Cross-Disciplinary Grading Techniques

Hi all – thought this was an interesting article that supports a lot of what we do in ERGA:



Resources on using clickers

Hi all,

The following came through the HERDSA list, and I thought you might be interested.

The Science Education Initiative* has created a set of resources about
effective use of personal response systems (“clickers”) for student
engagement and formative assessment — most notably a set of high-quality
videos giving an inside look at clickers being used in the classroom and
teacher and student opinions about them.  The response to these videos so
far has been enthusiastic.  We thought that you might be interested to know
about these resources — please disseminate them widely.

Here are the three main resources of interest:

1.  Clicker Videos
This page houses a suite of short, well-produced videos on the rationale for
using clickers, the details of how to use them effectively, and the research
supporting their use.  Videos are 5-15 minutes long.  These also live on
YouTube at

2.  The Instructor’s Guide to Effective Use of Personal Response Systems
This comprehensive guide discusses pedagogical aspects of clickers in a
great amount of detail.

3.  A resource website on clicker use
This page contains many helpful links, including quality clicker question
banks, articles, and the videos.

*These resources were created by the Science Education Initiative at the
University of Colorado ( and the Carl Wieman Science
Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia

Group of Eight Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines

The Group of Eight has released their report on the Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines:

The Group of Eight’s (Go8) Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines, released today, found that the state of mathematical sciences in Australia has deteriorated to a dangerous level and will require universities to provide additional maths enabling courses and to improve co-operation between education and maths faculties in future.

The report can be downloaded from here:

CLPD Seminar: Teaching the Google-Eyed YouTube Generation

The CLPD (University of Adelaide) are hosting a presentation by Bill Ashraf:

Dr Bill Ashraf

Director of Technology Enhanced Learning, University of Sussex

Thursday 25 March 2010

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, CLPD, Level 2, Schulz Building West

The University sector in the UK has undertaken a massive transformation over recent years resulting in a current mass market with an ever-decreasing resource base. Institutions are facing enormous challenges to establish competitive advantages whilst attending to customer need and focus. This presentation will highlight the above issues in terms of building upon and expanding a technology enriched learning environment in order to compete in a rapidly developing skills and knowledge based economy. A smarter, cost effective, lean teaching and learning environment needs to evolve in order for UK universities to compete in a flatter global educational market place.

In addition the presentation will consider and highlight opportunities for increasing operational efficiency, from a personal perspective, based on a blended approach to technology enhanced learning by creating a 24/7 learning environment for the Google-Eyed YouTube generation. The challenges of teaching large groups of students from a very diverse range of backgrounds and abilities will also be discussed.

Please RSVP for seminar presentation to Marilyn Purdy by Tuesday 23 March 2010,

email or telephone 830 35771.

Article: The Absent Presence: Today’s Faculty

Hi all,

I found this series of articles and the core paper the other day and thought you would be interested – it talks about the financial pressures of modern academics from the perspective of an academic who couldn’t afford to attend a conference to present his paper, and so rewrote his paper (to be read by a colleague) to discuss why he couldn’t afford to attend. Has sparked an interesting discussion about the growing pool of non-tenure track staff (or – to us – contract staff?) and what they have to put up with. Causes me more concern, given Australia’s growing push towards teaching-intensive positions…

The original paper is here:

Some related articles/web stuff:


Classics Professor Requires Latin Students to Play Ancient Roman Roles Online

Hi all,

I though this was an interesting new approach to online role playing that seemed to be more effective with less effort.

Classics Professor Requires Latin Students to Play Ancient Roman Roles Online

A classics professor says students in his Latin classes are usually lousy translators of Horace and Ovid—mainly because they don’t understand the cultural references in their poetry.

So now the professor, Roger Mr. Travis Jr., requires students to do weekly role-playing exercises online to put themselves in the shoes (or sandals) of the ancient Romans.

(rest of article:

Class Produces Parody of ‘The Office’ to Highlight Challenges of Teaching With Technology

Hi all,

Thought you might like this article:

Class Produces Parody of ‘The Office’ to Highlight Challenges of Teaching With Technology

Students at the University of Denver created a parody video essay — in the style of the popular TV show “The Office” — to show their frustrations with technology in the classroom and urge professors and students to work together to make classes more lively.

Many of the scenes in the six-minute video will probably seem familiar to anyone who has sat in on a college class in recent years: a professor funbles with his PowerPoint presentation, a student goofs around on Facebook during the lecture, and another student complains about being required to buy laptops when the devices are rarely used for assignments.

(rest of article:


ERGA (Education Research Group of Adelaide) is a cross-disciplinary community of educators based in South Australia promoting high quality University learning through evidence-based, practical approaches to teaching. This blog is used to communicate information about events and ideas for ERGA activities. Please use this space to discuss our events, ideas on education research that you have and to give us feedback.

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