An UNsymposium?

pile of questionmarks

Like other conference organisers before us, we want to challenge the traditional stand-deliver-network structure of our symposiums.

  • We want to provide spaces for you to engage with each others’ practices – even after the symposium
  • We want you to hear from more people
  • We want to provide the opportunity to draw connections between common issues and questions
  • We know ideas come from all directions – we need to listen to the quiet ones!

So we’re changing how we’d like you to share your teaching practice this year, drawing inspiration from the unconference movement.

What’s different?

Firstly, we’d like you to present a POST, not a slideshow as the basis for your presentation.

Your post will need to be completed by 15 July 2019 and should be created in iTeach (we’ve created a quick guide to help you and will run a session on this in a few weeks time). iTeach is CSU’s community space for sharing practice. You don’t need to wait for others to share what you are doing – you can write a post directly to the blog without any need for special access. Some of our academics have already been posting to it!

In thinking about what you might share, use this as a starting point:

What is an aspect of your teaching that you’ve been exploring? Why is it important? What have you learned along the way – or what questions do you still have?

Your posts can be about large or small teaching practices – from exploring new course structures to what you’ve learned using an isolated teaching strategy. If it matters to you, there’ll be a good chance it will matter to others. And yes, you can co-develop your post.

We’ll highlight your posts through BJBS-News in the lead-up to the symposium, as well as promoting them throughout the event.

Is that it?

No. As posts come in we’ll look for natural connections between them, and use these to converge presenters into 5 groups based on their ideas and the ‘big questions’ these might raise for us as a collective Faculty. We’ll refine those big questions with each group of presenters before the symposium, to make sure they aren’t just big questions, but also the right questions.

At the live session, each group will have their own room, led by a facilitator, with symposium attendees sitting in ‘roundtables’ of around 6-8 people. The facilitator will introduce the question we want the room to tackle as well as the presenters, who will have 5 minutes to share a short summary of their presentation with the whole group.

Staff and student profiles
The UNsymposium is a chance to use our current practices to generate and then inform discussion around key issues that are important to us as a collective group.

From there, each presenter will move to a table, provoking discussion and allowing the group to ask questions about their presentation as they explore the big question from different perspectives. After 15 minutes, the presenters will move to the next table, and so on until they have been to all 4 tables.

As the attendees will remain at the same table, they’ll be able to weave ideas from each presenter with their own to gain insights, responses and potentially recommendations regarding the question posed at the start of the session. There’ll be time at the end for individual and group reflections, as well as for sharing responses with the whole group. These ‘takeaways’ will be then considered, developed further and acted upon following the symposium.


Quick summary

By 15 July 2019 develop a short, well written post on an engaging topic related to your teaching practice. Submit it on iTeach. Remember, people will likely want to follow-up the symposium by reading your post, so this is where you add / link to the details of what you are sharing.

Early August: You’ll receive an invitation to meet with your group facilitator and colleagues to discuss the ‘big question’ and how your presentation might help provoke discussion You’ll be able to ask questions about how the live session will run, and what we’re trying to achieve.

Before the symposium: Prepare a 5 minute (max) summary of the main ideas in your post – you’ll need to draw out the big ideas clearly and concisely. The details will be in the post for later reference.