Alberto Motta

Alberto is Associate Professor in the School of Economics at the UNSW Business School.

His approach to Education is multifaceted and has generated an impressive portfolio during his time at UNSW. As his awards and appointments show, he has excelled in every dimension of the learning and teaching life. His teaching is of high quality; his service towards students is excellent and innovatively offered; and his overall drive to transform the Education space is a relentless constant in his work.

Together with Isabella, Alberto is currently leading an interdisciplinary research team with 50+ core members from several faculties/units (Business, AGSM, Medicine, Engineering, Student Centre), across various universities (UNSW, UQ, U Adelaide) and with several partner organisations (Department of Education, Reserve Bank of Australia, Gonski Institute) – see STEP UP. Using state-of-the-art R&D methodologies, their aim is to answer key questions about optimal educational design. Think of a Big Lab committed to identifying what works in education and why and closing the gaps educational attainment. Why should we care? Because it will make for a more just and thriving society for all.

Alberto is the Deputy Director of the Scientia Education Academy and the co-chair of the STEP UP initiative in Education.

  • (Step Up 1A) Can rank feedback avoid demoralization? A randomized controlled trial [with Dobrescu, Chen and Foster]
  • (Step Up 2A) Fun: A complement or a substitute in the education production function? [with Dobrescu, French, Holden and Lim]
  • (Step Up 3A) The role of verifiability in the education production function [with Dobrescu and Kazmierczak]
  • (Step Up 4B) The symbolic power of female leadership: Lessons from a randomized experiment [with Dobrescu and Shanker]
  • (Step Up 5A) Wisdom of the crowds: Does it work in higher education? [with Dobrescu]
  • Culturally and context specific student assessment [with Holden, Dobrescu, Piccoli, Roberts & Walker]
  • Relative performance feedback in education: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial (2021) forthcoming Economic Journal [with Dobrescu, Faravelli and Megalokonomou] 
  •  The Predictive Power of Big Data in Education: A Machine Learning Approach (forthcoming) in Mendolia, O'Brien, Yerokhin and Paloyo (eds): Critical Perspectives on Economics of Education and Education Policy. Routledge [with Dobrescu and Scriven] 
  • 2019 UNSW President’s Award for ‘Building Collaborations’
  • 2017 UNSW Scientia Education Fellowship
  • 2017 Wharton Business School Social Sciences Gold Medal Reimagine Education International Awards
  • 2016 Australian Government Office of Learning & Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • 2016 UNSW Business School John Prescott Outstanding Innovation Award
  • 2013 UNSW Business School 2013 Outstanding Technology-Enabled Teaching Innovation Award
  • 2013 University of New South Wales Innovation Award (top 3 finalist)
  • 2013 University of New South Wales Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in the Use of Learning & Teaching Technologies
  • 2013 University of New South Wales Heinz Harant Award for Teaching Innovation

School level contributions

  • Co-Chair of the School of Economics Student Experience, Engagement & Recruitment (SEER) Committee (2020 – present)
  • Member of the School of Economics Learning & Teaching Committee, UNSW (2015 – present)
  • Member of the School of Economics “MyExperience” Student Evaluation Review Committee (2017)

Faculty level contributions

  • Member of the UNSW Business School Educational Excellence Awards Committee, UNSW (2015 – 2017)
  • Member of the UNSW Business School Pre-Business Program for Indigenous Students (2012 – 2018)

UNSW level contributions

  • Deputy Director of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy (2021 – present)
  • Fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy (2017 – present)
  • Member of the UNSW President's Awards for Education Excellence (2015 – 2017)
  • Member of the UNSW FULT Large-Class Teaching Program (2013 – 2019)
  • Member of the UNSW Working Group Internship Programs (2015 – 2018)
  • Member of the UNSW Learning & Teaching Unit’s Gamification group (2015 – present)