Preliminary program

Please note the program is subject to change.

Please note this program is for planning purposes only and is subject to change.


The pre-conference workshops will be held at the Gardens Point campus of the Queensland University of Technology. Location and room allocations will be advised at a later date. All other conference events will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Registration for the HERDSA 2021 pre-conference workshops is $80 each. This includes the two full-day workshops. The two full-day workshops are partly subsidised by HERDSA as a benefit to members. The HERD workshop is free and fully subsidised by HERDSA as a benefit for members.

Delegates registering for a full day of workshops (either two half-day workshops or one full-day workshop) will receive a voucher for morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch.

Delegates registering for a half-day workshop will receive a voucher for either morning tea or afternoon tea.

Vouchers can be redeemed at an on-campus café. Full details will be advised at a later date.

Full-day workshops

Workshop 1 - Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Collaborative Writing Groups for New Scholars

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Collaborative Writing Groups for New Scholars

Dr Deb Clarke, Charles Sturt University

(Maximum participants 20)

The fee for this workshop is partially subsidised by HERDSA as a benefit to members.

Registration for this workshop closes at midnight on Monday 5 April (AEST). 

The aim of the workshop is to engage new scholars in a series of planning and writing experiences to produce manuscripts suitable for publication in learning and teaching higher education journals. The manuscripts would be written in negotiated pairs or small groups as a collaborative output.

Participants will need to commit to pre- and post-workshop learning activities, online meetings and facilitated writing sessions. The time commitment prior to the workshop is approximately 5-10 hours depending on experience.

The workshop is intended for new scholars who are interested in publishing in a peer reviewed learning and teaching higher education journal. New scholars can be higher degree research students, early career academics appointed in teaching focused roles, experienced academics who commonly engage in traditional research/discipline focused publications, or those who are keen to enhance their confidence and expertise in SoTL.

The workshop will be facilitated by experienced SoTL writers who are members of the HERDSA Executive, and/or Associate Editors/Reviewers of journals in learning and teaching or discipline-facing teaching journals.

Prior to the pre-conference workshop
Participants will complete a range of learning activities from the HERDSA Online SoTL Modules and meet online to discuss their teaching interests and experiences. Pre-conference work will need to be completed by mid-June 2020.

During the full day pre-conference workshop
Participants will engage in facilitated activities to network with other like-minded academics, negotiate several topics as a focus for their SoTL investigation, select writing teams and construct an action plan for their SoTL investigation.

After the pre-conference workshop
Participants will engage in monthly facilitated online meetings (and perhaps a face to face meeting) to map their planning and discuss their progress. The proposed output for the writing pairs/teams is a manuscript suitable for submission to a learning and teaching journal by June 2021.

Learning outcomes
Participants will have the opportunity to: expand their professional academic network; build capacity in writing in the scholarship of teaching and learning genre; produce a manuscript for submission to a learning and teaching higher education journal; and engage with a number of HERDSA professional learning resources and activities.

Workshop 2 - Talking about Teaching and Learning (TATAL)

Talking about Teaching and Learning (TATAL)

Mary-Ann Shuker, Griffith University
Raj Shekhawat, Flinders University

(Maximum participants 30)

The fee for this workshop is partially subsidised by HERDSA as a benefit to members.

Note: this workshop starts at 9.30am and finishes at 3.00pm.

Talking about Teaching and Learning (TATAL) workshops seek to create a safe, trusting, respectful space where cohorts of reflective practitioners meet regularly to enhance their teaching and the learning of their students, to develop a teaching philosophy statement and an ongoing sense of inquiry.

The TATAL experience begins online and continues after the conference workshop through synchronous online or face-to-face collaborative sessions, with a view to improving practice.

Academics with over two years of teaching experience who seek time and the support of others to develop an understanding and awareness of their teaching philosophy. Deans Education, Academic Developers and champions who seek to foster a serious approach to challenges, changes and opportunities in teaching and learning in their institution.

This 10th TATAL workshop supports HERDSA’s aim to ‘facilitate and promote the enhancement of teaching and learning on an ongoing basis’.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the workshop participants will have:
• Established a safe collaborative environment in which to continue to investigate the challenges and successes of teaching and learning.
• Enhanced their skills and confidence in talking and writing about teaching and learning.
• Begun to articulate a personal teaching philosophy.

Workshop plan
Activities commence in a flipped class format from 23rd June with presentations, discussions and free writing. At the pre-conference workshop, TATALers begin constructing their teaching philosophy by free writing responses to stimulating questions. On Friday 9th July, TATALers engage in a synchronous/skype session with experienced TATALers and arrange meetings to continue collaborative reflection on their teaching philosophy and begin to prepare teaching portfolios. As it takes time to develop a safe environment in which to reflect and to write freely, this workshop requires more than a half day to achieve its objectives.

Morning (half-day) workshops

Workshop 3 - To discuss or not to discuss

To discuss or not to discuss: Using online discussion boards effectively to enhance student engagement and learning

Tracey Douglas, University of Tasmania
Carey Mather, University of Tasmania

The aim of this workshop is to enable attendees to investigate how to effectively a) set up, and b) use online discussion boards to engage student learning, and c) facilitate and assess online discussions. The use of interactive discussion boards in online learning suggests they can be important tools to foster student engagement (Baldwin & Sabry, 2003). However, students and facilitators have been critical regarding the structure of forums, and the quality of interaction and content (Thomas & Thorpe, 2019). Consequently, a suite of resources including a guide to enable staff to deliver effective online discussions was developed to support staff.

The workshop will involve attendees working through a series of case scenarios, identifying the benefits and challenges of online discussions. Participants will apply using online discussion boards using a range of techniques, strategies and resources to their own educational context.

This workshop will be useful to academics across all disciplines who are interested in enhancing student engagement and learning online. Educational designers and technologists may also find the workshop useful in supporting staff to develop engaging online platforms.

Learning outcomes
Attendees will be exposed to a range of strategies to enhance the use of online communication in discussion board. They will be able to access a range of resources during and after the workshop that will enable them to effectively develop, facilitate and assess discussion boards online.

Workshop 5 - HERD sponsored workshop: I’ve published in the field of higher education – what next?

HERD sponsored workshop: I’ve published in the field of higher education – what next?

Dr Wendy Green, University of Tasmania

The fee for this workshop is fully subsidised by HERDSA as a benefit to members.

In this workshop, we focus on two issues of interest to emerging and experienced researchers in the field of higher education and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). These are becoming an effective peer reviewer and increasing the impact of one’s research.

This session will be run as two mini-workshops. Participants are welcome to attend one or both.

Overview of the mini-workshops
The first mini-workshop will focus on peer reviewing – the advantages of peer reviewing, how to write an effective peer review, and how to manage one’s peer reviewing workload.

Following a short break, the second mini-workshop will address questions about how to increase the impact of one’s research, with a particular focus on social media.

Both sessions will be highly interactive, introducing participants to a range of practical strategies and resources. In the second mini-workshop participants will have opportunities to apply some strategies to increasing the impact of their own research.

Intended audience
These mini-workshops are designed for those already undertaking research in the field of higher education or the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning who want to develop their knowledge and expertise, contribute to the development of the field, and extend the impact of their own work on further research and practice.

One way to develop as a researcher is to become a peer reviewer. Peer reviewing can help researchers become better writers, because it puts researchers in touch with emerging research in their areas of interest and provides opportunities to critically review their own research approaches and methods (Kelly, Sadeghieh, & Adeli, 2014). Moreover, an invitation to review demonstrates one’s standing in the field and can add value to CVs. However, those who are new to reviewing can feel daunted by the responsibility and lack confidence in their new role.

Another challenge facing emerging, and even experienced researchers in all fields and disciplines, including higher education, is to ensure that their research impacts on practice and/or further research. Although journals and other publishers of scholarly work have strategies designed to increase the impact of the research they publish, much of the responsibility for increasing the impact and uptake of scholarly outputs falls on the researchers themselves. However, with the ever-increasing options available, particularly through social media, authors can find it difficult to plan for the type of impact they want their research to make.

Learning outcomes
• Enhanced awareness of the value of peer reviewing
• Enhanced confidence to undertake peer reviewing
• Enhanced awareness of the importance of increasing the impact of research
• Enhanced ability to increase the impact of one’s own research.

Brief workshop plan
Mini-workshop 1
• Introductions, aims and icebreaker
• Large group discussion: why review?
• Small and large group discussion: Characteristics of an effective review
• Small group activity: Revising and improving a sample review
• Short panel discussion: Managing your workload as a reviewer with tips from experienced reviewers
• Mini-presentation: Becoming a reviewer: HERD’s criteria for joining the College of Reviewers
• Final reflections and resources – handouts.


Mini-workshop 2
• Introductions, aims
• Small and large group discussion: Discussing the ‘why’ and ‘how’: what is ‘impact’, why is it important to increase it, and what journals and other publishers do and don’t do to increase impact
• Mini-presentation and small group activity: Writing your manuscript with optimal impact in mind (titles, keywords, abstract, journal choice, etc)
• Mini-presentation: Options available to authors with examples from successful dissemination campaigns
• Small group activity: practice tweets, media releases etc
• Planning for success: Individual action plans for increasing impact and large group reflection
• Resources – handouts.

Workshop 7 - The scholarship of engaging students as partners in learning and teaching

The scholarship of engaging students as partners in learning and teaching: Thinking together at the intersection of theory and practice

Associate Professor Kelly Matthews, The University of Queensland

Are you conducting research on engaging students as partners? Are you in partnership and reflecting on your practices? Are you curious about how scholars are making sense of learner-teacher partnership practices in the literature? Do you want to explore the intersection of student-staff partnership theories and practices? Do you enjoy critical conversations that open new ways of thinking about learner-teacher relationships as a partnership? Do you want to be in dialogue with other scholars exploring theorisations of partnership practices? Are you open to exploring partnership from the standpoint of marginalised students?

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, then come along to this pre-conference workshop.

In our 180 minutes together, we will create space for scholars to dialogue about key research that is moving us closer toward theories of partnership praxis. In doing so, we will dig deeply into existing theorisations or interpretative frames that colour how we research engagement in student as partners practices while unearthing new theories and frames to provoke new insights and avenues of inquiry.

This workshop is a much-needed opportunity for HERDSA colleagues dedicated to understanding and nurturing genuine partnership practices through research to come together. In the workshop, we will trace historical and conceptional threads from the new (and contested) language of students as partners or SaP to scholarly thinking dating back 100 years. We will map the current landscape of theorisations in the literature to draw lines to new and generative interpretative frames. In doing so, we will engage in “standpoint exercises” to consider the western orientation of current theorisations of SaP.

If successful, participants will leave with new insights, new thinking friends, and new motivations to contribute research that moves us closer to theories of partnership praxis.


Workshop 9 - Embedding digital literacy skills in curriculum and assessment design

Embedding digital literacy skills in curriculum and assessment design across disciplines in higher education

Dr Christine Slade, The University of Queensland

Universities seek to enhance graduate employ-ability by preparing graduates who are both skilled and critically reflective users of digital technologies. The [name hidden] Library created a menu of online modules that include contextual and scholarly evidence to support curriculum. These modules allow educators to focus on discipline specific knowledge, while ensuring relevant digital capabilities are addressed for students.

This workshop aims to give participants the opportunity to explore these modules, discuss challenges and enablers, identify discipline-specific digital literacy skills and then co-design ways to embed digital literacy learning activities and/or assessment tasks.

Intended audience
The intended audience includes academics, curriculum developers, learning designers, students as partners, and others involved in developing learning strategies and preparing graduates with digital literacy skills for their future careers.

Learning outcomes
• Discuss strategies to embed digital literacy skills in curricula
• Identify discipline-specific digital literacy requirements
• Practice developing digital literacy learning activities through a co-design approach and whole-of-group feedback
• Reflect on and share with others existing enablers and barriers of embedding digital skills in the curriculum

A brief workshop plan
• Introduction: Provide the intended learning outcomes, rationale and run sheet for the workshop.
• Activity 1: In pairs the participants will briefly share their key digital literacy challenge for students from their perspectives.
• Activity 2: A facilitator will briefly introduce the menu of UQ Digital Essentials modules. Participants will discuss how they could use the modules and discipline specific requirements to consider.
• Activity 3: Each table group will work on one module for their learning activity or assessment design. Whole group feedback will be provided at appropriate intervals.
• Activity 4: Reflection on practical steps to effectively embed digital literacy in curriculum and assessment

Workshop 11 - Leading Equitable Outcomes for Higher Education Students

Leading Equitable Outcomes for Higher Education Students via Implementation of the Holistic Whare Tapa Rima-The Five-Sided Home Theoretical Model

Susan Stevenson, FREEDOM Institute of Higher Education

The recent shift in Higher Education from a ‘service to society paradigm’ to a more profit driven corporate one has brought with it a range of challenges from students and funders. One key challenge is for higher education institutions to achieve equitable academic outcomes from an increasingly diverse student body.

The aim of this workshop is to empower faculty and institutional leaders to implement the indigenous Māori Whare Tapa Rima-The Five-Sided Home Theoretical Model (WTR-FSH) to support equitable student achievement in their higher education institutions. The WTR-FSH Model challenges the common ‘one size fits all’ approach to student services adopted by many institutions and empowers faculty, student services staff and institutional leaders to holistically and effectively address today’s students complex needs. This workshop will introduce the indigenous philosophy, knowledge, research and practices that support positive interconnections between students, faculty and the institution. It will also address the viewpoint thresholds institutional leaders, faculty and student services staff will all need to negotiate if they are to realise the equitable outcomes the WTR-FSH Model is capable of delivering and finally research methods to hone and continuously improve implementation of the model will be introduced.

This workshop is underpinned by research conducted with the support of an Ako Aotearoa Best Practice Research Grant awarded in 2018.

Learning outcomes
At the end of the workshop those attending will be able to:

  • appreciate the Indigenous WTR-FSH theoretical Model;
  • address common student needs utilising the Model;
  • recognise viewpoint challenges for leaders, faculty and staff;
  • formulate a WTR-FSH implementation strategy and
  • evaluate effectiveness measurements of their strategy.

Workshop plan

  • Introduction to the Indigenous Whare Tapa Rima- Five-sided Home Theoretical Model;
  • Classification of Student Needs Activity;
  • Self-Assessment activity against a WTR-FSH Threshold Viewpoints Readiness Matrix;
  • Implementation Strategy Development Activity;
  • Evaluation Measurements Brainstorm and
  • Homework for Implementers.

Workshop 13 - Complex knowledge and its assessment

Complex knowledge and its assessment: Current trends and future possibilities for student learning

Dr Nave Wald, University of Otago
Prof Tony Harland, University of Otago

The aim of this workshop is to debate the role of complex knowledge in the curriculum, how teachers might incorporate this while learning to justify appropriate assessment decisions. Forms of complex knowledge are generated by students through a purposeful act of knowledge creation; the inherent complexity in this leads to higher-order cognition. In practice this learning comes from any in-course assignment a student undertakes that requires both knowledge creation and evaluation, with the assessment including the potential for teacher or student feedback, whether or not it is formative or summative (graded). The inherent task complexity may also lead to epistemic access to a disciplinary methodology. All three conditions; knowledge creation, evaluation and access are precursors for powerful knowledge.

Intended audience
This workshop is intended for all academics interested in assessment and curriculum design, as well as those interested in higher education purposes and policy. We base our ideas on recent scholarship about powerful knowledge, drawing on Young, Muller and Wheelahan and on the assessment literature (e.g. Barnett, Sadler, Carless). Unpublished empirical data from a study of 20 years of curriculum design will also features.

Learning outcomes
The intended learning outcomes are to understand some of the current assessment challenges for higher education, learn about both complex and powerful knowledge and how these can provide something of value for all students. Another outcome is of a more practical nature – knowledge co-constructed during the workshop.

Workshop plan
The workshop’s plan includes three parts: part one looks at the impact of assessment on current mass-higher education curricula; part two at complex forms of knowledge; and part three at assessing complex knowledge. Each of the three parts will start with a short theoretical presentation, followed by a group exercise, and then a plenary discussion.

Afternoon (half-day) workshops

Workshop 6 - Undertaking a HERDSA Fellowship

Undertaking a HERDSA Fellowship

Dr Lee Partridge, The University of Western Australia

If participants register as a HERDSA Associate Fellow following the workshop, the workshop fee will be deducted from the HERDSA Associate Fellow registration fee.

This workshop aims to spread the word about HERDSA fellowships – not all members are aware that it is open to any HERDSA member to nominate for a Fellowship. Participants will discover what is involved in the Fellowship journey and its benefits. It will answer any questions participants may have regarding the Fellowship and beyond that will involve them in the process of beginning to plan and document their Fellowship portfolios.

Beginning with an introduction to the HERDSA Fellowship, participants will be taken step by step through the nomination process including choosing a mentor, engaging with the assessment criteria, collecting evidence, writing reflectively and submitting the portfolio for assessment.

Intended audience
All current members of HERDSA are welcome to attend this workshop. Attendance at the conference is not a requirement to attend the workshop. The workshop will suit members who are unfamiliar with the Fellowship, those who know something about the Fellowship and those who are already engaged in Fellowship process. This workshop will be particularly relevant to those who have, or are currently, engaged in a TATAL group (see TATAL pre-conference workshop).

Learning outcomes
• Familiarisation with the HERDSA Fellowship processes, requirements and benefits
• Practice at planning and writing aspects of the Fellowship portfolio
• Determining what constitutes a quality Fellowship application

Brief workshop plan
• Introduction to the HERDSA Fellowship
• Activity – Am I ready to undertake the Fellowship
• Activity – what experience can I draw on for my Fellowship? What evidence do I have/need to support my Fellowship?
• Activity – writing to the assessment criteria
• Activity – reviewing quality Fellowship applications
• Activity – Where to from here (My personal Fellowship plan)

Workshop 8 - Build your own Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research Experience (ALURE)

Build your own Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research Experience (ALURE)

Professor Susan Rowland, The University of Queensland

This workshop will help you turn your ideas for large-scale undergraduate research into a reality.

In this workshop, participants will be guided through the process of developing and implementing an Authentic Large-scale Undergraduate Experience (ALURE). The presenters are experienced in developing ALUREs in the sciences but non-science educators can also use the approach highlighted in the workshop and are welcome to participate.

Intended audience
Any educator who is interested in building a research experience for their undergraduate students
Context and references: Our students should be investigators, problem solvers, and generators of original knowledge. When working with large classes, with hundreds of students, the logistics of developing these attributes can seem overwhelming.

Learning outcomes
Participants will achieve
• An understanding of ALURE structure, benefits, and delivery options
• Identification and clarification of the research question they will address with students
• A roadmap for developing, delivering, and evaluating their ALURE
• Awareness of the barriers ALURE implementation can face, and a set of strategies to overcome roadblocks.

Brief workshop plan
Participants will develop an understanding of ALURE and explore their reasons for introducing ALURE to their educational context. Drawing on our own experience as ALURE leaders, the presenters will work with participants to define an appropriate research question for their ALURE, and an investigative approach that is feasible with a large class. Participants will support one another as critical friends while they develop a pitch for their ALURE that can be used to garner start-up funding support at their home institution.

This workshop is based in part on the HERDSA Guide Engaging Undergraduate Students in Authentic Science Research: A Large-Scale Approach edited by Susan Rowland, Gwendolyn Lawrie and Rhianna Pedwell.

The Guide is available in print or ebook versions at

Workshop 10 - Evidencing entrepreneurial capabilities through innovative WIL

Evidencing entrepreneurial capabilities through innovative WIL

Associate Professor Judith Smith, Queensland University of Technology

To explore how emerging Work Integrated Learning (WIL) models can support learners to develop and evidence their enterprise and entrepreneurial capabilities

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to hear directly from academics who have implemented entrepreneurial WIL approaches in courses. They will also unpack assessment strategies and challenges around evidencing enterprise capabilities and explore the open access online modules developed by the ATN Edge Project aimed at supporting students to development of enterprise skills to enhance outcomes from these WIL experiences.

Intended audience
Academic and professional staff interested in WIL and embedded entrepreneurial capabilities in the curriculum.

The ATN Edge Project is a collaborative multi-institution Australia-based research project which has supported intra/entrepreneurial WIL models, strategies and development of online WIL modules. This project extends on previous research in this area.

Learning outcomes
• Explore entrepreneurial WIL approaches being implemented in Creative Industries, Business and STEM courses across Australia
• Unpack challenges in evidencing learning and assessment in entrepreneurial WIL
• Work with peers to design curriculum for interdisciplinary WIL experiences which develop enterprise capabilities

Brief workshop plan
• Consider what enterprise or entrepreneurial capabilities graduates need.
• Hear from academics who are embedding emerging WIL models in the curriculum.
• Consider assessment and evidencing strategies emerging from project research and how these are being implemented in different WIL contexts.
• Employ a WIL Design canvas to assist participants consider how they might embed these models and strategies in their own contexts.

Workshop 14 - Taking a human-centred approach: Towards new value proposition for HASS Education

Taking a human-centred approach: Towards new value proposition for HASS Education

Deanne Gannaway, The University of Queensland

A common experience for history, philosophy, fine arts or sociology students is to receive the question “What kind of job are you going to get with that?”. Students regularly report being forced to defend their desire to study the humanities, arts or social sciences (HASS). Final year students report a level of anxiety about what they are going to do after graduation, as they struggle to articulate what they can contribute places.

Up until recently, the future world of work certainly looked STEM-focused. If you weren’t well-grounded in science and technology, you could be forgiven in thinking that the future world of work had little place for you. Recently, however, new reports into future workforce needs highlight the importance of the human skills. This need is not new; other studies have highlighted the need for “enterprise skills”, but there is an increasing awareness of the need for skills such as creativity, emotional intelligence, complex cognitive reasoning and intercultural competence; all quintessential outcomes from HASS degrees.

Yet, although HASS graduates should feel that their time has come, because outcomes of HASS degrees are not framed as enterprise skills they still report difficulties in translating their employability. And numbers of students enrolling in generalist HASS degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts continue to decline.

This workshop aims to bring together those interested in HASS-based higher education to review HASS outcomes using contemporary employability frameworks. Using design-based thinking methods, we will identify how HASS education puts students in the driver’s seat, requiring them to navigate complex and authentic learning experiences, stretching their agency as learners – core experiences generating independent, flexible and agile, collaborative and creative problem-solvers. We will then re-imagine and re-articulate a value proposition showcases outcomes from generalist HASS degrees.

Learning outcomes
This workshop offers participants an opportunity to experience a novel approach to facilitate curriculum review and an opportunity to reframe HASS curriculum and teaching outcomes.