Keynote speakers and Panel discussion sessions
Professor Michelle Trudgett
Indigenous Leadership - Western Sydney University, Australia
The Australian higher education system has developed over the past 170 years, with many of our institutions now held in high esteem on the international stage. Despite this growth and broad success, the original sector architects failed to include Indigenous People into their designs, with Indigenous Australians having participated in the Australian higher education for only half a century. Fortunately, the pioneers of Indigenous education have shown tenacity and resilience while carving a rightful place for Indigenous People in our universities.
This keynote address argues that Indigenous Knowledges and culture, through embedded Indigenous leadership, must be a central component of university business to ensure the best possible outcomes for Australian universities and the nation more broadly. In doing so, it will examine the pipeline of opportunities for Indigenous higher degree students and their transition to becoming early career academics. It will then explore the significant contributions Indigenous leaders make to the higher education sector, noting that these positions require not only the same traits and characteristics as other leaders in the academy, but also additional requirements that draw on cultural integrity, knowledge and connections.
Professor Michelle Trudgett is an Indigenous scholar from the Wiradjuri Nation in New South Wales. Michelle currently holds the position Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Western Sydney University. She has also held senior positions at the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University. Michelle is currently the Chair of the New South Wales Vice-Chancellors Indigenous Committee and Deputy Chair of Universities Australia Pro/Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Committee. Michelle has received a number of awards including the highly prestigious National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year Award, the Neville Bonner Award for Teaching Excellence and the University of New England Distinguished Alumni Award.
Professor Sarah O’Shea
Without doubt, 2020 will be remembered as a watershed year, initiating a period of change that has both challenged daily conventions as well as our collective expectations as citizens. Higher education systems have faced rapid change which has revealed the fragility of this sector, particularly in relation to educational equity and participation. The COVID-19 health pandemic and its ensuing repercussions have undoubtedly brought into sharp focus the enduring inequities embedded within university systems and the delicate relationships some student populations have with these higher education landscapes.
The term ‘fragility’ is often conceived in terms of weakness or a limitation; for individuals this state might assume a diminished level of agency or power. However, exposing the tenuous nature of people, places and spaces can similarly offer opportunities for existing or accepted perspectives to be challenged and revisioned. This presentation will firstly explore how students from equity backgrounds are often defined explicitly in ways that assume ‘fragility’, such as disrupted relationships with the university setting, the delicate balancing acts between external responsibilities and university participation or the fragile nature of belonging and inclusion within the academy. This situated understanding of educational fragility will be broadened to consider how the health pandemic has exposed broader vulnerabilities across the sector including the brittle nature of university funding, the ongoing interrogation of traditional forms of delivery as well as the stark differences in access to material resources.
Being named ‘fragile’ might convey a delicacy or instability yet equally, navigating fragile states or circumstances can yield positive revisions to difficult environments, in some cases underpinning a tenacity that leads to enduring change. Interrogating notions of fragility across the higher education equity field can provide a space to rethink ‘taken for granted’ aspects of university participation, which may have been disrupted by the recent health pandemic. Considering the pandemic university in terms of fragility offers an opportunity for thoughtful reflection not only about how equity and participation are constructed but also how we might challenge existing practices to enact a more robust and sustainable system.
Professor Sarah O’Shea is the Director, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) and a national and international recognised educator and researcher. Sarah has spent nearly thirty years working to effect change within the higher education sector through research that focuses on the access and participation of students from identified equity groups. Institutional and nationally funded projects advance understanding of how under-represented student cohorts enact success within university, navigate transition into and through this environment, manage competing identities and negotiate aspirations for self and others. Sarah has also held numerous university leadership positions, which have directly informed changes across the Australian higher education sector, particularly in the field of educational equity. She has published extensively and has been awarded nearly AUD4 million in grant funding since 2009, Sarah has also been recognised as an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Churchill Fellow.
Professor Phillip Dawson
Cheating has always been a problem, and it has recently gotten worse: more prevalent, harder to address, and more sophisticated. Age-old cheating approaches like plagiarism and outsourcing have been supercharged by the Internet and joined by new threats like exam hacking and artificial intelligence. Cheating is a problem that defies simple solutions, a wicked problem, a complex social mess. There are competing, contradictory ‘solutions’ to cheating, limited resources to implement them, and a range of ideological, cultural and political forces at play.
But we can’t give up.
Yes, cheating is a hard problem, but it’s one that matters too. Graduating ethical students who can do what we say they can do is not optional, it’s the cornerstone of higher education’s social contract.
This presentation takes a nuanced look at what works in addressing the problem of cheating. It synthesises evidence from research and practice to build a layered model that spans both positive academic integrity approaches like education and more adversarial assessment security approaches like detection and deterrence. And it explores the challenges of asking ‘what works’ in the context of the wicked problem of cheating.
Professor Phillip (Phill) Dawson is the Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University. Phill has degrees in education, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, and he leads CRADLE’s work on cheating, academic integrity and assessment security. This work spans hacking and cheating in online exams, training academics to detect contract cheating, student use of study drugs, the effectiveness of legislation at stopping cheating, and the evaluation of new assessment security technologies. His two latest books are Defending Assessment Security in a Digital World: Preventing E-Cheating and Supporting Academic Integrity in Higher Education (Routledge, 2021) and the co-edited volume Re-imagining University Assessment in a Digital World (Springer, 2020). Phill’s work on cheating is part of his broader research into assessment, which includes work on assessment design and feedback. In his spare time he rides bikes slowly and performs improv comedy earnestly.
Panel discussion sessions
Panel 1: What have we learned from the COVID-19 experience for future changes in teaching and learning in higher education? Researchers’ views
Following the end of COVID-19 restrictions will there be a reversion to previous practice in teaching, learning and assessment, or will there be substantial transformations in the higher education scene. While there has been considerable debate about what might take place, much of this has occurred at the level of opinion and suppositions. There has been little focus on evidence about what might be possible and its educational influence. While actual change may be more influenced by the continuation of cultural practices and a resistance to innovation, we need to consider what grounds we have for moving in particular directions.
The panel brings together a group of academics with considerable experience in research on teaching and learning in higher education and in digital learning. They have been both contributors and have been following research on the COVID experience in universities and its implications. The panel will offer their views on directions for a ‘new normal’ and what appears to be supported by evidence from research. Short presentations will be followed by questions from conference participants and extended discussion.
Join Professor David Boud, Professor Diana Laurillard, Senior Professor Sue Bennett and Associate Professor Timothy Hew for this session.
Professor David Boud
Professor Diana Laurillard
Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies
UCL Knowledge Lab
University College London
Senior Professor Sue Bennett
Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
University of Wollongong
Associate Professor Timothy Hew
Associate Dean (Research Higher Degrees)
Faculty of Education
The University of Hong Kong
Panel 2: The future world of graduate employability: student voice
When the first universities were established in Australasia, education of citizens to develop capability for the nation or state was a high priority. Similarly, yet with an altered emphasis, governments and universities now promote ‘employability’ of their graduates – reflecting a shift in the balance of responsibilities and benefits between individuals, states, and employers.
University staff members design curricula, initiatives, and resources to support students to develop employability. Our activities are based on assumptions about students: their existing capabilities, their resources, their aspirations, their employment opportunities, and their lives. How should we continue? In this panel, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students will share their expectations for the roles and responsibilities of universities in the future world of graduate employability.
Join Professor Sally Male, Georgina Aiuto, Omkar Auti, Shannon Ng Krattli and Maya Starr for this session.
Professor Sally Male
The University of Melbourne
Swinburne University of Technology
The University of Melbourne
Shannon Ng Krattli