Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education


ascilite Live! Webinar: Community Mentoring Programme

Topic: ascilite's Community Mentoring Programme Explained

Date & Time: 5 February 2015, 2:30pm – 3:30pm AEDT.  You may view your local time here.

Presenters: Sue Gregory, University of New England

To Register: You may register for the webinar here.  After registering, you will receive an email with the session login details.

Abstract:  This one-hour webinar aims to provide an understanding of how ascilite's Community Mentoring Program (CMP) works and how it can benefit you either as a mentor or mentee.

The ascilite CMP provides mentoring opportunities across a number of fields including technical, academic development, learning development, faculty academics and early career researchers, graphic designers, and programmers. The program seeks to involve participants in a professional mentoring relationship built between learners (mentees) and experienced practitioners (mentors).

Whilst the new learners may be experienced in some areas of educational technologies, the ascilite CMP is a vehicle for enhancement of specific knowledge, skills or capacities in an area of developing expertise. The program has been operational since 2003 with more than 100 members having taken part to date.

The deadline for this year's CMP Expressions of Interest (Applications) is 20 February 2015 and you will find full details and application forms on the ascilite website CMP page.  In the meantime, please consider attending the CMP webinar on 5 February.

Snapshot: Mapping Australian Higher Education

by Dominique Parrish, ascilite Executive and Vice President

A snapshot of the report from Andrew Norton, October 2014, Mapping Australian Higher Education, available on the Grattan website.

  • Domestic higher education enrollments are growing strongly and in 2014 are likely to exceed a million for the first time. International enrollments are recovering from a downturn and numbered nearly 330,000 in 2013, with China the single largest source of students. In 2013, total domestic and international student enrollments exceeded 1.3 million. In the past 30 years postgraduate coursework has doubled its share of total student enrollments from 11 to 22 per cent.
  • The higher education workforce is increasing; Australia’s universities employed just under 116,000 people on a permanent or fixed-term contract basis in 2013. Of these, 51,400 had academic job classifications and 64,400 non-academic job classifications. These statistics do not include casually employed staff. In 2010 an estimated 67,000 people were employed as casual academics.
  • In 2012 the revenues of Australia’s 40 full universities, and about 130 other higher education providers exceeded $26 billion. Student debt is also growing: in mid-2013 HELP debtors owed the Commonwealth $30 billion, with $7 billion of that figure likely to be written off as bad debt. It will cost taxpayers $6.4 billion in 2014.
  • Since 2000, the number of researchers has grown every year, but with stronger growth among research-only academic staff compared to those with teaching and research responsibilities. Research-only staff made up 21 per cent of the academic workforce in 1992, increasing to 34 per cent by 2013.
  • Over the decade to 2013, 30 occupations, mostly in the health professions or linked to the mining industry, have experienced shortages for 5 years or more. (An occupation is deemed to be in skills shortages if employers cannot fill vacancies, or have considerable difficulty filling vacancies, at current pay and condition levels, in reasonably accessible locations).  These shortages are now easing. Only six occupations reported shortages in 2013 (i.e. Optometrist, Physiotherapist, Sonographer, Geologist, Mining Engineer, Mining Production Manager).
  • A 2010 survey found that more than half of mid- to late-career academics do not believe their overall workload is manageable. Australian academics reported among the highest number of hours worked in universities around the world. Across teaching, research, service and administration, junior academics reported working 43.8 hours and senior academics 50.4 hours a week in 2007. These hours are high compared to other sectors in Australia, where full-time employees worked an average 39.4 hours a week in 2007. (Ref: Andrew Norton, July 2013, Taking University Teaching Seriously, Grattan Institute, available on the Grattan website).


Articles of Interest from ALT (UK)

'Rhetoric and Reality’ – critical perspectives on educational technology from Down Under, Dr Richard Walker

Comparing e-submission and marking tools, Craig Wakefield

Collaboration and support in the world of learning technology – a brief case study, Ellen Lessner and Emma Procter-Legg

SAM self-help anxiety app offers real support for students, Matt Ewans

Evernote as a Portfolio: changing the way we document, share and manage the learning happening in all aspects of a student’s life, Dee Vyas, Kate Woodward-Harris

Guidance on policy on storing of data in cloud storage solutions, Tim Smale

Job Vacancy: Associate Professor, University of Melbourne

The Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne is looking for a new Associate Professor in the area of educational technology and higher education.

Reporting to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation),the position is based within the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education(MCSHE) in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and will contribute to research, development and evaluation activities in the area of educational technology at the University of Melbourne.

The Associate Professor’s focus will be on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, and improving the quality of the student experience through the use of contemporary and emerging technologies. The Associate Professor will also support the development of programs and policies in technology and non-technology-based educational innovation, and contribute to the professional development of University staff.

This is a full time, continuing appointment. Please visit the university website for further information.

Job Vacancy: Learning Analytics Project Officer, University of Wollongong

Applications are invited for the Learning Analytics Project Officer, which is a 1 year fixed term appointment, the closing date for applications is February 8.

This position is located within the Business Analysis and Learning Analytics team within the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic (DVCA) portfolio. A key responsibility of this role is to assist academic staff in the adoption of learning analytics to support student success and continuous improvement of teaching and learning. These responsibilities include optimising the use of Moodle and providing assistance with learning analytics data interpretation. Project management and communications strategies and input to governance matters are also within the scope of this role.

For more information on the role visit the UOW website.

Job Vacancy: Manager, Academic Practice, Southern Cross University

Applications are invited for a Manager, Academic Practice at SCU's Centre for Teaching and Learning located at the Gold Coast campus. The Centre for Teaching and Learning is a service unit that provides resources, advice and strategies to support and advance teaching and learning excellence for students and staff at SCU.

The Centre’s work is underpinned by a learning-centred approach which positions learning at the centre of decisions and practice. This approach acknowledges the attributes and active roles of students, teachers, the disciplines, research and the community.

Staff from the Centre work side by side with academic staff and students to implement the University's strategic directions through two staff teams: Academic Practice and Academic Skills. The Centre also managesuniversity-wide teaching and learning projects.

This position is responsible for effectively leading the Academic Practice team in their delivery of services and advice to the University’s staff and stakeholders. Working as part of the Centre’s management team, this position will work collaboratively within this team to achieve the Centre’s strategic outcomes.

In addition this position will lead projects as set by the Director and contribute to the Centre’s annual business planning process.

Further details are available on the SCU website.

Call for Proposals: ALT Annual Conference 2015

The ALT Annual Conference 2015 Call for Proposals has been issued on the ALT website.

The 2015 conference will be chaired by Amanda Jefferies, University of Hertfordshire and Liz Masterman, University of Oxford, under the theme ‘Shaping the Future of Learning Together’. The programme will reflect the theme of shaping and sharing learning through breaking down the traditional divisions between stakeholders and between their roles, with a focus on: Harnessing the power of the crowd – collaboration and connectivist learning; Social media in learning and teaching; Open educational practice; Learners as agents of change; Participatory approaches to the development of learning technologies.

Your 500 word proposal needs to show clearly how your session is going to address the relevant theme and should where possible include recent research, case studies, practice or learner perspectives from any learning context including schools, colleges, universities and industry.

Keep in mind that the proposal you submit for review now will, if accepted, also be used for inclusion in the conference programme and is the primary way for participants to choose which session to attend.

Key dates for your diary:

Join the Programme Committee: January 2015 Webinars for potential authors: February 2015 Deadline for proposals: Midnight GMT Friday 13 March 2015 Webinar for accepted authors: May 2015 Register to attend: May 2015 Submit a proposal from Thursday 5 February: Go here for details.

Network of Australasian Tertiary Association Booklet Download

A booklet published by the Network of Australasian Tertiary Association(NATA) is available as a free PDF (350kb) download here.  The 13 page booklet is titled “Connecting and Collaborating: Leading Educational Networks in Australasian Tertiary Education" with the sub-title “Lessons from the Network of Australasian Tertiary Association”.

ALT News Digest 315

The Association for Learning Technology Fortnightly News Digest 315 was issued on 23 January 2015.  ALT's journal – Research in Learning Technology is open access. Articles from the past 20 years are available here.

Institutional Members