On Wednesday and Thursday, delegates will showcase their work via oral and poster presentations.
The final program can be found here.

This is the map for navigating the UQ campus, parking, and public transport options. Please note that the Citycat ferry stop has moved and it may be inaccurate on some online maps. UQnav is a free App that can help you navigate the campus. You can find it here:

Disciplinary day workshops

The third day of the conference is designated the "Discipline and Workshop Day". The final workshop timetable can be found here .

Conference dinner


Thursday, 29 September 2016 – Rydges Rooftop, Level 12, 9 Glenelg St, SouthBank, Brisbane.

The conference dinner theme is “Viva Bris Vegas” (download the flyer here ).

Your dinner ticket includes three-course dinner, drinks, and dancing at Rydges Rooftop at Southbank. Wear your best Las Vegas costumes, compete for the costume prizes, and be prepared to party!

Buy your tickets on the conference Registration page.

To see Rydges and views of Southbank go: here


Deborah King, Nazim Khan, Cristina Varsavsky

As every year, this will be a very good opportunity to network with mathematics colleagues from across the country.
There are several challenges faced by those responsible for teaching mathematics and statistics at undergraduate level. How should we teach mathematics and statistics in the technology rich environment we operate today? How do we better engage students through teaching and learning, and through assessment? Are our graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge required to navigate the world of work? How do we know? How do we inform students about the vast array of jobs that studying maths and stats will open them to? Even if this is not their main game, how will maths and stats give them an edge?
Come to the Mathematics Discipline Day workshop to discuss these and other questions that are keeping you awake at night. It will be a great opportunity to exchange approaches you have tried or have seen working elsewhere. If you would like to put a particular issue on the agenda, do not hesitate to contact the workshop leaders.


Tina Botwright Acuna and Amanda Able – University of Tasmania

The core sciences that contribute to agriculture include biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics but our students must integrate and learn to apply their knowledge to agricultural problems in the context of any social, environmental or economic constraints. As such, the Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) for Agriculture, although aligned with the TLOs for Science, also capture the contribution of other disciplines and emphasise transferable and applied skills that will allow graduates to contribute to a successful career in a wide range of roles (please see This professional focus is often reflected within the activities and assessment tasks set by teachers. The recently published Good Practice Guide for the Agriculture TLOs highlights student-led inquiry and experiential learning, especially work integrated learning (WIL), in the Agriculture discipline.

Currently, there is no forum for our discipline to discuss good teaching practice and the challenges facing agricultural educators. We are establishing a national network to encourage the scholarship of learning and teaching for agricultural educators. The purpose of this workshop is two-fold:
1) To share and discuss examples of activities and assessment that develop integrative, multi-disciplinary knowledge and ability of students to solve complex problems; and;
2) To discuss the nature and purpose of the agriculture network.
Academics from other disciplines with an interest in multidisciplinary teaching are welcome to attend.
For more information, please contact either Tina Botwright Acuña () or Amanda Able ().


Dr Tina Botwright Acuña is a senior Lecturer and coordinator of the undergraduate agriculture degrees at the University of Tasmania. Tina led the OLT-funded ‘A consensus approach to defining standards for learning outcomes and informing curricula design for Agriculture (AgLTAS)’ (see and co-edited Good Practice Guide: Threshold Learning Outcomes for Agriculture. Tina was SaMnet Scholar from 2011 to 2012. She was awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2014 by the University of Tasmania for “Leadership in assessment practice that enhances student learning outcomes and the development of national academic learning and teaching standards to inform curriculum design”.


Professor Amanda Able was a member of the AgLTAS project team and co-edited Good Practice Guide: Threshold Learning Outcomes for Agriculture. Amanda is the Associate Dean (Curriculum) for the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide and teaches into the Agricultural Sciences and related disciplines. Her educational research explores the efficacy of small group discovery and WIL in the development of research skills and integrative knowledge. Amanda was awarded the Executive Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005, and the Australian Society of Plant Scientists Teaching Award in 2009. As the Molecular Plant Breeding CRC Education Program Leader (2003-2008), Amanda also led the team that developed the secondary school educational program Get into Genes (awarded the CRC Excellence and Innovation in Education Award in 2006).


Glennys O’Brien, ChemNet Co-Director and Meeting Convener () - University of Wollongong

The 2016 meeting program will include short items reporting back on various projects and meetings:
- Pedagogical Content Knowledge Project (OLT SD14-3737) - Gwen Lawrie (UQ)
- Assessing assessments introduction to tool for measuring engagement and assessment (OLT 14-3652) - Siggi Schmid (USyd)
- RACI Accreditation Update - Dan Southam (Curtin)
- RACI CHEM Ed Division update - Chris Thompson (Monash) and a discussion workshop (1.5 hrs):
- Designing and assessing group work - Gwen Lawrie et al

-Highlight outcomes of current and completed projects to encourage their adoption
-Maintain and build connections within the chemistry teaching community, via both the Chemistry
-Discipline Network and ChemEd Division of RACI
-Support continued improvement of assessment practices through shared conversations

Workshop Description
This discussion session follows on from 2015 Discipline Day and the RACI CHEM Ed Div March 2016 Symposium. It is particularly aimed at two issues:
(1) strategies to assess individual learning from collaborative group work and
(2) what may be an appropriate level of student achievement in team /group work to be reached within the 3 year degree.

This is intended very much to be a sharing of experience and opinion, so do bring your ideas and examples.



Tracey Kuit - School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong
Gareth Denyer - University Research Data Steward and Associate Dean (International), University of Sydney
Cremin, Paul - Market Manager Australia and New Zealand at LabArchives, LLC

KEYWORDS: electronic notebooks, technology, collaboration

Ensuring digital literacy to prepare graduates for employment in a digital world is at the heart of higher education teaching and policy development in institutions globally.
eNotebooks (formerly Electronic Lab Notebooks, or ELNs) provide a collaborative working tool suitable for both internal and external collaborators. eNotebooks can be used in any discipline and are a great option for storing and sharing working documents, procedures, observations, conclusions, lab notes, images and data files. As a teaching tool eNotebooks allow group learning, large scale data sharing and efficiencies in large class teaching and grading of student work.
There are many commercially available eNotebook systems and many institutions may already be embracing them or creating customized systems. As just one example, LabArchives® is a secure cloud based eNotebook tool that was designed for the storage, organisation, sharing and publishing of research data. LabArchives can be deployed in two versions: Professional Edition and Classroom Edition. The Professional Edition provides a workflow tool to manage data and to protect the intellectual property rights of the institution. The Classroom Edition is built on the same core platform as the Professional version, with specialized instructional features and is being used by higher education institutions globally, including Australia.

- To develop participant awareness of the value of eNotebooks for teaching and research.
- To promote discussions among participants interested in utilising eNotebooks.
Workshop description
This will be a 1.5 hour workshop for 30 participants.
Activities include:
- Discussion of current and emerging uses of eNotebooks in research and teaching at the participants
- institutions. Does your institution currently use an eNotebook system for teaching or research?
- Showcase of the use of an eNotebook for teaching and research – using LabArchives.
- Discussion of strategies for embedding eNotebooks in teaching and/or research.

Biography of workshop leaders
Dr. Tracey Kuit is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong’s School of Biological Sciences, where she coordinates large undergraduate subjects. Tracey recently embedded eNotebooks, using LabArchives┬« Classroom Edition, in a second year undergraduate biochemistry subject with 430 students.

Associate Professor Gareth Denyer is the recently-appointed Sydney University Research Data Steward. Over the last three decades, he has been a thought leader in adoption of new technologies in all areas of University life. His most recent leadership role has been in the use of eNotebooks in both the teaching and research environments. He has published his work on bringing eNotebooks into the classroom, presenting at workshops across several institutions and National societies.

Mr Paul Cremin is the market manager for Australia and New Zealand for LabArchives, LLC. Paul has had 20 years of high level research experience, across fields such as competitive intelligence, company research, medical literature searching and pharmacovigilance, market research, drug safety literature searching, intellectual property and finance.


Jenni Metcalfe and Toss Gascoigne - Econnect


This workshop is a practical guide to anyone who has to talk about his or her research.
We will address questions like:
Who is the audience? What do they want to know? What problem are you tackling, and what progress have you made? How can you get across the main points in a minute, a page, or in 140 characters?
The workshop is highly practical, with open discussions, quick tips, and new techniques. Exercises are videotaped and played back, so participants can see where they do well and also see areas of potential improvement. And best of all, the lessons can be taken back to the classroom, for passing on to students!


- To raise awareness about the importance of communicating your research
- To understand the importance of considering the audience
- To develop skills in communicating your research concisely and in plain English to a variety of audiences, including the media

Workshop description
There will be 2 x 90 minute workshops with 25 participants each (one morning and one afternoon). Half of these places will be available for ACSME registrants and the other half will be reserved for Faculty of Science academics from UQ. The UQ Faculty of Science is sponsoring the workshop so it is free to participants.

Biographies of workshop leaders
Jenni Metcalfe (BEd, BBusCom, MSc) is director of econnect. She has expertise in the fields of journalism, writing, publishing, community engagement, and in developing and implementing communication and interpretative strategies. She has a background in science, education and journalism. Jenni was president of australian science communicators in 2005–07. Jenni has been a science communicator since 1989.

Toss Gascoigne (BA, DipEd) is interested in the nexus between researchers, policy-makers and the media. He is a former executive director for fasts and chass, peak councils representing australians working in research, education and practice. He devised and organised 'science meets parliament’.
Today he runs workshops (with econnect) on communication: planning communication, media skills, using new media, and presenting science to different publics. These are held across australia and internationally and have a focus on audience.


Brijesh Kumar () and Colleen Kaesehagen () - Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement, James Cook University


Academic staff in first year STEM subjects have identified the limited preparedness of first year university students in the area of scientific writing, as a concern. We have all learned how to write (good) scientific papers but how we learned to write is probably different. This workshop will focus on some common expectations all scientific papers have such as a review of the current state of knowledge on the subject; justification of the need/importance for the research to be conducted; ensuring hypothesis being tested is well explained; results are interpreted in relation to current state of knowledge; identifies the scientific questions and procedural weaknesses that need to be addressed in the future. The question is how best to teach scientific writing to students? Do we teach the students as we learned or is there a better way of doing it?


The objectives of the workshop are to network
- good teaching practices for teaching scientific writing
- appropriate resources for teaching scientific writing
- how to embed the development of scientific writing within the curriculum with minimal impact on academic workload
- generated ideas as an eBook.

Workshop Description
The workshop will be interactive with open discussions. The focus will be on how to improve our first year students’ scientific communication (writing). All the ideas generated will be compiled and circulated among workshop participants. There will be a 1 x 90 minute workshop with 25 participants.

Biographies of workshop leaders
Brijesh Kumar (BSc(Hon), PGDip(Teaching), MMedSc(Pathology) and MSc) is currently a Learning Advisor (Math and Science) with Learning Teaching and Student Engagement, at James Cook University working to provide learning and assessment support in collaboration with academic staff. He is an enthusiastic science educator with a passion for engaging and enabling students in the science and maths space.

Colleen Kaesehagen (Dip Teach, BEd, MEd) is also a Learning Advisor at James Cook University. She plays a key role in the Language and Learning team, which works with staff to embed academic literacy, language and numeracy development within the curriculum. She is passionate about improving the literacy and numeracy skills of students.


Hayley Bugeja (presenting Author, ) & Associate Professor Dawn Gleeson
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3010, Australia

KEYWORDS: on-line learning, engagement

The subject ‘Genetics in the Media’ is a first-year level subject that involves critical evaluation, by science and non-science students alike, of the portrayal of genetics concepts via the mainstream media. Prior to 2016, this subject drew on different teaching resources, including: scientific-based lectures, which provided students with suitable background on genetics concepts; guest lectures from experts in the media, judicial system and scientific communicators; and discussion around different media excerpts, such as newspaper articles, blogs, movies and televised news. With the support of a Learning and Teaching Initiative grant this subject was converted to principally on-line delivery in 2016 to provide flexibility for both on and off-campus student cohorts. This workshop will discuss the challenges faced in the implementation of accredited on-line subjects and encourage insights and discussion from participants with respect to student engagement, timeliness of completing tasks, assessment, presentation of the on-line materials and other factors associated with on-line and blended learning environments.


Magdalena Wajrak, - School of Science, Edith Cowan University
Ruben Phillips, , - School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University
Alexandra Yeung, - Department of Chemistry, Curtin University

The aim of this workshop is to stimulate a productive discussion with regard to whether it is appropriate to create fully online science units, such as chemistry, where laboratory skills are an essential part of the unit content. Also to share information from academics involved in creating online science units, what is best practice and what resources are available.

Sources of evidence
“Online learning is increasingly becoming a core activity in higher education and there is heightened interest across the sector with the recent implementation of massive and small open online courses in higher education [1]. These initiatives build on paradigms for open access to tertiary education already in existence including the Open University (UK) and Open Universities Australia.” [2] Australian university students are attending university campuses less and are going online more to fulfil their learning needs [3]. “As students increasingly need to juggle the competing demands of work, family and study, the ways in which they engage with Higher Education institutions is changing. The use of technology is playing a key role in this change.” [4]

Main argument
There is a strong push by Australian Universities to develop more fully online units where students don’t need to attend any on-campus activities, however, should all units be implemented fully online? What is the place of online learning in a whole course? Do online units achieve specific learning outcomes which on-campus activities cannot?

This workshop will discuss experiences from implementation of two first year science units; chemistry and foundation of anatomy and physiology fully online at Edith Cowan University. Both of those units have been evaluated and have received interesting feedback. The chemistry unit only ran once fully online and will not run again, however, the human biology unit has now been running for almost 10 years.

[1] Bates, 2013. Online learning and distance education resources. Retrieved February 26, 2013, from
[2] Student perceptions of the teaching in online learning: an Australian university case study. Tucker, Halloran, & Price, Research and Development in Higher Education: The Place of Learning and Teaching, Volume 36, Refereed papers from the 36th HERDSA Annual International Conference, 1- 4 July 2013, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
[3] Gosper, et al., 2008; James, Krause, & Jennings, 2010
[4] Blended synchronous learning: a handbook for educators 2014


Kathy Tangalakis (Presenting author, ) & Brett Vaughn () - College of Health & Biomedicine, Victoria University
Philip MacKinnon () - Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER),
Janet Macaulay () - Faculty of Medicine, Monash University

Across the Sciences, the combination of high student numbers (particularly in first and second years), heavy workloads and budget constraints has resulted in high-stakes assessments such as tests and end-of-semester exams consisting largely, if not solely, of multiple choice questions (MCQs). In a recent survey of Collaborative Universities Biomedical Education network (CUBEnet) members (comprising academics from most Australian universities), of the 40 respondents, 97.5% reported using MCQs to assess student learning.
MCQs have advantages in large-scale testing, including automated marking and high reliability (Haladyna 2004). Unfortunately however, many of the MCQs currently used test knowledge of facts (the lowest “Remembering” category in the cognitive domain of Blooms taxonomy. This was evidenced in a pilot study in which the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) psychometrically analyzed three Biomedical Sciences exams from different universities, which also showed a notable absence of questions testing higher order and transferable skills such as problem-solving, analysis and knowledge application. However, it is possible to design MCQs that test higher-order cognitive processes. The UMAT and GAMSAT medical entrance exams routinely include MCQs that test high level cognitive skills.
Evidence of the need to facilitate improvements in assessment and engagement of academics in assessment design and planning was documented in the ALTC funded “Good Practice report: Assessment of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students” which highlights the need to provide mechanisms facilitating academics to implement the considerable knowledge already present in the literature on assessment (Rice 2011). The Higher Education Academy’s 2012 report “A marked Improvement. Transforming Assessment in Higher Education”, also acknowledges the need for committed experts in assessment as “the most important factor in successful changes in assessment practices”. The report also supports raising the profile of assessment and standards through professional development, mentoring and engagement with external support systems and communities of (assessment) practice.
This workshop aims to deliver on the recommendations of assessment experts and higher education reports. The project team includes members who have conducted assessment workshops at various universities and have been part of the UMAT and GAMSAT assessments.

This interactive workshop will focus on building the capability of academics to analyze their current assessments and design MCQ exams that test students’ capacity to think like a scientist or clinician by extrapolating from what they have learned and applying their knowledge/competencies in new contexts - skills valued by employers. Well-constructed MCQs can also address the language bias for students from non-English speaking backgrounds, who are increasingly attending university. Additionally, the module will emphasize a systematic assessment design approach, including mapping of questions against subject learning objectives- such an approach helps ensure that student learning is properly assessed.

- Haladyna, T (2004) Developing and validating multiple choice questions. 3rd ed Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
- Rice, J (2011) Good Practice Report: Assessment of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.
- Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
- The Higher Education Academy (2012) A marked Improvement. Transforming Assessment in Higher Education.

Workshop 10: Technology Showcase

In this showcase you will be able to try out new teaching technologies in a one-on-one format with academics who currently use them in their classrooms.

Stephanie Dowdell, Belinda Ferrari, Nicodemus Tedla, Christopher Brownlee, Alison Murray, Amirtha Krishna Kumar - University of New South Wales
Enhancing student learning in science using virtual laboratories
Theo Hughes - Monash University
Action research: the effectiveness of quick & dirty pre-class videos for a flipped classroom
Wendy Loughlin, Dianne Watters, Christopher Brown, Peter Johnston - Griffith University
Student usage of online maths skill support in first year chemistry
Miriam Sullivan - University of Western Australia
Teaching Teamwork in Virtual Reality




Professor Les Dawes
Queensland University of Technology


Professor Merrilyn Goos
The University of Queensland


Professor Stephen Dinham
The University of Melbourne


Professor Joanne Mulligan
Macquarie University


Dr Geoff Woolcott
Southern Cross University

All governments are investing in improving STEM education. There is significant activity underway across the country in schools and education systems, by industry and universities to lift student engagement and attainment in STEM and to support teachers to improve student outcomes. The Chief Scientist’s report Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future highlighted the trends that our system is grappling with including the declining performance of Australian students against international benchmarks and the decline in participation in senior secondary sciences and advanced mathematics. As acknowledged in The National STEM School Education Strategy, reversing the trends in STEM performance will take time and considerable, collaborative effort.
But what of the role of Universities in addressing this challenge? In 2013, 12 million dollars of federal grant funding was awarded to five major projects over three years that committed to take a lead role in Enhancing the Training of Mathematics and Science Teachers (ETMST). These projects sought to identify where significant change and impact can be made - going beyond traditional approaches that have involved providing more content, method and resources, and reconceiving what is possible through renewed collaborations between practising scientists, mathematicians and teacher educators - as we prepare the next generation of our nation’s science and mathematics teachers.

- Discuss shifts in higher education practice that can effect and support change through our preparation of the next generation of mathematics and science teachers nationally.
- Explore key findings and implications of Enhancing the Training of Mathematics and Science Teachers projects nationally.


Sarah-Jane Gregory & Sarah Cresswell - School of Natural Sciences, Griffith University

This workshop is a means for those not familiar with key higher education relevant social media forums to gain an active and practical understanding of their importance in the current space in which we teach.
We will address issues such as: “I never have time to learn how these social media things work,” “I’ve heard it’s all bad out there is social media land,” and “why might we consider using social media in higher education?” The workshop is highly practical, with support provided to quickly establish and implement the basics of engaging with students in a selection of relevant platforms.

- To quickly familiarise participants with some of the key social media tools students currently engage with in learning spaces.
- To facilitate the establishment of basic user capacity with these tools.
- To provide a short block of time and space for those who would like to overcome threshold learning aspects of using social media.
- Facilitation of a discussion of the pros and cons of using social media in HE and how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

Workshop description
One hour with 30 participants’ maximum. The intended audience is
(i) academic staff with limited experience using social media and
(ii) those who might like to spend a little time refining their knowledge and application of social media in the teaching and learning context

Activities include:
- Upskilling the non-Digital Native in use of: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat
- Pedagogical applications of social media
- Discussion of the pros and cons of using social media in teaching in higher education
The workshop will be flexible to adapt to the specific needs of those attending. For example, if everyone already has a LinkedIn Profile the focus will switch to its application for good pedagogy. If there are specific platforms that a lot of participants are interested in learning about this could also be accommodated.

Biography of workshop leaders
Sarah-Jane Gregory is a Lecturer in the Griffith University School of Natural Sciences. Her research lens is on second year science undergraduate experiences. She also has research interests and developments in the areas of student engagement, technology-enhanced learning and professional development of Teaching Focussed Academics.

Dr Sarah Cresswell is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Natural Sciences, Griffith University. Her research interests extend from the investigation of clandestine manufacture, chemical profiling and isotope-ratio mass spectrometric analysis of illicit drugs and drug precursors to research into problem-based learning and the evaluation of teaching and learning practice especially in relation to enhancing undergraduate teaching and learning in forensic chemistry.




Mahbub Sarkar, Stephen Danczak, Jared Ogunde, Stephen George, Chris Thompson, and
Tina Overton - Chemistry Education Research Group, Monash University

Questionnaires are one of the most frequently used instruments in educational research. In some cases reliable and validated questionnaires which already exist in the literature can be used directly in research. However, often these instruments need to be tailored to address specific purpose of the research. These changes may range from rewording and amalgamation of existing questionnaires or developing a completely new questionnaire. Whilst development of a valid and reliable questionnaire is a must to reduce measurement error, research suggests that many published educational articles overlook the importance of validating the questionnaire utilised.

Objectives and Workshop Description
The aim of the workshop is to take participants through the process involved in selecting, developing and validating questionnaires.

Participants will investigate how they can implement existing validated questionnaires (with and without modification) and develop a new questionnaire for their own research purpose. In the case of developing a new questionnaire, some basic steps need to be followed to achieve valid and reliable results:
(1) determining the purpose of using a questionnaire,
(2) defining the construct,
(3) item development and judgment,
(4) establishing validity and reliability, and
(5) finalising the questionnaire.

It is expected that participants should be able to decide when a questionnaire is suitable to address a research question and make a plan for tackling questionnaire content, design and validation to reduce measurement errors and achieve reliable results while using a questionnaire in own pedagogic research projects.

The workshop will be interactive.


Manjula Sharma (Presenter), Tom Gordon & Vicky Tzioumis - School of Physics, The University of Sydney
Alexandra Yeung - Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University

ASELL Schools has designed and successfully implemented an inquiry slider – a pedagogical tool for understanding, implementing and reflecting on inquiry in schools. In this workshop, you will carry out an investigation and grapple with issues related to implementing inquiry.
Questions such as the following will be discussed:
What does it mean to do inquiry-based investigations?
Are there different understandings of inquiry? What are they?
Do all investigations need to be largely inquiry?
How do we map how much inquiry we have in our curriculum?
How do we scaffold student understandings of inquiry?
How do we let go of recipe-based investigations?



Jessica Vanderlelie, Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow
School of Medical Science, Griffith University

Ensuring graduate employability is core business for Australian Higher Education Institutions and evidence-based strategies for embedding employability have been implemented across the sector. This work is particularly important in STEM disciplines where students are presented with a broad array of career opportunities. For universities interested in improving employability skills and graduate outcomes, it is imperative to move beyond requests of alumni to provide mentoring, membership on advisory boards, donations, and contributions to brand capital. To date, alumni are an underutilised resource in supporting employability and they are often left to fend for themselves in the transition from university.
This OLT National Teaching Fellowship proposes a redefinition of the philosophy of the alumnus and their role in Australian Higher education. By reshaping our notions of success and modalities for connecting with alumni we may enhance our capacity to maintain connection with our graduates. In return we will unlock their intelligences to support curricula and employability initiatives, ensuring graduate capabilities in future cohorts. This session aims to explore current alumni engagement methodologies, provide tools for connecting with alumni, and open dialogue around the role of alumni connection in facilitating graduate success and the study-work transition.

- To develop participant awareness of the value of alumni engagement in STEM disciplines.
- To explore opportunities for alumni contribution to undergraduate curriculum and employability initiatives.
- To help participants facilitate improved relationships between alumni and their School or University.

Workshop description
Two hours with 50 participants maximum. The intended audience is (i) academic staff involved in the development of employability curriculum and (ii) university leadership interested in supporting alumni relationships.
Activities include:
- Identification of key areas in programs where alumni may contribute to employability.
- Discussion of current and emerging methods for supporting graduates in the transition to work.
- Strategies for developing and maintaining strong alumni networks.

Biography of workshop leader
Dr. Jessica Vanderlelie is a Senior Lecturer at the Griffith University School of Medical Science, where she coordinates the embedding of employability curriculum across the Faculty of Health. Jessica is passionate about supporting graduate success and as an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow, is currently leading a program of activities to ‘Revision Alumni Engagement for Graduate Success’.


Siegbert Schmid (Presenting Author, & Adam Bridgeman - School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney.
Glennys O’Brien & Simon B. Bedford - School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong
Simon M. Pyke & Samuel J. Priest - School of Physical Sciences, The University of Adelaide
Madeleine Schultz - School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology
Daniel C. Southam - Department of Chemistry, Curtin University
Kieran F. Lim - School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University
Ian M. Jamie - Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University
Gwen Lawrie - School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland

Higher Education in Australia is in a phase of rapid change due to regulatory changes (TEQSA) and a shift towards a standards based framework. Over the past five years, the Chemistry community in Australia has developed the Chemistry Threshold Learning Outcomes (CTLOs) which articulate the outcomes that every student graduating from an Australian university with a major in Chemistry will have attained. In keeping with this development, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) now bases its accreditation for Chemistry degrees on the CTLOs.
Therefore, it is now vital to the Chemistry community to ensure that the assessment items we use allow students to demonstrate attainment of all CTLOs during their chemistry degree. Our OLT funded project (Assessing the assessments: Evidencing and benchmarking student learning outcomes in Chemistry (OLT ID14-3562)) has developed a diagnostic framework that will help you to determine whether your assessment items actually deliver reliable measures of student performance and provide evidence of achievement of the CTLOs. An additional outcome of the project will be a database of standards-based assessment items to be shared with the Chemistry community.

Workshop Format
We invite you to attend this half-day workshop where we will guide you through evaluating your assessment items for their ‘fitness for purpose’ in providing evidence of achievement of the CTLOs.
Ideally you will bring along one of your 2nd or 3rd year Chemistry assessment items (in electronic format) so that the workshop team can guide you through an online submission and evaluation to determine:
1. Which CTLOs are explicitly demonstrated by students through successful completion of the item?
2. Is your task suited to a developing or graduate level understanding?
3. To what extent can your task be said to help confirm student attainment of the CTLOs?

A critical aspect of this process is consideration of marking schemes and student work for the assessment items. We strongly encourage you to bring one or two pieces of marked pass level student work (de-identified) that can be used to evidence successful attainment of a particular CTLO.
A central part of the workshop will be a ‘calibration’ exercise, which allows developing a mutual understanding of what constitutes demonstrating attainment of a particular CTLO. While the content of this workshop is Chemistry specific, the process is not. Therefore we are confident that all ACSME attendees will find this to be a valuable experience. All are invited.


Fiona Bird ( - School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University
Tina Hinton ( - School of Medical Sciences (Pharmacology), The University of Sydney
Pauline Ross ( - School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney

KEYWORDS: assessment, benchmarking, calibration

Quality assurance of assessment is requisite to reliable and valid demonstration of graduate outcomes. The discipline day workshop for the Biomedical and Biology Education Networks (CUBE + VIBE = BEAN) will involve active participation in a peer review and benchmarking of assessment exercise. The scientific report is a common form of assessment in the biosciences, widely regarded as an authentic and relevant task, assessing a range of bioscience threshold learning outcomes.

In this workshop we grade sample reports, discuss features of the assessments that evidence achievement of the standards, and calibrate our understanding of standards. This valuable exercise will build capacity of bioscience BEANnet educators to calibrate and create a benchmarking framework to provide the tools for evidence-based quality assurance of assessment and student achievement of disciplinary academic standards at the national level.

We will also discuss models of effective feedback for students. Student evaluation of feedback commonly returns low scores throughout the science disciplines. We will further consider how we provide feedback to large student cohorts that is both personalised and manageable for academics.