No to lava

Macquarie U researchers have a survey to, “better understand the Australian public’s opinion of volcanic hazards and their associated risks to Australia,” CMM is opposed.


There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Amani Bell on  why students like work integrated learning on-line. This week’s addition to Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

Garry Carnegie (RMIT) questions the way universities rate rankings They “do not have any correlation with accomplishment in effectively realising the express social purposes of a public university, particularly concerned with acting in the public interest and for the benefit of society. However, the notion of elitism and the spirit of competition, both between and within universities, appear to be dominant in our universities,” he suggests.

U Tas sticks with sale of desirable property

The university’s plan to relocate into the Hobart CBD is in-place now it comes to paying for it, in part by turning parts of the existing Sandy Bay campus into housing

Over three-years, university management has worked to sell the move to staff and students and made-nice with people in the city centre, with a poultice of publications and presentations (umpteen CMM stories since April 9 2019).

Perhaps management though everybody was consulted out, but nothing doing with new protests at the university leaving Sandy Bay and what it plans for the space.

Yesterday VC Rufus Black went on ABC Radio in Hobart to talk about the move – just not for long. After five minutes or so the 20-minute interview progressed to other issues, staff pay, the future of the lecture, first in family UG access, for starters. And very happy indeed Professor Black sounded answering questions and addressing issues on subjects other than Sandy Bay.

UK unis and journal giant no speaks

Australian universities will have improved access on free to read and pay to publish research, due to deals done with a range of publishers – none of which, so far, is Elsevier

The Council of Australian University Librarians has announced three deals with publishers in a month, with one said still to come (CMM October 5, 21 and 26).

If it turns out to be the alpha for-profit research publisher Elsevier there will be international interest in the terms, because Elsevier bargains hard.

Negotiations on a new subscription/article publishing deal between the company and UK universities stopped last week.

Universities UK and digital support provider JISC rejected Elsevier’s proposal, which they state does not meet member needs for subscription and publishing costs, “in line with other agreements and in line with funder policies and sector requirements.” This year universities will spend just under £50m (A$91m) with the company.

This does not mean there will not be a deal. Talks started and stopped between the company and the University of California across years before a deal was done (CMM March 18). But not right now.

Where there’s smoke, there’s data

Smart phones can feed reports of wildfires and planned burns into the national forecasting the system

Uni Tas’ Menzies Institute for Medical Research, has created the monitor, to run on the AirRater smart-phone app. It will help fire authorities track smoke movement and give people with the app access to data on smoke pollution.

Colin Simpson’s Ed Tech must reads of the week

A heutagogical approach for the assessment of Internet Communication Technology (ICT) assignments in higher education from International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education (Open Access)

With students increasingly identifying as on-line content creators, and the slowly evolving nature of academic publishing, it makes sense to harness Internet platforms in their education. Lynch, Sage, Hitchcock and Sage here outline some formal structures to support a more self-determined form of assessment, where learners are as mindful of the external audience for the resources they create in their courses as they are of their teachers. This article offers a comprehensive guide to the theory behind this approach as well as some exemplar rubrics. The only issue that I would possibly take is the breathless excitement about this as a new mode – not to toot my own horn but I had my students posting blogs for assessment a decade ago. Perhaps without the rich theoretical framework though.


Bringing Clinical Simulation & Active Learning Strategies into the Classroom During COVID-19 from Healthy Simulation

Medical disciplines have long been leaders in the adoption of technology enhanced learning and teaching, with a particular need to be able to give learners as much authentic practical experience as possible while also being safe and logistically feasible. In this informative but brief post, Amy Curtis describes the practical changes that were required in a university nursing programme in the southeast US in response to COVID19.


Administrators are not the enemy from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Brian Rosenberg is the president in residence of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and pulls no punches with this strongly worded cri de coeur – the subheading is “Faculty contempt for nonfaculty employees is unjustified and destructive”. It isn’t a long read but covers a decent amount of ground about academia, from the primacy of expertise to toxic behaviour in hierarchies.


Introducing design thinking online to large business education courses for twenty-first century learning from Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice

Vallis (USyd) and Redmond (USQ) discuss the application of design thinking principles that are, in essence, a more human-centred angle on problem solving, in teaching business disciplines. They interview academics and student in a first-year course in this case study, to delve into its usefulness in this practice and find some handy benefits.


Opinion: There’s nothing appealing about the Metaverse from Game Developer

When Facebook is in the news it can be easy to tune out these days but this opinion piece from Bryant Francis about Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding of the parent company as “Meta” and their roadmap for a remarkably Second Life-like all-encompassing virtual social world is worth a read. While this isn’t about the educational applications of such a space, it points out a number of the logical flaws and so-what questions that aren’t yet being discussed enough.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. He is also one of the leaders of the TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner

Peak medical research funder bold open access on hold

The National Health and Medical Research Council was considering an open access policy for research and supporting data it funds as of January – was

The NHMRC proposed the change in April (CMM April 16) but now advises that, “while NHMRC remains committed to this path, we will not be making revisions to our policy for implementation from 1 January 2022 as originally planned.”

So, what happened to timing intended “to bring the policy into alignment with the growing international shift towards open access publishing”?

The NHMRC is not telling, although it does report stakeholder responses to its prop, which include concerns about what publisher will do and calls for the council to pay “article processing charges,” (aka gold open access). (The council diplomatically points out that, “some, but not all, submissions recognised that open access publication costs are an allowable expense under NHMRC grants.”)

The council also reports a majority of responding universities, MRIs, OA advocacy groups and OA publishers suggested a 12-month transition to immediate open access while most publishers, “small society journals” and professional associations wanted the new policy to apply to new, not existing grants.

Publishers also, “commented that they supported immediate open access, but only through gold open access.” This replaces pay to read with pay to publish.

NHMRC states that while immediate OA on publication will not happen in January, it “will continue communicating with key stakeholders in the sector as this process continues.”

Appointments, achievements

Julia Carlomagno joins Monash (U) Publishing as publisher.

Curtin U announces new John Curtin Distinguished Professors. In Business and Law Fran Ackermann, Alan Duncan, Marylene Gagne, Mark Griffin, Sharon Parker and Ian Phau. In Health Sciences, Donna Chung, Phill Della, John Mamo and Zhonghua Sun. In Humanities, Rod Ellis. In Science and Engineering, Craig Buckley, Boris Gurevich, Iain Murray, Andrew Rohl, Tele Tan, Kate Trinajstic.

 Uni Queensland’s teaching and learning awards were announced last night. Teaching excellence: Taylor Dick (Biomedical Sciences), Poh Wah Hillock (Maths and Physics), Deanne Gannaway (Teaching and Learning Innovation), Allison Mandrusiak (Health and Rehabilitation Sciences), Kevin Welsh (Earth and Environmental Sciences) Citations for student learning: Michaela Kelly and team (Vulnerability in Medicine Tutorial Programme), Rachel Allavena (Vet Science), Karen Hughes (Business School), Hassan Khosravi (Teaching and Learning Innovation), Stuart Middleton (Business School) and Mark Tanner (Business School)

The WA Cancer Council 2021 research awards go to, Henry Hui – UWA, (early career researcher), Christobel Saunders – UWA (career achievement), Jason Waithman – Telethon Kids Institute (researcher of the year)

 Mark Young leaves La Trobe U this week. He moves to Uni Tasmania to be Director, Future Student Journey.