There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

The Australian Collaborative Education Network Board on sharing good practise in work integrated learning. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

plus the two big risks Uni Tas faces in its city relocation.

and Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the lecture – alive and well and adapting to the times.

STEM v HASS at the ARC

Twenty years of Australian Research Council data shows money goes where it always has

In 2002 35 per cent of 3218 STEM funding applications were successful and 29 per cent of the 1286 HASS ones.

In 2021 there were 4144 STEM apps with a 21 per cent success rate and 1395 HASS apps of which 19 per cent were funded.

In 2002 STEM grants got 78 per cent of the money and 80 per cent in  2021.

(Using 2021 data because “not specified” discipline category accounted for 30 per cent of funding in 2022)

National Health and Medical Research Council stands-up on open access

The NHMRC has abandoned its long-standing 12 month delay after publication for peer reviewed research it funds to be free to read 

As of this morning, research publications based on new funding awarded must be available immediately on publication.

All research published up to December 31 next year must be OA from January 1 2024.

The times is right

Council chair Anne Kelso says, “making publicly-funded research available as soon as possible supports knowledge sharing and rapid innovation. It also advances human health in Australia and globally, as witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The NMHRC had previously proposed adopting OA on publication for 2022 but encountered ambivalence, at least, from stakeholders (CMM April 16 and November 2 2021). But the international OA impetus has increased since them  – President Biden has ordered OA on publication for all US Government funded research by end 2025 (CMM August 29).

The Council sets out publishing options

* paid open access: authors or their institutions pay a fee or “article processing charge”

* free to publish, free to read: articles are deposited in an open on-line repository, generally institutionally based or discipline linked.

However paying to publish an article in an otherwise subscription journal is not acceptable, unless such hybrid publications are part of agreement between a group of research institutions and a publisher.

The NHMRC will allow grant funds to go to article processing charges, but “notes that not all routes to open access require a payment of a fee and recommends that authors consider this factor when deciding where to publish their work.”

The Council also “strongly encourages researchers to share data and metadata arising from research it funds

Both should be deposited “in a well-curated, openly accessible data repository.”

What’s next

The NHMRC moving on OA sets a new standard for Australia – medical sciences are where the research action is. But the existing Australian Research Council policy requires OA 12 months from publication. It’s up for review next June.

Campaign to get students talking – just not in English

A grand alliance of universities* committed to a multi-lingual Australia is funding a social media campaign

They are backing a social media campaign promoting study of Indonesian, Mandarin, Italian, Japanese, French, Spanish. “Rich with possibility for self-discovery and career development” is one part of the pitch, the low-cost of language units, compared to humanities subjects, is the other.

There’s a website with benefits of learning each of the target languages and links to a fee calculator and course contacts, as in actual individuals, at participating institutions.

Flash it is not, but it’s vastly better than universities just giving up and cutting languages which lake student demand, or vocal communities.

Campaign representative Liam Prince, talks about why Australians aren’t learning Indonesian for CMM’s Expert Opinion (ep nine), HERE.

* The National Languages Campaign comes from, Australian Catholic U, ANU, Flinders U, Macquarie U, Monash U, Uni Melbourne, Uni Newcastle, Uni New South Wales, Uni Queensland, UTS and the  Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies.


Colin Simpson’s ed tech must reads of the week

 Do zoom meetings really help? A comparative analysis of synchronous and asynchronous online learning during Covid-19 pandemic from Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

The author of this article compare the experiences of US students who had both synchronous and asynchronous on-line learning experiences during the pandemic through a community of inquiry framework. They were interested in how these modes impact self-evaluated performance, actual grades and identification with their institutions and also considered measures of teaching, social and cognitive presence. Unsurprisingly perhaps, students in synchronous courses tended to feel greater social presence which did influence their grades and self-evaluation. This was less the case in asynchronous courses. What is perhaps missing is information about the nature of these courses, how they were designed and delivered. (Teacher presence is noted as having affected social and cognitive presence though). Thanks to my BusEco colleagues for sharing this.


The rise and fall of the HyFlex Approach in Mexico from Tech Trends

The practicalities of new modes of teaching can often come second to the simple need to get something done. This brief overview of the introduction of HyFlex teaching in Mexico, where students attend a synchronous class either on-line or in-person, highlights three key areas that need to be considered seriously in any type of technology enabled learning and teaching – technology resourcing and support, workloads and adequate guidance.


Defining different modes of learning: resolving confusion and contention through consensus from Online Learning

If there is one thing the academy loves, it is long debates about what things should be called and how they should be understood. The language around learning and teaching modes is no stranger to this. Terms like on-line learning, hybrid learning, hyflex learning, in-person learning, synchronous learning, and asynchronous learning often have local institutional variations. Johnson et al. from WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) surveyed more than 2000 educators and administrators from American universities about some provided definitions of these terms and found a surprising consensus in acceptance of the key terms. Maybe there is hope for us yet.


Adding a policy about the use of AI text generators from Anna Mills (Twitter)

There isn’t a lot in this twitter thread but Anna Mills is consistently one of the most thought-provoking people in the discussion about the practical impact of AI text generation on learning and assessment. Here she asks the question – What policy do you put in your syllabus around student use of #AI text generators/large language models to assist with coursework? Given that this can technically range from auto-correct and sentence completion to the generation of entire essays – where is the line? Are there educational benefits that might be found?

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 at CIT, ANU, Swinburne and Monash University. He is also one of the leaders of the ASCILITE TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner

Appointments, achievements

Australian Awarded University Teachers Network 2022 programme awards committee is, Mark Brimble (Griffith U) Graham Brown (Charles Sturt U), Abby Cathcart (QUT), Nicolette Lee (La Trobe U) David Sadler – chair (UWA).

The International Pharmaceutical Federation announces Betty Exintaris (Monash U) receives its award for pharmaceutical education. Carl R Schneider (Uni Sydney) becomes a Fellow.