SoTL news and opportunities

Scholarship in teaching and learning

In May, I looked at ASCILITE, a professional organisation specifically focused on the use of educational technologies in higher education. Today’s post looks at another Australasian-focused organisation – HERDSA – and what it has to offer FoBJBS academics.

HERDSA: What’s in it for you?

HERDSA’ has a broad focus on learning and teaching in higher education. They have a journal (HERSDA journal) and a yearly conference (see Google’s citation index), a regular magazine (free download) that brings together SoLT news from across Australasia, including perspectives from academics and students. Last issue it included advice from Helen Sword, Director of the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education, University of Auckland and a key name in supporting academic writing. Our engineers will be keen to see a profile on Sally Male, who talks about creating support for developing a research profile in SoLT, while those interested in supporting students from low SES backgrounds will be keen to read policy perspectives from Marcia Devlin.


The HERDSA 2019 conference has just finished, though the full proceedings will probably not be released for a month or two.

The 2020 conference will be held in Brisbane, and calls for abstracts are already open, closing in February (but earlier for workshops, which is 4 September). The Teaching and Learning subthemes (there are others!) include:
> Curricula and assessment for effective learning
> A holistic student experience that prepares future graduates
> Indigenous knowledge and education
> Modes, models and spaces of teaching and learning
> The transformative digital space
> Learning technologies and analytics to enhance and support learning
> Challenging disciplinary boundaries and interprofessional education
> Academic and learning support
> Student diversity, inclusion, success

And that’s not all!

HERDSA Fellowship program

The Fellowship Scheme is for academics or leaders who have made a significant commitment to improving teaching and learning in higher education. To gain fellowship status, you will need to prepare a portfolio under the guidance of a mentor, which is assessed by two Fellows. The Fellowship Scheme provides opportunities for:

  • Personal and professional development
  • Connections: collegiality and collaboration
  • Recognition of achievements for career advancement

HERDSA Scholarship in Teaching and Learning Modules

The HERDSA Scholarship of Teaching & Learning modules are a capacity building resource to assist to develop and refine your SoTL knowledge and skills. They include videos of prominent Australian and New Zealand HERDSA members contributing their valuable SoTL insight. Modules include:

  • Learning to speak SoTL
  • Conceptualising a SoTL project
  • Designing and conducting a SoTL project
  • Writing up SoTL findings
  • Disseminating SoTL findings

CSU has an institutional licence for these modules, so non-members can access for free. To gain access to the modules, please contact Matthew Larnach of CSU’s Learning Academy.


HERSA also offers a range of other SoTL resources (you don’t need to be a member, but they are cheaper if you are), including an excellent TATAL Workbook that steps you through developing a teaching philosophy.

And last but not least…

HERDSA has pulled together a comprehensive list of education journals through their Twitter account. If you’re looking for the best place to publish your SoTL research, this is a great place to start: (and when you’re there, don’t forget to follow those that interest you so you can get news of their latest articles).

Twitter screenshot