Friday, 27 September 2013

The NATA Update! September 2013


NATA key activities continue to progress and are explored in greater detail below. We would like to announce that the April Progress Report was approved by OLT and the second installment of project funding has been received by the University of Southern Queensland as the Host Institution. In addition to this, we have now also submitted the subsequent Progress Report due October 1, to OLT for approval. Our attention will now turn to developing the Final Project Report due on January 15, 2014.

Today we also received the news that our ascilite symposium proposal titled "Understanding network leadership in Australasian Tertiary Associations: communication a key element of success" has been accepted. The ascilite conference, 'electric dreams' will be held between the 1-4 of December 2013 at Macquarie University, Sydney. Click here to register.

On Friday the 9th of August we also had a NATA evaluation conversation with Project Evaluator, Tom Prebble which really looked at the change in project phase from process to product focus. More details about that evaluation discussion can be viewed here.

Progress has also been made on the project team's draft article based on the Technology-enhanced learning and teaching report, OLT Good Practice Reports more generally and 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. The article titled "Building best practice in technology-enhanced learning environments", is now being formatted for submission to Research in Learning Technology, The Journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).


As mentioned, we have just submitted our most recent Progress Report to OLT due 1 October 2013. This report details the recent developments of the NATA project as well as highlighting our progress with respect to building engagement through our Blog and Twitter channels (@NATAonthenet). As you can see from the graph below, the visits to the NATA blog have greatly increased in 2013 and we hope to continue to grow these figures in the coming months.

A presentation proposal for the Lily Conference in February 2014 titled "Sharing learning and teaching experiences: An Australian perspective on evidence-based practice" was recently submitted. The presentation proposal abstract reads: Effectively disseminating the outcomes and experiences of funded learning and teaching projects is a challenge in any learning context. The development and dissemination of 11 Good Practice reports commissioned by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) and the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) between 2004 and 2011 illustrate this issue. The reports, written by topic experts collated funded learning and teaching projects, providing findings and recommendations back to the sector. Whilst offering great potential to influence practice through the evidence-based findings, dissemination issues highlighted the problematic nature of sharing learning experiences in a dispersed educational environment.

Engaging with other OLT supported Networks (National, Discipline, Promoting Excellence)

Following the change in project phase to one of delivery or product orientation, we felt that it might be valuable to again be in touch with the other OLT supported networks (National Networks, Discipline Networks & PENs) in a way that demonstrated what NATA was doing which may pose potential value or interest to them as other Higher Education Networks. Consequently, we did this through developing a relevant blog post on the NATA blog (available here) which highlighted what we saw as having potential value to the other networks. This was then disseminated to network coordinators via an explanatory email including a link to the post online. This saw three responses from the contacted networks, with the WAND agreeing to discuss it at their next meeting, the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows Network exchanging project details and links on each-others websites and finally with Q-PEN inviting us to participate in their Leading and Managing Networks session at their Q-PEN September Forum held on the 25th of the month. Gordon represented NATA in this discussion which saw many similar issues raised by both networks.

Good Practice Report eResources

We have been working with Kim Edgar (Netspot) to develop a dissemination strategy for the GPR eResources over the last 4-6 weeks. We have now drafted a strategy which begins with a launch event (Webinar) to be held on October 15th at 12pm AEDT, running for one hour. All members of the Australasian Tertiary Sector will be invited to participate in the Webiar to be hosted by Netspot. GPR authors will be key speakers at the launch and the first GPR eResource will be showcased. There will be a staggered release of the other GPR eReources in the months following. Please contact Natasha Hard ( to register your interest now, however, further instructions will be made available on the NATA blog shortly.

The ALTC Good Practice Reports can be accessed here.


The final focus group was conducted this Friday, the 9th of August, concluding the data collection phase of the NATA research. Analysis on the data collected from the Focus Groups and Interviews has no begun with a particular lens to informing the HERDSA Guide on Leading Academic Networks through the development of some practically-based principles. 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 and are in discussions with the two other associations to finalise their project proposals. For more information about the specific projects being developed by the partner associations click here.

NATA Project Event

NATA Project Event, 6th November, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Invitation to attend is open to all those interested in the Australasian Tertiary Sector. This includes members of NATA partner associations (ascilite, ACODE, CADAD, ODLAA, HERDSA) and those who have been involved in the development of the ALTC/OLT Good Practice Reports. The day will begin at 11am with a presentation of the NATA research into Network Leadership, dissemination of the Good Practice Reports, Partner Association Projects and general lessons learned. Lunch will then be provided for those in attendance before an afternoon session which will focus on network sustainability and possible forms of future collaboration, concluding at 4pm.

Those interested in attending are asked to please be in contact with the NATA project manager, Natasha Hard ( for more information and to register your attendance at the event (for catering and organisational purposes).

Keep up to date with information about the partner event here.

Upcoming key dates:

  • Tuesday 1st Otober, 2013 - Next NATA Partner Project Meeting
  • 6 November, 2013 - NATA Project Event

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