Special Interest Groups

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A HERDSA Special Interest Group (SIG) provides HERDSA members with a network of like-minded colleagues with whom you can talk about shared research interests as well as potentially undertake some collaborative research.

At each HERDSA conference a session is run in which you can learn more about SIGs. If you are interested in joining a SIG or starting up a new one, you can register your interest by emailing your name, institution and research interest/SIG to Jennie Billot:  jbillot@aut.ac.nz

The inaugural HERDSA SIG is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education Special Interest Group. This SIG was created as a vehicle to promote teaching, learning and research in integrated STEM education. By “integrated” we mean the deliberate full or partial integration of any or all of the key components of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with or without other areas such as The Arts.

We have the following aims:

  • To build a network researchers interested in integrated STEM education and stimulate debate and discussion;
  • To pursue opportunities for advancing STEM education;
  • To encourage and support postgraduates and early career researchers STEM education; and
  • To develop collaborations leading to research in STEM education.

The STEM Education SIG will investigate means of integrating STEM in the tertiary setting as well as reaching out to schools and pre- and in-service teachers. The STEM SIG will use the data and findings to inform public and government action.

Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb launched the 2013 position paper STEM in the national interest: A strategic approach pointed out that it is imperative for Australian education that we attend to our STEM enterprise - education, research and innovation. As teachers in higher education, we need to focus the spotlight on STEM, illuminate it and prepare STEM students for future challenges.

Join the STEM SIG. Email: susan.blackley@curtin.edu.au  or visit the HERDSA SIG Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HerdsaSIGs/


HERDSA Special Interest Group: Assessment Quality

The Assessment Quality SIG spans academics, professional staff, part-time teaching staff, casuals and students. Its vision is to support HERDSA's aims and wider membership to better understand what constitutes meaningful assessment with a particular focus on how to apply effective quality improvement of assessment. A key reference point is new requirements with respect to Assessment Quality as laid down in the revised HESF (higher education standards framework) and forms the basis of TEQSA re-registration of all Higher Education providers.

This SIG is especially relevant for anyone who:

  • Is involved in designing, marking and reviewing assessment and feedback practices to enhance quality.
  • Is responsible for assuring the quality of curriculum assessment at their institution.
  • Coordinates curriculum design and delivery at the level of subjects comprising an award degree
  • Leads and is responsible for the quality assurance of the curriculum at course level

We have the following aims:

  • To build a diverse network of staff and students interested in continuing improvement in the quality of assessment and feedback at their institutions;
  • To provide opportunities to stimulate debate and discussion about assessment quality;
  • To develop collaborations leading to outputs and outcomes including SoTL publications through HERDSA.


If you want to get involved in the growing conversation about Assessment Quality then join the Facebook site Facebook site:



Contact SIG Leader: sbedford@uow.edu.au

Contact SIG Deputy Leader: Jo‐Anne Kelder:  jo.kelder@utas.edu.au