Thursday, 8 August 2013

The NATA Update August!


The NATA project continues to progress well across its key activities which are explored in greater detail below. The project team is starting to prepare the next progress report due on October 1 and a meeting with Tom Prebble the project evaluator this week will contribute to this process. We are expecting a response from the OLT regarding our previous progress report shortly; this will then enable us to apply for the second instalment of project funds.

The project team has also been working on drafting an article based on the Technology-enhanced learning and teaching report and OLT Good Practice Reports more generally which has a focus on dissemination - both the problematic nature of disseminating findings as well as the need for effective dissemination of the GPRs to help improve practice in the sector through the sharing of experiences. We hope to have this completed and submitted in the near future.

The difficulties with dissemination within the sector appear widespread with it being raised as a concern by many, especially during conversations with GPR authors. This appears to be centred on the closure of the ALTC and subsequent limitations of the OLT website and their capacity to take on this role. There seems to be a general consensus about the need for spaces where one can disseminate to the sector but also the need for spaces that enable dispersed people to come together to discuss topics of interest and importance to the sector as a whole.


In early July Gordon presented 'A space for discussion, collaboration and advocacy in tertiary education' at HERDSA on behalf of the NATA team. It was interesting to note the general lack of awareness of the GPR reports amongst the audience, however, one attendee did explain how they had used the outcomes from the Technology-enhanced Learning and Teaching Report as the basis for designing their new media/technology strategy at their university. They explained that the evidence-based nature of the outcomes made it hard for others to dispute the approach being taken which was interesting. The HERDSA presentation slides can be viewed on slideshare here.

Good Practice Report eResources

Gordon and I have been working hard with a range of the GPR authors to collate the necessary information to develop the eResources. Developing the eResources requires PowerPoint presentation highlighting the key points of the GPR and report author details to be developed. Audio is then overlaid and the resource captured as a short movie using vimeo with the help of Jason at USQ Media services. Individual approaches have been adopted with the different report authors to try and make the task as least onerous as possible. The state of progress with the different reports can be seen here:
  1. Student Transitions in Higher Education - Final version of the eResource completed
  2. Technology-enhanced Learning and Teaching - Draft presentation underway
  3. Innovative Indigenous Teaching and Learning - Final version of presentation with authors for final review
  4. Curriculum Renewal - In consultation with report authors with some material already received - audio to be captured later
  5. Learning and Teaching Across Cultures - Meeting had with authors and draft presentation/audio expected to be supplied by authors in the next few weeks
  6. Work-Integrated Learning - Author developing draft presentation
  7. Clinical Practice -Contact made with author
  8. Revitalising the Academic Workforce
  9. Blended Learning
  10. Assessment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Students
  11.  Assuring Graduate Outcomes
The ALTC Good Practice Reports can be accessed here


The NATA is conducting a small-scale research project 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?
The final focus group will be conducted this Friday, the 9th of August, concluding the data collection phase of the NATA research. We will soon begin analysing the data collected from the Focus Groups and Interviews. More information about the NATA research can be found here

NATA Partner Projects

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. Thanks to some good advice from Karen at ACODE, we are currently drafting a new page on the NATA blog where you can access more detailed information about each of the Partner Projects. This information will hopefully be up later in the week and available here.
We are currently providing feedback to ODLAA on their project proposal 'Ubiquity Online' which seeks to:
  1. Develop a user friendly and inviting web presence and digital communication initiatives (ODLAA)
  2. In so doing, help provide a framework and strategic resources that could be adapted to other professional organisations in the field.
In addition, we are working through developing the necessary agreements with ACODE and ascilite in order to provide project funding.

NATA Project Event

Organisation of the Project Event has progressed with a discussion being held with myself and Karen this week. This discussion focused on travel and accommodation for the project team, evaluator and Partner Representatives as well as booking rooms and finalising event schedules. More information about the partner event can be found here.

Upcoming key dates:

  • Tuesday 20th August, 2013 - Next NATA Partner Project Meeting
  • 1 October, 2013 - Progress Reporting Due
  • 6 November, 2013 - NATA Project Event

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