Thursday, 13 December 2012

December Newsletter


1.  Issue 8 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 

~NEW FORMAT~ Newsletter also available in audio as a podcast. Click here to download.
Tell us if you are engaged in -- or formulating a proposal for -- an OLT project or a project funded internally by your university. 
We can help you to make connections or share findings (e.g., selecting advisory panel members or identifying key projects to reference). 
We can arrange for reviews of your draft proposals and reports by people who have received numerous grants. 


2.  Conferences & publication

This special issue will focus on outcomes and insights from your SaMnet projects.
Abstracts are due 18 January 2013. Follow the link for PDF Call for Papers.
Perth Teaching and Learning Forum 2013 – 7-8 February @ Murdoch University
Early Bird registration for this forum closes on December 20.


3.  Connections/Events  


Past:                      VIBEnet / CUBEnet / QS Forum December 10-11, 2012
                                @ U of Sydney
Future:                 Leadership Development Workshops in February 2012
                                February 4 – Melbourne workshop @ La Trobe University
                                February 5 – Adelaide workshop @ Flinders University
                                February 6 – Perth workshop @ Curtin University
                                February 11 -- Sydney workshop @ U of Sydney 
mid-February* -- Brisbane workshop @ Griffith University. *Watch this space!
2nd Australian Tertiary Geosciences Teaching workshop
January 16-17, 2013 @ James Cook University
Match up:           Jessica Vanderlelie* (Griffith) ought to have coffee with Gwen Lawrie* (UQ). You both are investigating the impacts of student videos, and you are both in Brisbane.  Also, reconnect with Karma Pearce of UniSA
(*Recent additions to the SaMnet Scholars network)

4.  SaMnet activity 

Project Updates – Poster & Letter to Your Dean
Members of your action-learning team have received, or will soon receive, a poster we formulated on your SaMnet action-learning project.  It describes the project and outcomes to date. 
We want your input on a draft letter – update and subtle congratulations -- to be sent to your dean. When you ‘look good’, we all ‘look good’.  Any questions? Contact us!
Leadership Development Workshops – February 4, 5 and 6 in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, respectively. Also Sydney (11th) and Brisbane! See you there!

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 

Getting results: small changes, big cohorts and technology - Jacqueline L. Kenney (HERD, 2012).  Kenney found that one can achieve learning gains when ‘constructive alignment’ is specifically fostered by modest online support in the form of voluntary weekly tasks, feedback, lecture participation, and research skill acquisition.
Is prior performance or university experience more influential?

6.  Leadership insights

Highly recommended by SaMnet steering committee member Marjan Zadnik.   The book includes sections on “Making a difference as an effective teacher”, “building an effective research track record” and “Strategic advancement in academic settings”. Personal stocking filler?
What leading with vision really means – Erica Anderson, Fast Company magazine
This article underlines the notion that leading involves articulating a vision clearly so that others can see it.  We introduced that idea in SaMnet's workshops early in 2012.   

7. Team in Focus: Intensive mode delivery vs traditional delivery: Evaluating and implementing change in teaching strategies,

Michelle Power, Marie Herberstein, Marina Harvey, Kelsie Dadd, Macquarie University.
In this project we are evaluating learning and teaching strategies in a biology unit offered as an intensive block over 3 weeks during Macquarie University’s shorter session 3. Evaluation of data from the first offering of the unit has informed some changes in the teaching strategy to overcome limitations associated with time that may be detrimental to the learner experience. This change, the introduction of one day on campus, a month prior to the intensive session, also aims to establish a more collaborative learning environment for online aspects of the unit that occur prior to the intensive. It was clear from the data that the collaborative learning strategy was of benefit to the learner during the intensive session. A second round of data, that includes additional questions, will be gathered in the upcoming session 3 beginning mid December 2012.
A series of department teaching seminars/workshops have been instigated, and talks have been given to the wider university community, including a workshop -- comparing teaching strategies applied in intensive mode teaching -- during Learning and Teaching Week. The aims of these seminars are to promote communication and establish a network of teachers associated with delivery of units in compressed offering. A reflective paper was presented at a teaching conference in Vienna, Austria in February 2012. The team was also awarded a Faculty Learning and Teaching grant to support the SaMnet project. This award enabled employment of Michael Wilson, a program research and development officer, to undertake a literature search to evaluate the extent of intensive mode offerings in the Sciences. We are currently evaluating this literature to compose a literature review. Looking towards 2013, we can expect lots of data analysis and preparation of publications. Members of the group also received L&T awards, including Vice Chancellor’s award for early career teacher, Vice Chancellor citations for mentor programs, and an OLT award for programs that enhance learning and teaching.
Michelle Power – Senior lecturer in the department of Biological Sciences. Research interests are in the area of host-parasite interactions, particularly in examining these relationships to investigate human impacts on fragile ecosystems and endangered wildlife.
Marie Herberstein – Associate Professor and head of the department of Biological Sciences. Research addresses the behavioural ecology of invertebrates, including the study of spiders and insects within an evolutionary framework.
Marina Harvey A lecturer in Academic Development with the Learning and Teaching Centre. Her learning and teaching research interests include leading a national project on sessional staff standards, being a team member on a national project on distributed leadership and several projects that focus on reflection for learning.
Kelsie Dadd – Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, also Associate Dean of International in the Faculty of Science. Research includes the volcanology, geochemistry and tectonics of ancient and modern volcanic rocks in eastern Australia and the surrounding oceans. She is also the recipient of multiple L&T grants and awards.

8.  Classifieds 

Seeking volunteers to review OLT proposals before submission. 
A proposal needs to be seen by 10 readers before it is submitted.  These reviews help the writers to address the wide range of perspectives, and questions, that the grant’s assessors might have.  Reviewing others’ proposals helps you to see flaws to avoid and strategies to use in your own proposals.