September 2020

Dear subscriber,

A few important items in this newsletter:

• Don’t miss the science education leadership seminar this week!

• Register for ACSME 2020 -- it is promising to be an exciting event!

• The discipline leaders for the ACDS Repository for online science and mathematics teaching and assessment project have been appointed, and work will start soon.

• A new peer-reviewed Springer Nature book: Science + SciComm + Work: A Guide for Teaching Science is in the making. Will you contribute with a chapter?

As usual, we welcome your contributions of articles, and pointers to conferences and publications that may be of interest to the readership.

 Best regards

Cristina Varsavsky

ACDS webinar: Science education leadership in times of COVID-19

The ACDS has introduced a new series of webinars for all those with responsibility to lead science and mathematics education, including deans, associate deans teaching and learning, science course directors and other academics in similar roles. In this series of webinars we will explore the experiences of online science and mathematics teaching in the time of COVID-19 pandemic from multiple perspectives. We will look at the impact on faculty education leaders and the challenges ahead to shape science education post pandemic.

The first webinar is scheduled for Friday September 4, 11.00 am to 1.00 pm AEST, with invited speakers Professor Adam Bridgeman (Pro-Vice Chancellor – Educational Innovation at the University of Sydney) and Professor Peter Adams (President of the Academic Board at The University of Queensland).

See here for further information and registration.

ACSME 202: Registrations closing soon

This year ACSME will be a conference not to be missed. It will certainly be a different experience, but one we will not forget for a long time. We are making sure it will be a remarkable experience and a test of our collective resilience and capacity to innovate.  

We have an impressive lineup of speakers to analyse and discuss our experiences with going into emergency remote teaching, and what it all means for the future of science and mathematics education. Submissions from individual contributors are promising deep discussions across a range of topics to complement the keynote and panel presentations. These include experiences of remote teaching at the coal face, analysed from the perspective of teachers, students and support staff. The program also includes themes of current focus in science education such as indigenous science. You can see the full program here.

The conference is going online and so does the socialising. We are planning a comprehensive program of social and networking activities to ensure that this key element of our annual gatherings continues to support and nurture our vibrant community of science and mathematics educators.

If you have not yet registered for ACSME 2020, make sure you do so before September 18. Register here.

For further information, check the  ACSME 2020 website.


A repository of online resources for science and mathematics teaching and assessment

Due to the current global health crisis, universities have been required to cancel all face-to-face classes and switch to emergency remote teaching. With not much time for planning, Faculties of Science had to think creatively about how to deliver their classes online. In this emergency planning academics and support staff were required to think outside the box to generate solutions that would allow their students to complete the subjects they were enrolled in. While some solutions put in place were emergency solutions not to be applied in normal times, it is likely that in this flurry of activity and creative thinking new approaches and resources were developed that will be adopted after the crisis is over.

The ACDS project Repository of online resources for science and mathematics teaching and assessment provides a mechanism for sharing these resources across its member institutions. It provides funds to create a repository of curated remote teaching and assessment resources developed across Faculties of Science, particularly those resources that would benefit teachers and students of large mainstream subjects. 

Following a call for applications, we are pleased to announce that the following colleagues were successful in securing funding to lead this development in the different disciplines: Madeleine Schultz and team (Chemistry), Elizabeth Angstmann (Physics) and Sara Herke (Mathematics).  They will soon be engaging with their networks to start giving shape to this repository.

The ACDS expects to support this repository to remain active in acquiring further resources following its establishment. Its processes of curation and review should promote wide discussion and shared understanding of the learning goals, pedagogies and evidence-based evaluation of the resources that it contains.

Call for chapter proposals for a new peer-reviewed Springer Nature book: Science + SciComm + Work: A Guide for Teaching Science

Professor Susan Rowland and Associate Professor Louise Kuchel (The University of Queensland) seek chapter idea submissions for Science + SciComm + Work: A Guide for Teaching Science Communication, to be published by Springer Nature in 2021.

This peer-reviewed book is designed to change the way science students learn how to communicate. It will provide examples of active pedagogies that readers can use to teach important, specific aspects of communication. The book will guide meaningful, workplace-relevant teaching and learning of communication theory and practice within university science curricula. The editors envision that the book could be used by any teaching faculty member who wants to improve their science students’ and their own communication skills.

Expressions of interest are currently sought for chapters that explain, in practical terms, how to teach communication in Science coursework. The goal is to produce a set of peer-reviewed “off the shelf” examples of impactful activities that faculty can use, or adapt, when they seek a way to help students learn a particular skill or develop their communication mindset.

Brief expressions of interest are due on September 14, 2020.

For more information, or to submit an EOI, see here.