' University of Tasmania, Australia
  • Grad Cert Ed (2008), University of Tasmania, Australia
  • BTeach (Hons) (2006) 'Incorporating microswitch technology to reduce hand-mouthing behaviour in individuals with disabilities', University of Tasmania, Australia
  • BSc (2004), University of Tasmania, Australia


Professional practice

  • Australian Association of Special Education (AASE)
  • Australian Council of Educational Leadership (ACEL)

Administrative expertise

  • University of Tasmania Research Integrity Advisor
  • Director, Board of Christian Schools Tasmania
  • ACEL Tasmania Executive member

View more on Dr Christopher Rayner in WARP

Research Themes

  • Inclusive education
  • Special and alternative education
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental disabilities


Chris' current research on the influence of siblings on the development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder involves collaboration with colleagues at the University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology.


  • Awarded the Faculty of Education’s ‘Early Career Research Award’ (for the period 2013-2015)
  • Completed the Future Research Leaders Program (2014)
  • Awarded a Faculty of Education Research Merit Certificate (2012)

Current projects

Sibling influence on Development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2019-2021). See ‘Funding’ for more details.

Fields of Research

  • Special education and disability (390411)
  • Education systems (390399)
  • Inclusive education (390407)
  • Architectural design (330102)
  • Educational technology and computing (390405)
  • Psychology of ageing (520106)
  • Educational psychology (520102)
  • Educational administration, management and leadership (390403)
  • Teacher education and professional development of educators (390307)
  • Sociological methodology and research methods (441006)
  • Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy (390109)
  • Community planning (330401)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum and pedagogy (450201)
  • People with disability (420318)

Research Objectives

  • Inclusive education (160203)
  • Teaching and instruction technologies (160304)
  • Learner and learning (160199)
  • Expanding knowledge in psychology (280121)
  • Expanding knowledge in built environment and design (280104)
  • Children's services and childcare (230104)
  • Policies and development (160205)
  • Other education and training (169999)
  • Information systems, technologies and services (220499)
  • Other health (209999)
  • Health status (incl. wellbeing) (200407)
  • Equity and access to education (160201)
  • Teacher and instructor development (160303)
  • Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services) (200301)
  • Families and family services (230107)
  • Disability and functional capacity (200403)


Chris' first significant contribution to the field was his doctoral research, titled 'Video-based intervention for individuals with autism.' With the rapid growth in domestic and educational access to video recording and displaying technologies, various forms of video-based intervention were being used to teach individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities a range of skills. Subsequent research publications have explored inclusive education, teacher education, and the experiences of individuals on the autism spectrum more broadly.

Total publications


Journal Article

(18 outputs)
2020Opoku M, Rayner C, Cuskelly M, Pedersen S, 'The Impact of Teacher Attributes on Intentions to Practice Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools in Ghana', International Journal of Disability, Development and Education pp. 1-17. ISSN 1034-912X (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2020.1731434 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Opoku M; Cuskelly M; Pedersen S


2019McMahon J, Wiltshire G, McGannon KR, Rayner C, 'Children with autism in a sport and physical activity context: a collaborative autoethnography by two parents outlining their experiences', Sport, Education and Society pp. 1-14. ISSN 1470-1243 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1680535 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: McMahon J


2019Opoku MP, Rayner CS, Pedersen SJ, Cuskelly M, 'Mapping the evidence-based research on Ghana's inclusive education to policy and practices: a scoping review', International Journal of Inclusive Education ISSN 1360-3116 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1600055 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Opoku MP; Pedersen SJ; Cuskelly M


2018Garrad T, Rayner C, Pedersen S, 'Attitudes of Australian primary school teachers towards the inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorders', The Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 19, (1) pp. 58-67. ISSN 1471-3802 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1471-3802.12424 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 12

Co-authors: Garrad T; Pedersen S


2018Rayner C, 'Inclusive education: What does it mean for Christian learning communities into the future?', The Christian Teachers Journal, 26, (1) pp. 18-23. ISSN 1443-735X (2018) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


2017Round A, Baker WJ, Rayner C, 'Using visual arts to encourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to communicate their feelings and emotions', Open Journal of Social Sciences, 5, (10) pp. 90-108. ISSN 2327-5952 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.4236/jss.2017.510009 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Baker WJ


2016Rayner CS, Swabey KJ, 'Chaplains' perspectives on their work in Tasmanian government schools', International Journal of Christianity & Education, 20, (3) pp. 199-219. ISSN 2056-9971 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/2056997116659670 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Swabey KJ


2015Jarman B, Rayner C, 'Asperger's and girls: What teachers need to know', Australasian Journal of Special Education, 39, (2) pp. 128-142. ISSN 1833-6914 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1017/jse.2015.7 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Jarman B


2015Rayner CS, 'Video-based intervention for children with autism: Towards improved assessment of pre-requisite imitation skills', Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 18, (2) pp. 113-121. ISSN 1751-8431 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3109/17518423.2014.890959 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4


2014Rayner C, Fluck A, 'Pre-service teachers' perceptions of simSchool as preparation for inclusive education: a pilot study', Asia - Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 42, (3) pp. 212-227. ISSN 1359-866X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1359866X.2014.927825 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 19

Co-authors: Fluck A


2014Roche L, Sigafoos J, Lancioni GE, O'Reilly MF, van de Meer L, et al., 'Comparing tangible symbols, picture exchange, and a direct selection response for enabling two boys with developmental disabilities to access preferred stimuli', Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26, (3) pp. 249-261. ISSN 1056-263X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-013-9361-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Green VA


2013Muir T, Allen JM, Rayner CS, Cleland B, 'Preparing pre-service teachers for classroom practice in a virtual world: A pilot study using Second Life', Journal of Interactive Media in Education Article 3. ISSN 1365-893X (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5334/2013-03 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Muir T; Allen JM; Cleland B


2013Rayner C, Allen JM, 'Using online video-recorded interviews to connect the theory and practice of inclusive education in a course for student teachers', Australasian Journal of Special Education, 37, (2) pp. 107-124. ISSN 1833-6914 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1017/jse.2013.14 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2

Co-authors: Allen JM


2013Rayner CS, 'The finding that three children with ASD were taught to use an iPad PECS app was conclusive, though one participant retained a preference for use of the traditional PECS book', Evidence-based communication assessment and intervention, 7, (iFirst) pp. 1-5. ISSN 1748-9539 (2013) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1080/17489539.2013.829274 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2011Rayner C, 'Teaching students with autism to tie a shoelace knot using video prompting and backward chaining', Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 14, (6) pp. 339-347. ISSN 1751-8423 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3109/17518423.2011.606508 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 30Web of Science - 30


2011Rayner C, 'Sibling and adult video modelling to teach a student with autism: imitation skills and intervention suitability', Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 14, (6) pp. 331-338. ISSN 1751-8423 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3109/17518423.2011.603369 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 14


2010Rayner CS, 'Video-modelling to improve task completion in a child with autism', Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 13, (3) pp. 225-230. ISSN 1751-8423 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3109/17518421003801489 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 25Web of Science - 23


2009Rayner C, Denholm CJ, Sigafoos J, 'Video-based intervention for individuals with autism: Key questions that remain unanswered', Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3, (2) pp. 291-303. ISSN 1750-9467 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2008.09.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 93Web of Science - 93

Co-authors: Denholm CJ


Chapter in Book

(2 outputs)
2014Rayner CS, 'Progress In Video-Based Intervention For Individuals With Autism: Impacts Of Imitation Skills And Model Types', The Future of Educational Research, Sense Publishers, N Fitzallen, S Fan & R Reaburn (ed), Netherlands, pp. 189-202. ISBN 978-94-6209-512-0 (2014) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2013Rayner C, 'The Power of One: Using Single-Case Experimental Designs to Inform Evidence-Based Practice', Conducting Research in a Changing and Challenging World, Nova Science Publishers, T Le & Q Le (ed), New York, pp. 103-118. ISBN 978-1-62618-651-4 (2013) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


Conference Publication

(1 outputs)
2015Jarman B, Ollington N, Rayner CS, Beswick K, 'School experiences, Autism Spectrum Disorder characteristics, and mental health in females with Asperger syndrome', ASID, 11-13 November, Crown Promenade Conference Centre, Southbank Vic, pp. 66. (2015) [Conference Edited]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Jarman B; Ollington N; Beswick K

Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(2 outputs)
2017Rayner CS, 'Video Learning Profiles (VLPs): Pilot study report', Tasmanian Department of Education Professional Learning Institute, Australia (2017) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

2016Owen C, McCann D, Rayner C, Devereaux C, Sheehan F, et al., 'Supporting students with autism spectrum disorder in higher education', National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Hobart, TAS (2016) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Owen C; McCann D; Devereaux C; Sheehan F; Quarmby L

Other Creative Work

(1 outputs)
2019Rayner C, 'New Voice in Educational Leadership Perspectives: Christopher Rayner', Australian Council for Educational Leadership, online, pp. 2 (2019) [Minor Creative Work]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(2 outputs)
2015Rayner CS, 'Early Career Researcher Award', Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Australia (2015) [Award]

[eCite] [Details]

2014Stephenson EA, Rayner CS, Nailon DL, Trimble AJ, Emery S, et al., 'Making Launceston a Child Friendly City: what do children think?', Making Launceston a Child Friendly City: what do children think?, Anglicare Tasmania, Australia (2014) [Report Other]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Stephenson EA; Nailon DL; Trimble AJ; Emery S; Dyment JE; Walker D; Getenet ST

Grants & Funding

In collaboration with colleagues, Chris has received funding for four research projects exploring inclusive learning communities and the education of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Sibling Influence on Development of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2019 - 2021)$490,000
This project aims to learn whether and how typically-developing (TD) siblings affect development of children withautism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD involves difficulties with language, executive functions and socialunderstanding. For TD children, growing up with siblings gives an advantage in these cognitive functions. Yet littleis known about how having siblings impacts on cognitive development of children with ASD. This study willexplore longitudinally the mechanisms of sibling impact in families with and without a child with ASD. Theoutcomes will deepen our understanding of child development, providing an evidence base for effectiveinterventions to increase child competence and aiming ultimately to reduce the social costs of ASD.
Australian Research Council ($490,000)
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Cuskelly MM; Slaughter V; Gilmore L; Rayner CS
2019 - 2021
Grant Reference
Supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Higher Education (2015)$29,124
This project addresses the complex support needs of higher education students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the context of the substantive anticipated future growth of this population. The research adopts an innovative holistic framework that uniquely positions disability support in concert with pedagogical innovations and built environment design and considers the full academic pathway. It employs a mixed methods design including primary data collection of students experiences via photovoice. A key outcome is a proposed framework to enhance support considering the opportunities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Curtin University ($29,124)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Owen CM; McCann DE; Rayner CS; Quarmby L; Devereaux CJ; Sheehan FK
Making Launceston a Child Friendly City: What do children think? (2013)$5,000
Anglicare Tasmania ($5,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Stephenson EA; Rayner CS; Nailon DL; Trimble AJ; Emery SG; Dyment JE; Walker D; Getenet ST
Portable touch-screen technologies in the education of children with autism (2013)$14,800
University of Tasmania ($14,800)
Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Rayner CS

Research Supervision






PhDThe Education of Girls With Asperger's Syndrome2014
PhDEnvironments to Decrease Loneliness amongst People with Intellectual Disability2017
PhDChildren and Adolescents with Autism: Sporting experiences, barriers and opportunities2018
MastersHome Education in Tasmania: An exploration of outcomes and the factors influencing success2019
PhDTransitioning Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Formal Schools: A community approach for providing consistent intervention services2020
PhDExploring the lived experiences of autistic people working in an education environment2021
PhDExploring the culturally distinct, intuition-level influences on education for people from non-Australian contexts2021


PhDTeachers Decision-Making with Respect to Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Candidate: Traci-Ann Garrad
PhDThe Intentions of Secondary School Teachers towards Practicing Inclusive Education in Ghana
Candidate: Maxwell Peprah Opoku
PhDReading Between the Lines: An intervention concerning reading comprehension, students with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the design of educational software for mobile technologies
Candidate: Michelle Irene Somerton