Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education


2016 ASCILITE Conference Retrospective

By all accounts, ASCILITE 2016, held in Adelaide and hosted by UniSA just over a week ago, was one of the most successful ASCILITE conferences on record. And as someone with a fascination for statistics, Sandy Barker, the 2016 conference convenor has provided a statistical summary of the conference:

  • 5 years of lobbying and 5 months of proposal development
  • 16 months of planning
  • 3 ½ days of conference
  • 401 active delegates
  • 200 hours of meetings
  • 163 paper submissions
  • 115 paper acceptances
  • 105 papers delivered
  • Submissions from 28 countries
  • 120 reviewers

Conference photos and keynote videos are currently being processed and both delegates and members will be emailed the links later in the week.

A huge thank you must go to Sandy Barker and the entire team at the University of South Australia for putting on such a stellar event.

The 2017 conference will be held at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, so mark your calendars for 4 – 6 December 2017.

2016 Innovation Award Winners

The ASCILITE Innovation Award celebrates work undertaken by an individual or team of people in support of the exemplary and research informed use of technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education. Innovation is defined as a new idea, device or process Something original that “breaks into” teaching and learning in the tertiary sector.

In 2016, there were two outstanding winners and two commendations:


  • Danny Liu , The University of Sydney
  • Project Team: Prof Adam Bridgeman, Zinnia Sahukar, Dr Mel Keep, Kevin Samnick, Ruth Weeks, A/Prof Abelardo Pardo, Dr Kathryn Bartimote-Aufflick, A/Prof Charlotte Taylor.
  • Project: The Student Relationship Engagement System


  • Sasha Nikolic, University of Wollongong
  • Project Team: Christian Ritz, Farzad Safaei, Tom Goldfinch, Wanqing Li, Mark J.W. Lee (Charles Sturt University)
  • Project: Improving Transnational and Industry-supported Student Engagement Through Immersive Videoconferencing in a 3D Virtual Environment.

Highly Commended

  • James Oldfield, Unitec Institute of Technology
  • Project Team: Karen Haines, JJ Purton Jones, Lisa Simperingham, Wayne Sebalja, Ken Liu, Sarah Kirk, Linda Keesing-Styles, Simon Nash
  • Project: Supporting teachers in new collaborative learning spaces.


  • Lisa Tee, Curtin University
  • Project Team: Kate Rodgers
  • Project: MyCourseMap – Making curriculum visible through a multidimensional interactive map to engage students in learning outcomes and career relevance.

The ASCILITE community congratulates all of the winners for their excellent work!

2016 ASCILITE Fellow Award

The ASCILITE Fellow Award recognises the outstanding contributions of individual ASCILITE members in the exemplary use of, and/or research into, technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education. From at least two of the following categories:

  • Professional mentoring
  • Professional leadership
  • Sustained innovations
  • Quality research

This year's Fellow award went to Dr Carina Bossu (University of Tasmania).

Carina has been recognized and acknowledged for her contributions in the following areas:

  • Led a two year Cat 1 OLT Research Project on Open Educational Practices (OEP) to enhancing learning and teaching in higher education (2010).
  • Led a one year Cat 1 OLT Research Project developing open and free courses on Curriculum Design for Open Education (2014).
  • Collaborated on two other Cat 1 OLT funded projects as a partner.
  • Involved in several institutional, national and international collaborations related to OEP, research, consultancies, PhD supervision and mentoring.
  • Leadership in OEP in Australia: been considered a key representative of OEP research and developments in Australia nationally and internationally.
  • Involvement in research and collaboration: been involved in several multi institutional projects to research OER for learning and teaching, and as a result has published extensively in this area.
  • Community engagement: Through support and engagement with the OEP community nationally and internationally, the recipient advocates for increasing open practices so that learners can benefit from free content and flexible learning.

Carina will become the first "ASCILITE Champion" in 2017 and will undertake several projects or activities throughout the year as part of the revised ASCILITE Fellow award scheme. Further information on the Fellow Award may be viewed on the ASCILITE website.

Congratulations Carina!

2016 Awards for Excellence in Learning Analytics

The ASCILITE Learning Analytics SIG operates an awards program to recognise excellence in the practical application of LA to enhance learning and teaching. A key driver for the Awards program is to create and share resources about effective LA practices. We want to give a voice to all who are working with LA to improve learning and teaching – whatever the scale of their endeavours.

In 2016 there were two finalists and one winner of the award:

Supporting students' ownership of their learning with analytics (Winner)

  • Submitted by: Carl Reidsema, Lydia Kavanagh, Esther Fink, Peter Sutton and Melanie Fleming (University of Queensland)
  • Description: A student facing approach to learning analytics. Supporting students learning through innovative tools; Journey Maker, Learning Pathway and Dashboard. The Faculty has trialed more active approaches to learning in order to increase student engagement. Learning analytics are used to assist students to improve their own learning in this process.
  • Link: Supporting students' ownership of their learning with analytics

Academic Writing Analytics (Finalist)

  • Submitted by: Adam Aitken (UTS)
  • Description: AWA – Academic Writing Analytics, an online learning application using Natural Language Parsing techniques to analyse student analytic and reflective writing, and then giving feedback at sentence and whole text level. Its text analytics is informed by rhetorical and genre analysis of academic writing.
  • Link: AWA – Academic Writing Analytics

Incorporating cognitive and design science into institutional design (Finalist)

  • Submitted by: Sakinah Alhadad (Griffith University)
  • Description: The full title of this project is "Incorporating cognitive and design science into institutional design and implementation strategy of course-level analytics".  Analytics, as a tool, can serve as a means to provide actionable and timely data at the course-level. To this end, we have re-designed the Blackboard integrated reports by applying cognitive and design science, as well as developing formats that scaffold users across a wide range of pedagogical data literacy.
  • Link: Incorporating cognitive and design science into institutional design (link may be temporarily unavailable)

2016 Best Paper Award

Each year, the best outstanding papers are recognized for their high standards.  This year the award went to the following recipients:

  • Full paper: Kirsty Kitto, Mandy Lupton, Kate Davis and Zak Waters. Incorporating student-facing learning analytics into pedagogical practice, p338
  • Concise – Hazel Jones. Ethical considerations in the use of student data: International perspectives and educators’ perceptions, p300

You will find these papers in the 2016 Conference Proceedings (17Mb) on pages 338 and 300 respectively.

A Best Poster is also selected by conference delegates each year and this year's recipients were James Brunton, Mark Brown, Eamon Costello, Ann Cleary, Lorraine Delaney, Seamus Fox, Jennifer Gilligan, Lisa O'Regan and Jamie Ward for their poster "Staying the distance: Using digital readiness tools to support effective transitions into higher education for flexible learners".

Congratulations to all those who contributed to these outstanding papers and poster.


The new ASCILITE blog was launched at the annual conference in Adelaide last week.  Called TELall (Technology Enhanced Learning all), ASCILITE members are invited to contribute as guest bloggers and to comment on what has been written by others.

You will find the blog at Members can expect blogs on a wide range of interesting topics to be posted every week or so commencing in 2017.

The winner of the blog naming contest is Michael Sankey (RMIT) who won a $50 amazon gift voucher for coming up with the best name and Mark Schier (Swinburne) was a finalist.

Contact the ASCILITE Secretariat if you are interested in contributing to the new blog.

Fikas are coming to ASCILITE in 2017… but what is a fika?

A ‘fika’ is a Swedish word meaning a coffee break with family, friends or colleagues and implies chatting over a break. Fika is a time to connect and collaboratively discuss, share and germinate new ideas.

As a new initiative, ASCILITE will be introducing fika sessions into the ASCILITE webinar series in 2017. Under this new initiative, fika sessions will provide an opportunity for members to chat about issues of current interest in technology-enhanced learning and the use of computing in tertiary education. Sessions will run for a maximum of one hour in Collaborate online.

fika session are much less formal than structured webinar presentations and they often commence with a series of questions.

Sessions will be scheduled so that they are more convenient to members in different time zones. For that reason, sessions are scheduled to place at morning tea for Singapore and WA, afternoon tea for NZ and lunch time for the eastern states, commencing around 12pm.

If you are interested in leading a fika session for a shared conversation on a particular topic, please email Alan Soong or Julie Willems.


Expanding Horizons in Open & Distance Learning, ODLAA 2017 Conference

Don’t miss the opportunity to save on registration costs for the upcoming ODLAA Conference to be held in Melbourne, 5 – 7 February 2017.

ODLAA is a professional association of educators, instructional designers, educational researchers, education consultants, and educational administrators from across Australia and overseas that is dedicated to advancement of research, practice, and support of education ‘across time and space’.

ODLAA connects professionals in order to enable them share experiences and disseminate information with respect to open and distance learning. Its members come from all educational sectors plus including commercial training providers and training units in the corporate sector. They are involved in the management, administration, design, development, research and teaching in multiple modes that may best be described as ‘outside the traditional classroom’.

Early Bird and Full rate attendance includes:

*Workshop options will be published in November 2016 for selection and you can revisit your registration booking to choose a workshop.

International Summer Institute on Students as Partners in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Canada 2017

ASCILITE members are invited to join us at the 2nd International Summer Institute on ‘Students as Partners’ to be held at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada (approx. 45 min south of Toronto Airport) from 8 – 11 May 2017.

The overall aim of the International Summer Institute is to build the capacity and understanding of faculty, staff, and students to develop, design, implement, and disseminate initiatives that promote the practice of students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education.

Over 100 staff/faculty and students participated last year in roughly equal numbers. Here are some comments from participants:

“By far the most beneficial and enjoyable aspects … were the networking opportunities which led to collaboration and collective knowledge building. The international nature of these discussions really helped me to reconsider my assumptions about partnership.”

Thanks for this most challenging and rewarding experience, a very inspiring three days! We very much appreciated both the balance between systematic impetus, drawing on the community present and focusing on our own issues.

Staff and Faculty are encouraged, where possible, to bring a student with them, or students to bring a member of staff/faculty with them to participate in:

Alternatively, teams of 4-6 faculty/staff and students (at least two of each) from an institution can apply to join a 3.5 day ‘Change Institute’ at which they’ll develop a ‘students as partners’ initiative they hope to implement in the coming year.

The activities will be facilitated by a highly experienced international team of staff/faculty and students from Australia, Canada, US and UK.

One of the outcomes of last year’s Summer Institute was the establishment of the International Journal for Students as Partners which publishes research articles, case studies, reflective essays and opinion pieces. It is run, like the Summer Institute, by an international team of faculty/staff and students.

For further details and to register, please go to the institute website.

Job Vacancy: Continuing Professional Developer, UNSW

This position provides executive support and advice to the Academic Development Manager on the design, development, implementation and quality assurance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs initiatives for academic staff across UNSW. The Continuing Professional Developer is responsible for the design, development, review and analysis for the ongoing improvement of the PVC(E) Portfolio’s CPD programs and initiatives and in program managing CPD projects.

For more information, application procedures and other vacancies, please visit UNSW's jobs website (Ref. 57332). Applications close: 11 January 2016.

Job Vacancy: Manager Educational Evaluation, UNSW

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work. The Manager, Educational Evaluation provides high level executive support and advice to the Director, Educational Design and Development Services and to the PVC (Education) on the strategy, design, development, implementation and quality assurance of educational programs across UNSW. The Manager is responsible for leading and managing the business systems and processes to enable and support efficient, effective, educational evaluation and institutional research.

A competitive remuneration package will be offered for this fixed term 5 year position. Further information is available on the UNSW jobs website.  Applications close 11 January 2017.

  • Participation in all conference sessions Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 February 2017
  • Conference materials including satchel/folder, program booklet
  • Arrival tea/coffee, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea from Monday 6th to Tuesday 7 February 2017 inclusive.
  • Welcome Function (Sunday evening) and the Conference Dinner (Monday evening) is included for all Early Bird, Full Registration and student delegates.
  • Select from workshops on offer Sunday 5 February 2017 from 1pm to 4pm at no extra cost.*
  • One or two consecutive two-day interactive workshops; or
  • A 3.5 day writing retreat
  • A$115,709 – A$122,780 + 17% Superannuation and Leave Loading
  • Full time continuing position
Institutional Members