Sunday, 21 April 2013

April Newsletter

1.  Issue 12 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 
Listen to the newsletter? Now available in audio as a podcast.

This month's question:
What articles, blogs, forums or websites give you relevant insight into leadership?

2.  Conferences & publication
ASERA2013 – 2-5 July 2013
The Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference for 2013 will be held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand. Abstracts are due 26th April.

ESERA2013 – 2-7 September 2013
The European Science Education Research Association Conference for 2013 will be held at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. Abstract submission has closed, but if you are in Europe in the middle of 2013, ESERA2013 will be worth a visit.

3.  Connections/Events  
Past:                  ASELL National Science Workshop – 2-5 April 2013 at U of Sydney 
63 staff and students attended from 15 universities from four countries reviewing 25 prac exercises. 

Future:              ASELL Schools Science Workshop – 26 April 2013 at SHORE School, North Sydney, NSW 
                          HERDSA 2013 Conference – 1-4 July 2013 at Auckland Institute of Technology, New Zealand. 

2nd Annual VIBE workshop - 11-12 July at the University of Melbourne.
An event co-sponsored by CUBEnet, topic: “Biology Education Futures”.
Day 1: Strategies for Academic Life: workshop for early and mid-career academics
Day 2: Biology Education Futures: includes showcase for e-learning in biology and assessment as evidence for achieving learning outcomes.

Match up:          The ‘Interactive Lecture Demonstrations’ & POGIL? 
The team from USYD - Toby Hudson, Chiara Neto, Michela Simone, Vanessa Gyspers, Siggi Schmid, Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick and Adam Bridgeman - might want to contact the team from UAdelaide - Natalie Williamson, Greg Metha, John WIllison and Simon Pyke. 
Compare strategies to promote active learning in large lecture classes.

4.  SaMnet activity 
SaMnet Steering Committee Meetings: Monday 22/4
SaMnet Advisory Committee Meetings: Friday 10/5
We are discussing where SaMnet is headed for 2013-2014.  See next month’s newsletter for an update.    

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 
The Learning Virtues – David Brooks
Learning cognitively or learning morally? An opinion piece in The New York Times about education research done by Jin Li of Harvard and Brown Universities.  The research involves breaking through the clich├ęs of East versus West learning to see the real differences.

Unpacking the narrative of non-positional leadership in academia: Hero and/or victim? Higher Education Research & Development latest issue – Juntrasook et al 
You are practising leadership often without having been given a formal rank.  This intriguing, qualitative study from NZ assesses the role of such informal leadership practices in one subject’s sense of identity as a leader in the face of setbacks. 

6.  Leadership insights
Helpful Source of Leadership insights – Tomorrow’s Professor Blog.  Articles from the Tomorrow’s Professor” mailing list (Stanford University) appear here. Two samples are below.

An excerpt from a chapter called “Political Models” in the book, Theories of Educational Leadership and Management by Tony Bush. It outlines the forms of power relevant to university settings.

20 Leadership traits for chairs of schools and departments to use!

7. Team in Focus: Learning the language of Chemistry through student-generated visual representations, Gwen Lawrie, Emma Bartle, Peter Adams. 

Our objective is the engagement of introductory chemistry students in their learning earlier in the semester by having them create visual aids and explain the structure of a molecule they select. Other aims are improving conceptual gains and chemical vocabulary while increasing the personal relevance of chemistry for students.  An assessment task has been designed for these novice learners of chemistry which requires them to use their visual aid representations of molecular structures to support their explanation in the format of a short video (2-3 minutes). The rationale is that students will need to acquire some understanding of molecular structure and related properties to translate and recommunicate information to create the video blog (vlog).

The project has undergone three iterations.

In 2011, the new vlog assessment task was introduced into a one semester introductory chemistry course with the aim of both enhancing engagement through a personal connection to chemistry and to strengthen their understanding of chemical structures and representations. Students created a 2-3 minute video where they explained the structure and properties of a molecule/substance that was personally relevant to them. They submitted the videos by uploaded to YouTube or VIMEO (set as private videos) and the link was emailed to the instructor for assessment

In 2012, over 350 enrolled students submitted their video URL through Blackboard assessment task tool which enabled individual marks and feedback to be returned to students.

Peer review assessment of vlogs will be introduced in 2013 to cope with the sheer marking time required to do justice to the task. 

Gwen Lawrie - Director of First-Year Chemistry and, as a teaching-focused academic, has responsibility for curriculum renewal and revised assessment practices across multiple first-year chemistry courses. Her research is based in chemical education and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Recently, she won the 2012 UQ Award for Teaching Excellence.
Emma Bartle - Currently a Lecturer in Medical Education in the School of Medicine, University of Queensland (UQ). She moved to UQ’s School of Medicine in mid-2010 to take up a teaching-focussed position. She is specifically interested in the use of educational technologies and new media to improve learning and assessment, and is applying these  interests into the field of medical education.
Peter Adams - Associate Dean, Academic, Faculty of Science. His research interests include combinatorics, graph decompositions and automated code generation.

8.  Classifieds 
This item was featured last month, but the deadline is May 3.  There are SaMnet Scholars who would be excellent candidates for this award.

If you decide to apply for the 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science, we are happy to help, drawing on expertise from SaMnet’s steering committee. 

Description: The 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science is awarded to a scientist who has used their leadership skills to create impact inside their institution, amongst their peers, within their discipline or in the wider community.
Prize: $10,000
Judging Criteria: Entries should specifically address how the work entered meets the following:
1.       Evidence of a clear vision
2.       Skills in mobilising others
3.       Proof of commitment, energy and passion
4.       Demonstration of leadership impact.
Conditions of entry: To be eligible you must be 35 years or younger or be no more than five years since being awarded your PhD, at the closing date of entries.