HERDSA Webinar Series

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Sustainability in learning and teaching: Making it happen.

10TH December    1.00PM – 2.00pm AEDT (Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra)

Dr Tahl Kestin (Monash University), Professor Kathryn Williams (The University of Melbourne) and Associate Professor Harsh Suri (Deakin University)

Sustainability in Learning and Teaching: Making it Happen offers three essential perspectives on why a focus on sustainability must be central for higher education institutions, and how this focus on sustainability can be embedded into learning and teaching. To be shared in the webinar will be guiding resources, practical strategies and concrete examples. The webinar will bring together insights borne of major projects and of extensive practice of effecting change at both institutional and disciplinary levels. With the need for work towards a more sustainable planet growing ever more urgent, the webinar will offer a powerful, practical opportunity to reflect upon our roles and potential as educators to support a more sustainable future.

The Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education

Dr Tahl Kestin (Monash University):

What are the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals? Why must these be a central concern of universities across the globe? How can universities contribute to the achievement of the goals through their research, operations, and leadership - and, very importantly, their learning and teaching? In this presentation, Tahl will address these questions as she introduces major Sustainable Development Solutions Network resources for higher education institutions, Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities, and its recently released follow up, Accelerating Education for the SDGs at Universities. Tahl’s presentation will point to some of the key steps, tools and tips of focus in this body of work, as well as some of the many case studies that illustrate how universities are leading major developments towards a more sustainable planet.



Integrating Sustainability in Science Curricula 
Professor Kathryn Williams (University of Melbourne)

As a former member of the University of Melbourne Sustainability executive, Kathryn has contributed to the University’s Sustainability Charter and Sustainability Plan 2017-2020. She is co-author of Education for Sustainable Development, which establishes a framework to guide sustainability teaching and learning at the University of Melbourne. She currently serves as a Sustainability Fellow in the Faculty of Science, identifying pathways to embed sustainability values, knowledge and skills in science curricula. Kathryn will share what she has learnt about how sustainability figures in science curricula, and opportunities and challenges for doing this better.  

Integrating Sustainability in Mainstream Business Curricula


Associate Professor Harsh Suri (Deakin University)

Harsh will speak on practical approaches to support SDG integration within business disciplines with particular reference to her work in the Deakin Business School. Harsh will highlight some approaches that have been especially effective, including the development and issuing of a major survey that proved to be a key starting point for informing collegial reflections and connections about sustainability in the curriculum. Harsh will also share some examples of the fruits of this work – examples of how sustainability has come to assume greater focus in the faculties learning and teaching, and how it is contextualised in disciplines, aligned in curricula and scaffolded across courses. As part of her presentation, Harsh will also introduce the PRME Blueprint for SDG integration into curriculum, research and partnerships, a key resource to support SDG integration into business school curricula. 

Please register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott has shared a resource on building social entrepreneurship capstones focused on the SDGs into the curriculum.

The link is to a video of the keynote Geoff gave at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise in September 2020.  There has been interest in all the Scottish universities in this initiative, also in the Enactus universities in the UK and the Copernicus Network of Universities in Europe.  : https://youtu.be/0aQrRn0J57U?list=PLKYh5SWPlOb0w_8tTV7YsL0ctU08ak66i

View the Word document.  



Further upcoming webinars include

  • 28th January 2021 - Panel discussion - panel (from seven Universities) to share and discuss the arrangement of online learning, teaching and assessment during the COVID-19 outbreak and the implication for higher education - Anna Kwan, Hong Kong



Webinar 1

Hosted by South Australian Branch

Enabling online education: access, engagement and innovation in digital spaces

Date: Thursday 30th April (3pm NZST, 1pm AEST & 11am AWST)

Host: Jennifer Stokes, University of South Australia.

In facing the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, how can we best support students to transition to online study? As higher education moves completely online, educators are working to minimise student disruptions and support all students to learn. This presentation will provide useful strategies for supporting student access and engaging students through online learning.

With a focus on community and inclusivity, we will explore the challenges presented and look at best practice solutions for teaching students from diverse backgrounds in digital spaces. We will consider design-based approaches, grounded in Enabling Pedagogies (Stokes 2014) and Universal Design for Learning (CAST 2011), which have been applied to attain outstanding student outcomes in enabling and online courses at the University of South Australia. We will also explore opportunities for innovation and dialogue which emerge in digital environments.  Through reflecting on lessons learned in course design over almost two decades, UniSA Senior Lecturer Jennifer Stokes will share tips and tools which work for contemporary students.

Short Bio: Jennifer Stokes is an award-winning educator, who specialises in digital media and enabling pedagogy. She is a Senior Lecturer who  coordinates courses in digital and information literacy at UniSA College (University of South Australia). Her doctorate explores enabling pedagogy, and she received a 2018 Australian Award for University Teaching citation for leadership in this area. She is passionate about educational access and the role universities can play in social inclusion and societal betterment. Her background in digital media production and her commitment to social inclusion inform an innovative approach to course content.


  • CAST 2011, Universal Design for Learning Guidelines Version 2.0., Wakefield MA.
  • Stokes, J 2014 'New Students and Enabling Pedagogies: Supporting Students from Diverse Backgrounds through a​ University Enabling Program', The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.115-124.​

Webinar 2

Hosted by Tasmanian Branch

Engaging students and staff in inclusive partnerships in global learning before, during and beyond COVID-19

Date: Thursday 14th May (3pm NZST, 1pm AEST & 11am AWST)

Host: Wendy Green, University of Tasmania.

‘Students as partners’ (SaP) is a particular approach to student engagement, which positions students as genuine contributors to all aspects of university life, including the curriculum. This webinar will provide examples of practices, which have engaged diverse students and lecturers as partners in global learning, at home and abroad, in the formal and co-curriculum during the past few years. These practices, drawn from a larger collection of projects developed in four Australian universities, under the umbrella of an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellowship on ‘Engaging students as partners in global learning’ brought staff and students from diverse cultural and national backgrounds together to design, implement and evaluate rich global learning experiences.  Participants will be invited to discuss these past practices, and the implications for continuing to engage with students as partners in global learning during, and post COVID-19.

Short Bio: Wendy Green, PhD is a senior lecturer (adjunct) in the School of Education, University of Tasmania, Australia. As an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow during 2017-18, she led work on engaging staff and students as partners in global learning. Wendy is Executive Editor of the journal, Higher Education Research & Development, and Guest Editor of the Special Issue, ‘Engaging Students in Internationalisation’ in the Journal of Studies in International Education. Wendy’s research focuses on the impact of globalisation on higher education, and its implications for learning and teaching.

Webinar 3

Hosted by Western Australia Branch

Academic Integrity during COVID19

Date: 11th June 2020 (3pm NZST, 1pm AEST & 11am AWST)


Among the many challenges faced by universities in the context of COVID-19 is the problem of invigilated exams. Every semester university students have historically gathered en masse, seated in large halls in tight rows (in contravention of social distancing) to sit for examinations. But this year, universities have had to make quick, pragmatic decisions about whether to defer their examination periods, conduct exams online, or replace exams with alternative assessments. Understandably, such disruption to exams coupled with an increase in online delivery has sparked renewed anxiety about contract cheating (for example see advice from White, 2020 and Dawson, Sutherland-Smith & Dullaghan 2020). Now more than ever, universities need to leverage the research on academic integrity in designing responses to COVID-19. Evidence indicates that attempts to recreate the perceived security of exams in this disrupted environment adopt too narrow a view, and instead holistic approaches are needed that balance prevention, education and detection. This webinar outlines the evidence-based factors that are likely to be salient in academic integrity breaches during COVID-19, and provides a case study of how ECU has responded. This includes whole-of-unit approaches to verifying student identity, and highly scaffolded, multi-component assessments that may include the use of Cadmus. For ECU, equity has also been a critical lens for ensuring that assessment approaches address not only academic integrity, but also digital inequality at a time when ‘going online’ has been unproblematically assumed.

Bio Professor Rowena Harper
Professor Rowena Harper is Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Edith Cowan University. Her team coordinates the University’s Academic Integrity process, and she oversees the areas of Teaching Quality, Learning Support and Learning Technologies. With Tracey Bretag (UniSA), she co-led the OLT Strategic Priority Commissioned Project Contract Cheating and Assessment Design: Exploring the Connection.

Bio - Dr Andrew Kelly
Dr Andrew Kelly is the Manager for Learning Support at Edith Cowan University. In this role, his portfolio responsibilities include academic integrity, learning advisers, English language assessment, and peer to peer academic support programs. He has published in a range of disciplines including tertiary teaching and learning, history and international politics. He also currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of University of Teaching and Learning Practice.

Bio - Herk Kailis
Herk Kailis (MEng) is the founder and CEO of Cadmus. Cadmus is an educational technology company, that was originally developed in conjunction with the University of Melbourne to address critical assessment related issues. It is an assessment platform that can be configured to solve initiatives from academic integrity, to student success, and student experience. Cadmus partners with a number of international and Australian universities, and collaborates on research around assessment related learning. 

A recording of the webinar is available at: https://ecu.ap.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=899b4f75-8aa3-4605-9468-abd7004b2186

To download the PowerPoint slides CLICK HERE.

Webinar 4

Hosted by HERDSA Victoria

9th July 2020 

Making online learning connect with your students: What have we learnt about how we connect with each other online?

HERDSA Victoria are pleased to announce an online panel discussion to be hosted by Dr Dawn Gilmore (Director, Teaching and Learning at RMIT Online). This session will examine how students and academics are connecting with each other online, particularly in the context of the pandemic-prompted move to online teaching and learning. Panel members include Associate Professor Mark Selkrig (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Jaclyn Broadbent (Deakin University), Dr Peter Wagstaff (Monash University) and two students. If you would like to post questions for the Panel beforehand, please email them to Laurine.Hurley@acu.edu.au before Wednesday 8th July.  

Bio - Mark Selkrig

Mark is an Associate Professor in the fields of teacher education and creativities and the arts. His research and scholarly work focus on the changing nature of educators’ work, their identities, lived experiences and how they navigate the ecologies of their respective learning environments. Mark’s leadership roles at The University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education include coordinating the Master of Teaching Secondary Program, and he brings to this position particular expertise in pedagogical approaches to digital and blended learning.

Bio - Jaclyn Broadbent

A/Professor Jaclyn Broadbent is Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning) in Psychology and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Jaclyn’s research focuses on self-regulated learning as well as the development, evaluation, and translation of effective teaching strategies to ensure student success. Jaclyn has won several awards for her teaching, including an Australian Award for University Teaching and Deakin University Teacher of the Year. Website: www.jaclynbroadbent.com

Bio - Peter Wagstaff

Peter (“Wags”) is a senior lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Monash Business School. He was appointed as one of the university’s first education-focused academics, in recognition of his leading role introducing flipped learning at Monash University. His work has been recognised nationally and globally, including a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in the Australian Awards for University Teaching, and the ANZMAC-Pearson Distinguished Marketing Educator of the Year.

To view the webinar CLICK HERE

Webinar 5

Viral assessment practices – Tracking the journey of ACT universities in responding to the challenges of the pandemic

Thursday August 13, 1pm AEST (3pm NZST & 11am AWST)

Panel discussion chaired by Dr Pam Roberts (CSU) with Ass Prof Naomi Dale (University of Canberra), Dr. Debbie Lackerstein (UNSW Canberra), Marie Fisher (ACU), Tess Snowball (ANU). 

Universities needed to make a rapid transition to online delivery in March/April 2020 as a result of COVID-19 lockdown. A significant issue was how to assess students and finding alternatives to common methods that require students to be in person and on-campus. This panel explores the rationales, considerations and experiences of five ACT universities responding to these challenges. The universities represent a diverse range of profiles from research focused to professional and teaching oriented, and levels of prior experiences with online and remote teaching.

Key issues explored are alternatives to on-campus invigilated exams, approaches to ensuring academic integrity and for addressing equity and fairness to students dealing with new methods under stressful conditions.

Panel Bios

Pam Roberts
has a long history in higher education as an engineering educator and academic developer.  Her most recent roles have been managing and teaching in Graduate Certificates in Higher Education at a range of universities. Her areas of research include curriculum decision making in higher education and the implications for strategic change; research-based teaching and learning, problem-based learning in engineering education and gender inclusive curricula.


Naomi Dale
is an Associate Professor of Management in the Faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra and holds many senior roles in tourism and employment in the ACT.  Naomi’s research incorporates the specific areas of educational tourism, policy impacts of curriculum, and visitor research at cultural institutions and national capital attractions. It also captures emerging research interests in the application of social media, and strategies for engagement through e-platforms (in teaching, tourism and events).


Debbie Lackerstein
is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at UNSW, Canberra. In this unique educational environment, she has taught trainee officers in the Army, Navy and Air Force for thirty years. She teaches all levels but has long experience in teaching first years and in distance education at Master level. Her research and teaching interests are in French History, the Second World War and Genocide.


Marie Fisher
is the Vice Chair of HERDSA, ACT and an Academic Developer at the Australian Catholic University. She has a long association with reflective practice in teaching using ePortfolios as a tool, process and means of profiling experience for multiple purposes. Currently Marie relishes engaging in diverse practices in teaching and learning online, as well as collaboration and sharing experiences with colleagues, to improve the student experience.


Tess Snowball
has over 27 years' experience teaching, with 18 years in higher education as an academic, a learning adviser and in her current role as Manager of the Academic Skills and Learning Centre at ANU. Her teaching experience includes designing, delivering and evaluating teaching in Information Technology, Marketing and academic literacies in a variety of contexts. Additionally, Tess has a keen interest, and extensive background in a range of student support areas, particularly around transitioning to university. 



Webinar 6

Hosted by HERDSA Queensland Branch

8th October, 1.00pm AESDT       

Supporting Learning and Teaching Transformation with Open Education Practice - Adrian Stagg, University of Southern Queensland

Adrian Stagg is currently the Manager (Open Educational Practice) for the University of Southern Queensland. His career has included over 14 years in both public and academic libraries, as well as positions as a Learning Technologist and eLearning Designer. Adrian holds a Master of Applied Science (Library and Information Management). His interest in Open Educational Practice (OEP) has prompted the commencement of a PhD at the University of Tasmania focusing on the practitioner experience in the reuse of Open Educational Resources (OER). His research areas include the ecology of open educational practice and higher education policy as it relates to and supports, open educational initiatives.

Mr Adrian Stagg


Webinar 7

hosted by HERDSA New Zealand Branch

12th November - Blended writing - Helen Sword, NZ  - Time 1.00pm AESDST  

We’re all familiar with the term “blended learning,” a style of education whereby students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.  This webinar will explore the concept of “blended writing,” a mode of writing whereby writers think, work and communicate using both digital and analog tools, bringing the material affordances of pens, paper and notebooks into the virtual realm of websites, learning management systems and Zoom.  What are the potential cognitive and creative benefits of blended writing for our students, our colleagues and ourselves, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?  Participants will be invited to reflect on how Higher Education research might be reconceptualised and enriched within a blended writing paradigm. 

Bio: Helen Sword is a poet, scholar, and international expert on academic writing across the disciplines. She is a Professor of Humanities at the University of Auckland and has been honoured with a number of research and teaching awards, including the University of Auckland's 2007 Teaching Excellence Award for Innovation in Teaching; the 2013 HERDSA-TERNZ Medal for a scholar who has made a major impact on the tertiary education research environment of New Zealand; and the University of Auckland's 2017 Research Excellence Award. Her books, articles and online tools have empowered writers around the world to write more clearly, confidently, prolifically and with greater pleasure, and her evidence-based masterclasses have taken her to more than 90 universities, research institutes, and other organizations in 20 countries and on every continent except Antarctica.  See her website (www.helensword.com) for links to writing-related resources including retreats, masterclasses, videos, webtools, articles and a curated bookshop.