ACSME 2016 round-up

Brisbane2015 Conference Dinner View

ACSME (Australian Conference for Science and Mathematics Education) greeted over 200 registrants in Brisbane this year, breaking attendance records. The conference theme was The 21st Century Science and Maths Graduate  and the program committee, ably led by conference chair, Dr Susan Rowlands, prepared a packed program including:

  • 5 keynotes covering teaching thinking (Dr Peter Ellerton, UQ), science communication (Jackie Randles, Inspiring Australia; Toss Gascoigne), digital employability (Dr Ruth Bridgstock, QUT, OLT National Fellow) and standards, benchmarking and accreditation (Dr Dan Southam, Curtin, RACI accreditation committee),
  • 12 concurrent sessions covering WIL, employability and transferable skills, technology-enhanced learning, communication, teacher preparation, capacity building and emerging pedagogies.
  • 58 posters across all conference themes
  • 18 workshops covering specific and general issues and discipline education meetings

Graduate employability was reframed by Ruth Bridgstock (OLT National Senior Fellow) using social learning to create connections outside the university.  Read more about Ruth’s work at her Graduate Employability 2.0 website and check out her model for rich descriptions of learning with connections.

Science communication was a strong theme in the conference.  Jacqui Randles from Inspiring Australia challenged us all to get Science out of the lab and into the hands of all Australians, and to think more broadly about destinations for Science graduates. Jacqui has prepared two short extracts from her presentation to illustrate her message: Get out of your stem bubble discusses the importance of thinking more broadly, and What’s your story opens the door to getting involved in science communication.

Dan Southam tackled the challenges of accreditation, standards and evidence of learning, which is where the learning rubber really hits the road. Dan heads up the accreditation committee of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and, with colleagues, has developed a framework and a mobile-friendly tool to track the learning outcomes into assessment and evidence of student learning. Check out the online accreditation survey.

Special thanks to the indefatigable Susan Rowland, deputy chair, Gwen Lawrie and conference organizer, Steph Beames, Slides from keynote presentations are available on our Events page.