Science & Maths TL News: May 2016 |


ACDS TL Centre News


ACSME Submissions extended to June 13

Don’t forget to get your submissions in for ACSME 2016. This is the major science and mathematical science education conference for tertiary educators. This year we will be in Brisbane from Sep 28-30.  For further details see the SaMnet newsletter below or head straight to the ACSME 2016 website.

Please encourage your colleagues to participate in ACSME.  This is a great opportunity for practitioners and established and emerging leaders to establish a national profile and recognition for their work.

WIL in Science expands

The ACDS WIL in Science program has secured an OLT innovation grant to grow its work to mid- 2018.  This second phase of the program will build a resource base, draw in student and graduate voices, further showcase great practice in Australia and overseas and further build the WIL in Science network for science faculty leadership.

Our WIL in Science Lighthouse projects are underway and will be presenting to colleagues at upcoming meetings including the ACDS Teaching and Learning meeting, ACSME, ACEN activities.  The project is planning roadshows to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in the next few months and our second WIL in Science national forum in December. We also hope to visit Perth early next year to catch up with WIL activities in the west.

See more about the WIL in Science project and the Lighthouse projects at

On the ACDS TL centre website

• Good Ideas Blog – this month our blogger Kelly Matthews reports on students as partners in higher education including course design, assessment, shaping the student experience and contributing to governance.

Dates for your diary (and check the SaMnet listings below):

ACDS Teaching and Learning conference - July 21-22

HERDSA conference – July 4-7, Perth, (

STARS conference – Jun 29- July 2, Perth (

ACEN conference – Sep 28-30, Sydney (

ACSME conference – Sep 28-30, Brisbane (


Cheers, Liz

Prof Liz Johnson, Director ACDS TL Centre


SaMnet News and Ideas

This Month’s Question:

What is the broader impact of Professor Roy Tasker’s work on cognitive load theory, student learning and visual representations?

While matrices exist to evaluate the impact of research undertaken by academics within universities (e.g. journal impact factors, citations), few matrices exist to evaluate the achievements of academics whose careers are heavily invested in optimising teaching for learning.

Examples such as student evaluations and contributions to curriculum and policy fail to capture the broader impact of their contributions to teaching innovations in a way similar to that of impact factors and citations. This survey is designed 

SaMnet therefore invites you to complete a 5 minute survey instrument on the “Impact of Teaching Innovations”.

This survey is designed to capture the broader impact of Prof Roy Taskers’ work on cognitive load theory, student learning and visual representations; while starting to develop the matrices capable of evaluating the impact of academics seeking to optimise teaching for learning.

Direct Survey Link:

By participating in the survey, you are consenting for us to use your responses, anonymously, in research publications. Any questions about the survey should be directed to

We will summarise the findings of this survey in this newsletter towards the end of the year!


ACSME 2016 submissions are open! Please see our SaMnet, ACSME and IJISME section below for submission requirements and details regarding the ACSME conference.

Do not forget that your ACSME 2016 submissions must be in by Monday 13 June!


Upcoming Events and Activities

The 4th International Conference for Science Educators and Teachers (ISET) 2016

KhonKaen University, Thailand, 3-5 June 2016

The theme for this conference is ‘Bridging the Gap, Moving to the Future’. How do we translate education research to the classroom more effectively?

Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success (STARS) Conference 2016

Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, 29 June-2 July 2016

The STARS conference makes its way to Perth in 2016.

Registrations are open; click here for more details and registration.

ACDS Teaching and Learning Conference for Faculty Leaders

University of Sydney, Sydney, 21-22 July 2016

Faculties of Science are invited to send delegates along to the conference, including Associate Deans of Learning & Teaching or equivalents.

A full conference program and registrations will be made available soon.

ACER Research Conference 2016

Brisbane Convention and Education Centre, Brisbane, 7-9 August 2016

The theme of this conference is “Improving STEM Learning: What will it take?”

Early bird registrations are open; click here for more details and registration.

Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2016 (22nd UniServe Science Conference) – Supported by the Australian Council of Deans of Science Teaching and Learning Centre

University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 28-30 September 2016

The theme of this year’s ACSME conference is ‘The 21st Century Science and Maths Graduate’.

Submissions for talks, posters and workshops are OPEN; details are available here.

Early bird registrations are open; details are available here.

4th International STEM in Education Conference

Beijing Normal University, China, 26-28 October 2016

The theme of the conference is ‘Connecting Informal and Formal STEM Education’.

Registration details will soon be made available here.

APPC-AIP Congress 2016

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, 4-8 December 2016

This is the 22nd biennial Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, and it will be run in conjunction with the 13th Asian-Pacific Physics Conference, the triennial meeting of the Association of Asia-Pacific Physics Societies.

Calls for oral and poster presentation abstracts are open; more details are available here. Submissions close 5:00pm AEST Monday 4 July 2016


Preparations for ACSME 2016 are well underway! The program and conference details, including confirmed keynote speakers, are now available on the website.

You are invited to submit a proposal  for a talk, poster or workshop on the theme of “The 21st Century Science and Maths Graduate: What is the place of our STEM graduates in the world? How do we prepare them?”

Submissions for talks, posters and workshops have been extended to Monday 13 June 2016. Further information is available on the ACSME 2016 website – this includes the list of free workshops offered on Friday 30 September. Registrations for workshops will be able on the ACSME website closer to the date. 

Do remember to print out a copy of the ACSME Flyer and stick it up on the noticeboards to generate interest and discussion!

We look forward to welcoming tertiary science and mathematics educators from across Australia to this exciting annual conference, and hope to see you in sunny Brisbane in September!


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Theoretical Foundations of Learning Communities

Jody E. Jessup-Anger in Learning Communities from Start to Finish

Learning communities, such as SaMnet, are now an integral part of postsecondary institutions. The author depicts their theoretical foundations through the documentation of several different authors, highlighting the ‘trends’ of teaching and learning and recognising that these concepts manifest in numerous ways. How are these foundations integrated throughout your involvement with SaMnet?

Leadership Insights

Leading Difficult People

Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos for The Department Chair: A Resource for Academic Administrators

How do you handle difficult people, “individuals who spread toxicity and misery wherever they go”? The authors outline seven rules that help you to identify, assess strategies and effectively manage people. While written for academic heads of school, would you be able to apply these rules to people whom you report to or to those whose support you need? Can you identify these strategies being used in different professional relationships?

Revolution in Higher Education (Review)

Robert P. Delprino reviews Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable by Richard A. DeMillo

How do you start the conversation on large-scale institutional change? The book reviews a possible revolution on higher education, detailing what steps led to the conversation and where the resistance to change will come from. What strategies could you employ to drive the conversation for institutional change, and how will you overcome the resistance to those changes? Focus and planning are key if you are to overcome the challenges that await.


Get Out There & Shake It!

Kerry Ann Rockquemore for the National Centre for Faculty Development & Diversity

One of the most common mistakes faculty members make is to be reactive, rather than proactive in their professional relationships. The author outlines her strategies for proactive engagement in developing positive and healthy professional relationships; with the end of semester approaching, all SaMnet members should take the opportunity to nurture and maintain these professional relationships which move you along the academic career.


Post-Doctoral Fellow in Molecular-Level Visualization in the Tasker Research Group at Purdue University

Roy Tasker is seeking a post-doctoral fellow to conduct innovative research and development in molecular-level visualization for learning chemistry. The Tasker Group (see is establishing a research and development facility to produce and evaluate new animations and simulations, embedded in effective learning designs informed by research in cognitive science, for learning chemistry at all levels. A visualization production facility with a dedicated animator/graphic designer will be available, in addition to access to a state-of-the-art eye-tracking system.

The post-doctoral fellow will be expected to develop an original R&D program within the VisChem project involving molecular-level visualization in chemistry education, assist in writing grant proposals, assist in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, present research findings at conferences, and draft manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication.

Qualified applicants will have a PhD (or a strong prospect of earning this degree by July 15, 2016) in chemistry, chemistry education, or a related field; evidence of strong oral and written communication skills; and a demonstrated ability to collaborate in a team. Desirable experience includes analysis of qualitative or quantitative data, and at least one of the following ‹ conducting chemistry education/science education research addressing student misconceptions; production or evaluation of molecular-level animations and simulations.

Applicants should submit a letter of interest that specifically addresses the essential and desirable criteria above, and the reasons for applying; a curriculum vitae detailing research outcomes; copies of any formal academic transcripts; and a list of three academic referees who have been asked to send a confidential letter of recommendation, all directly to Professor Roy Tasker at

OLT Project on Pedagogical Content Knowledge – Chemistry Discipline Network

The OLT Project on Pedagogical Content Knowledge has come to an end, resulting in the development of the ChemPCK website, available here.

This site contains the distilled pedagogical content knowledge from all our participants. It is searchable by topic and type of teaching strategy, so if you are looking for inspiration in your teaching please have a look. There are teaching strategies and expert insights (quotes), as well as a set of seven steps to transform teaching that you may find helpful. Please also suggest this site to anyone in your department who is new to teaching chemistry.


SaMnet Leaders, Will Rifkin and Manjula Sharma


Newsletter compiled by Emma Yench and Gabriel Nguyen.