Sunday, 23 February 2014

February Newsletter




 1.  Issue 22 of SaMnet’s monthly newsletter    This month's question:  What steps are you going to take to exercise or develop your leadership capacity, e.g., within your institution or your discipline? Reply to samnetaustralia@gmail.com.   2.  Conferences & publication  International Conference of STEM in Education – July 12-15, 2014, Vancouver, Canada. Proposals due December 9 2014 for papers, poster presentations, panels, workshops, symposia and innovative showcases.  IJISME Special Issue: Inquiry and Problem-Solving in the Undergraduate Science Curriculum. Abstracts due February 28 to Stephanie.Beames@uts.edu.au; manuscripts due April 14.   3.  Connections/Events    Past:  WA Teaching and Learning Forum 2014 – University of Western Australia, 30-31 January. Theme: Transformative, Innovative and Engaging.   Manju Sharma presented for SaMnet, 20+ new faces.     Future: February 2014 SaMnet Leadership-development workshops.  • Adelaide, Tuesday 25th of February, The University of Adelaide (Contact: Amanda Able) • Melbourne, Tuesday 25th of February, Monash University (Contact: Gerry Rayner) • Brisbane, Friday 28th of March, Griffith University  (Contact: Sarah-Jane Gregory)   HERDSA Conference 2014: Higher Education in a Globalized World –  Hong Kong Baptist University, 7-10 July 2014. Proposals due 7 March 2014.   Match up:  Experienced SaMnet Scholars willing to support newcomers?  We have many new people joining the workshops next week.   We will be looking to you to provide support.      4.  SaMnet activity    The three leadership-development workshops in February and March are top priority. Excitingly, we expect many new faces in attendance. These workshops are being hosted by SaMnet Scholars from each institution, exercising ‘distributed leadership’ in this 2014 workshop series.  Work continues on dissemination of SaMnet project outcomes and results. We look forward to sharing publications with you soon.   5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)    Refreshing Engagement: NSSE at 13 Alexander McCormick, Robert Gonyea and Jillian Kinzie, The Magazine of Higher Learning The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) has been used in American institutions now for 13 years. What questions can the results now answer? Do students invest enough time in their studies? What distinguishes engaging institutions? Is there evidence of improvement?  Purdue U. Software Prompts Students to Study-and Graduate Hannah Winston, The Chronicle of Higher Education Speaking of engagement, Purdue University has been employed technology to measure engagement using “about 20 data points” and signalling to students how they are doing. Would this feedback on their engagement help your students to stay on track?   6.  Leadership insights   The start of semester is always hard, two articles that could help from Forbes Magazine:  Ways leaders maintain their composure in difficult times Glenn Llopis, Forbes “The composure of a leader is reflected in their attitude, body language and overall presence.   … It is clear that leadership is not only about elevating the performance, aptitude and development of people – but more so about the ability to make people feel safe and secure.”    How to Handle a Bad Boss: 7 Strategies For ‘Managing Up’ Margie Warrell, Forbes According to Warrell, having a “not-so-inspiring” boss is an invaluable opportunity for developing executive leadership skills. How is your head of school or dean leaving you with “space” to develop your leadership capacity?      7. Initiative in Focus:    Tell us what you are doing that is worth sharing – an initiative that is ‘working’.  For example, got data on the performance of others’ students that shows how a change initiative is taking hold?  Here is a chance to share evidence of progress.  Begin articulating something worth publishing as SoTL or big-noting in an application for an award or promotion.      8.  Classifieds   Have you used - or are you using - conceptual surveys with students at your university in 2014? E.g., the Chemistry Concept Inventory.  Many science academics are sharing their results to give a national perspective on student learning in lectures. Contact h.georgiou@physics.usyd.edu.au for more details or to get involved.  Historical data from previous years is also most welcome!



This month's question:
What steps are you going to take to exercise or develop your leadership capacity, e.g., within your institution or your discipline? Reply to samnetaustralia@gmail.com.


2.  Conferences & publication

International Conference of STEM in Education – July 12-15, 2014, Vancouver, Canada. Proposals due December 9 2014 for papers, poster presentations, panels, workshops, symposia and innovative showcases.

IJISME Special Issue: Science Communication in the Undergraduate Curriculum. Abstracts due March 7.


3.  Connections/Events  

Past:                      WA Teaching and Learning Forum 2014 – University of Western Australia, 30-31 January. Theme: Transformative, Innovative and Engaging.
                                Manju Sharma presented for SaMnet, 20+ new faces. 


Future:                 February 2014 SaMnet Leadership-development workshops.
·         Adelaide, Tuesday 25th of February, The University of Adelaide (Contact: Amanda Able)
·         Melbourne, Tuesday 25th of February, Monash University (Contact: Gerry Rayner)
·         Brisbane, Friday 28th of March, Griffith University
(Contact: Sarah-Jane Gregory)
                               
Hong Kong Baptist University, 7-10 July 2014. Proposals due 7 March 2014.


Match up:           Experienced SaMnet Scholars willing to support newcomers?
We have many new people joining the workshops next week. 
We will be looking to you to provide support.
 

4.  SaMnet activity 

The three leadership-development workshops in February and March are top priority. Excitingly, we expect many new faces in attendance. These workshops are being hosted by SaMnet Scholars from each institution, exercising ‘distributed leadership’ in this 2014 workshop series.

Work continues on dissemination of SaMnet project outcomes and results. We look forward to sharing publications with you soon.


5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 

Alexander McCormick, Robert Gonyea and Jillian Kinzie, The Magazine of Higher Learning
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) has been used in American institutions now for 13 years. What questions can the results now answer? Do students invest enough time in their studies? What distinguishes engaging institutions? Is there evidence of improvement?

Hannah Winston, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Speaking of engagement, Purdue University has been employed technology to measure engagement using “about 20 data points” and signalling to students how they are doing. Would this feedback on their engagement help your students to stay on track?


6.  Leadership insights

The start of semester is always hard, two articles that could help from Forbes Magazine:

Glenn Llopis, Forbes
“The composure of a leader is reflected in their attitude, body language and overall presence.   … It is clear that leadership is not only about elevating the performance, aptitude and development of people – but more so about the ability to make people feel safe and secure.”  

Margie Warrell, Forbes
According to Warrell, having a “not-so-inspiring” boss is an invaluable opportunity for developing executive leadership skills. How is your head of school or dean leaving you with “space” to develop your leadership capacity? 


7. Initiative in Focus: 

Tell us what you are doing that is worth sharing – an initiative that is ‘working’.  For example, got data on the performance of others’ students that shows how a change initiative is taking hold?  Here is a chance to share evidence of progress.  Begin articulating something worth publishing as SoTL or big-noting in an application for an award or promotion.  


8.  Classifieds


Have you used - or are you using - conceptual surveys with students at your university in 2014? E.g., the Chemistry Concept Inventory.  Many science academics are sharing their results to give a national perspective on student learning in lectures. Contact h.georgiou@physics.usyd.edu.au for more details or to get involved.

Historical data from previous years is also most welcome!

Friday, 17 January 2014

January Newsletter



Issue 21 of the SaMnet Australia Newsletter.

Happy New Year from the SaMnet project team. This month’s newsletter provides a review of activities in SaMnet in 2013 and highlights plans for 2014 – including February workshops.

Feedback from the OLT on SaMnet’s Final Report
In October 2013, SaMnet HQ submitted our final report for the OLT funded project: Fostering institutional and cultural change through the Australian network of university educators. The report focussed on the process and outcomes of SaMnet since 2011.  It recounts how we worked to develop “100 leaders of change” among science academics in Australian universities and what evidence of impact were discerned.

Very positive feedback about our endeavour (yours and ours) has been received from the OLT’s reviewer.

Siobhan Lenihan, the OLT’s (recent) Director of Grants and Fellowship, said of the external reader for this project: “Dr Elizabeth McDonald was one of the inaugural Directors of Carrick/ALTC , and before taking up that role worked in the Higher Education Group of what was then the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).  Elizabeth took a strong interest in projects funded under the Leadership Program, so she is especially pleased with your report”.

Elizabeth Macdonald herself commented: “I was delighted to read this project report as it is such a milestone in the growing understanding of how to bring about systemic change in learning and teaching in Australia. It really shows the development from the early days of the Carrick Institute when the Leadership Program began. Such an insightful and important new approach to developing leadership capacity for change in the context of science education could not have been imagined at that time!”

We thank you, the SaMnet community, for your contributions to SaMnet’s development.  We will send you the final report when made public by the OLT. 


Plans for early 2014
Three SaMnet leadership development workshops have been scheduled so far for February-March. The workshops will enable sharing strategies for spurring adoption of innovative teaching practices, provide insight on leading change and SoTL development, and offer advice on career progression.

Adelaide: Tuesday 25 February – Contact Amanda Able
Melbourne: Tuesday 25 February – Contact Gerry Rayner
Brisbane: Mid-March, Date TBA – Contact Sarah-Jane Gregory

If you are interested in hosting a workshop later in 2014 in your city, please contact SaMnetaustralia@gmail.com


2013 in Review
Recall that in February 2013, SaMnet ran 5 leadership development workshops in Australian capital cities.  These well-attended events included a 1-hour session from OLT fellow Liz Johnson on “Changing the Game – The ACDS National Centre for Teaching and Learning for Science and Mathematics”.  Your input helped to shape the new centre’s activities. 

Your action-learning projects progressed through to September, when many members of the SaMnet community gathered at the ACSME conference at the University of Canberra.  Current and prospective participants in SaMnet discussed what they could contribute to building SaMnet’s reach and impact in coming years – e.g., hosting workshops or acting as critical friends.

The latter half of 2013 saw members of the SaMnet steering committee and the HQ team debriefing  each action-learning project team as they came to the end of their two-year project schedule. We asked about the impact of SaMnet on range of facets of development of ‘distributed leadership’ among team members.A set of SaMnet project abstracts was assembled, to tout SaMnet scholars for invitations to speak at workshops, conferences, and other events.

Two editions of the International Journal for Innovation in Science and Maths Education were published based on papers from SaMnet action-learning project teams. Congratulations to all teams who have had their work published in 2013 in IJISME, conference proceedings, or elsewhere (let us know where).

This monthly newsletter currently has an audience of 127.   Multiple people have reported on the helpfulness of the network information as well as SoTL and leadership articles. We plan on continuing this helpful communication tool into 2014.  We welcome your contributions – identifying events to publicise, useful articles on SoTL or Leadership, etc. 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

December Newsletter




Season’s greetings from the SaMnet HQ Team!

samnet.edu.au



Looking for a keynote or seminar speaker?
Our SaMnet Scholars are fabulous candidates. A select set of abstracts is in the linked document. Share with everyone! Booklet versions will be printed in early 2014.

This month's question:               
What workshop/conference are you most looking forward to in 2014?
Share with SaMnet to share with the network.

2.  Conferences & publication

3rd Australasian Universities Geoscience Educators Network Workshop  - 23rd-24th January 2014, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Registration is Free, but abstract submissions have closed.

Journal of Chemical Education Special Issue: Advanced Placement Chemistry ­– Do you have anything you could publish here? ‘AP’ chemistry is university-level chemistry for high school students in the US.  Manuscripts are due January 6 2014.

Journal of Learning Design Special Issue: Design for Assessment of Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Science Education. Abstracts due December 20 2013 to SaMnet Scholar, madeleine.schultz@qut.edu.au; manuscripts due March 14 2014.

IJISME Special Issue: Inquiry and Problem-Solving in the Undergraduate Science Curriculum. Abstracts due February 28 to Stephanie.Beames@uts.edu.au -(SaMnet steering committee member); manuscripts due April 14 2014.


3.  Connections/Events  

Past:                      CUBEnet Forum – 12-13 December, 2013, Canberra. 3rd national forum of the Collaborative Universities Biomedical Education network. Discussion of achievements of the network and consideration of future activities.  See the CUBEnet website for specifics.


Future:                 25 February 2014 - SaMnet Leadership-development workshops in Adelaide and Melbourne. Dates for other capital cities to be finalised shortly!

WA Teaching and Learning Forum 2014 – University of Western Australia, 30-31 January 2014. Theme: Transformative, Innovative and Engaging.  SaMnet has a presentation in the program; bring a colleague. 

                                IISME & FY in Maths Event: Assumed knowledge in maths: the impact on student achievement and progression in STEM programs – University of Sydney, 13-14 February, 2014. Participants share experiences and develop strategies for moving the debate forward. Call for presenters: abstracts due January 10 2014.
                               
Match up:           We are matching you up with someone you already know!  Have a colleague whom you think would benefit from SaMnet’s workshop?  Invite them to February 2014 workshops on leadership and SoTL.  They are in the capital cities.  Now is the time put the workshop on your colleague’s ‘radar screen’.  They are welcome to e-mail samnetaustralia@gmail.com to register interest. 


4.  SaMnet activity 

Analysis of data and drafting of publications continues at SaMnet HQ.  The Steering Committee is preparing for 2014, with February workshops planned.  We are also publicising select projects/SaMnet scholars as available for speaking arrangements at conferences and workshops.

A snapshot summary of the national SaMnet effort has been prepared. Please share widely this document celebrating our network’s successes.


5.  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) 

What is your take on the STEM “crisis”? (We are not offering an opinion, just two relevant articles).
The STEM Crisis Is a Myth Robert Charette, IEEE Spectrum
The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth Michael Anft, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Each article compares the number of STEM graduates with the number of STEM graduate positions. Is the investment by governments throughout the world in generating more graduates misplaced?

Chad Anderson and David Blair in Diversity and Democracy
The article outlines processes and outcomes that may look familiar to us, as Australian science and mathematics educators.  This ‘global learning rubric’ resembles the Australian ‘standards’ agenda. Worth checking on what those overseas see  as key standards.


6.  Leadership insights

Looking at successful leaders:
Shane Snow, CCO and co-founder of Contently (A highly successful US-based startup)
Seven important things from his experience and the experiences of others. Which one do you need to work on?

Anthony Scaramucci
Do you find inspirational quotes motivating? Need one for a new email footer? Is there something you can take from these quotes from famous “leaders”?


7. Project in Focus: ARC-funded Project - The online future of science and engineering education: the essential elements of laboratory-based learning for remote-access, David Treagust, Euan Lindsay, Anthony Lucey, Mauro Mocerino, Marjan Zadnik (SaMnet Steering Committee), Sven Esche
Laboratory classes are a critical part of science and engineering degree programs, but there has been little research into what actually takes place within them. Remote laboratories, in which students control equipment via the internet, are one potential solution for accommodating rising numbers of students, but the interfaces must be developed to effectively support student learning. This project will investigate how students interact with equipment, each other, and with laboratory demonstrators in order to determine the crucial components of effective laboratory learning experiences. It will identify and characterise the interactions of students in laboratory classes, and develop mechanisms to support these interactions remotely.
Editor’s Note: One reason to highlight this project is to show that your T&L projects can lead to ARC Discovery and Linkage grants. This ARC Discovery grant was the largest grant ($445,000) for the Field of Research 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy. Congratulations to the project team!  


8.  Classifieds

Looking for a project officer? Do you, or someone you know, need to hire an experienced project officer? Contact SaMnet for details of someone who comes highly recommended.

Write an article on leadership? - Want to publish on the leadership aspects of your SaMnet project?  Recount the persuasion strategies that proved to be most effective, for example, or aspects of how your project team worked and overcame hurdles – insights that others can benefit from.  SaMnet HQ will be available to offer assistance.