Thursday, 27 June 2013

NEW! The NATA Update!

The NATA team  has decided to publish a 6 weekly update here on the NATA blog which outlines the key developments of the project in the 6 weeks previous. This is aimed at better informing the public and more specifically, members of partner associations about the activities of NATA. Links to the regular blog posts will be shared with partner associations who will be encouraged to share with their membership.

The update will follow a consistent format and report progress against the project's main activities (listed below). If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, Natasha Hard, the NATA project manager, at 

You can also follow NATA on Twitter at @NATAonthenet

Key Achievement:
The Deed of Novation, the document which formalises the transfer of project Host Institution from Charles Sturt University (CSU) to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has finally been signed off by all parties, signalling the completion of the transfer process. A lot of people have been involved in this protracted process, however, I would like to send out a big thanks specifically to Liz Neary at USQ and Maree Potter at CSU for all their help in making this happen.

Good Practice Report eResources
Working with Jason Myatt at USQ and Stephen Parker and Trevor Gale at Deakin, we have now developed the first draft ALTC/OLT Good Practice Report on Student engagement. These eResources provide a snapshot of the Good Practice Report developed and aim to present the information in an engaging manner with a focus on the author's own voice. We are also in consultation with other authors to develop similar resources for as may of the Good Practice Reports as possible (All Good Practice Reports can be accessed here on the OLT website). The next eResource to be developed with be the one on Technology-enhanced learning and teaching authored by Mike Keppell, Gordon Suddaby and myself.

The NATA is conducting a small-scale research project looking at network leadership in established Australasian Tertiary Associations. The data is being collected via interviews with network leaders and focus groups with association executives. Almost all the data has been now collected and preliminary analysis is underway. The research i exploring three questions:
  1. What network leadership strategies support good practice in leading networks to foster engagement of members in established Australasian Tertiary Education Associations?
  2.  What communication strategies, technologies, and approaches support good practice to foster engagement of members in established Australasian Tertiary Eduction Associations?
  3. What common ground exists between organisations that could provide a basis for collaboration into the future?
NATA Partner Projects
As part of the NATA project activities, NATA is providing small-scale grants to member associations to pursue a project which is aligned both with their institutional or association objectives and the key objectives of NATA.

So far we have approved three partner projects which are all in very early stages of development. AARNet's project is being led by James Sankar and has morphed over time into a series of provocative blog posts which will build on a document developed collaboratively by NATA members in response to the Coalition's Online Higher Education Working Group's Terms of Reference.

ACODE has finalised the details of their project titled 'Engaging Network Members: A NATA case study of a Contemporary Tertiary Sector Issue'. More information about this project can be found here

ascilite has also finalised their project proposal for their project, a 'Guide to support and advance network engagement for members of professional associations and networks in the digital age'. This project aims to develop  Guide that promotes best practice in the engagement of members of professional associations and networks. The Guide will outline design principles and engagement strategies for the use of web based resources (including social media)to support and advance community engagement in professional associations and networks.

NATA Project Event
The NATA project will host a project event on Wednesday the 6th of November, 2013 in Brisbane to showcase the achievements of the network as well as foster discussions about sustainability and the future of the network.

Upcoming Key Dates:

  • 3 July, 2013, 4pm (WG609) Gordon Suddaby will be presenting 'Network Of Australasian Tertiary Associations: A Space For Discussion, Collaboration And Advocacy In Tertiary Education', at HERDSA on behalf of the NATA team and we welcome people to come along.
  • 9 July, 2013, Next NATA Partner Meeting
  • 1 October, 2013, Progress Report due to OLT

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Engaging Network Members: A NATA case study of a Contemporary Tertiary Sector issue.

New ACODE Project to Study Multiple Dimensions of Partner Engagement

NATA has commissioned a project to document an effective and efficient approach to engaging members involved in the investigation and scoping of a contemporary tertiary sector concern, and to establish a mechanism to publish the results, for example in similar fashion to the "7 Things you should know about …" series, from the Educause Learning Initiative[1]. The project is titled "Engaging Network Members: A NATA case study of a Contemporary Tertiary Sector issue", and will be led by ACODE members: Ric Canale (La Trobe University), Alan Arnold (University of Canberra) and David Green (Flinders University). A project review panel will comprise of James Sankar  (AARNet), Philip Uys (ASCILITE, Charles Sturt University) and Susan Stoney (CADAD, Edith Cowan University).

ACODE often identifies issues of sector-wide importance and collectively suggests approaches to solutions to contemporary issues on an ad hoc basis. There is clearly a need for this to be done more efficiently, taking advantage of its membership and member networks to document current challenges and provide timely informative briefs on sector-wide concerns. It was recently identified by ACODE that there is a need to investigate and scope a sector-wide approach to media management because of the growing use of digital video in Teaching and Learning, and for other purposes, within our institutions. 

This partner project will use Media Management as a case study for how to go about the process of engaging member institutions and network member associations to address a contemporary issue and subsequently develop a guide to the adopted process. Using this issue, the project will draw out the key elements for engaging network members, the factors required to jointly investigate an issue and finally for collectively writing a briefing document on an issue of current concern in a timely fashion.

Post by Ric Canale, ACODE Treasurer (Executive Member) and Associate Director CTLC, La Trobe University



ascilite Live! Webinar "Digital Resilience in Higher Education" Presented by Professor Martin Weller

Date & Time:

11 July 2013 at 5pm AEST. For additional time zones, visit the date/time website.


Higher education institutions face a number of opportunities and challenges as the result of the digital revolution. The institutions perform a number of scholarship functions which can be affected by new technologies, and the desire is to retain these functions where appropriate, whilst the form they take may change. Much of the reaction to technological change comes from those with a vested interest in either wholesale change or maintaining the status quo. Taking the resilience metaphor from ecology, this webinar will propose a framework for analysing an institution’s ability to adapt to digital challenges.

This framework is examined at two institutions (the UK Open University and Canada’s Athabasca University) using two current digital challenges, namely Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Access publishing.


Martin Weller is Professor of Educational Technology at the UK Open University. He chaired the OU's first major elearning course in 1999 with 15,000 students, and has been Director of the VLE and SocialLearn projects. His research interests are in open education, the impact of new technologies, and digital scholarship. His recent book, The Digital Scholar, was published by Bloomsbury Academic under a Creative Commons licence. You will find Martin's blogs at


To register for the webinar, simply email the ascilite Secretariat with "webinar registration" in the subject line followed by your full name and institution and whether or not you are a current member.

Ascilite webinars continue to be open to members and non-members so you are welcome to share the invitation with colleagues.

Once registered, you will receive an email with login details on the morning of the webinar.