Keynote speakers

Professor Tina Overton

Tina Overton

Professor of Chemical Education
(Monash University)

Tina Overton has been Professor of Chemistry Education at the University of Hull, UK and will take up the post of Professor of Chemistry Education at Monash University in 2014. She had a career in industry and the National Health Service before joining the chemistry department at the University of Hull in 1992, first as a teaching fellow, then as lecturer, senior lecturer, and then as Professor. She teaches inorganic, industrial and environmental chemistry. Tina has published on the topics of critical thinking, context and problem-based learning and their role in developing conceptual understanding and cognitive skills and the development of problem solving skills. She has published learning resources which have been adopted in many institutions and has co-authored several textbooks in inorganic chemistry and skills development. She was Director of the national Higher Education Academy UK Physical Sciences Centre which supported teaching and learning across chemistry, physics, astronomy and forensic science. She has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s HE Teaching Award, Tertiary Education Award and Nyholm Prize and is a National Teaching Fellow and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Keynote presentation: Making learning real: Using xBL to motivate learners and prepare them for employment. See abstract.

Professor Beverley Oliver

Beverley Oliver

DVC Education
(Deakin University)
Professor Beverley Oliver was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at Deakin University in January 2013, after commencing as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Futures) in late 2011. Professor Oliver leads Deakin's ambitious education strategy. Her portfolio comprises reform and management of the student learning experience.

The OLT recently awarded the strategic national project Curate, credential and carry forward digital learning evidence to a team led by Professor Oliver, in partnership with Curtin University. The project will connect Australian institutions with international innovators and industry in the use of tools such as digital badging that enable all students to curate rich evidence of learning. Professor Oliver’s leadership has been recognised with ALTC Citations in 2008 (individual) and 2010 (team) and two ALTC Fellowships, in 2010 and 2011. She publishes in a range of teaching and learning areas. Beverley taught and worked at Curtin University from 2001 until 2011. She is editor of the Journal of Learning and Teaching for Graduate Employability.

Professor Liz Burd

Liz Burd

PVC Teaching and Learning
(University of Newcastle)
Professor Burd joined the University of Newcastle in April 2013 from the University of Durham in the UK, where she was Dean of Undergraduate Education and Chair of Information Technology. With an international reputation in the field of education, Professor Burd is particularly recognised for her pioneering research into Technology Enhanced Learning. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Hons) from Worcester College of Higher Education; a Master of Science Human Computer Interaction and D.Phil. Risk Management from the University of York; and a Ph.D. Software Maintenance from the University of Durham.

Professor Burd is a member of key international bodies including participating in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Pre-university Education Coordinating Committee, where she is responsible for promoting Engineering and Technology education to its 400,000 members, and 2nd Vice-President for the IEEE Computer Society, which hosts more than 75,000 members. Professor Burd’s academic and professional expertise will advance the University’s aspirations in teaching and learning, particularly in the online environment. Working with faculties and divisions, Professor Burd will lead the development of the UoNline Plus initiative, and support other key NeW Directions projects such as the University-wide Innovation Teaching and Learning Exchange Groups.

Keynote presentation: Building realism into the use of MOOCs and flipped classroom. See abstract.

Associate Professor Manju Sharma

Manju Sharma

Director IISME, OLT National Teaching Fellow
(The University of Sydney)

Keynote presentation: Using engagement in lectures as an entree for learning

Professor Barney Glover

Barney Glover

Vice Chancellor
(University of Western Sydney)


Keynote Abstracts

Professor Tina Overton - Making learning real

Making learning real: Using xBL to motivate learners and prepare them for employment.

Employers have long reported that graduates are ill-prepared for the world of work. Their deficiencies are invariably in the area of personal skills development. New graduates also have little understanding of the commercial world, the priorities or cultures, or how those industry approach problems and produce solutions. Recent studies of graduates have also reported a skills gap and a lack of preparedness for the workplace.

Many science degree programmes now make efforts to include activities and approaches that provide undergraduates with the opportunities to develop personal skills such as team working, problem solving, communication, time management etc. However, these activities seldom address how graduates will be expected to think and behave in the workplace or provide graduates with any insight into what professional scientists do. The discipline content can be delivered in an entirely abstract and theoretical way.

There is much research evidence to suggest that using context-based approaches to learning motivate learners. Problem-based pedagogies use real-life problems to motivate learners, develop personal skills and higher order cognitive skills. Dynamic problem-based learning can mimic real life problems which are seldom fixed and static. This talk will describe how these pedagogies have been implemented into chemistry undergraduate programmes to successfully motivate students, develop professional skills and to provide learners with insight into the work of a professional scientist. The talk will present research evidence of effectiveness and be illustrated with examples that have been widely adopted in many institutions.

Professor Liz Burd - Building realism into the use of MOOCs and flipped classroom

Liz will talk about her work on financial and enrolment requirements relating to MOOC business viability. She will indicate where the challenges and are how some of these issues can be overcome and how others are just more challenging. She will present an opportunity to explore the use of MOOCs with the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom is an approach where content is provided in advance to students and instead of the traditional lecture the time is spent interacting with students through worked examples etc. Liz will examine impacts on student learning, but also consider how to make this approach manageable to staff workloads and how lecture theatres design can be altered to facilitate this new way of learning.