Unsymposium 2020

Last year, we challenged the traditional stand-deliver-network structure of our symposium. YOU all jumped on board and made it a success! Building on that success, we invite you to be part of Unsymposium 2020, where:

  • 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 know ideas come from all directions – let’s come together and listen
  • We want to provide the opportunity to reflect and draw connections between common issues and questions

What are they saying?

John Hick's testimonial

John shared how he provides opportunities for his students to build critical thinking through engaging with the media. You can re-read his blog post here.

It’s your turn!

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 30 June 2020 and should be created in iTeach (here’s a quick guide to help you). 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. Read what our Academics are posting to and sharing on it!

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

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

This year the Unsymposium is looking at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL). Your posts can be about large or small teaching practices – from exploring new ways you are incorporating your research to your teaching, to trying out a single teaching strategy.

You can co-develop your post with colleagues and peers. This is a good space for reflection. As John highlights in his testimonial, the Unsymposium allows you to reflect on and explore your ideas constructively through feedback with peers.

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

What will it look like?

Last year’s session got a lot of positive feedback! So let’s do it again:

  1. As posts come in we’ll look for natural connections between them, and use these to converge speakers into 4-5 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 speakers before the symposium, to make sure they aren’t just big questions, but also the right questions.
  2. 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 questions we want the room to tackle with the speakers, who will have 5 minutes each to share a short summary of their presentation with the whole group.
  3. From there, each speaker will move to a table, provoking discussion and allowing the group to ask questions about their presentation as they explore the questions 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.
  4. It is recommended that an attendee at each table will act as notetaker (all attendees will be advised to bring their laptop or tablet for this purpose). 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 notes and responses with the whole group. These ‘takeaways’ will be then considered, developed further and shared with all.

Who to contact

If you have any questions or you simply want to discuss your ideas for a possible blog post, please reach out to the Unsymposium Coordinators: Bec Acheson (racheson@csu.edu.au) , Donna Mitchell (dmmitchell@csu.edu.au) , Charles Vandepeer (cvandepeer@csu.edu.au) or Kath Herbert (kherbert@csu.edu.au) .

Quick summary

By 30 June 2020 develop a short, well written post on an engaging topic related to your teaching practice, reflecting on the SOTL. 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 fellow speakers to discuss the ‘big questions’ 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.

One week before the symposium, prepare one slide with a 5 minute (max) summary of the main ideas in your post, you’ll need to draw out the big ideas clearly and concisely. This slide needs to be provided to the Unsymposium Coordinators one week before the Symposium.