Herdsa 2011

HERDSA 2011 program: Workshops

Timeslot Workshops

9:00 - 12:00


Leadership in transnational education: Strategies for balancing quality assurance with staff and student needs

Implementing peer assisted learning (PAL) across the disciplines

Building leadership capacity in learning and teaching through play: The Engaging Leadership Framework (ELF)

Using Moodle to support adaptive learning – NO WORKSHOP FEES

13:00 - 16:00


Writing higher education differently

Assessment on the edge: Tapping the power of oral modes of assessment in developing and assessing learning outcomes

The "life-grid" approach: A participatory method for exploring student transition into higher education

Moderation of assessment tasks: Developing solutions to common problems

Making time at HERDSA 2011 to TATAL (Talk about Teaching and Learning) – NO WORKSHOP FEES

9:00 - 12:00

Leadership in transnational education: Strategies for balancing quality assurance with staff and student needs

Shelley Yeo, Curtin University
Beena Giridharan, Curtin University
Peter Ling, Swinburne University of Technology

This workshop is relevant to those managing transnational/international programs, leading or working in branch campuses or those required to provide leadership in the delivery of an internationalised curriculum.

The workshop is based on findings of the ALTC project Learning without borders: Linking development of transnational leadership roles to international and cross-cultural teaching excellence. The project commenced in December 2008 and is working toward completion by December 2011. The project has involved review of literature, conduct of surveys, individual interviews and focus groups, conduct of a symposium, and trialling of professional development materials.

Using project findings and resources this interactive workshop will:

• Engage participants in identifying challenges in transnational education pertinent to their situation.
• Allow participants and the workshop leaders to share understandings of good practice in addressing the challenges.
• Share resources being developed as part of the project including:
  -  Models for linking TNE Leadership to teaching excellence:
  -  Good practice examples of policy, practice and professional development
   - Tools for building the capacity of new TNE Leaders: A Resource Website and      downloadable ‘creative commons’
• Enable participants to suggest modifications and addition to resources to meet user needs

Participants will be able to:

• Identify support needs of staff assigned to teach or co-ordinate units taught offshore or to show leadership in the delivery of an internationalised curriculum
• Direct these staff to appropriate professional development and other resources
• Suggest means to improve support, recognition and rewards systems relating to involvement in transnational education.

Implementing peer assisted learning (PAL) across the disciplines

Gerry Rayner, Monash University
Susan Edwards, Monash University
Jane Bone, Monash University
Charlotte Brack, Monash University
Yvonne Hodgson, Monash University

In the changing higher education environment, new paradigms of student engagement and learning are needed so that academics and institutions can cope with the predicted expansion of student numbers from diverse backgrounds.  Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) provides opportunities for promoting interaction and collaboration amongst students and has been shown to enhance deeper learning and to support student engagement in learning. This workshop reports on important principles that emerged when PAL was the focus of several learning and teaching projects undertaken in 2010 at Monash University, led by Monash University Learning and Teaching Fellows.  PAL was used in innovative ways, across interdisciplinary contexts and with students from a range of social and prior-learning backgrounds.  Using qualitative and quantitative approaches, findings from the research suggest that students appreciated opportunities to learn in ways that challenged conventional ideas about pedagogy. PAL positively influenced learning in tertiary contexts studied in the current projects.

This workshop is directed towards academics who teach in the higher education sector and are seeking ways to modify their practice to accommodate diverse student backgrounds and to promote deep learning strategies.  The presentations will be followed by semi-structured interactive peer learning activities that will engage audience members and emulate PAL.  Participants will be able to consider their own circumstances and propose a model for how they might integrate PAL into their own course/unit or professional development program.

Building leadership capacity in learning and teaching through play: The Engaging Leadership Framework (ELF)

Lorraine Bennett, University of Ballarat
Neil Trivett, University of Ballarat

Building leadership capacity for change and improvement in learning and teaching has become a strategic priority in tertiary education. Since 2006 over 20 leadership projects have been completed through funding providing by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). Several of these projects report that building leadership capacity is greatly enhanced when teams have access to leadership tools and artefacts such as frameworks, models and templates.

One such tool is the Engaging Leadership Framework (ELF) The ELF was developed in an early ALTC project and further consolidated in a subsequent project which applied the ELF to four new sites and fourteen projects.

In order to support the application of the ELF a number of ELF inspired artefacts and games were developed which draw on play theory and illustrate the value of play and authentic practice for development of leadership. The games are framed within an ‘A5 Leadership and Professional Development Model which provides an integrated, systematic and sequential approach to building leadership capacity.

The purpose of the workshop is to introduce participants to some of the ELF artefacts and games and to demonstrate their application to leadership development. Participants will leave the workshop with samples of ELF artefacts and an understanding of how they can be customisation to a range of higher education contexts and leadership roles.

Using Moodle to support adaptive learning – NO WORKSHOP FEES

Mark Drechsler, NetSpot Pty Ltd

Lee, Kumar and Barker (2010) describe a model whereby an online unit is designed using a combination of Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) and Self-Regulated Learning Theory (SRL), aiming to support the four learning modes defined by Kolb & Kolb (2005), namely thinking, observing, reflecting, and experimenting. This online unit proposed a structure aligned to these four learning models, allowing students to self-regulate their learning, but also providing guidance and support based on the actions the student took throughout their study. This workshop illustrates the potential for using Moodle 2.0 (and in particular the recently released Conditional Activities feature combined with other tools) to create such a course by showing an example of a simple online course reflecting Lee, Kumar and Barker’s proposed structure and functionality.

Participants in this workshop will gain an understanding of how to use Moodle to reflect the four learning styles and to use conditional activities to provide additional support and guidance to students to support self-regulated learning. Participants with wireless-enabled devices such as laptops or tablets will be welcome to experience the course first-hand from a student’s perspective.

13:00 - 16:00

Writing higher education differently

Helen Sword, The University of Auckland

Researchers who work at the cutting edge of educational innovation need to be able to communicate clearly and persuasively with colleagues from across the disciplines if they want to bring about lasting institutional change. Yet higher education journals are dominated by impersonal, stodgy, jargon-laden prose guaranteed to turn off all but the most stalwart of readers (Sword, 2009). How can this situation be improved? Can we write higher education differently?

This workshop aims to highlight, probe and help narrow the gap between the key principles of engaging academic writing and the conventions of higher education research. Drawing on a detailed stylistic analysis of more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles from across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, the workshop will take participants through a series of exercises aimed at helping them break free of the conventional strictures, often self-imposed, that militate against effective writing and clear communication.

On completion of the session, participants will be able to:

• identify the key features of lucid, lively, engaging academic prose;
• diagnose their own writing and plan targeted improvements;
• deploy strategies for developing the academic writing skills of colleagues, particularly in the field of higher education research.

Delegates are encouraged to bring along a page or two of their own academic writing for analysis.

Assessment on the edge: Tapping the power of oral modes of assessment in developing and assessing learning outcomes

Gordon Joughin, The University of Queensland

With a growing emphasis on ‘assessment for learning’ in higher education and the need to assess students’ attainment of threshold learning outcomes, oral forms of assessment offer unique advantages in learning-focused approaches to assessing complex achievement. At the same time, academics and students frequently portray such assessment as unusually engaging. With oral assessment incorporating any assessment of student learning that is conducted by word of mouth, including presentations, vivas, structured clinical assessment, and assessment in applied practice settings it clearly has much to offer: it prepares students for their future working life where the spoken, not the written, word dominates; it is aligned with powerful forms of teaching and learning; it helps to ensure academic integrity; and, given the importance of orality in assessing students’ ‘capstone’ achievements and their capacity to work in their chosen field, it has an important role in assessing program-level outcomes.

In this workshop, we will explore participants' experiences of various forms of oral assessment to identify practices that are particularly powerful in driving students’ learning. As well as providing opportunities to learn from each other, the workshop will provide participants with a framework based on the facilitator’s published research for designing, critiquing and improving oral assessment tasks to optimise learning

Participation in this workshop will enable colleagues to:
• evaluate their current design of oral assessment tasks using six dimensions of oral assessment
• articulate the case for oral assessment within their school or department
• draw on the experiences and practices of fellow participants in designing and implementing their oral assessment tasks
• apply research findings to design assessment tasks that optimise the quality of student learning.

Participants will receive a copy of A short guide to oral assessment (Joughin, 2010).

The "life-grid" approach: A participatory method for exploring student transition into higher education

Linda Murray, Brunel University
Anu Sharma, Brunel University
Natalie Parnis, Brunel University
Julia Stephenson, Brunel University

Engaging students meaningfully in research to explore their experiences of being students can be difficult. The very widespread use of questionnaire-based evaluations of modules and programmes can lead to diminishing returns and research outcomes. Innovative investigative methods are needed. Given that students are likely to find participatory approaches more engaging and that a more holistic understanding of the experience of first year students was needed, recent research at Brunel University has used the “life-grid technique”. This workshop will provide for detailed experience of and reflection on the life-grid technique recently used at Brunel to engage in fundamental qualitative research to understand better the life situations and experiences of first year students. Although the life-grid technique was, historically, used in epidemiological studies with elderly people, its potential as a tool to provide for structured conversations in sensitive situations has recently been recognised. The information gained was thematically analysed using both exploratory and confirmatory approaches by the team of four researchers. It was also represented visually.

After an introduction to the context of the research, the origins, development and adaptation of the technique will be briefly outlined. Its use will then be modelled. This will be followed by the opportunity for the workshop participants to try the technique for themselves – in groups of three or four. All necessary materials will be provided. Following this hands-on introduction to the technique, reflections will be shared and conclusions drawn as to its usefulness in the action research agendas of HE practitioners.

The outcomes of the research project will be briefly presented along with the implications for HE practitioners and decision-makers. The use of visual representations of research outcomes will also be demonstrated and its value discussed.

Moderation of assessment tasks: Developing solutions to common problems

Sharron King, University of South Australia

Karma Pearce, University of South Australia

Elizabeth Elliot, University of South Australia

Moderation is a quality assurance process that aims to set and maintain academic standards through ensuring assessment process and practices are both valid and reliable. To achieve this, moderation should occur as a two-step process; pre and post-assessment.  Pre-assessment moderation is used to ensure that the task is aligned to the learning outcomes of the course and the content, instructions and marking criteria are clear to the students.  Post-assessment moderation processes aim to ensure that consistent, accurate and equivalent marking standards are applied to assessment tasks, particularly when multiple markers are involved in a course.

The Australian Universities Quality Agency lists moderation as an essential process in Teaching and Learning and reviews of moderation processes and moderation reports as two key indicators of student assessment and grading. Given the current time constraints on returning students’ assignments and increasing undergraduate class sizes, it is hypothesized that many academics do not actively engage in moderation practices unless it is mandated by their university or department heads.

This workshop aims to collaboratively identify and critique assessment moderation practices currently being used across Australia with a view to developing a multi-institutional research project investigating best practice in moderation of assessment. Preliminary results from a pilot study around moderation practices of academics from the Division of Health Sciences at UniSA will be presented in order to generate discussion around current practices. The participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their current moderation of assessment practices and discover some of the current issues regarding moderation.

Making time at HERDSA 2011 to TATAL (Talk about Teaching and Learning)

Coralie McCormack, University of Canberra
Robert Kennelly, University of Canberra

TATAL workshops seek to develop cohorts of reflective practitioners who meet regularly to enhance their teaching and the learning of their students and to develop a teaching philosophy statement. TATAL@HERDSA will start with a pre-conference workshop. It will continue with a session each day for the conference for delegates who participated in the preconference session. 

Pre-conference: Participants will begin to construct their teaching philosophy statement by free writing their response to the questions: Why is being a teacher important to me? What personal experiences inform/motivate my teaching?

During conference: Participants will free write, share, reflect and rewrite responses to the following questions such as: What do I believe about teaching? What do I believe about learning? Why do I hold these beliefs? How are your beliefs about learning and teaching played out in your teaching context?

Final day: Participants will compose their teaching philosophy statement and receive collaborative feedback on their statement.

On completion of the HERDSA 2011 Conference participants will have:

Following the conference: TATAL groups will continue, face to face for Brisbane delegates and virtually for delegates from geographically diverse regions, to prepare teaching portfolios.

*Please note that this program is indicative only and subject to change. Pre-conference workshops incur additional fees and require registration. If you have already registered to attend the conference and would now like to register to attend pre-conference workshops please download and complete the pre-conference workshop registration form.

Event photographers will be working during HERDSA 2011 to photograph presenters and delegates during conference sessions and social events. Photographs taken during the conference may appear on the HERDSA 2011 conference website or in future publications related to HERDSA. A selection of photographs may also be displayed as a projected slideshow in the venue prior to commencing proceedings each day. Please advise photographers if you do not wish to be included in a photograph.

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