Thursday, 31 July 2014

July Newsletter

This month's question:
Do you know what it requires to apply for a grant from the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT)?
Many in the SaMnet community do, and this month we congratulate those recently awarded grants including Peter Adams (UQ), Siggi Schmid (USYD), Adam Bridgeman (USYD), Simon Pike (SaMnet Steering Committee, Adelaide), Madeleine Schultz (QUT), Daniel Southam (Curtin), and Gwen Lawrie (UQ). Want to know more, visit the OLT grants website or talk to these scholars.

Congratulations to those recently announced 2014 OLT National Teaching Fellows, Marina Harvey (MQ), John WIllison (Adelaide), Elizabeth Beckmann (ANU), and Joe Shapter (Flinders).

2.  Conferences & publication

Last month we advertised two discipline conferences in December. Abstract submission has now closed. If you are attending, look out for the Education sections and take part and continue to increase the profile of discipline based education research.
Australian Institute of Physics Congress | 7-11 December, Canberra

3.  Connections/Events  

Past:                 HERDSA Conference 2014: Higher Education in a Globalized World
Hong Kong Baptist University, 7-10 July 2014.

University of Palermo, Italy, 7-12 July 2014.

Edith Cowan University, 9-11 July,

Future:              The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) – The University of Sydney and The University of Technology, Sydney. September 29 – October 1, 2014.
                          The main annual gathering of the SaMnet Australia Community

20-21 August and 22 August 2014, Mercure Hotel, Sydney
A pricey, but valuable opportunity for aspiring female leaders in the SaMnet community.

4.  SaMnet activity 

SaMnet is preparing for a gathering on the discipline day of ACSME, October 1 at the University of Technology, Sydney. Details to follow in the coming months.

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) (Edited by - Emma Bartle, UQ & Matt Hill, USyd)

Bridget O’Brien, Ilene Harris, Thomas Beckman, Darcy Reed and David Cook, Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Qualitative data, such as student focus groups and open-response questionnaires, are being increasingly used in SoTL projects. Standards exist for reporting quantitative data in peer-reviewed papers but not for qualitative data, which can cause concern for scientists. The authors define and explain a set of standards that authors, editors and reviewers can use to report findings from qualitative research projects.

Bernard S. Chan, Lindi M. Wahl, The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
The authors analyse peer-reviewed journal publications from 2000-2010 from Canadian scholars on Post-Secondary Maths research. They “highlight topics of continual interest, changing trends in time and newly emerging themes”. It offers a benchmark of current scholarship and allows for comparison with the Australian situation.

6.  Leadership insights (Edited by Matt Hill & Will Rifkin, USyd)

Where do you gain inspiration or wisdom for your leadership? Share your insights with the SaMnet community as a guest editor of the “Leadership Insights” section of the newsletter. Interested? Reply to this email.

Alex Malley, CPA Australia
According to the author, how you perform in meetings appears to be a “proxy for career progression”. Will these five tips help you get the results you want – a valuable read.

Eric J. Romero
The concepts [of leadership] are pretty simple: listen to followers, set an ambitions vision, create a positive work environment, etc. It’s not rocket science…” Why then is the common opinion that “on the whole, managers are terrible”?

7. Initiative in Focus: 2013 OLT National Fellowship Update: Work It Out: Enhancing students’ problem solving skills by modelling how to “Work It Out” in a just-in-time learning environment. Chris Creagh (Murdoch University): 
Chris will be running a workshop related to her fellowship at ACSME 2014 (See Connections/Events). She currently uses three “Inquiry Orientated Learning” activities with the first year Physics & Engineering cohort, one from Les Kirkup and two developed originally.  Students learn lots of different things besides experimental design and such will be the case with the ACSME workshop, which will include pedagogy as well as hands-on practice. – Stay tuned for workshop details.

Next month: Manju Sharma, Active lecture approaches in science and mathematics.

8.  Classifieds

Experienced (and successful) grant writers willing to advise others in the SaMnet community over the next year as they seek wider support for their projects. Reply to this email if willing.