Friday, 17 August 2012

August Newsletter

1.  Issue 4 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 

This month's question:  What is the right balance between providing support online and overloading or distracting students?  How much online material should you provide for students?  How much online discussion can you hope for?
Click here to add your comments, ideas, links.

2.  Conferences & publication 

26 Sept:           9am-12noon                Workshops 
                                    12noon-2pm                SaMnet Scholars meeting 
                                       2pm-5pm                 Discipline Network workshops 
            27-28 Sept:           All day                    Conference  

The Australian Council of Deans of Science funded a study of the career choices of science graduates.  They are not all research scientists. Surprise, surprise. 
A Background in Science --

3.  Connections/Events  

Current:           ACSME – 26-29 Sept: see above.
                        SaMnet Skypes – 23-31 August:  see below. 

Match up: Associate dean (T&L) or equivalent at a regional university?  Talk.  
Luby Simson (UCanb), Nina Fotinatos (Ballarat),
Andrea Crampton (CSU & SaMnet steering committee).

4.  SaMnet activity 

Linking you together … 
Skype meetings in August:
Thurs. 23rd – Melbourne / Hobart teams
Fri. 24th – Perth / Adelaide teams
Wed. 29th – Lectures / FY / Transition projects
Fri. 31st – Labs / Inquiry projects.
Click here to RSVP on our Doodle chart.  

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 

HEA STEM: Qualitative Approaches to Pedagogical Research in the Biosciences was a UK workshop held on 18 June 2012. Click through for the presentations from the day.  They will be helpful beyond the biosciences.

Survey on educational research: Joint initiative involving HERDSA, AARE, ACDE, AVETRA, ascilite, and a number of other research associations. The project aims to strengthen national capacity in education research.  Doing SoTL?  Click Here for the Survey.

6.  Leadership insights 

“The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, George McKeown, HBR Blog Network.  This article suggests that success breeds an increase in opportunities.  Take up too many of these opportunities, and you can diffuse your efforts, thereby undermining chances of future success. 

‘Preferred’ patterns of academic leadership in different disciplinary (sub)cultures, Jouni Kekรคle, Higher Education, 37: 217-238, 1999. 

7. Team in Focus: Development of Science and Maths skills in a pre-Tertiary science Pathway course: University of Canberra

We are aiming to develop base mathematical skills in students with low ATAR or minimal background in Science at senior secondary level, who wish to access bachelor degrees in science. The course is a Pre-tertiary Diploma in Science. It is designed to raise skill levels in science, English, and mathematics via a highly supported and scaffolded environment for students with poor study skills and minimal background in science. In guiding students through this course, the goal is to reduce rates of dropout and failure.

The course was run with 20 students in semester 1 2012. Although the course has not yet been formally evaluated, 75% of the class successfully completed semester 1. That is compared to a 10% success rate of students with similar backgrounds entering the mainstream first year units. We plan to extend to the program to around 70 students in 2013, as well as working towards delivery in regional centres around Canberra.

Tamsin Kelly – Research interests include clandestine drug chemistry, detection of drugs in biological specimens including plasma, hair, meconium and urine, forensic toxicology and the use of analytical instrumentation such as LC-MS, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and capillary electrophoresis (CE), and chemometrics for a variety of forensic applications.Tamsin has extensive experience in delivering first year university Chemistry courses to diverse cohorts of students.

Glenys London – Has headed the University of Canberra College since 1997.  The College specialises in pathway programs for students who do not meet the direct entry requirements of the University of Canberra.

Jim Woolnough – Has conducted research in physics education but most recently in the relationship between pedagogical content knowledge and teacher education and science curriculum development and delivery. He taught science for 20 years at the secondary level before moving to the university, and he has extensive experience teaching Science Methods units within Secondary Teacher education courses and in the delivery of first year university science courses.

Luby Simson - Research interests lie in the development and characterization of novel treatments for cancer. In parallel to her role as the Associate Dean of Education, Luby does research in learning and teaching encompasses: (1) Diploma of Science: A model for effective management of a diverse student cohort in the Sciences; (2) Internationalisation of the curriculum, and more specifically, the impact of internationalisation on the Science-curricula; and (3) Embedding work-integrated as an authentic learning experience in the tertiary curricula.

8.  Classifieds 

Sashi Kant of the University of Sydney would like to know what others are doing in labs in protein biochemistry.  Do you know, or do you know who she can talk to?

Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST) -- Nominations are open for the 4th Arrow Energy Best of the WEST Awards.  They recognise achievements of outstanding women and girls in STEM in rural Queensland.