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Call for papers

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 23rd, 2011

Call for papers for The Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association in conjunction with the Indigenous Studies Research Network.

This conference will be held in Surfers Paradise from 7-9 December. The conference is set to include an exciting range of papers from the fields of critical race and whiteness studies, Indigenous studies and beyond.
Full details of the conference including the formal CFP, information on scholarships available for postgrad and Indigenous researchers, details on accommodation as well as registration are all available on the conference website:

The conference is also pleased to announce that there will be two opportunities for peer-reviewed publications arising from the conference (details on website).

The abstract deadline is 31st July  2011 please email submissions to

Tele’s Angels’ Ancient History Learning community – Tele-Vision!

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 20th, 2011

A message from Ronika Power of Tele’s Angels.

Check out the latest addition to Tele’s Angels’ Ancient History Learning community – Tele-Vision!

Tele-Vision is an online learning channel which offers video broadcasts of our on-campus service events, as well as custom-made tutorials and other special programs. In conjunction with other online resources available on our website , we hope Tele-Vision will further engage students with our learning community and enhance their enjoyment and success of studying Ancient History.

We wanted a special item as the first upload onto the channel so… in December 2010, we interviewed our patron, Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge, about his experiences as a first-year student. It was an amazing experience and will hopefully be the first in a series of interviews in Teles’ Angels Teachers as Students project – keep an eye out for further editions!

Calling all Early Career Academics

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 18th, 2011

Do you aspire to work in academia?

Or are you an early career academic?

We want to hear from you!

A research team from Macquarie University, University of Queensland and Giffith University are investigating the experiences, career aspirations and expectations of early career academics and those aspiring to academic roles.

Our definition of ‘early career academic’ is an inclusive one. If you fit any of the following categories – postgraduate student, casual academic, general staff, independent scholar, within five years of PhD completion, or someone else who identifies as an ‘early career academic’ – we would like to hear from you.

Click here to complete a 15 minute survey, or cut and paste the following URL:

New Academic Developer at LTC – Dr Stefan Popenici

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 17th, 2011

Stefan Popenici

Dr Stefan Popenici is a scholar specialised in education with extensive experience in teaching and research in Europe, North America, South East Asia and New Zealand. He joined the Learning and Teaching Centre in March 2011. Stefan is a long term associate with various initiatives in imaginative education, creativity and educational reform,; he is a former advisor of the Minister of Education in Romania on educational policies and research, a senior lecturer and consultant for international institutions such as Fulbright Commission, Council of Europe, and other institutions specialised in higher education.  Dr. Popenici holds a Ph.D. in Education sciences since 2001 and his academic interests have a focus on imagination in education, teacher education, educational leadership, equity and equality in educational provision and internationalisation of education, inclusive education, learning and qualitative educational research. At the Learning and Teaching Centre, Stefan will be the head of the Resources Portfolio, our Marquis (MQIS) liaison and researching academic innovation, learning spaces as well as undergraduate research.

Policy options for UK universities and private colleges

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 6th, 2011

The report, Private Providers in UK Higher Education: Some Policy Options, by Professor Robin Middlehurst, Kingston University, and John Fielden, CHEMS Consulting, was release yesterday. According to Simon Baker, Times Higher Education, it suggests that in return for more public funding, private colleges should be subject to a more uniform and transparent regulatory regime. However, the authors issued a warning, outlining how regulation needed to be carefully implemented; otherwise there is a danger of the UK repeating the mistakes of the US system. The report referred to how some for-profits colleges have been accused of misleading students and claims that the deception was due to the growth in US for-profits colleges built upon access to state-sponsored student loans – something already happening in the UK, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Kindle DX Study

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 4th, 2011

A study of student use of the Kindle DX at the University of Washington gave the device decidedly mixed reviews. According to Inside Higher Ed article released today, ‘the study involved first-year graduate students in computer science and engineering — students who are presumably comfortable with digital information. But seven months into the study, 60 percent of the students had stopped regularly using their Kindles for academic reading. Although the Kindle has note-taking capability, the study found many students preferred to use paper to take notes on what they read on their Kindles’.

Some conclusions, as listed in the University of Washington press release:

– Students did most of the reading in fixed locations: 47 percent of reading was at home, 25 percent at school, 17 percent on a bus and 11 percent in a coffee shop or office.

– The Kindle DX was more likely to replace students’ paper-based reading than their computer-based reading.

– Of the students who continued to use the device, some read near a computer so they could look up references or do other tasks that were easier to do on a computer. Others tucked a sheet of paper into the case so they could write notes.

– With paper, three quarters of students marked up texts as they read. This included highlighting key passages, underlining, drawing pictures and writing notes in margins.

– A drawback of the Kindle DX was the difficulty of switching between reading techniques, such as skimming an article’s illustrations or references just before reading the complete text. Students frequently made such switches as they read course material.

– The digital text also disrupted a technique called cognitive mapping, in which readers used physical cues, such as the location on the page and the position in the book to find a section of text or even to help retain and recall the information they had read.

Book Reviews for Media International Australia

Posted by Jayde Cahir on May 3rd, 2011

There are a number of new books available for review on the Media International Australia website. Media International Australia particularly encourages reviews from early career researchers and postgraduate students. Reviews are approximately 500 words in length. If you are interested in reviewing for MIA, you can access our list of books available for review at

Macquarie University Research Awards are now open!

Posted by Jayde Cahir on April 18th, 2011

All staff and higher degree research students can enter individual or team-based research projects for the Macquarie University Research Awards. Three nominees will be shortlisted in each category, and the winner will be announced during the Research Awards dinner on 11 October 2011, alongside our newly appointed Distinguished Professors.

Researchers can submit their projects in one of the following categories:

  • Excellence in Research – Science & Engineering
  • Excellence in Research – Social Sciences, Business & Humanities
  • Excellence in Higher Degree Research – Science & Engineering
  • Excellence in Higher Degree Research – Social Sciences, Business & Humanities
  • Excellence in External Research Partnership
  • Excellence in Research in Sustainability
  • Excellence in Commerciaisation of Research IP (post 5 years)
  • Early Career Researcher of the Year

Applications will close on Friday 27th May 2011.

For further information please visit:

Burnout in university teaching staff

Posted by Jayde Cahir on April 15th, 2011

In March, Jenny Watts and Noelle Robertson from the University of Leicester, published an article entitled Burnout in university teaching staff: a systematic literature review, in Educational Research. Watts and Robertson’s article reveals how ‘few studies have investigated the emotional consequences of teachers’ stress and even fewer have specifically focused on university educators. [Their] systematic literature review was thus conducted to evaluate the extent of burnout for university teaching staff and specifically to reveal predictive variables, which may explain this experience in this understudied occupational group’.

Watts and Robertson used ‘six databases including Educational Resources Information Centre (ERIC), PsychINFO and Scopus were searched using the terms burnout, university, academics, teaching staff, lecturers, research staff and faculty. Papers were limited to English language peer-reviewed empirical investigations of burnout in full-time university teaching staff. Papers not adopting a clear operationalisation of burnout were rejected. Twelve papers met the criteria and were included in the review. A detailed data extraction form was used to reveal relevant information from each paper’.

Watts and Robertson claim ‘the review revealed that staff exposure to high numbers of students, especially tuition of postgraduates, strongly predicts the experience of burnout. Other predictive variables included gender, with higher depersonalisation scores found in male teachers and female teachers typically scoring higher on the emotional exhaustion dimension. Age also demonstrated an association, with younger staff appearing more vulnerable to emotional exhaustion. Burnout in university teachers was comparable with other service sector employees such as school teachers and healthcare professionals. The current review reveals a scarcity of comparative studies across different university contexts, therefore multi-site studies are required in order to control for the potential influence of moderating variables such as institution age when measuring burnout in university teachers’.

Reference: Watts, J. · Robertson, N. (2011) ‘Burnout in university teaching staff: a systematic literature review’ Educational Research, 53, 1 pp.33-50.

Writing Groups

Posted by Jayde Cahir on April 12th, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article called ‘The Rules of Writing Group’ by Claire P. Curtis. In this article Associate Professor Curtis outlines how their writing group was formed and her experience over the last five years. From this experience she explains ‘the rules’ that have made the writing group so successful. As she says:

‘From that initial dejection, four books and multiple articles have been written and published. An additional child has been born. All three of us have been granted tenure. And we all now remember why we like to write and why we entered a career that asked us not simply to explain interesting ideas to others, but to be a part of that interesting conversation.

How did we go from despair to success?

Simply being in a writing group is not enough. The act of forming a group will not produce one that actually works, providing the right kind of motivation, support, and intellectual quality. Overcoming despair meant finding the right structure for our writing group. We have found it and thought we would share it with others’.

If you are interested in setting up a writing group, reading this article is a good place to start!