Keynote speakers

Emeritus Professor Alan Robson

Alan Robson

Professor Alan Robson recently completed eight years as Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia.

He has been Chair of the Group of Eight Universities (2007-2010) and Deputy Chair of Universities Australia (2005-2011); Deputy Chair of the Council of the National Library (1998-2005); a member of the Western Australian Science Council (2003-2009); and the CSIRO Board (2003-2008).

He was awarded the Australian Medal of Agricultural Science. In 2003, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia, and awarded a Centenary Medal. In 2009, Professor Robson was made a Citizen of Western Australia.

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Western Sydney. She works closely with a team of colleagues to enhance the quality of learning, teaching and academic quality across the University. She is nationally and internationally recognised for her research on the contemporary undergraduate student experience and implications for quality and standards in institutional settings.

Her research expertise spans broadly across higher education policy areas, with a particular focus on the changing student experience, the evolving nature of academic work and implications for quality and standards in higher education. She has a commitment to evidence-based enhancement of institutional performance and quality improvement in higher education.

She regularly provides advice to the sector on implications of her research for national and institutional policy and practice. She has managed several national projects including the national study of the first year experience in Australian universities and the ALTC project on the teaching-research nexus. She currently co-directs the ALTC project entitled: A sector-wide model for assuring final year subject and program achievement standards through inter-university moderation.

Her presentation will explore the policy and practical implications of the teaching and learning standards agenda in Australian higher education. It will start with a brief mapping of the academic standards territory nationally and internationally. This will be followed by a comparative analysis of several projects engaged in collegial peer review and verification of standards. We will examine the opportunities offered by a range of methodologies, as well as implications of these approaches for the work of quality assurance and enhancement in tertiary education. The presentation will include consideration of practical implications of the standards agenda for academic staff in disciplinary contexts as well as implications for institutions seeking to enhance the quality of their students' experiences and outcomes.

Professor Mick Healey

Professor Mick Healey

Professor Mick Healey was one of the first people in the UK to be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship and to be made a Senior Fellow of the HE Academy. He has written and edited over 150 publications on various aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. He is often asked to act as an advisor to projects, universities and national governments on aspects of teaching and learning in HE. He has advised the ALTC, the Canadian Federal government, the HE Authority for Ireland and the League of European Research Universities on research-based teaching and learning. He is a frequent presenter in Australia.

Click HERE to view abstract for his presentation entitled “Developing final year and capstone projects to engage students in research and inquiry: maintaining standards while encouraging creativity and diversity”.

Plenary speakers

Professor Gabriela C. Weaver

Gabriela C. Weaver

Gabriela C. Weaver is professor of chemistry and serves as the director of the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Weaver joined the faculty at Purdue University in 2001 and served as Associate Head of the department 2008-2009. She carries out research in chemistry education at the undergraduate level and science education in K-12 schools. Weaver’s research specialties include inquiry-based methods for teaching science, supplementing traditional instruction with technology, developing novel approaches for instruction and professional development of instructors at all levels in STEM education.

Her presentation is entitled “Defining Learning Outcomes for a Chemistry Degree: The Story of a Process”

Associate Professor Les Kirkup

Associate Professor Les Kirkup

Les Kirkup is an Associate Professor in the School of Physics and Advanced Materials at the University of Technology, Sydney. Associate Professor Kirkup has a strong physics research background and is an exceptional and respected educator. Les has led an ALTC Discipline Study and was awarded an ALTC Associate Fellowship in 2007, for work in the area of science service teaching.

His presentation is entitled “Scientific inquiry in the undergraduate curriculum: Challenges and benefits in the new age of standards”.

"Traditional ‘chalk-and-talk’ teaching, copying notes and ‘cookbook’ practical lessons have offered little challenge or excitement" - from Health of Australian Science, May 2012.

This view, expressed in the 'Health of Australian Science' report by Australia’s Chief Scientist, finds oblique affirmation in the Australian Curriculum: Science[1][1] and the recently published Science Threshold Learning Outcomes[2][2]. These documents bring particular emphasis to the processes of scientific inquiry, leading naturally to the instructional strategies described in the Chief Scientist’s report being eschewed. This presentation explores the benefits to student learning of developing and embedding scientific inquiry into the science curriculum and brings a focus to the challenges of assessing the attendant learning outcomes.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Johnson

Associate Professor Elizabeth Johnson

Liz is the Associate Dean Academic in the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering at La Trobe University and leads curriculum renewal in the Faculty. Major projects include La Trobe's Design for Learning project which embeds graduate capabilities into a renewed curriculum across the Faculty, and the Pathways in Science project which is a major review and development of courses. Liz trained as a plant biochemist and contributes to teaching in foundation biochemistry at La Trobe.

Liz's current research interests are in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Current research projects focus on strategies for curriculum development in the sciences, quantitative literacy support mechanisms and teaching scientific inquiry. Liz is also active in a number of national initiative in science and maths in higher education funded by the Office for Teaching and Learning (DEEWR). She is a member of the SaMnet leadership project, the VIBE biology discipline project and is the evaluator for the Transitions in biology project. She was co-investigator on the recent ALTC project exploring scientific inquiry skills in biosciences.