Friday, 16 November 2012

November Newsletter

1. Issue 7 of SaMnet's monthly newsletter
~NEW FORMAT~ Newsletter also available in audio as a podcast. Click to listen!

November Question: What is your favourite feature of the SaMnet Newsletter? Click on your answer!
(a) Upcoming events and conferences
(b) SaMnet team in focus
(c) Helpful SoTL and Leadership Articles
(d) The fact that the whole newsletter is available in audio form so you can listen while you work! (See the top of the email for the link).

Congratulations: The prestigious Education Medal of the Australian Institute of Physics has been awarded to Manju Sharma, SaMnet’s Chief Coordinator. The selection committee characterised Manju’s contribution to physics education as “sustained..., creative..., of national importance... and of high quality...”. The Medal winner gives an address to the AIP Congress in December 2012.

2. Conferences & Publication

Call for Papers - IJISME 2013 ‘SaMnet Edition’
The Journal is publishing a special issue that will focus on the outcomes and insights from a range of SaMnet projects. Abstracts are due 18 January 2013. Follow the link for a PDF 'Call for Papers’.

Upcoming conferences and publication opportunities that YOU know about?

3. Connections/Events

ISSOTL conference in Canada, October 2012:
Poster on roles of academic developers in SaMnet’s action-learning teams by Kelly Matthews

VIBEnet / CUBEnet / QS Forum
December 10-11, 2012 @ U of Sydney

2nd Australian Tertiary Geosciences Teaching workshop
January 16-17, 2013 @ James Cook University

Match up:
At the ISSOTL conference last month, Kelly discovered that there is a SaMnet equivalent in Canada. Know anyone in this network? SaMnet will be developing closer links with this community in the near future. Links with other overseas networks, like SaMnet, are sought.

4. SaMnet activity

We are collecting updates on your action-learning projects – Expect a call from your project’s ‘critical friend’ or SaMnet HQ in coming weeks if we have not heard from your Action-Learning Project team at a Skype meeting in the last six months.

Generating project posters for you – Each team will receive a specially designed A3 project poster this month or next. It is for display in your department, school, or university to highlight your team’s efforts and outcomes.

Another letter to your dean from SaMnet – SaMnet HQ will be sending a letter to remind your Dean of your team’s involvement in an Action-Learning Project supported by SaMnet.

5. Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)

Measuring Teaching Effectiveness: Correspondence Between Students’ Evaluations of Teaching and Different Measures of Student Learning – Sebastian Stehle, Birgit Spinath, Martina Kadmon.
Ever wondered how Student Evaluations of Teaching relate to performance in various measures of student learning, such as practical examinations or multiple choice tests?

Transformational Teaching – George Slavich, Philip Zimbardo
A review article in Educ. Psychol. Rev. (2012) focussed on the theoretical underpinnings, basic principles and core methods of transformational teaching. Zimbardo is a social psychologist famous for his simulated ‘prison’ experiment.

6. Leadership insights

Three Leadership Traits that Never Go Out of Style – Vineet Nayar, Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Are these what you were expecting?

Upward influence in academic organizations: a behavioural style perspective – Debbie McAlister and John Darling, Leadership & Organization Development Journal. Manju attended a workshop on “Negotiating & Influencing Skills” and insists that insights from this paper are invaluable, a must to share with the community. You might look out for these types of workshops in your institution?

7. Team in Focus: Re-engaging Second Year Students through Active Engagement of Teaching Staff, Sarah-Jane Gregory, Glenn Harrison, Jason Lodge and Wendy Loughlin, Griffith University.

This SaMnet project involves the development and establishment of a Community of Practice (CoP) focussed on Second Year Student Experience of the Biosciences. It is supported by a university T&L grant characterising the effects of the “Sophomore Slump” phenomenon in Bioscience students. The project is designed to support students through the transition in and out of second year at university. In 2012, a variety of data has been collected that has been analysed and compared with data from the USA. The evidence suggests that our students are at equal risk of experiencing “Sophomore Slump” and that there are simple ways in which we can identify those students. This data has provided important evidence for the SaMnet project that has gained local buy-in with staff. The effort is also supported by the Associate Dean, who is raising the importance of the project around the university. The team presented at ACSME with an abstract and poster entitled “Building a supportive learning and teaching culture for science academics”.

Sarah-Jane Gregory – Associate Lecturer in the School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences. Her primary focus as a teaching-focused academic is second year biosciences at Griffith University. Research focuses on the second year student experience with involvement in a variety of projects related to enhancing student experiences of both curriculum and university life in the biosciences.

Glenn Harrison – He recently served as Senior Lecturer in physiology at Griffith University and is now academic developer in TLD at JCU. Glenn’s experience in teaching large classes in first and second year has seen him investigating first-second year student transition issues and assistance strategies. His other research interests include cardiac energetics and effect of dietary oils and exercise on heart structure & function.

Jason Lodge – Student Experience Coordinator in the Griffith Institute for Higher Education. Jason teaches as a part of the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and runs staff development workshops. Research concentrates on the psychology of learning and the cognitive and emotional factors that are involved and how to address these factors in higher education policy and practice.

Wendy Loughlin – Dean, Teaching and Learning. Research interests include small molecule inhibitors of Glycogen Phosphorylase, an enzyme implicated in Type-2 diabetes, and the development of new chemotherapeutic compounds for Leishmaniasis.

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8. Classifieds

Deb King is advertising a position for a Project Officer, based in Melbourne, part-time for about 18 months. Details from the following link:

Pass it on to good people you know.