Under the DASSH Discipline Support Strategy, DASSH established a Network of Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching) in 2009 funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). The network's inaugural meeting was at the DASSH 2009 Conference and AGM in Newcastle.
The Newcastle Declaration articulates the Network's founding principles with the following key aims:
The network's current focus is research productive, with network members working on three collaborative research projects relating to ASSH disciplines: Undergraduate Assessment - Scoping Guidelines, Good Practice and Benchmarking; First-Year Student Experience - Recruitment, Transition and Retention; and Social Inclusion.
Professor Jill Lawrence has been a member of the Associate Dean’s Learning and Teaching Network since its inception in 2009 and its development of the New Castle Declaration. She was a member of the DASSH supported Office of Learning and Teaching grant, Renewing ASSH First Year Curricula in the Context of Discipline Standards, with current and former DASSH members. Jill has an insider’s knowledge of the intricacies of the role of Associate Dean having been the (inaugural) Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Southern Queensland (2008-13) and, since 2013, the (inaugural) Associate Dean (Students) in the Faculty of Business, Education Law and Arts at USQ.
Jill believes that the Network constitutes a powerful opportunity for enacting professional development on higher education policy and practice, in promoting leadership in the academy and for sharing resources. The Network also provides a space for understanding and working within the complexities of the Associate Dean role: building the learning and teaching capabilities of our institutions, staff and students in the complex, rapidly changing and often managerial context we inhabit (one where we have limited line authority).
Jill is a passionate learning and teaching advocate. She was a recipient of Australian Teaching Award (for Humanities and the Arts in 2007) and National Teaching Citation winner (with her colleague Eleanor Kiernan in 2006). She continues to teach across the disciplines, using online and on campus delivery modes, as well as conducting research into higher education. She has published more than 50 articles in, for example, the first year experience, transition, managerial discourses, blended and peer learning, cross-cultural communication and regional student diversity and engagement.
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The 2019 DASSH conference and AGM will be hosted by ACU in Sydney, on 25-27 September. Registrations will open mid-year.
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