Early birds and worms

You'd best move quickly if you want the early bird rate!
Public Domain image from www.pixabay.com

They do say early bird catches the worms! If you register before 30 October 2017, you can still catch the reduced fees.

Catching the early bird rate will ensure you don't miss out on any of our three fantastic keynotes.

Professor James Arvanitakis will tackle the persistent state of 'getting it wrong' that universities inhabit; and the tension between pedagogy and technology. Can there peaceful co-existence between the two?

Marita Cheng will provide insight to a robotics-driven future. This is not the science fiction of I, Robot, but a looming reality. Responses from higher education will be critical, and Marita explores how to create future-ready graduates.

Amber Case will look at the way the world is made of information that competes for our attention. She'll tackle questions like:

  • How does it affect us as individuals?
  • Does it help us learn or does it get in the way?
  • What are the implications for the way we learn and teach in tertiary education?
  • How does technology help us engage with community?

What do you think? Join your flock of peers at ASCILITE 2017, 4 – 6 December 2017 on the University of Southern Queensland's Toowoomba Campus.

Register now! Early bird closes 30 October 2017 so you've only got one week to go!

Spring’s here, and so is ASCILITE 2017 early bird registration

Take the plunge and join us at ASCILITE!
Public Domain image sourced from www.pixabay.com

Spring is here - at least for us down under in Australia! It's a time for renewal and the dreaded 'spring cleaning'. You might have started on your house or yard, but have you done a 'spring clean' of your professional learning closet yet?

Have you hung up the new curtains of learning and knowledge? Have you considered a new dietary requirement for your minds, hearts and/or for actions?

Don’t forget to make ASCILITE 2017 a part of your learning rejuvenation this spring! This year’s conference will be held at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland - the Garden City of Australia.

We have exciting keynote speakers lined up to nourish your mind and whet your appetite each morning, as you move on to the buffet of each stream. Not only do we have interesting and thought provoking papers, you will also get to connect with other like-minded peers and colleagues and network at a number of social events.

In the spirit of change, and renewal, perhaps it is time to consider registration to ASCILITE 2017 and look for fresh perspectives to fold into your practice.

Remember that the early bird registration offer only lasts for just under two weeks (until 23 October)!


10 reasons why I am submitting a paper to ASCILITE 2017 (by next Monday 5 June!)

There is just one week to go until the ASCILITE 2017 call for participation closes! To spur you on with making your submission, today Professor Shelley Kinash is sharing ten reasons why she is submitting a paper to ASCILITE 2017.

  1. The ASCILITE acronym stands for ‘Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education’. True to its’ name, the society is about digital solutions that will have high impact on the student learning experience and graduate outcomes.
  2. Past conferences and proceedings have held the key to practical approaches and solutions.
  3. I always have FUN at ASCILITE conferences.
  4. ASCILITE conferences are a great way to reconnect with passionate learning and teaching colleagues from across the world and from multiple tertiary education sectors.
  5. After I present at ASCILTE, colleagues with intersecting research interests contact me to continue the conversation. In my experience, the number of follow-up contacts and conversations exceeds that from any other conference presentation.
  6. My co-authored/co-presented 2010 ASCILITE paper on Padagogy has been cited 52 times.
  7. My co-authored/co-presented ASCILTE paper on mobile learning that was subsequently published (2012) in the associated journal - the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) - has been cited 134 times.
  8. Toowoomba is a thriving community and December is a beautiful time to visit. There will be lots to do within and beyond the conference. We've already shared about all the great things there is to do in Toowoomba - and we'll be sharing more in the coming months.
  9. The theme of the conference is Me. Us. IT. There will be cutting-edge, creative presentations and conversations about practical application, inclusiveness, reach and digital futures.
  10. There are many participation options including full paper, concise paper, digital poster, debate, lightning talk, lightning round, open fishbowl, experimental session, and post conference workshop.

For more information on submission formats, check out the call for participation.

Important information about ASCILITE 2017 submission requirements

We've had a few questions about ASCILITE submission requirements and we've received a couple of submissions that are incomplete, so we thought we'd highlight a few key points about the submission requirements for this year's conference. If you intend on making a submission, please read on.

What to submit

This is not an abstract-only submission.

All submission types require an extended submission beyond an abstract. These submission requirements vary, and they are all outlined on the submission guidelines page. We have also updated the submission templates to include details on exactly what you need to submit for every submission type. Unfortunately, this means there is a lot of preamble at the start of the templates, but hopefully it will make it easier for you to pull together the content required for the various types of submissions.

Submission templates

There are two submission templates:

One submission template for double blind peer reviewed submissions, which you should use for

  • Full papers
  • Concise papers
  • Digital posters

One submission template for double peer (not blind) reviewed submissions, which you should use for

  • Debate
  • Lightning Talk
  • Lightning Round
  • Fishbowl
  • Experimental Session
  • Workshop (post conference)

We have developed 'minimalist templates' to make it as easy as possible for you to submit. That means we aren't asking you to do any kind of fancy formatting. All you need to do is make sure you use:

  • Arial 10 point font
  • Single line spacing
  • APA 6th style for referencing

That's it!

How to make your submission

Just fill out the fields on the submission template, add your submission content, and submit via EasyChair. All the details are on the Call for Participation page, and we've developed a guide to using EasyChair to help you use the system.

If you have any questions at all about making your submission, don't hesitate to contact the committee. You can email us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au.

Two weeks to go! Submissions closing 5 June

As the extended due date for ASCILITE 2017 submissions draws nearer, I asked one of my colleagues, Henk Huijser, an educational developer at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in the People's Republic of China, why he keeps coming back to ASCILITE each year. Here's what he had to say.

ASCILITE has developed into the main educational technology and blended learning conference in Australasia over the years, and it has also developed into one of the most social of conferences.

These are the two main reasons why I always want to attend ASCILITE whenever I can. Not only are the key figures in blended and technology enhanced learning and teaching usually at this conference, and you can get details on the main trends, but it is also a great conference to present at, as there is a real ‘community of practice’ feel to it. In other words, the content is broad enough to be inclusive of many researchers’ and practitioners’ interests, but not too broad to become too unfocused. This is further helped by the yearly theme of the conference.

The social element is partly due to the timing of the conference, and the organisers usually put a lot of effort into this. The conference is always in early December, when most of the attendees are winding down towards the end of the year. This affects the atmosphere at the conference and everyone tends to be up for a good time and ready to have a bit of fun, which is important and usually makes it a memorable conference.

In short, if there is one conference to choose from the many available, then ASCILITE is an excellent choice, both for professional and social reasons.

The ASCILITE 2017 call for participation closes on Monday 5 June 2017. You've got two weeks to get your submission in! Check out the call for participation for all the details.

Deadline extended: call for participation

We've had a few requests for extensions on submissions for ASCILITE 2017 so we've decided to extend the deadline for the call for participation til 5 June 2017.

If you haven't started working on your ASCILITE submission, now's the time! You've got just under three weeks to make your submission.

Check out the call for participation and the submission guidelines to see what you need to do to submit. You can choose from a range of different types of submissions, including:

  • Full paper
  • Concise paper
  • Digital poster
  • Debate
  • Lightning talk
  • Lightning round
  • Open fishbowl
  • Experimental session
  • Post conference workshop

You can also get in touch with us to discuss other submission types if you have something else in mind. Just email us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au.

We're looking forward to receiving your submissions.

Opening up ASCILITE: a call to action

I’m involved in in what I would call a deeply enviable space for learning and teaching.

"How university open debates and discussi" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by opensourceway

Open education, whilst certainly not a new concept, is starting to gain traction across the Australian and New Zealand higher education sectors (to varying degrees), and the attention it receives makes for interesting and exciting times. There are big issues that challenge practitioners such as institutional and national policy, the business case for open education, promoting and rewarding open educational practice, and even finding ways to recognise that many educators are already teaching openly. The possibilities for collaboration – both nationally and internationally – are extremely promising, and the potential impact on Australian students is positive. Reduced costs that lower barriers to education, better access to resources, more flexible pathways for study and recognition of prior learning, and opportunities to be engaged as co-creators of knowledge are all achievable in an open environment.

However, when we discuss openness, the most common foci are textbooks and learning resources. Why? Perhaps it is because replacing the textbook in a course with an open counterpart can be relatively simple. Repositories exist purely for the purpose of disseminating free and open texts. There is a defined cost associated with publisher texts, and it is easy to demonstrate student savings. Learning resources are already created for courses, and most universities have a repository for Learning Objects. Again, it can be an easy discussion.

The harder side of openness is practice, not resources, and as John F. Kennedy said ‘we do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard’. Recent workshops at the University of Southern Queensland led to very interesting debate on the value of resources for learning and teaching for the contemporary university. Are resources why students engage with a university? Do they select a higher education institution for the quality of the resources? Or is it perhaps something else?
The workshop conversation spent a lot of time on the notion that it is interaction and engagement – not resources – that represent the best value proposition for the student. The chance to interact with lecturers and peers, to receive feedback, and to be credentialed; these were perceived as valuable.

It makes me think that conferences are not that much different.

"community" (CC BY 2.0) by mikemcsharry

ASCILITE, like other conferences, is dependent on content for the schedule (and we’re still taking submissions), but is that where the true value of a conference lies? Or, as a previous post stated, is it about the connections, the discussion, the open sharing of ideas? Is it about testing or reporting your idea through a session and then engaging in questioning and discussions? Perhaps the value of the conference lies in the quality of the coffee?

In previous years, ASCILITE has openly licenced the conference proceedings and made them freely available to world. We’ll continue that tradition this year. One opportunity though, is for open streams for the conference, and the opportunity for open practitioners to gather, discuss and disseminate open education initiatives from across the sector. Openness – like learning and teaching – benefits from a community, and I’d like to see more papers and presentations this year about open education in our region.

It may be your chance to test an idea, meet new collaborators, and make that idea just a little bit bigger.

Like I said at the beginning – it’s a deeply enviable space.

ASCILITE 2017 wants you!

We're excited to announce that the ASCILITE 2017 call for participation is now live!

This year, there are nine different submission types, including three double blind peer reviewed submission types and six double peer reviewed submission types.

Submission types include the usual suspects: double blind peer reviewed concise papers, full papers, and digital posters.

Rather than curating a program of traditional 'sage on the stage' presentations, for this year's conference, we want to curate a program full of opportunities for engagement. This means we're looking for a diverse range of session types. You can submit a proposal for a

  • Debate
  • Lightning talk
  • Lightning round
  • Open fishbowl
  • Experimental session
  • Post conference workshop

Got something else in mind? We're open to other submission types. Just get in touch with us at ascilite2017@usq.edu.au to discuss.

More information on the submission types is available on the call for participation page. You should also check out the submission guidelines.

Submissions are due 22 May 2017.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with!