Thursday, 5 November 2015

October Newsletter

1.  Issue 39 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter 

This Month’s Question:
Interested in hosting a SaMnet leadership and/or SoTL workshop in your capital city in 2016? SaMnet HQ are happy to assist.  

Suggest a timeframe and area of focus.  Indicate what role you would undertake - hosting, co-facilitating, facilitating segments, etc.  Guess what level of attendance - 3 colleagues, 15 from your faculty, 35 from across the university?  

We can provide soft copies of handouts, lesson plan/run sheet for a typical workshop, coaching on organising, advertising, running.  

Expressions of interest are due 1 December to facilitate planning for 2016. Please contact

2.  Conferences & publication

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.
More information about the forum can be found here.

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.

Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, 29 June -2 July 2016
The STARS conference makes its way to Perth in 2016.
Submissions are open now; please check here for more details.

3.  Connections/Events  

The OLT Future of Tertiary Education Workshop – Adelaide, SA
International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) 2015 - Melbourne, VIC

Monash University, 25-27 November, 2015
Online registrations are now closed.

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.

University of Technology Sydney, 11 December 2015
This is an all day workshop; more information will be made available closer to the event.

4.  SaMnet activity 
As we approach the end of the calendar year, SaMnet is interested in what you have achieved this year and what you have planned for next year.

Do you have an initiative, project or interest to chare with the community that you would like feedback on? Do you have any publications that you wish to disseminate to the wider SaMnet community? Please contact us at 

5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Innovation and entrepreneurship are the themes for this month’s section:

Deba Dutta for Inside Higher Ed
The drive to instil innovation skills in students comes with a question – can students actually learn how to innovate? The author suggests that while innovation cannot be directly taught, there are other mechanisms by which we can help students embrace innovation. What steps do you think are necessary to embrace a cultural change towards innovation and entrepreneurship in your institution?

Karen MacGregor for University World News
Entrepreneurship and work-integrated learning are being prioritised around the world in order to address the needs of students in changing socio-economic times. Does this reflect the Australian environment, and how should Australian universities respond to this changing landscape?

Note that the ACDS is holding a forum on Work-Integrated Learning in Science on 11 December – more information above!

6.  Leadership Insights

Jillian Kinzie, Pat Hutchings, and Natasha A. Jankowski, in the book, Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education
Evidence of student learning can be a powerful tool for driving institutional and national change. The authors outlines the principles that focus assessment towards good practice and change. How can you implement these principles in your assessment schedules? How can you drive effective change in your institution through assessments that contribute to overall student learning?

Jenny Rood for The Scientist: Exploring Life, Inspiring Innovation
Retiring professors often take with them a wealth of institutional knowledge and experience in their disciplines. ‘Post-retirement postdocs’ are an emerging phenomenon that seek to keep these institutional leaders contributing to the wider research body. How would you seek to retain this vast realm of knowledge within your research discipline? What contributions do you think are best suited to these leaders, whether it be mentoring, research, or other contributions?

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.

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.

The Department of Mathematics at The University of Auckland is advertising for a Professional Teaching Fellow in Mathematics. This is a teaching-focussed role; the position is intended for candidates with a PhD in Mathematics, or a closely related discipline, who demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence in the teaching of Mathematics at the undergraduate level. .Applications close Sunday 13 December 2015.

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