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 office@herdsa.org.au


A copy of the HERDSA SIG Handbook (PDF) is available for free download.


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:  Simon Bedford email:  s.bedford@westernsydney.edu.au

Contact SIG Deputy Leader:  Anand Pranit email:  anandp@qut.edu.au​


HERDSA Special Interest Group: Academic Development

The Academic Development SIG is a platform for those who are engaged in academic development, professional development, teaching and learning support, and similar activities to support academic staff, as well as the teaching and research in these areas. As there are usually only few academic developers in individual tertiary institutions, we wish to provide a community of practice and aim to provide a platform to

  • Share knowledge, resources, skills, and practices in academic development / continuing professional development
  • Contribute to theory building in academic development
  • Provide a community of practice and critical friends / sounding boards
  • Explore potential (collaborative) research projects
  • Discuss roles / responsibilities of (strategic) academic development in a changing university
  • Discuss strategies for remaining a collaborative community in an environment where our institutions are increasingly in competition
  • Discuss strategies to show relevance / value-add of academic development within the corporate, neoliberal university management environment
  • Maintain links with other professional bodies in academic development, such as POD in North America and SEDA in the United Kingdom)

If you want to be involved in the activities of the SIG, or be kept up to date, please join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/156781188337793/ A mailing list will be set up in the near future.

For more information or for additional ideas or activities for the SIG, please contact one of the Committee members:

Erik Brogt

University of Canterbury


Julie Timmermans

University of Otago


Maxine Mitchell

University of the Sunshine Coast