Monday, 31 August 2015

August Newsletter

1.  Issue 37 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 

This Month’s Question:
Following up on last month’s question, we are inviting SaMnet Scholars who have not yet completed the survey by Dr Beth Beckmann (ANU) on the professional recognition of university teachers to complete the survey.

We would be grateful for your participation, which explores the kinds of outcomes individuals gained from SaMnet participation and the level of recognition you achieved within your institution.

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.

Beth has also recently had the journal article “The Plant Detectives: innovative undergraduate teaching to inspire the next generation of plant biologists” published in the Frontiers of Plant Science journal. This is one of, if not, the first education-focused papers published in the journal. This will be of great interest to SaMnet Scholars looking to publish education papers in a science-focused journal. Congratulations to Beth and her team!

Congratulations to SaMnet Scholar Maria Parappilly (Flinders) for being named as the Early Career STEM Educator of the Year – Tertiary Teaching at the 2015 South Australian Science Excellence Awards on Thursday 13 August.

2.  Conferences & publication

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 The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended until Monday 21 September.

Call for Expressions of Interest to Prepare Good Practice Guides for Agriculture – AgLTAS Project
Expressions of Interest (EOI) to prepare the Guides should be sent to
Information on the submissions of EOIs is available here and should be sent by Friday 14 September.

LaTrobe University, Melbourne, 4-5 December, 2015
This is the inaugural Australian regional conference of HAPS, the largest society of human physiology and anatomy teaching professionals.
Poster and workshop submissions are open until Friday 20 November.
Regular registrations are open until Thursday 12 November.

3.  Connections/Events  

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.
Online registrations are open until Friday 25 September.

Flinders University, Adelaide, 28 September – 1 October, 2015
The event includes a public lecture by Professor Terence Tao (UCLA) on Monday 28 September 2015.
Online registrations are still open for the meeting.

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.
Monash University, 25-27 November, 2015
Online registrations are open until Monday 26 October.

Shine Dome, Canberra, 8-10 December 2015
This forum will see the launch of the Bioscience Education Australia Network, the new umbrella network combining CUBEnet and VIBEnet; as well as hosting the Mathbench Symposium, which will launch and demonstrate the Mathbench-Australia website.
For more information, please contact Phil at

4.  SaMnet activity 

ACSME is coming up at the end of the month! This year’s conference is focused on the theme of “Transforming Practice: Inspiring Innovation”.

It is not too late to register for the conference and we look forward to seeing many of the SaMnet Scholars in attendance in Perth.

The next ASELL Science Workshop will take place in November at Monash University. While EOIs are closed for the submission of laboratory experiments to be evaluated at the workshop, registration for attendance to the workshop is still open.

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Michael S. Harris for Inside Higher Ed
How do you approach a ‘revise and resubmit’ request to your journal submission? A systematic approach to the comments provided by editors and reviewers is outlined here, which can help those initially overwhelmed by feedback from the first submission.  An important point to draw from this approach is ensuring that your response to the editor’s letter and comments should fully address their issues.

Joshua Kim for Inside Higher Ed
The way in which tertiary education evolves and adapts to the future will depend on a confluence of a number of different trends and the ways they interact with each other. The author outlines 3 trends associated with the American context which they believe will play an important role in the future of higher education. Will these same trends affect the Australian approach to tertiary education? How do you see tertiary education adapt and evolve into the future?

6.  Leadership Insights

Catherine Fox for Qantas Travel Insider
How do we define the transition between a manager and a leader? Many different perspectives on the transition from a manager to a leader appear throughout the article. However, the presence of a strong emotional intelligence, understanding how people interact and the strength of your communication are identified as vital factors. What do you think distinguishes a great leader from a great manager?

Daniel Allington for The Open University (UK)
What do we actually mean by leadership in an academic sense? Are they merely influential researchers and teachers, or are they required to take on managerial style positions and manage academic workers and institutions? The author looks at the merging of academia and management in the British context and concludes that ‘management has become the model for academic success.’ Do you feel that these ideas are being conflated within Australian institutions? Is this necessarily a negative outcome for research?

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.

For mathematics educators with an interest in undergraduate mathematics education for secondary school teachers, mathematicians, academics in other discipline areas and teachers in maths support classes, state groups have been formed to consider state based issues, facilitate more frequent contact and encourage new members to participate in the FYiMaths network.