Tuesday, 6 October 2015

September Newsletter

This Month’s Question:
Have you published any education-focused publications this year? SaMnet would love to promote your work to the wider SaMnet community. If you have published any papers in 2015 focused on your teaching and learning practices, please let us know so that we can disseminate it amongst the SaMnet community!

Congratulations to SaMnet Scholar Maria Parappilly (Flinders) for receiving a 2015 Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Office for Learning and Teaching on 28 September.

A number of OLT Citations were given for student learning in science, including Mary Boyce (Edith Cowan) and Chris Thompson (Monash). If you know of others who have been recognised by the OLT for their contributions to student learning, please let us know.

Maria, along with Lisa Schmidt (Flinders) and Samantha De Ritter (Flinders) has also recently published the journal article “Ready to learn physics: a team-based learning model for first year university” in the European Journal of Physics. Congratulations to Maria, Lisa and Samantha for their publication!

We continue to invite SaMnet scholars to complete the survey by Beth Beckmann (ANU) on how your work with SaMnet has been recognised within your institution.

The survey can be found here: https://apollo.anu.edu.au/default.asp?pid=8720

Any questions about the survey, the National Teaching Fellowship or professional recognition can be addressed to Beth at elizabeth.beckmann@anu.edu.au  

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 Learn ing and Teaching.

2.  Conferences & publication

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.

Shine Dome, Canberra, 8-10 December 2015
This forum will see the launch of the Bioscience Education Australia Network (BEAN), the new umbrella network combining CUBEnet and VIBEnet; as well as hosting the Mathbench Symposium, which will launch and demonstrate the Mathbench-Australia website.

3.  Connections/Events  

The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) – Perth, WA
59th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society – Adelaide, SA
The OLT Future of Tertiary Education Workshop – Adelaide, SA

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

Shine Dome, Canberra, 8-10 December 2015
Online registrations are open until Friday 27 November.

Melbourne, 11 December 2015
Keep this date free, more information about registrations will be made available closer to the event.

4.  SaMnet activity 

ACSME 2015 was a resounding success!  This was the first time the conference was held in Perth, so thank you to the 2015 Organising and Program Committees for all their hard work in putting on an excellent conference.

Next year ACSME moves over to Brisbane, focused on “The 21st Century Science Graduate: What is the place of our STEM graduates in the world? How do we prepare them?” ACSME 2016 will be supported by the Australian Council of Deans of Science Teaching and Learning Centre.

The conference dates are Wednesday 28 September to Friday 30 September (just prior to the ComBio 2016 conference), so remember to keep those dates free. More information about the conference will be given closer to the dates, so watch this space!

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Geoffrey Boulton and Colin Lucas for the League of European Research Universities
The authors argue that universities should not merely be defined by specific outputs demanded by governments and industry. Instead, they should play a more fundamental role allowing them to adapt to changing societal needs and values, contributing to society but not burdened by external demands. How do you see the role of the university and its value and contribution to society in today’s environment?

Tom Bartlett for The Chronicle of Higher Education
Are your findings reproducible? The Reproducibility Project tested 100 social psychology publications from 2008 and found that only 39% of these results were reproducible. Do you think this would apply to your field of research? What biases are involved when deciding to publish results?

6.  Leadership Insights

Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed
The American Association of University Professors is bringing together academics in a collaborative manner to understand student evaluations of teaching. This national collaboration is reflected locally with SaMnet and its discipline networks fostering institutional leaders and best practices in science and mathematics teaching in Australia. How have the national networks instituted by SaMnet facilitated your approach to teaching, learning or professional institutional recognition?

Katherine Aquino for Planning for Higher Education
Initiatives taken by an institution must be inclusive of the people driving the change within the institution. The book outlines that the human aspect of the organisation must be engaged with and included to provide a cohesive strategy for change. Have you taken on the task of structural change within your institution? How would you go about developing the interpersonal networks needed to successfully enact change?

 7. Classifieds

The 2015 RiAus Postgraduate Survival Guide comes at a time when the national conversation is focused on the way in which we can train up the next generation of STEM-skilled graduates to take on the transition to the digital economy and contribute to Australia’s growing knowledge economy and industry.

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.