UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001


From the Director

Mary Peat and Ian Johnston
Directors, UniServe Science

In our last newsletter (Vol 17, November 2000) we indicated some of the future changes that were to occur to our organisation. One of these was that our newsletter would go online. We had hoped that there would be two annual newsletters. Unfortunately we have only been able to produce one this year. In part, this is because all of you out there are so busy, and it is you who make contributions to what we publish. It is also because we do not have the time to search for information that we believe fits the criteria for inclusion in the newsletter.

This year UniServe Science has continued with several activities within the national and international arena that we believe are important and that we wanted to share with you. These activities are: our two national workshops, held just after Easter, and our international newsletters, CAL-laborate for the Physical Sciences and CAL-laborate for the Life Sciences. We have included information about these in this newsletter. We have committed ourselves to producing these international newsletters both online and in paper-based format. We also hope to publish two online national newsletters each year.

Another international initiative that we believe to be important involves outreach activities into South East Asia. We have been able to establish connections with universities in Thailand, and we have organized seminars and workshops for Thai academics. There is more about this development later in this newsletter.

On a local front we have worked on a number of projects for The University of Sydney, now our only source of funding. These projects include: finding resources for the new HSC syllabuses for the secondary school teachers; helping academics within our College (Sciences and Technology) to develop WebCT sites for their teaching; and managing the development of contextualised units of study for client faculties. This is a long way from our beginnings as a national clearinghouse for the dissemination of information about the use of IT in teaching; but we have to get funding, and doing special projects for our university is a good way to get it.

What of the future? In 2002 we will, as usual, be hosting a national conference. As in the last two years it will have two strands - one being the first year experience discussion forum (on a topic yet to be announced) and the other our national annual symposium (which we have up till now called a workshop), this year entitled "Scholarly Inquiry in Flexible Science Teaching and Learning". We hope that you will continue to support us by attending one or both of these annual events.

We hope also that you will continue to contribute to our national and international newsletter and to disseminate information about us to your colleagues. Remember UniServe Science's national role is to advise/inform national science academics about the use of IT in university science teaching and learning and to assist national science academics to collaborate by exchanging and sharing teaching ideas and experiences.

Thank you for your continued support of our activities and best wishes for 2002.

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UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001

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