Science & Maths TL News: April 2017 |


ACDS Science and Maths TL Headlines

• ACSME 2017 – submissions OPEN

• WIL in Science: Lighthouse case studies, Queensland network launch

• Understanding the post-truth world

• ISSOTL directories of learning and teaching journals and conferences

• Dates for your diary

• SaMnet newsletter

News from the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre

ACSME 2017 – Submissions OPEN

ACSME2017 is well on its way and opened for submissions on April including referred papers posters, oral presentations, ‘bites’, and activities for Discipline Day. This year, Monash University is hosting the conference which runs from 27-29 September. The conference site has moved to the ACDS TL Centre site this year. More information coming soon…

WIL in Science: Lighthouse case studies & Queensland network launches

The ACDS Lighthouse projects were commissioned to explore establishment and delivery of Faculty-wide WIL programs. Case studies from the projects are now available here with tips, challenges and ideas. We will be looking for more case studies so tell us about your experiences.

Our third local WIL in Science network was be launched in Brisbane on Friday March 31 at Griffith University, Southbank. The local WIL networks bring together colleagues working in WIL to share inspiration and tackle issues. The Queensland launch was hosted by Dr Fran Sheldon (Griffith) and Dr John Holdsworth (Newcastle). Contact us if you would like to be added to any of the WIL in Science local networks in WA, Vic and Qld. Next steps – a NSW network and an online community for all to share…


Understanding the post-truth world

Struggling with a post-truth world of alternative facts? The Hon Jeffrey Bleich, former US ambassador to Australia, gave an outstanding keynote address at the Universities Australia conference which gives new insight on the Trump phenomenon.

Vice-Chancellor Barney Glover expanded on the theme calling on Australian universities and academics to be active because ‘Universities perform an essential role in society. We must stand up for evidence. Stand up for facts. Stand up for the truth. Because if we don’t, who will?’

Also check out Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker’s who presented their work ‘The Smartest Places on Earth - Why Rustbelts are Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation. The authors present stories of industry-university collaborations that are re-shaping manufacturing hubs and changing the way universities work with their communities.

ACSME 2017

ACSME2017 is well on its way and will open for submissions on April 3 including referred papers posters, oral presentations, ‘bites’, and activities for Discipline Day.  This year, Monash University is hosting the conference which runs from 27-29 September. The conference site has moved to the ACDS TL Centre site this year. More information coming soon…

ISSOTL directories for journals and international conferences

For those looking for international higher education links, check out the ISSOTL directories for teaching and learning journals and conferences (hosted at Keenesaw State University).

Teaching journals directory:

Teaching conferences directory:

Dates for your 2017 diary (and check the SaMnet listings below):

HERDSA Annual conference, Sydney, June 27 - 30, 2017

STARS conference, Adelaide, July 02 - 05, 2017, early-bird registration to 30th of April.

ACDS Teaching and Learning Conference, Monash University, save-the-date July 17-18 July

Cheers, Liz

Prof Liz Johnson, Director ACDS TL Centre  


SaMnet News and Ideas

This Month’s Question:

What are the hurdles you face in implementing new innovations in the classes and units you teach and manage?

The results of the survey SaMnet ran in 2015 are available here; showing that SaMnet scholars faced a number of hurdles. However, workload demands, particularly of the administrative kind, prevented a majority of SaMnet Scholars from implementing new innovations.

What are the natures of the hurdles for you in 2017? How have they changed for you over the years? Please let us know via


How should calculators be used in education? Should calculators be available to students in primary school, high school and in tertiary institutions and what types should be available?

This question is inspired by Dr Nazim Khan (WA), who is looking for responses from members of the academic community on the following questions:

  1. Are you a university academic or school teacher?

  2. Do you think calculators should be available to primary school students for supervised assessment in mathematics? If yes, then which type (simple scientific, algebra enabled)?

  3. Do you think calculators should be available to high school students for supervised assessment in mathematics? If yes, then which type (simple scientific, algebra enabled)?

  4. Do you think calculators should be available to university students for supervised assessment in mathematics? If yes, then which type (simple scientific, algebra enabled)?

 Please assist Dr Nazim Khan by emailing your responses to



A selection of the community’s publications from 2016 are listed on this page here; please check out the list for a snippet of what the ACDS Teaching and Learning and SaMnet community has contributed in 2016.

However, the ACDS Teaching and Learning and SaMnet community is a vibrant community; so please send along your publications in 2017 to so that we can disseminate your work to the wider community.


Upcoming Events and Activities

Call for Papers – Special Issue of the International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education

This special issue focuses on supporting Indigenous student engagement with STEM in higher education. This includes transition strategies to tertiary studies, indigenous community engagement with STEM and the role of Elders in STEM knowledge and education.

Abstracts are due soon; a 250 word abstract should be sent for consideration to Stephanie Beames (

STARS 2017

Stamford Grand Adelaide, Adelaide, 2-5 July 2017

This conference provides the opportunity to disseminate and discuss current research, good practice, emerging initiatives and leading edge ideas that are aimed at enhancing students’ tertiary learning experiences.

Early bird registrations are now open; click here to register.

ACDS 2017 Teaching and Learning Conference

Monash University, Melbourne, 17-18 July 2017

Save the date for the ACDS 2017 Teaching and Learning Conference, to be held at Monash University in Melbourne later this year.

RACI Centenary Conference

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, 23-28 July 2017

As part of the RACI Centenary Conference, the Chemical Education Division of the RACI will host a three-day meeting on the theme of “Chemistry Education for the Next Century”.

Early bird registrations are now available; click here to register.

Celebration of Women in Australian Mathematical Sciences

University of South Australia, Adelaide, 24-26 September 2017

The Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group is organising this research conference to showcase the research of women in the mathematical sciences in Australia.

Expressions of Interest are open; click here to submit your EOI.

Australian Conference for Science and Mathematics Education 2017

Monash University, Melbourne, 27-29 September 2017

The theme for this year’s ACSME is “Science and Mathematics teaching and learning for the 21st century”.

Abstract submissions will open on 3 April; click here for important ACSME dates.


The organising committee are hard at work on ACSME 2017. It will be held on the Clayton Campus of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia on 27-29 September 2017.

This year’s conference will be focused on the theme of “Science and mathematics teaching and learning for the 21st century”. This can include new ways of engaging students in and out of the classroom and/or lab, curriculum design, graduate outcomes and work-integrated learning, amongst other aspects. Keynote speakers and the program details will be announced closer to the dates.

Some of the important dates are as follows:

3 April 2017 – Submission of abstracts, non-refereed papers and refereed papers open

24 April 2017 – Online registrations open

2 June 2017 – Submissions close

4 August 2017 – Early bird registrations close

Put these dates in your calendar! 


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

The Power of Realistic Expectations

Ian Chipman for Insights by Stanford Business

How can you support students who feel marginalised when they first enter university? The authors describe research that approaches this question in a very SoTL manner, systematically identifying concerns from students and then experimenting in very simple ways. The authors identify a number of short, easily implementable interventions that helped reduce dropout rates and improved marks for these students. Could you implement these strategies into your teaching courses? Are these applicable to other major life transitions?


Leadership Insights

A dozen things you need to know about adult learning

Ralph G. Brocket in Teaching Adults: A Practical Guide for New Teachers

We all know a lot about how students learn. But, when we seek to ‘teach’ in providing leadership within our own department, school, faculty, or more broadly, are we employing strategies with our colleagues, to see things in a new way, that facilitate their learning? Or are we abandoning all that we know about teaching and merely ‘testifying’ – telling others what we know? The points in this piece are useful reminders about when we should be teaching, rather than ‘testifying’, as it often happens to be the case at conferences.

Envisioning the Faculty for the 21st century (review)

Colleen Flaherty for Inside Higher Ed

As ‘agents of change’ within the university sector, SaMnet scholars require a deep understanding of the forces acting on those we need to influence. This edited volume provides insights into the differing forces acting on a range of higher education groups; providing a mechanism for scholars to develop messages with ‘a sense of urgency’, as Kotter has described, for institutional change. What insights have you gained into your institution’s structure that allow these messages to formulate? 


“Mentoring Up”: Learning to manage your mentoring relationships

Steven Paul Lee, Richard McGee, Christine Pfund and Janet Branchaw in The Mentoring Continuum – From Graduate School through Tenure

What does it mean to ‘mentor up’? The authors have adapted the classic Gabarro and Kotter paper in the Harvard Business Review on managing up to the mentor-mentee relationship in the academic world. Outlining 7 steps for an effective mentoring relationship, the authors highlight that mentees must proactively engage to derive the full benefits of the relationship for both parties. How can you incorporate these steps into your mentoring relationships?



Six quick and impactful changes you can do today on your Blackboard site

Danny Liu (USYD) has outlined some quick and easy tips for making sure your learning management system is useful for new students to your courses.


Implementing Communities of Practice in Higher Education: The Australian Chemistry Discipline Network

How did the Chemistry Discipline Network form and develop over time? Madeleine Schultz (QUT) and Glennys O’Brien (UOW) have outlined this process in a book chapter for Implementing Communities of Practice in Higher Education.


Guide for First Year Coordinators in Mathematics

This guide is intended to be a practical resource for Heads of Schools of Mathematics intending to establish or review a First Year Mathematics coordination role, academics in existing First Year Mathematics coordination roles or those who might be thinking of assuming such a role.

SaMnet Leaders, Will Rifkin and Manjula Sharma


Newsletter compiled by Emma Yench and Gabriel Nguyen.