Christopher Rayner

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Dr Christopher Rayner

Christopher Rayner

Academic Director, Professional Experience
Lecturer in Inclusive Education

Room 423, Hytten Hall

+61 3 6226 2559 (phone)

+61 3 6226 2569 (fax)

Chris' interests relate to teacher education, pre-service teachers' school placements, and mentoring. He also 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.


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). While specialising in middle-school, his honours project explored the use of micro-switch technology for promoting communication and independence for students with profound physical and intellectual disabilities. His doctoral thesis (2011) was entitled, 'Video-based intervention for individuals with autism.' Chris joined the Faculty of Education staff as a research assistant and tutor in 2008, and accepted a position as Lecturer in Inclusive Education in December 2010. After teaching and researching in the field of inclusive education for 8 years, Chris took on the role of Academic Director of Professional Experience in December 2018. His passion is to promote thriving learning communities through collaboration across the education sector.

Career summary


  • PhD (2011) 'Video-based intervention for individuals with autism' University of Tasmania, Australia
  • GradCert 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 (current)
  • Director, Board of Christian Schools Tasmania (current)
  • Executive Committee member, Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS) (2014 to 2015)
  • Faculty of Education Research Ethics Coordinator (shared role) (2013 to 2015)
  • Member, Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee (2013 to 2015)

View more on Dr Christopher Rayner in WARP


  • Inclusive education
  • Special education
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Single-case experimental designs

Research Themes

Chris' research aligns to the University's research theme of 'Creativity, Culture, and Society' through investigating more effective ways for teachers and school communities to educate and support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. It also contributes to goals from the theme of 'Better Health' through exploring ways to promote the participation, engagement, and wellbeing of students, particularly those with additional educational needs.


Chris' work has involved collaboration with colleagues at Monash University, Australian Catholic University, and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). He also works across disciplines with colleagues at the University of Tasmania from the Faculty of Health and the School of Architecture and Design. Chris is the Inclusive Education Group Leader for the University of Tasmania Autism Network (UTAN) (see


  • 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

  • Video learning profiles: Promoting student agency and supporting educational transitions (with the Tasmanian Department of Education’s Professional Learning Institute)
  • Collaborating in the future of inclusive education: An exploration of the AASE Tasmania and Faculty of Education (University of Tasmania) mentoring partnership program (with the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Association for Special Education)

Fields of Research

  • Special Education and Disability (130312)
  • Education Systems (130199)
  • Architectural Design (120101)
  • Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
  • Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
  • Educational Administration, Management and Leadership (130304)
  • Educational Psychology (170103)
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
  • Sociological Methodology and Research Methods (160807)
  • Community Planning (120501)
  • Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy (130208)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (130301)
  • Care for Disabled (111703)

Research Objectives

  • Special Needs Education (939907)
  • Teaching and Instruction Technologies (930203)
  • Learner and Learning Achievement (930101)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design (970112)
  • Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) (920408)
  • Children's/Youth Services and Childcare (940105)
  • Moral and Social Development (incl. Affect) (930104)
  • Education and Training Systems (930599)
  • Health (929999)
  • Computer Software and Services (890299)
  • Equity and Access to Education (939903)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences (970117)
  • Teacher and Instructor Development (930202)
  • Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) (920201)
  • Families and Family Services (940112)
  • Learner Development (930103)
  • Disability and Functional Capacity (920403)


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. This thesis, and associated publications, synthesised the research in this field to highlight important theoretical and practical questions about the use of video-based teaching strategies for individuals with ASD and, through the interventions studies, it progressed the thinking in the field in relation to these questions: 'How can we predict who will benefit from video-based teaching strategies?' 'What kinds of models are most effective?' 'How does video-based intervention compare with traditional teaching methods?'

Chris' expertise in the field has been applied in the peer review of manuscripts for journals such as Developmental Neurorehabilitation, Journal of Behavioural Education, Educational Psychology, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, and Research in Developmental Disabilities, and in the examination of theses for Monash University, Victoria University (Australia), and Griffiths University on topics relating to the use of video-based interventions and iPads in the education of children with ASD.

Total publications


Journal Article

(17 outputs)
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: Web of Science - 4

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 - 5Web of Science - 4

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 - 1Web of Science - 2

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 - 3Web of Science - 3


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 - 10Web of Science - 11

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 - 25Web of Science - 23


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 - 13Web of Science - 13


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 - 24Web of Science - 20


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 - 87Web of Science - 87

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

Chris has been successful in achieving funding for three research projects amounting to just under $50,000.  These projects are entitled:

  • 2013 - 'Portable touch screen technologies in the education of children with autism' 
  • 2013 to 2014 - 'Making Launceston a child friendly city: What do children think?' 
  • 2015 - 'Supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Higher Education' (Equity in Higher Education).

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



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
PhDTeachers Decision-Making with Respect to Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder2015
PhDThe Intentions of Secondary School Teachers towards Practicing Inclusive Education in Ghana2016
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


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