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 Beverley Oliver – Enhancing courses for employability: reimagining assessment at the digital frontier See abstract.

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)

Associate Professor Manjula Sharma completed her Bachelors at The University of the South Pacific, PhD and MEd (research methods) at The University of Sydney. Currently, she is the Director of the Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education and heads the Sydney University Physics Education Research group. Nationally, she leads SaMnet, the Science and Mathematics network of Australian University Educators and is a Director of ASELL, Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory. As a change agent, she invests in leadership development, curriculum initiatives and building capacity in science and mathematics education.

Prof Sharma has some 100 refereed publications and book chapters in science and mathematics education, and has received repeated funding. She is driving research on inquiry and investigating pedagogical use of ICT in school science classrooms. The findings are being translating into practice and informing decisions. Her work is recognised internationally through research partnerships, service on expert/advisory panels, Editorial Boards and Conference committees. She has been awarded the Australian Institute for Physics Education Medal in 2012, Australian Learning and Teaching Council Team Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in 2008 and The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006. She currently holds the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching National Teaching Fellowship.

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

Professor Barney Glover

Barney Glover

Vice Chancellor
(University of Western Sydney)

Professor Barney Glover is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Western Sydney. He was previously Vice-Chancellor at Charles Darwin University from 2009 to 2013, and has a long record of success in university management and leadership, particularly in research, intellectual property management and major capital development projects. Professor Glover also has significant business leadership credentials through membership on the boards of a range of corporate organisations and several state and national centres covering areas such as health and medical research, energy, mineral exploration and processing and telecommunications.

Before relocating to the Northern Territory in 2009 Professor Glover was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research at the University of Newcastle. Prior to this, he held several positions at Perth's Curtin University of Technology including Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development. He has a strong research publication record and has co-authored four texts in mathematics education. Before his appointment at Curtin Professor Glover held a number of positions at the University of Ballarat in Victoria.

Building research infrastructure, strategic partnerships and fostering a culture of research excellence were hallmarks of Professor Glover’s tenure in senior executive roles at CDU, the University of Newcastle and Curtin University of Technology. He has demonstrated a deep commitment to widening participation and exploring innovative approaches to higher education access throughout his career. Professor Glover is a leader in the development of flexible, technology-based learning and in furthering Indigenous knowledge and education. He also has considerable experience in developing strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the vocational education sector.

Professor Barney Glover – The impact of technology in higher education See abstract


Dr Roslyn Prinsley

Roslyn Prinsley

National Advisor, Maths and Science Education and Industry
(Office of the Chief Scientist)

Dr Roslyn Prinsley was appointed in February 2013 as the National Adviser for Science and Mathematics Education and Industry in the Office of the Chief Scientist. She chairs the Office’s Industry Working Group and Women in STEM National Committee.
Previously, Roslyn was a Principal Strategic Consultant with Sinclair Knight Merz, held a number of senior positions at the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, and worked for the Commonwealth Science Adviser in the United Kingdom.
Roslyn holds a PhD in photosynthesis, and a Masters in Intellectual Property Law, has published over 70 books and reports and is a member of the Plant Breeder’s Rights Advisory Committee to the Minister of Industry.

Plenary presentation:Getting the Right Skills in the Right Place at the Right Time See abstract

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 Beverley Oliver - Enhancing courses for employability: reimagining assessment at the digital frontier

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.

Associate Professor Manju Sharma – Using engagement in lectures as an entree for learning

Lectures are a signature pedagogy for university education. Lectures in which an academic exhibits their passion for their discipline, giving students a taste of the wonders awaiting, captures the imagination. What unfolds is starkly different to this mystical enthrallment. In fact reality is so different that many think that lectures could be replaced by online material. Others think that lectures are morphing into tutorials. What is ‘the lecture’? Is there a place for lectures in university education? Could lectures provide the entrée for learning? My Office for Learning and Teaching National Teaching Fellowship explores these questions. Twelve institutions have opened up their lectures for exploration. Chemistry and physics are involved in concept surveying while biology and mathematics in case studies. We will unpack the lecture and its role in the curriculum. Support and resources available for lecturers and lecturing will be shared as well as our model for mentoring early career lecturers.

Professor Barney Glover – The impact of technology in higher education

Technology is playing an increasingly disruptive role in higher education and is perhaps the most challenging aspect of the transformation that is underway in science and mathematics education. This presentation will explore critical trends in the use of technology in universities with reference to the likely reforms in the sector announced in the 2014 federal budget. Expectations of students, the nature of the student experience and the opportunities afforded by new technologies and internet connectivity will be discussed.

Dr Roslyn Prinsley - Getting the Right Skills in the Right Place at the Right Time

We need to encourage education providers to design programs that enable science and maths graduates to work easily and willingly in many different sectors of the economy. The destinations and roles of science and maths qualified people in the workforce has been identified as a major gap in in our understanding. I will discuss the results of two major projects which we have commissioned to better understand the place of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) qualified people in the workforce:

1. A study by the ABS of STEM graduates in the workforce - how many there are; their occupations; and employment growth.
2. A survey of employers to understand their demand for STEM graduates and the skills that they are seeking

These results will assist in defining the programs of education in science faculties that will assist graduates to obtain skills required by a range of workplaces.

I will also discuss the activities of our Industry Working Group which provides advice to Australia’s Chief Scientist about mechanisms to improve the quantity and preparedness of graduates to meet Australia’s future work force needs. The Industry Working Group has membership from the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Universities Australia, the Australian Technology Network of Universities, the Australian Collaborative Network on Education and the Office of the Chief Scientist.