Thursday, 30 July 2015

July Newsletter

1.  Issue 36 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 

This Month’s Question:
Interest in the Professional Recognition of University Teachers among SaMnet Participants 

One of our SaMnet Scholars, Dr Beth Beckmann PFHEA from the ANU, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship to explore the interest in professional recognition for university teachers in Australia. She would be very grateful if other SaMnet Scholars would take the time to participate in this 8-12 minute survey about the kinds of outcomes that individuals gained from SaMnet participation, and the level of institutional recognition that was achieved. 

The survey can be found here:

Any questions about the survey, the National Teaching Fellowship or professional recognition can be addressed to Beth at  

Support for this activity has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views expressed in this activity do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

Congratulations to those recently announced as 2015 OLT National Teaching Fellows, including Adam Bridgeman (USYD), Kelly Matthews (UQ) and Mauro Mocerino (Curtin).

2.  Conferences & publication

Curtin University and Murdoch University, Perth, 30 September – 2 October, 2015
This year’s theme is “Transforming practice: Inspiring Innovation”.
Early bird registrations close August 7th.

Monash University, 25-27 November, 2015
Universities are invited to send two person teams to showcase a laboratory experiment for improvement. EOI for experiments to be evaluated at the workshop close on Monday 17 August 2015.

Call for Abstracts and Papers – Special Edition: International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (IJISME)  “The Link Between Tertiary Science Education and Employability”
Interested authors should submit a 250-word abstract for consideration to Abstract submissions close Monday 28 August 2015.

Flinders University, Adelaide, 28 September – 1 October, 2015
Registrations are now open for the event, which includes a public lecture by Professor Terence Tao (UCLA) on Monday 28 September 2015.

3.  Connections/Events 

STARS Conference 2015 – Melbourne 1-4 July.
FYi Maths Workshop 3 – Melbourne 6-7 July. Slides from the workshop are available here.

Curtin University and Murdoch University, Perth, 30 September – 2 October, 2015
This is the main gathering and sharing event on the SaMnet calendar each year.

Flinders University, Adelaide, 2 October, 2015
This workshop will focus on the experiences of “individualised study plans” in the US and potential options for implementation in the Australian environment.
Registration is free, but required for catering.

Canberra, 21-22 October, 2015; Sydney, 5-6 November, 2015; Melbourne, 10-11 November, 2015
A pricey, but valuable opportunity for aspiring leaders in the SaMnet community.

4.  SaMnet activity 

The paper looks at the application of social network perspectives to the contributions of academic developers in SoTL projects conducted as part of the SaMnet project.

Congratulations to lead author Kelly Matthews (UQ) and the other SaMnet scholars involved with the paper. We look forward to further publications from the SaMnet project team.

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Adeline Koh in The Chronicle of Higher Education Blog
The author describes a hands-on approach to teaching research methodologies by letting students loose within the library to gather, synthesise and present on a number of discussion questions. Would this approach work to develop an understanding of the process of research methodology in a scientific or mathematical context? How could we improve the transferability of different teaching methodologies across disciplines?

Jon Bergmann for Turning Learning on its Head
Starting out with new teaching practices can be daunting, particularly for those just starting to branch out from the traditional teaching models. This page provides a number of resources for those considering “flipped classrooms”, from how to start flipping the classroom to teacher and student experiences of the model.

6.  Leadership insights

Nathan Bennett in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Adapting and responding to the multiple challenges facing academic institutions today requires the identification of leaders within the institution and providing them appropriate training and support. How are potential leaders identified within your institution? Are you given the appropriate level of support to develop and enhance your leadership potential?

Judith Sherven, Executive Coaching for the Brightest and Best for Linkedin Pulse
Critical feedback is often refrained upon due to fears about “hurting someone’s feelings” or “acting mean”. However, effective critical feedback can positively influence the professional and personal growth of recipients. How has critical feedback influenced your professional and personal growth? How can you deliver critical feedback that both respects the recipient and allows for continual development in their professional and personal lives? 

7. Classifieds

The SMART Directory indexes useful websites relevant to teaching and learning in science and mathematics, with annotated resources and a rating system indicating the usefulness of the resources. The Directory is ready for testing, and the developers welcome feedback and comments on the site, which is available in beta here.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics is seeking to expand its expertise in Pure Mathematics. Successful applicants will be required to lead research programs and have a strong commitment to the teaching and supervision of research students at undergraduate, MSc and PhD levels. Candidates with a background in Analysis are strongly encouraged to apply, with applications closing Sunday 11 October 2015.

This is a teaching-focussed role; the Department is undertaking a major, multi-year revision of its undergraduate pedagogy and curriculum with the goal of producing a truly superb undergraduate experience in physics. They are looking for candidates with a strong background in university teaching who are familiar with current developments in physics education research. Applications close Sunday 16 August 2015.