About Synergy

Synergy is a magazine designed to support the ongoing professional development of University of Sydney staff by providing a forum for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. At Sydney, the 'Scholarship of Teaching and Learning' is understood in terms of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's definition:

“Our work as teachers should meet the highest scholarly standards of groundedness, of openness, of clarity and complexity. But, it is only when we step back and reflect systematically on the teaching we have done ... in a form that can be publicly reviewed and built upon by our peers, that we have moved from scholarly teaching to a scholarship of teaching”.

Produced by the Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL), Synergy is published annually and circulated to staff in all academic and research units.

Aims and Scope

Synergy’s purpose is threefold. Firstly, it is intended to showcase the range of scholarly learning and teaching initiatives taking place across the University. Secondly, it provides a forum where staff can communicate the outcomes of their critical reflection on and inquiries into teaching. Thirdly, Synergy acts as a vehicle for critical peer review and public discussion of key learning and teaching issues in higher education.

The Editorial Board welcomes submissions that critically and systematically:

  • reflect on an aspect of teaching or of students' learning, or a curriculum initiative;
  • report on an initiative that uses research enriched learning and teaching or community engaged learning and teaching to improve student learning;
  • report on an investigation of teaching or of student learning that advances teaching practice;
  • draw on teaching and learning research and scholarship to comment thoughtfully on an aspect of education in the university; or
  • theorise or problematise the contributions of teaching, learning and pedagogy to the nature of higher education.

Authors are welcome to contact Synergy to discuss potential submissions or contribution ideas not listed above.

Submissions published in Synergy are examples of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and attract points on the University's Scholarship of Teaching Index (see http://sydney.edu.au/itl/awards/sotl.htm).

On occasion, the Editorial Board will invite contributions to Synergy.

Guidelines for Authors

Contributions between 2000 and 4000 words should be submitted to synergy@usyd.edu.au. Collaboratively written articles by staff and/or students are especially welcome. Contributions may be submitted in any standard format, including Word and PDF, however please note that a Word document is required for layout once a paper has been accepted.

All contributions should be written in a clear and accessible style and of interest to the wide University audience. A limited number of tables may be included if they aid understanding. The use of footnotes is discouraged.

Submissions to Synergy are reviewed by an Editorial Board comprised of Education Portfolio staff, which in 2011 includes Professor Keith Trigwell, Associate Professor Simon Barrie, Associate Professor Tania Gerzina, Dr Graham Hendry, Dr Alison Kuiper, Dr Cynthia Nelson, Dr Susan Rice, Ms Kate Thomson, Ms Helen Drury, and Ms Jackie Nicholas. All submissions are reviewed using a checklist (see http://sydney.edu.au/itl/synergy/reviewers_checklist.pdf)

Space in Synergy is limited and contributions may be held over to subsequent issues. Potential contributors should contact the Editorial Board at synergy@usyd.edu.au before submitting a full paper.

Referencing Standards

Contributions to Synergy should be internally consistent with a recognised referencing style (e.g., APA, Chicago, etc.). Authors must submit work that has already been copy-edited and proofread.


Dr Graham Hendry

Design, Printing & Copyright

Design and layout by James Tracy, Web & Database Manager, ITL.

Printing by Spectrum Printing Australia Pty. Ltd.

ISSN: 1325-9881

© 2011 Individual authors retain copyright of their papers.


The views expressed in Synergy are not necessarily those of The University of Sydney, the Editorial Board, or the Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Contact us

For further information about Synergy, contact the Editorial Board at synergy@usyd.edu.au.