Teaching and learning projects and activities

The ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre was established to inform science faculties and their stakeholders about quality teaching and learning in science and mathematics, to promote innovation in science and mathematics teaching and learning, and foster widespread improvement in practice. It seeks to identify and promote consensus, providing a strong national voice on teaching and learning. The Centre runs a number of projects and conferences, and provides a means for collaboration and access to resources to all those interested in science and mathematics education. 

ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre

CURRENT PROJECTS

ACDS Teaching and Learning Fellowship

The ACDS introduced this fellowship in 2018 to  advance learning and teaching in science and mathematics in Australian universities by fostering development of education leaders through strategic projects that address priority issues identified by the ACDS.  The inaugural fellowship was awarded to Tina Acuna and Jo-anne Kelder from the University of Tasmania.  Their project aims to develop a framework to embed scholarship in the cycle of quality improvement (yearly) and quality assurance (external benchmarking; at least 5 yearly) of qualifications, leading to evidence-based scholarly outputs and informs a collaborative approach to curriculum design that can be facilitated within and across disciplines and university boundaries.

Read more about the project

Work integrated learning (WIL)

The employability of science graduates is often questioned by prospective students, parents, and government. The Centre has been focusing on this issue for several years, to provide tools and resources for faculties of science to develop work integrated learning opportunities for their students. To this end, the ACDS has delivered on projects funded by the Office of the Chief Scientist and the OLT. Regional WIL networks were established and four national forums were run to facilitate discussion of challenges and solutions on this topic.  Work continues on this front, now with a focus on working in collaboration with the Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN).

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Role of education focused academics

Education-focused academics can foster teaching and learning change and improvement in faculties of science. These roles have been developed in a number of Australian universities but their work is not well-described. This project will use tools developed in the US to explore the role of education-focused academics and related teaching-intensive roles in science and mathematics.

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Indigenous science resources

This project aims to facilitate the sharing of good practice across Australian universities aimed at increasing participation and success of indigenous students in science courses as well as engaging all science  students in indigenous knowledges. It will build on the findings of the exploratory survey, supported by the ACDS, Sharing better practices aimed at increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student participation in, and completion of science courses at Australian universities.

Read more about the project

CONFERENCES

Science leaders conference

Every year associate deans (teaching and learning) meet for two days to discuss current issues in science education. This conference series was introduced by the ACDS in 2008 and has had strong participation every year since then. Over the 12 years, the discussions had at this conference and the networks formed were pivotal in elevating the status of science education in this country. Over this time this group worked in partnership with the OLT and its predecessors, who provided project funding to address key issues identified at our gatherings. 

Read about last conference

Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics education (ACSME)

In 2017 the ACDS took ownership of this annual national conference on science and mathematics education. For 25 years ACSME has provided a forum for all academics and professional staff interested in advancing the learning and teaching in science and mathematics in higher education. This is a great annual networking event which rotates around the country and never fails to attract good crowds.

Conference website