A draft summary program, is available for download.

Discipline and Workshop Day

Wednesday 1 October 2014, University of Technology, Sydney. The last day of the conference is designated the "Discipline and Workshop Day".


On Monday and Tuesday, delegates will have the opportunity to showcase their work via oral and poster presentations.

Monday 29 September: All delegates are invited to attend "DigiXFest" Science Media Showcase and Judging (free event) in the Conference Foyer and Theatre. Join us for drinks and canapes from 5.15pm, Showcase and Judging 6.15 - 7.15pm.

20th Anniversary ACSME Conference dinner

Tuesday 30 September 2014 at The Star Room, Darling Harbour (above IMAX Theatre, 31 Wheat Road)

Tickets $85 each, limited to 200 guests

Conference Dinner

Discipline Day

Morning workshop (8am-1pm unless otherwise stated)

All meetings in UTS Peter Johnson (DAB) Building 6, Levels 3 and 4, 730 Harris Street (up main front stairs - just uphill from ABC Studios) in Ultimo.

UTS map:
Room numbers and meeting times are listed below:

Mathematics Discipline Meeting – Room no. CB06.03.51
The mathematics discipline meeting will run from 9:30am to 1pm (including lunch).

A program for the mathematics discipline meeting can be found HERE.

Please register via the discipline day registration page. For more information please contact

Chemistry Discipline Meeting: Room no. CB06.04.37
This morning meeting will be essentially an informal forum for small group discussion on nominated themes or areas of interest, for example your classroom innovation, managing diverse cohorts, active learning strategies, novel ways of addressing the TLOs….. There will be a call for possible themes via CHEMNET and a process for capture of key points from discussions which will be shared via CHEMNET. Each person will be able to attend two of the discussions. The meeting will include a brief report back on CHEMNET activities and a report on the RACI TLO based accreditation trial.

Please register via the discipline day registration page - or RSVP to StephBeames at UTS –

8 am: Informal breakfast gathering for early risers at “Universal Café” in UTS Peter Johnson (DAB) Building 6, Level 4
9 am: begin meeting, two reports.
9.45 – 10.45: choose your discussion group, first round of group discussions and feedback.
10.45 – 11.00: tea / coffee break
11.00 – 12.00: second round of group discussions and feedback.
12.00 - 1.00: informal lunch, venue TBA

VIBEnet/CUBEnet Discipline Meeting: Room no. CB06.03.56
This combined meeting will run from 9:30am to 1.00pm (including lunch)
This year the two biosciences discipline networks: Collaborative Universities in Biomedical Education (CUBE) and Vision and Innovation in Biology Education (VIBE) will combine meetings at the ACSME discipline day to investigate how we can progress joint initiatives in biomedical and biology education. Already both CUBE and VIBE share with each other and the other science disciplines common challenges in improving graduate outcomes to improve employability in the workplace.

In the first part of this workshop academics will share ideas on how to progress the current activities and research of network members in six key areas. These include: quantitative skills, inquiry approaches, communication, biomedical and Biology Threshold Learning Outcomes and Core concepts, undergraduate research experiences (UREs) and assessment. The purpose of this is to consolidate and scale up activities around common themes and identify tangible products. In the second part of the workshop we will explore new ideas and initiatives, which will be supported through seed funding to network members. All academics in the biosciences are welcome whether a current member or with intention to join CUBE or VIBE in the future or perhaps only for this workshop.

Please register via the discipline day registration page – or RSVP to Steph Beames at UTS –

Physics Discipline Meeting – Room no. CB06.04.40
This meeting will run from 9:30am to 1.00pm (including lunch)

This year the physics discipline day at ACSME will highlight the practical application of blended learning. David Hoxley will describe how laboratories might be ‘flipped’ via remote access and inter-institutional course sharing. Other speakers (see below) will present their experiences of blended and active learning and the pressures paced upon physics departments to reduce face-to-face teaching. Each presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion, which will form the basis of wider consultation amongst the Physics Education Network. A summary of the previous discipline day will be distributed before the meeting as a stimulus for discussion.

Please register via the discipline day registration page – or RSVP to Steph Beames at UTS –

9.30am: Introduction and ‘Flipped Laboratories’ – Dr David Hoxley, Faculty of STE, Department of Physics, La Trobe University
10.15am: The importance of a 'space' to active learning – Theo Hughes, Education Manager, School of Physics, Monash University
11.00-11.15: Tea/coffee break
11.15am: Inquiry Orientated Learning in Physics – Dr Christine Creagh, OLT 2013 National Teaching Fellow, School of EIT, Murdoch
12.00-1.00: Physics Education Network meeting (and lunch)

Psychology Discipline Meeting – Room no. CB06.03.53
This meeting will run from 9:30am to 1.00pm (including lunch)

Psychology graduate attributes: where we’re at, where we’re headed, and what we need to do?
The second consultation draft of the APAC Accreditation Rules and Standards has now been released. There will be an increase in the amount of psychology required to be taught in our undergraduate programs, and that some “employability” skills will need to be incorporated. Some graduate attributes are relatively easy to manage, but others, such as operating ethically within a scientist-practitioner framework, are a little harder to implement. Participants will describe what they believe to be best practices for the support of graduate attribute development, and will discuss how to better manage the implementation of the new Rules and Standards.

Please register via the discipline day registration page. For more information please contact Steve Provost

Afternoon workshops (1pm-3pm)

All workshops in UTS Peter Johnson (DAB) Building 6, Levels 3 and 4,
730 Harris Street (up main front stairs - just uphill from ABC Studios) in Ultimo.
UTS map: Room numbers are listed below:

Technology That Works: Engaging Students Using Active Learning Facilitated by Technology – Room no. CB06.04.40
Danny Liu, Adam Bridgeman, Gareth Denyer and Charlotte Taylor (The University of Sydney)

Background context of workshop: Immersed in the technology culture growing up, today’s students bring expectations of interactivity, immediacy, and connectedness to their study (Oblinger 2003). A significant challenge for educators is to increase student engagement in this environment. Considering increasingly diverse cohorts, various technology-facilitated practices can be used to more effectively and efficiency engage students with their learning (Kraus 2007). In this context, there are many papers, websites, and vendors describing the virtues of various technologies that seem to offer attractive alternatives or supplements to traditional teaching approaches (Bower et al. 2010; Lee & Tsai 2013). However, the availability of these technologies poses a number of questions including:
- How are these tools being used by real teachers in real situations (both online and face-to-face)?
- How do the teachers work within existing budgets, infrastructure and institutional constraints to deliver engaging activities for their students?
- Is the effort of learning how to use the technology worth the investment in time?
There are very few opportunities for teachers to display their innovations and share tips on how to use technology to enhance learning. This workshop will bring together attendees with an interest in using technology with those who are already working in this space to see each others’ work, exchange ideas and build contacts. There will be a focus on innovations with a high ratio of impact to implementation cost.

Aims of this workshop: To show how technology can be effectively implemented in undergraduate science classes to facilitate student learning and to enhance both the online and classroom environments. See abstract for more details and timeline of workshop.

Sci FYE: how to plan, develop and roll out a program to support, engage and inspire first year science students: Room no. CB06.03.51
Jenny Cox and James Crane (Charles Sturt University)

Background context:Science skills are more relevant to Australia’s society and workplace today than ever before. Yet, high school Science student numbers are dropping, university enrolments have plateaued and over a third of university Science students will probably not graduate, most of them leaving in their first year. To address these challenges, Charles Sturt University is piloting a new ‘holistic’ engagement process, called Science First Year Experience (Sci FYE), based on the principles that we should welcome the ‘whole person’ and that a student’s first few months form the DNA for their participation in University life, the development of their skills and confidence and, ultimately, their ability to graduate and pursue the career they want.

Aims of this workshop: This interactive workshop will walk delegates through some of the key points in the planning and development stages of SciFYE. We will then put delegates in the shoes of a Science student in their first year at University and take them through the Sci FYE engagement process covering: Why are you here? What are the challenges you will face? Why you may want to leave as soon as you get here? What can we really do to help you? How can we get you inspired about Science and help you develop your scientific skills? See abstract for more details and timeline of workshop.

Best Practices for Undergraduate Research Experiences – Developing Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research Experiences (ALUREs) in your Science Course: Room no. CB06.03.52
Susan Rowland, Matthew Green, Gwen Lawrie, Paula Myatt, Rhianna Pedwell, Jack Wang, Peter Worthy, Kirsten Zimbardi (The University of Queensland)

Background context:The model of undergraduate research where students undertake a research project over an extended period of time under the supervision of a researcher, has been associated with high levels of student engagement, academic success and a wide range of student benefits. The problem with this model is the numbers of students who can participate; most URE programs in Australia are still aimed at elite students, and in many cases only a small number of students can be accommodated each year. We have developed a model for up-scaling undergraduate research experiences to cohorts of several hundred students. We are now leading a national project in Australia to support the uptake of these Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research Experiences (ALUREs) and provide the benefits of research experiences to thousands of undergraduate students; 2014 is the last year of the project.
Aims of this workshop:In this workshop we will guide participants through the process of developing and implementing an Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research. Examples of ALUREs from the biosciences (ranging from physiology to molecular biology) will be provided to highlight key components and considerations for ALURE design and implementation. Workshop participants will then engage in the development of their own ALURE using a detailed checklist derived from our extensive experience in supporting faculty in the development, implementation, and evaluation of ALUREs.
After this workshop delegates will be able to return to their host institution with a working plan for the introduction of an ALURE into their undergraduate curriculum. They will be aware of the factors and people who can help them in their implementation, as well as be armed with strategies for identifying and overcoming possible hurdles they may encounter during their ALURE journey. See abstract for more details and timeline of workshop.

Helping students to understand feedback and improve their writing using exemplars: Room no. CB06.03.53
Stephen Provost (Southern Cross University), Fiona White and Caleb Owens (The University of Sydney)

Background and context: Students struggle to understand feedback and there is little evidence that it helps them to improve their writing skills. One problem is that students almost never see examples of writing other than their own, and thus have nothing to compare their writing with. At the University of Sydney, Fiona and Caleb have been seeking to assist students by presenting them with specific exemplars of writing in class and having a tutor ‘walk through’ the material, focussing on what strategies work best with respect to marks obtained. At the University of Newcastle and Southern Cross University we have developed an interactive digital workbook called Write on, Right now with Seeding Funds support from the Office for Learning and Teaching. The workbook is predicated on the idea that for students to improve their writing they must first be able to discriminate between exemplars of good and poor writing.

Aims of this workshop: The workshop is intended to provide an opportunity for:
- the dissemination of information about what the workshop hosts have been doing, the outcomes of its evaluation, description of problem areas, need for further investigation, and so on;
- participants to share any strategies that they have been employing to help students to improve their writing skills and for a discussion of these with their colleagues;
- a discussion of the potential of the strategies employed within psychology to be applied to other areas of Science and Mathematics education; and
- a discussion of potential collaborative initiatives, such as development of proposals for funding by the OLT or any other relevant organisations.
See abstract for more details and timeline of workshop.

A Toolbox of Diagrams and Interrogating Formulas: Room no. CB06.04.37
Chris Creagh (Murdoch University)

Background and context: Last year I told you what I was going to do for my OLT Fellowship and there were a couple of Physics related videos to look at. Since then I have created learning resources to go with the videos and I would like to present them to you as part of a workshop. At the same time I would like to capture your metacognitive thinking about matters relating to the themes.

Aims of this workshop:
1) Workshop the physics learning materials for student tutorials based on diagrams and formula.
2) Capture the participants metacognitive thinking about matters relating to
a) The culture of, and communication within, the discipline (e.g. diagrams, formulae, textbooks, labs). While this material was developed for Physics there will be parallels in other disciplines. It will therefore be useful for attendants to work in discipline based groups.
b) How we can facilitate student learning in the culture of our discipline?
c) How we can facilitate discipline specific communication?
d) Why should we facilitating student learning and understanding in background areas such as those covered by the videos?
e) In what other areas of our work, with students, should we make it explicit to them the reasons we have constructed the learning environment in the way that we have?
See abstract for more details and timeline of workshop.

BEST Practice: Using technology to engage students with rich, interactive and adaptive next-generation educational content: A Case Study/live experience of ‘the The Virtual Oxygen Electrode Lab’ and its impact on student engagement @ UNSW: Room no. CB06.03.56

Dr. Louise Lutze Mann, UNSW, Ariel Shoham and Greg Higgins, BEST Network/Smart Sparrow

Background Context: The oxygen electrode virtual laboratory was developed to replace the wet lab, which was being phased out due to a combination of capacity limitations, the high cost of replacing damaged equipment and access to supervisory staff. The virtual lab was able to effectively teach more students at a fraction of the first year’s equivalent development cost, and resulted in increased student engagement due to its rich and interactive design and tailored feedback delivered when specific misconceptions were triggered by students.

Aims and Objectives: 1. Develop awareness of adaptive ‘next-generation’ educational content currently available in the sciences, 2. Demonstrate the live learner and teacher experience, 3. Present findings / efficacy relating to impact on student behaviour in Principles of Biochemistry @ UNSW.
After this workshop, delegates will be able to: 1. Register as a BEST Network Member, 2. Preview a catalogue of ‘next generation’ educational content and adaptive tutorials currently available in the sciences, 3. Access the Smart Sparrow authoring tool to adapt existing lessons to their teaching needs, 4. Understand the educational theory underpinning the Smart Sparrow platform, relating to the ‘learn-by doing’ mode of leaning and the emulation of instruction as a private lesson scenario. See abstract for more details and timeline of workshop.

To register for this workshop please email