Friday, 19 July 2013

July Newsletter

1.  Issue 15 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter  

Listen to the newsletter? Available in audio as a podcast.
Click here to download.

This month's question:
Meet anyone at conferences in the last couple of weeks who would benefit from connecting with SaMnet? Forward this newsletter; send their name/details to SaMnet.

Congratulations – OLT Grant Recipients
Andrea Crampton (SaMnet Steering Committee member from CSU) and Tina Acuna (SaMnet Scholar from UTAS) have been awarded grants. Kelly Matthews (SaMnet Steering Committee member from UQ) has received an extension grant for the “Extending QS in Science” project.
Tell us grants that you have received, national or internal.  Build a ‘community of interest’ to help with development, dissemination.

2.  Conferences & publication
ACSME – 19-21 September 2013 – Where SaMnet Scholars gather …
Australian Conf. on Science and Maths Educ. 2013: “Students in transition – The Learner’s Journey”.  Venue:  ANU & Uni of Canberra.  Submissions deadline has passed.

ACSME will begin with a discipline and workshop day on the 19th of September. This will include morning workshops, a SaMnet gathering (12pm) and meetings of the Biomedical, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics discipline networks.

3.  Connections/Events 
HERDSA 2013 Conference – 1-4 July 2013 at Auckland Institute of Technology. SaMnet presented to new faces, packed room – then lunch with SaMnet Scholars and old friends.
ESERA – September 2-7, Cyprus. Members of SaMnet will present. Arrange to connect, contact SaMnet.
ACSME will be the next main gathering moment for SaMnet; more details in the August newsletter.

Match up:        
Gwen Lawrie, Garry Rayner, Karma Pearce, Jessica Vanderlelei, Daniel Southam, Emma Bartle, and others – Garry Hoban is looking for you for his OLT Senior Fellowship effort on ‘new media’ assignments.

4.  SaMnet activity 
Final SaMnet survey: 
SaMnet Scholars will soon/already receive an email on our final online survey on Leadership and SoTL. Please complete the 10-minute survey today (or sooner, yesterday!) to allow analysis for our August final report.

Leadership Reviews with Critical Friends:
Your critical friend wants to discuss with your project team the influences of SaMnet, your institution and individuals on the leadership development in the team.  That information will help future ‘capacity building’ efforts.

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 
Time to Decide – The Ambivalence of the World of Science Toward Education Nature Education Vikram Savkar and Jillian Lokere.
“Most top-level universities-despite having a publically stated mission of education-direct more funding, awards and job security to outstanding researchers than to outstanding teachers.”
The education of future scientists in undeniably an important issue. Do universities prioritise it? What are the consequences? What can be done?

Teaching Quantitative Reasoning Tomorrow’s Professor Blog – Mary Wright and Joe Howard
Quantitative reasoning, an essential graduate attribute is difficult to teach and sometimes even difficult to articulate what is being taught. Four simple strategies are introduced that you may be able to integrate with your teaching.

6.  Leadership insights
Secrets to Better Networking at Conferences Dave Kerpen
Reflecting on conference experiences, even the last few weeks, how well do you do at networking? Hot tips to help you make the most of upcoming conferences, including ACSME in September.

Modern-day Ways to Leave a Lasting Impression Linda Coles
Now that you have learnt the tips of networking successfully, how can you best create a positive and long-term impression on your new contacts? A two-minute read, much quicker than How to Win Friends and Influence People.

7. Project in Focus: The Chemistry Discipline Network (ChemNet)
Madeleine Schultz, Glennys O'Brien, Mark Buntine, Gwen Lawrie, Siggi Schmid, Daniel Southam, Brian Yates
ChemNet was established in 2011, funded by the (then) Australian Learning and Teaching Council. It exists as a community to share successes and frustrations as well as ideas and improvements in teaching chemistry at university.  Our informal monthly skype meetings are a great way to find others working on similar chemical education projects. The network is actively working toward the implementation of the Chemistry Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs).

The values of ChemNet and SaMnet are closely aligned. Both are for discipline-based academics who are also involved with the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Both are relevant for academics new to the field of SoTL and those who have been researching and publishing in science education. Many SaMnet scholars are already involved. Visit

The next face-to-face meeting for ChemNet is on the Discipline Day at ACSME, Thursday September 19, at the University of Canberra from 1pm. Topics include:  1. The future of ChemNet; and 2. Assessing the Chemistry TLOs.
All are welcome, reply to Madeleine Schultz for catering purposes or for more information about ChemNet.

8.  Classifieds
A message from SaMnet’s chief coordinator:

Dear Colleagues,
The government is seeking submissions on assessing the range of benefits of university research. Please see What about the benefits of SoTL? 
If we want our research into teaching and learning and its impact to 'count', we need to respond to this call. When SoTL counts as a national measure, then it will count locally at our institutions. 
My expectation is that universities will be making submissions as will various groups. 
We must convince our respective Research Offices and others of influence (DVC-Research) to include discipline-based educational research as an important element in university research.
SaMnet can gather and send in submissions that you compose. 
Please circulate this message.

Kind regards,
Manju Sharma