This month is the first of our new format with the ACDS TL Centre combining with SaMnet to bring you news, views, events and ideas in one extended package.
The ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre is maintained by the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) to support Science Faculty leaders of learning and teaching. Our website includes updates on activities around Australia, links to other discipline education networks and resources from our projects on the Science Threshold Learning outcomes and more recently Work-Integrated Learning. This year, the ACDS has become the host for the SaMnet newsletter and the ACSME conference.
SaMnet is a national network that brings together university academics to collaborate on national issues in university science and mathematics educations.
ACDS TL Centre News
Evidence-based practice for teaching and learning
If you haven’t already seen it, take some time out to read a special edition of the journal Nature on ‘Building the 21st century scientist’ (vol 523 pp255-376) published 16 July 2015. Stephen Bradford and colleagues have published a powerful call for evidence-based practice in teaching and learning (pp 282-284). As the authors say, ‘every university now has at its disposal the tools to improve undergraduate STEM teaching, and no defensible reason for not using them.’
ACDS WIL project: Lighthouse projects
Six projects in work-integrated learning for science have been supported through the ACDS WIL in Science project funded through the Office of the Chief Scientist. Projects will report during the year through regional meetings and at a second national WIL in Science workshop in December 2016. The project will add material to the ACDS TL Centre site during the year.
On the ACDS TL centre website
• New ideas in T&L: February draws on the experience of the SaMnet project to reinforce the value of teaching teams that include complementary expertise and can leverage external connections. Thanks again to our resident blogger, Dr Kelly Matthews…
• Presentations from the ACDS FYiSM workshops for first year leaders in science and mathematics are available from our website. Rich feedback from participants is being summarized for circulation shortly
Dates for your diary: ACDS Teaching and Learning conference - July 21-22
The annual ACDS Teaching and Learning Conference for Faculty leaders is back in Sydney this year at the University of Sydney on July 21 and 22. The conference invites Associate Deans Teaching and Learning and nominated leaders to network and explore current issues.
Prof Liz Johnson, Director ACDS TL Centre
SaMnet News and Ideas
This Month’s Question:
Two sides of the coin are being asked in this month’s question.
What opportunities do you see for introducing new teaching initiatives in your classrooms this year?
What challenges will you face this year in implementing your teaching initiatives?
Preparations for ACSME 2016 are well underway! The theme this year is “What is the place of STEM graduates in the world? How do we prepare them?” At the moment, the keynote speakers lined up for ACMSE 2016 include Toss Gascoigne, Daniel Southam (Curtin), Peter Ellerton (UQ), Ruth Bridgstock (QUT), and Jackie Randles (USYD). The website will be updated with more information, including submission dates and registrations, soon.
The Special Issue of IJISME on Inquiry Oriented Learning edited by Les Kirkup (UTS), Gerry Rayner and Chris Thompson (Monash) was delayed. However, it is due to be published soon, so keep an eye out for the Special Issue when it comes out!
For participants who gave a presentation at ACSME 2015, Alexandra Yeung (Curtin) will soon announce a callout for you to submit full papers based on your presentations at ACSME 2015. The submission timeline is as follows:
Acceptance of invite: Fri 18 March
Paper submission: Fri 13 May
Sent to reviewers: Fri 20 May
Paper reviews completed: Fri 24 June
Authors advised: Fri 8 July
Revised papers due: Fri 29 July
Authors notified and proofs sent: Fri 12 August
Keep an eye on your inbox for the callout by Alex!
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
Building a Bridge Between Engineering and the Humanities Julio M. Ottino and Gary Saul Morson for The Chronicle of Higher Education
What is the relationship between STEM and the humanities? A number of our research methods in SoTL come from social sciences and the humanities. How could we do more to bring together the best practices across disciplines to further enhance our research, teaching and learning?
Core values still vital in era of edutech change Gregor Kennedy in The Australian
Technology has often been used as a vehicle for greater access to material. However, the transformational promise of educational technology, Gregor argues, can only be achieved if “they make possible what would otherwise be impossible.” How do you use technology in your educational approach?
Employability: time for higher education sector to step up Hamish Coates in The Australian (subscription required)
What direction should higher education take in order to address the question of employability? Hamish argues that, rather than rethinking the purposes of higher education, universities should take an active role in helping students get a job before graduation while giving students a broad and liberal education. As active leaders in education and training, how do you think we should approach the question of employability?
How to make an impact with your research in the workplace Matthew Reisz for Times Higher Education
Research alone will not enact change. Rather, translation, engagement with stakeholders and following up research with a clear strategy are key to transformation. The article outlines a number of strategies that you can undertake to deliver impact in the workplace. What could you add to ensure that your work makes an impact where you are located? Where else could these approaches be applied?
Opportunity for PhD Study in University Science Pedagogy, Assessment, Curriculum Development – University of Queensland
Applications are sought for a full-time PhD student to work in the Faculty of Science and the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation, based at the St Lucia campus in the new Learning Innovation Building as part of a team investigating curriculum development innovations in science at the whole of degree program level. The selected applicant will have scope to design their project with the guidance of a small supervisory team led by Dr Kelly Matthews. Applicants who successfully meet entry requirements for PhD and are awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award will also be eligible for annual top-up scholarships valued at $10,000, with opportunities for overseas internships and conference presentations. More information and application details are available here.
A couple of corrections to last month’s SaMnet newsletter:
• The ‘2015 Biomed Forum’ item in Connections/Events should instead read ‘2015 Biosciences Forum’, as it brings CUBEnet and VIBEnet together as the “Biosciences Education Australia Network” (BEAN). More information on the event and the program of the Forum can be foundhere.
• The permanent link to the special issue of IJISME on ‘Assessing Laboratory Learning’ is foundhere.