Thursday, 12 December 2013

December Newsletter

Season’s greetings from the SaMnet HQ Team!

Looking for a keynote or seminar speaker?
Our SaMnet Scholars are fabulous candidates. A select set of abstracts is in the linked document. Share with everyone! Booklet versions will be printed in early 2014.

This month's question:               
What workshop/conference are you most looking forward to in 2014?
Share with SaMnet to share with the network.

2.  Conferences & publication

3rd Australasian Universities Geoscience Educators Network Workshop  - 23rd-24th January 2014, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Registration is Free, but abstract submissions have closed.

Journal of Chemical Education Special Issue: Advanced Placement Chemistry ­– Do you have anything you could publish here? ‘AP’ chemistry is university-level chemistry for high school students in the US.  Manuscripts are due January 6 2014.

Journal of Learning Design Special Issue: Design for Assessment of Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Science Education. Abstracts due December 20 2013 to SaMnet Scholar,; manuscripts due March 14 2014.

IJISME Special Issue: Inquiry and Problem-Solving in the Undergraduate Science Curriculum. Abstracts due February 28 to -(SaMnet steering committee member); manuscripts due April 14 2014.

3.  Connections/Events  

Past:                      CUBEnet Forum – 12-13 December, 2013, Canberra. 3rd national forum of the Collaborative Universities Biomedical Education network. Discussion of achievements of the network and consideration of future activities.  See the CUBEnet website for specifics.

Future:                 25 February 2014 - SaMnet Leadership-development workshops in Adelaide and Melbourne. Dates for other capital cities to be finalised shortly!

WA Teaching and Learning Forum 2014 – University of Western Australia, 30-31 January 2014. Theme: Transformative, Innovative and Engaging.  SaMnet has a presentation in the program; bring a colleague. 

                                IISME & FY in Maths Event: Assumed knowledge in maths: the impact on student achievement and progression in STEM programs – University of Sydney, 13-14 February, 2014. Participants share experiences and develop strategies for moving the debate forward. Call for presenters: abstracts due January 10 2014.
Match up:           We are matching you up with someone you already know!  Have a colleague whom you think would benefit from SaMnet’s workshop?  Invite them to February 2014 workshops on leadership and SoTL.  They are in the capital cities.  Now is the time put the workshop on your colleague’s ‘radar screen’.  They are welcome to e-mail to register interest. 

4.  SaMnet activity 

Analysis of data and drafting of publications continues at SaMnet HQ.  The Steering Committee is preparing for 2014, with February workshops planned.  We are also publicising select projects/SaMnet scholars as available for speaking arrangements at conferences and workshops.

A snapshot summary of the national SaMnet effort has been prepared. Please share widely this document celebrating our network’s successes.

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 

What is your take on the STEM “crisis”? (We are not offering an opinion, just two relevant articles).
The STEM Crisis Is a Myth Robert Charette, IEEE Spectrum
The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth Michael Anft, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Each article compares the number of STEM graduates with the number of STEM graduate positions. Is the investment by governments throughout the world in generating more graduates misplaced?

Chad Anderson and David Blair in Diversity and Democracy
The article outlines processes and outcomes that may look familiar to us, as Australian science and mathematics educators.  This ‘global learning rubric’ resembles the Australian ‘standards’ agenda. Worth checking on what those overseas see  as key standards.

6.  Leadership insights

Looking at successful leaders:
Shane Snow, CCO and co-founder of Contently (A highly successful US-based startup)
Seven important things from his experience and the experiences of others. Which one do you need to work on?

Anthony Scaramucci
Do you find inspirational quotes motivating? Need one for a new email footer? Is there something you can take from these quotes from famous “leaders”?

7. Project in Focus: ARC-funded Project - The online future of science and engineering education: the essential elements of laboratory-based learning for remote-access, David Treagust, Euan Lindsay, Anthony Lucey, Mauro Mocerino, Marjan Zadnik (SaMnet Steering Committee), Sven Esche
Laboratory classes are a critical part of science and engineering degree programs, but there has been little research into what actually takes place within them. Remote laboratories, in which students control equipment via the internet, are one potential solution for accommodating rising numbers of students, but the interfaces must be developed to effectively support student learning. This project will investigate how students interact with equipment, each other, and with laboratory demonstrators in order to determine the crucial components of effective laboratory learning experiences. It will identify and characterise the interactions of students in laboratory classes, and develop mechanisms to support these interactions remotely.
Editor’s Note: One reason to highlight this project is to show that your T&L projects can lead to ARC Discovery and Linkage grants. This ARC Discovery grant was the largest grant ($445,000) for the Field of Research 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy. Congratulations to the project team!  

8.  Classifieds

Looking for a project officer? Do you, or someone you know, need to hire an experienced project officer? Contact SaMnet for details of someone who comes highly recommended.

Write an article on leadership? - Want to publish on the leadership aspects of your SaMnet project?  Recount the persuasion strategies that proved to be most effective, for example, or aspects of how your project team worked and overcame hurdles – insights that others can benefit from.  SaMnet HQ will be available to offer assistance.