A detailed draft program, is available for download.

Discipline and Workshop Day - Friday 2 October 2015.

The last day of the conference is designated the "Discipline and Workshop Day".


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

ACSME Conference dinner

Thursday 1 October 2015 at The University Club, The University of Western Australia

The theme of this year’s conference dinner is black and gold. Feel free to be creative and incorporate black and gold any way you like

Campus map of the University of Western Australia (see map reference K8 for The University Club)
Tickets $85 each, limited to 100 guests

Discipline Day

The discipline day will be held at Murdoch University
The discipline day program can be found here.

Morning workshop (9am-12pm unless otherwise stated)

VIBEnet/CUBEnet Discipline Meeting
2015 marks an important phase for the two partner networks, the biomedical CUBEnet and biology VIBEnet. Given our combined experience over the past four years, we have come to appreciate the commonalities and synergies between our networks and developed a strategy to work in a more collaborative manner. To this end a proposal to form an umbrella network, Bioscience Education Australia Network (BEAN), was enthusiastically endorsed and approved by the Australian Academy of Science and by the members attending the CUBEnet Forum in Dec 2014. At this workshop CUBE and VIBE senior leadership we describe the logistics of operation of BEAN and hear reports back from pilot projects of CUBE and VIBE members initiated at ACSME 2014. The aim of this workshop is to increase critical mass and on the ground engagement amongst our diverse membership and allow for significant growth.
Please register via the discipline day registration page. For more information please contact Pauline Ross (

Chemistry Discipline Meeting
The Chemistry Discipline Network Discipline Day 2015 meeting will run approximately as follows:
9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome and introductions (Glennys O’Brien)
9:15 – 10:45 am Discussion of the “teamwork” TLO and how this can be be taught and assessed. Examples of learning objects and assessment items that would be suitable will be discussed. The exact wording of the item will also be discussed. (Simon Pyke)
10:45 – 11 am Morning tea
11 – 11:20 am Reports from the current OLT projects in chemistry: Gwen Lawrie (PCK project) and Siggi Schmid (Assessing the Assessments project)
11:20 – 12 noon Round table/open forum discussion of current issues in teaching and learning chemistry (Glennys O’Brien)

Please register via the discipline day registration page.

Physics Discipline Meeting
Please register via the discipline day registration page. For more information please contact David Hoxley (

Mathematics Discipline Network – FyiMaths
The program for this workshop can found HERE
Please register via the discipline day registration page. For more information please contact Joann Cattlin (

Further workshop descriptions will be added progressively.

Afternoon workshops (12:30pm-3:30pm)

Identifying and promoting best practice in the professional development of demonstrators
Mauro Mocerino (Curtin University) and Marjan Zadnik (The University of Western Australia)
The background context of the workshop: One of the most important components of science and engineering degrees are laboratory classes. These are also one of the most neglected areas for the professional development of the teaching assistants (TA) who are often senior students with little or no teaching experience. We have addressed this deficiency by developing an innovative program which includes (i) a full day workshop on effective teaching (ii) use of a preparation template to highlight educational objectives and (iii) weekly group meetings to discuss individual experiments.
The aims and objectives of this workshop:
1. Provide an overview of the Curtin Lab Demonstrators PD program
2. Obtain detailed feedback from participants in view to improving the program. A particular need exists to develop a greater database of scenarios for the biological and earth sciences.
We will provide the participants with our 25 page manual and ideas on how they can implement the workshop in their own departments.
After this workshop delegates will be able to better appreciate the complexities, and learning opportunities, of laboratory classes and be able to adopt and adapt our booklet and resources for their university departments. The will also experience what our workshop participants do during our one-day workshop.

Using an Online Virtual World to Teach Statistics Through Data Investigations
James Baglin (RMIT University)
The background context of the workshop: The ability to understand, reason and think statistically grows ever more important as the digital data deluge intensifies. Developing this capacity in Australian secondary school and tertiary students has never been more important. Students’ understanding of statistics and data analysis can be greatly improved by engaging them in the entire data investigation process (MacGillivray & Pereira-Mendoza, 2011). However, developing contextualised and meaningful data investigations can be hampered by practical and ethical constraints and teacher know-how. A recent development of an innovative online synthetic learning environment, known as the Islands, has provided a technological solution to these challenges. The original Island (Bulmer and Halaydn, 2011), and more recently, the Islands, simulate a realistic, human-like population that can be used for the purpose of conducting statistical and scientific investigations in a wide variety of fields including medicine, biology, psychology, health, and epidemiology to name a few. The Island has been used extensively in tertiary education (Bulmer & Haladyn, 2011, Linden, Baglin & Bedford, 2011; Baglin, Bedford & Bulmer, 2013; Baglin, Reece, Bulmer & Di Benedetto, 2013) and a recent 2014 national grant from the Australian Maths and Science Partnership Program (AMSPP) has commenced dissemination into secondary schools (Huynh, Baglin & Bedford, 2014). This hands on workshop will cover professional development, or the “know-how”, for using the Islands to teach statistics through data investigations. This workshop will be applicable to secondary school mathematics and science teachers and tertiary educators interested in using innovative approaches to teaching statistics and data analysis. Participants are required to bring their own portable computing device with WiFi connectivity.
The aims and objectives of this workshop:
To introduce participants’ to data investigations and their place in mathematics, statistics and science curriculum both in secondary and tertiary education
To enable participants to use the Islands to design and implement data investigation activities for their students
To link teachers with support and resources for teaching statistics through data investigation using the Islands
After this workshop delegates will be able to
Define a data investigation
Use the Islands to design and implement a learning activity that engages students in the entire process of a data investigation
Locate support and resources for using the Islands to teach statistics through data investigations

Getting started in pedagogic research
Tina Overton and Chris Thompson (Monash University)
This workshop is sponsored by the RACI Chemistry Education Division. It is open to all participants and is suitable for academics working in any STEM discipline.
Universities are increasingly employing staff described as education or teaching focussed. These staff typically have high teaching loads and are expected to engage in scholarship of teaching and learning. The requirement to engage with scholarship and to publish and present at conferences is increasingly forming part of promotion criteria for such staff. However, scholarship beyond relatively superficial evaluation requires a skills set that is quite foreign to those with a science background and scientists are poorly equipped to make the transition from ‘happy sheet’ to meaningful pedagogic research.
The aim of the workshop is to take participants through the stages involved in developing a pedagogic research project. These stages include; defining a research questions, considering theoretical frameworks, engaging with the literature, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, ethics, validity and reliability and dissemination.
Delegates will leave this workshop with a plan for tackling their own pedagogic research project.

Modding The Work-It-Out Materials: Experienced Physics Teachers Showcase Their Experience
Chris Creagh (Murdoch University)
By the end of the WIO Fellowship in 2014 a small but significant number of high school and university physics teachers and lecturers were preparing to adapt the WIO materials and teaching stratagy for use with their students. In this workshop they will present their experiences in the form of short case studies.The WIO materials were created with first year university mechanics students in mind but teaching mechanics starts in high school. It was therefore sensible for the materials to be adopted and adapted by high school teachers as well. Most of the materials are on-line at the Fellowship website with more to be added by the end of the year. This year the aim is to build an on-line community of practice where people can share their thoughts and ideas about the materials and teaching strategy. In this way we can build a supportive collaborative network between the university and high school physics teachers. The Work-It-Out Fellowship website can be found at

Measuring the effectiveness of online Adaptive Learning for Numerical Methods Concepts.
Mr Haritos Sofios, Engineering Honours Student - Mechanical Engineering & Commerce (Finance), UNSW
Mr Stuart Canning
Background Context:
As part of the engineering undergraduate degree at UNSW, students are required to undertake a course in Numerical Methods. Despite the great attempt by lecturers and tutors to assist students in this course, students often find themselves wanting additional self-paced and individualised learning material. A proposed solution is the use of adaptive tutorials powered through the Smart Sparrow adaptive elearning platform.
The above proposition is currently being tested through an undergraduate thesis focusing on the design, implementation and analysis of Smart Sparrow driven adaptive tutorials.
Aims and Objectives:
1 Understand the definition of online Adaptive Tutorial powered by Smart Sparrow
2 Measure the effectiveness of adaptive tutorials for Numerical Methods Concepts through the analysis of student performance in course assessment material.
3 Quantify the increase in student confidence before and after the completion of an adaptive tutorial.
4 Identify the instructional features of adaptive tutorials which students valued most and hence improved the overall learning experience.
After this workshop, delegates will be able to:
1 Understand the definition of adaptive tutorials
2 Access various published papers from OLT projects featuring Smart Sparrow adaptive tutorials
3 Create their own trial authoring Smart Sparrow account
4 Access pre-built Adaptive Tutorials in Engineering