The following 6 workshops are being offered as part of the STARS 2015 Conference program. To encourage attendance, rather than having to purchase a day registration, each workshop can be selected individually for $65 each.

To see when each Workshop is scheduled click here for the full program.

Submitted Workshop 1

Designing learning to support a whole of degree experience: A workshop to explore supporting transition, retention and success through collaborative curriculum design
Romy Lawson, UOW

Curriculum design is multifaceted, trying to meet a range of expectations for the students, universities, industries, professions and regulatory bodies. In order for it to be truly effective the curriculum has to be designed in a holistic manner that provides scaffolding throughout the degree to engage students with learning using integration and sequencing of knowledge, skills and their application (Kift, 2009). This workshop examines how curriculum design impacts on student learning with particular focus on how it can be developed to support transition; retention and student success. Participants will be provided opportunities to share good practice as well as explore new ideas for curriculum design.


Submitted Workshop 2

A hands-on exploration of learning through inquiry
Les Kirkup, University of Technology, Sydney

In this workshop I will facilitate consideration of inquiry oriented learning and the timeliness of increasing the emphasis on IOL in the undergraduate curriculum. Participants will be invited to take part in a ‘hands-on’ exploration/examination of a versatile and adaptable IOL activity. We will consider: the value of IOL to student learning; approaches that may be adopted to facilitate transition from a conventional school curriculum to a university curriculum with a strong inquiry orientation. We will also consider the way(s) in which IOL fosters the development of generic skills, and; the importance of context and relevance in the choice and delivery of IOL activities.


Submitted Workshop 3

Student success and well-being: Curricular integration of self-management learning opportunities
Jacquelyn Cranney, UNSW, Sue Morris, UNSW, Annie Andrews, UNSW, Rachael Field, QUT

This workshop addresses the topic of student success and psychological well-being, and in particular self-management–the capacity to define and work toward achieving meaningful goals, and to be flexible in the face of setbacks. The need to provide opportunities to develop self-management capacity in university students is based on: (a) the argument that the curriculum can support development of this capacity; (b) the argument that self-development, which is a component of self-management, is an essential pre-requisite to professional development, and (c) research indicating that university students experience substantial levels of distress, and distress predicts poor academic outcomes. A number of different approaches to this issue will be explored, and participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the debate, as well as consider how they could implement developmental strategies in their own context.


Submitted Workshop 4

Building capacity for student leadership
Jane Skalicky, University of Tasmania, Jacques Van Der Meer, University of Otago, NZ, Sally Rogan, University of Wollongong, Sally Fuglsang, University of Tasmania, Ralph Pereira, Curtin University, Phillip Dawson, Deakin University, Robert Nelson, Monash University, Kristin Warr, University of Tasmania

The past decade has seen a proliferation of student leadership programs in higher education as institutions seek to engage students in curricula and co-curricular experiences that enhance their learning and contribute to their own and others’ retention and success at university. This workshop will engage participants in considering a framework for student leadership that seeks to provide researchers and practitioners with a comprehensive yet easily applied method of describing student leadership programs, as well as of identifying strengths and gaps for further improvement in building quality programs and student leadership capability.


Submitted Workshop 5

Understanding learning skills as a threshold concept: Designing learning experiences to facilitate first year students’ success
Jill Lawrence, USQ, Pamela Allen, University of Tasmania, Theda Thomas, Australian Catholic University, Joy Wallace, Charles Sturt University, Bronwyn Cole, University of Western Sydney, Lynette Sheridan Burns, University of Western Sydney, Adrian Jones, Latrobe University, Jennifer Clark, University of New England

This workshop focuses on designing activities that help students learn how to learn, engage and achieve in the first year at university. The workshop will address the conference themes of students, transition and achievement by exploring how academics can enable first year students to develop more effective learning skills. It applies the findings/learnings of an Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Project, Renewing First Year Curricula in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, which asked “What skills and knowledge do students need to learn in their disciplines in first year in order to meet the discipline Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) in their final year”? The OLT Project has used the notion of ‘threshold learning concepts’ (Land, Cousin and Meyer, 2005) to identify the foundational ideas that students need to master in order to progress in learning their chosen discipline of study.  We develop this notion to argue that the very idea of ‘university’ learning’ is itself a threshold concept that students need to grasp, alongside the concepts specific to their chosen discipline, if they are to succeed.  Just as the foundational concepts of the discipline of history, for example, may not be immediately obvious to first year students and may need to be made explicit to them, so too the aspects of university learning itself may not be clear to students and may need to be elucidated. This workshop will take the lead from the findings of the OLT project to argue that learning skills are a threshold concept. It will apply the Project’s discipline threshold skills strategies to the first year more generally to assist academic staff to design engaging learning experiences so that students learn how to learn and achieve in their first year at university.


Submitted Workshop 6

Mentoring Programmes and Philosophical Alignment
Antony Nobbs, AUT University

Is there more involved than just meeting needs? Our mentoring programmes are measurably successful. They help address the key educational issues of student success and student retention. But do they need to do more than that? How are our mentoring programmes involved in transforming the educational landscape? Do they support or challenge systems of structural injustice within our institutions? Do we design our mentoring programmes with the longer term welfare of our student co-horts in mind? These are significant questions which this collaborative workshop will seek to address.