Dear subscriber,

News from the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre

Higher Education is in the news again but not for the best reasons. Alongside the whole sector, the ACDS has publically objected to the ministerial veto of a number of ARC grant applications. The upshot is now another requirement for justification of the impact of research which is symptomatic of public concern regarding the value of universities. There is increasing pressure for us to demonstrate the value of our degrees to students, and to the economy and society. This is a challenge – particularly as we are focussed on long-term outcomes and transformation – but also an opportunity as we build more links out. Our graduates and industry partners should be our best advocates.

ACDS Teaching Fellowship

I am delighted to tell you that ACDS launched the ACDS Teaching Fellowship in September. This exciting program will fund a teaching and learning leader in science or mathematics to design, lead and deliver a national project to advance learning and teaching in Faculties of Science. The ACDS fellowship is modelled on the OLT National Teaching Fellowship scheme (sadly lost) and offers funding for three months full-time salary (or more likely a longer period pro rata) and project funding. The initial fellowship theme is: Better learning and teaching through systemic quality improvement.

Please encourage colleagues to consider an application or think about it yourself. The fellowship is aimed at mid-career future leaders and is a terrific opportunity to contribute to the national discussion. Fellowship applications are due by 29 January 2019. More information is available here.

WIL in Science Forum – Friday December 7th

The program is now available for the annual WIL in Science Forum on Friday 7th December 2018 at Melbourne Airport. Our keynote speaker, Professor Jan Orrell, will explore WIL for 21C graduates. The program includes a presentation on the findings from our WIL in Science project, a panel discussion on multi-expert teams for WIL chaired by Professor Shelley Kinash and a presentation on the tricky topic of evaluation of WIL programs from leaders of the PACE program at Macquarie University. Check with your Faculty to make sure you are represented.

Innovative models for WIL

ACEN 2018 was held in Brisbane in early October with science and mathematics well represented by WIL in Science and regional networks. One of the ACEN projects presented has investigated Innovative Work Integrated Learning Models which has great ideas and case studies for Faculties developing WIL programs. As we build towards comprehensive engagement with industry partners, innovative models will be crucial to achieving scale. Have a look and be inspired!


ACSME 2018 gathering in Adelaide proved to be an excellent meeting. Presentations and papers are increasingly sophisticated investigations of learning and teaching in science and mathematics, backed up by solid evidence and creative thinking. Congratulations to the organizing and program committees led by Professor Karen Burke da Silva (Flinders) and Professor Simon Pyke (Adelaide). Proceedings from the meeting will be posted on the ACDS TL Centre website shortly.  

ACSME 2019 will be held in Sydney on October 2-4. Put it in your diary now!


The annual Biosciences Education Australia Network (BEAN) forum is the peak body event for biological and biomedical sciences education in Australia, which will be held at the Shine Dome, ANU on 10-11 December. This is an annual forum that seeks to highlight activities that can transform the way we teach the sciences in general.

This year’s forum has a focus on digital technologies and communication. We will hold workshops on how to make your own sensor-based Aduinos as well as creating your own VR world. These sessions are designed specifically to overcome the fear that most of us have for seemingly complex computational tasks. There will also be a workshop in conjunction with the Centre for Public Awareness of Science at ANU on ways we might incorporate Responsible Research Innovation strategies into our curriculum.

Registration is via: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/biosciences-education-australia-network-bean18-forum-canberra-tickets-49270112232

The ACDS executive is highly supportive of this well-established disciplinary network, which represents the combined groups of CUBEnet and VIBEnet, previously funded by ALTC, and I would urge you to consider sending one or two of your academic colleagues to attend this event. Space is limited but there is still room available. If you have any questions, please contact philip.poronnik@sydney.edu.au or s.beames@uq.edu.au.

New Director of the ACDS TL Centre

This will be my last newsletter for the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre as I am stepping down from the Director role at the end of 2018 to take on a new role at Deakin University. It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to work with the sector and to see the Centre grow and flourish. I will continue to work with the Centre during 2019 on specific projects and, of course, will be watching with great interest.

I am delighted to tell you that the ACDS has appointed Professor Cristina Varsavsky as the new Director for the ACDS TL Centre. Many of you will know and have worked with Cristina who is a national leader in mathematics education, has led multiple national projects and conferences (including ACDS TL Conferences and ACSME) and is been a member of the ACDS Executive. I could not leave you in better hands.

Dates for your diary

ACDS 2018 WIL in Science forum: 7 December, 2018, ParkRoyal Hotel, Melbourne Airport

• Biosciences Education Australia Network (BEAN) annual forum: 10-11 December, Canberra +  "Next Gen Tech Now" workshop 9 Dec at ANU, Forum theme: “The future’s so bright I need… 

Best wishes,


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