2020 Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Symposium web banner

Online - Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 November

We invite SCU colleagues to contribute to the Symposium as a presenter and/or as a participant in our 2020 Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Symposium with the theme:

Designing and Delivering Innovative Teaching

Southern Cross University (SCU) is distinctive, with our student cohort, location, and delivery modes initiating teaching practices that deliver innovative and flexible student learning experiences. The New Southern Cross University 2020 – 2026 Strategic Plan aims to “establish Southern Cross University among the top 50 young universities in the world by 2026”, and as “the go-to regional university in Australia” for pathways into tertiary study. Achieving these goals “will require new ways of thinking and doing”, including the continued pursuit of innovative teaching and learning practices. For many, this journey started in Session 1 when transitioning from a face-to-face or blended learning environment to a predominantly online teaching and learning model in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For others, curriculum renewal, new course offerings, and diverse student cohorts have prompted innovation in teaching.

For the 2020 Symposium, we ask you to share your adaptive and flexible teaching practices. How have you refined or even reinvented your teaching and your approaches to support student learning? Have you adopted a new teaching strategy that effectively addressed a common issue or ongoing challenge? How do you intend to evaluate and reflect on these practices? How will this inform your teaching going forward?

The broad Symposium theme encourages diverse contributions from colleagues to share their practice, in the understanding that innovation occurs across every level of change and adaptation. We strongly encourage colleagues who may not consider their practice to be one of innovation to contribute, as what one teacher sees as a minor change may be innovative and incredibly valuable for others.

We are interested to learn about your experiences in designing and/or delivering innovative teaching: your successes, challenges, and how you addressed challenges; and how you engage students. We encourage you to include the student voice and feedback where possible. We invite you to share your experiences, scholarly lessons, achievements, risk-taking, creative approaches, challenges, and solutions with your colleagues.

The following topics and questions will guide our discussion at the Symposium. We encourage innovative presentation styles and creative ways to engage with your audience and stimulate discussion.

  1. Transitioning from face-to-face to online
    How do we design and deliver innovative teaching and learning? What approaches have been adopted during 2020? How have you used gamification or other online learning techniques to engage students?

  2. Creating online teacher presence and support
    What pedagogies and approaches have been effective to build and connect your online community? How have relationships changed with students? What is the student perspective of adaptive and flexible teaching practice?

  3. Innovative approaches to assessment design
    How have we designed our assessments differently? What challenges have you experienced? What new assessment types are becoming an important part of your practice? How can we encourage an innovative approach to assessment?

  4. Flexible delivery of modular formats/intensive modes
    How do we design and deliver flexible modular formats? How can we make our programs scalable and adaptable? How do we provide an equivalent online and on campus experience for students?

  5. Teaching strategies for diverse cohorts
    How do we design and deliver teaching to cater for students in different time zones, spaces, and places? What strategies help us to reach diverse student cohorts? How do we scaffold the design to help students through challenging learning experiences and negative emotions? How can we ensure that our teaching is intersectional?

Southern Cross University (2019). The New Southern Cross 2020 – 2026 Strategic Plan. https://www.scu.edu.au/media/scueduau/about/documents/Southern-Cross-University-Strategic-Plan-2020-2026.pdf

Tefera, A., Powers, J., & Fischman, G. (2018). Intersectionality in Education: A Conceptual Aspiration and Research Imperative. Review of Research in Education, 42(1), vii–xvii. https://doi.org/10.3102/0091732X18768504


The formats provided are deliberately flexible to cater for a wide variety of contributions. Contributors are required to submit a proposal in the appropriate style as listed in the table below.

Proposals must address the Symposium theme. The topics and questions are provided to guide and add depth to your reflections and scholarship, and at least one topic should be addressed.

Suggested proposal length is 100-400 words including references. Proposals will be published as part of the Symposium program and will be available following the event.

Formats availableProposal style

Presentation or demonstration from practice

  • Short timeslot (15 minutes including Q&A)
Abstract or description (150-400 words).
  • Long timeslot (25 minutes including Q&A). Can request extra time if required, up to 30 minutes.
Abstract or description (150-400 words) and interactive event plan (approximately 150 words).

The event plan should describe:
  • The format for the event, e.g. workshop, discussion, or another creative format
  • How you will invite participant interactivity
  • How you will incorporate online experiences
  • Planned next steps for participants interested in pursuing the topic further.

Activity sessions – Experimenting with technologies

An interactive showcase of the design and delivery of innovative practices using different technologies:

  • Technology sandpit (20 minutes)
Technology sandpit description (150-400 words).
Short practical activities which explain the reasoning behind the activity and show how it works.
  • Technology Q&A
    Digital Resources, Blackboard, and Library
Opportunity for staff to ask the digital experts. Bring your questions! 
  • Technology showcase 3 to 6 minute video presentation or demonstration
Introduction or pitch (100 words).
Videos could present a walk-through of a creative section of your Blackboard site, online learning activity, gamification innovation, a short interview-style presentation, and/or student feedback on an online learning activity. Videos could show how software (e.g. Doodly, homegrown videos, Sway, Mentimeter, Kahoot, MS Teams, phone apps) has been used to support learning. 

All staff are invited to submit their proposals via the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching Symposium 2020 Submission template. Proposals will be reviewed by the Symposium Steering Group. The Steering Group seeks proposals that:

  • Present or promote current effective practice and future directions
  • Illustrate learning from revised or discontinued initiatives
  • Represent diverse perspectives and solutions
  • Incorporate online innovative experiences
  • Are likely to stimulate ongoing discussion.

Proposals should be emailed to CTL Symposium by Friday 18 September 2020.


A dedicated online space will be created to facilitate a community of practice presence before, during, and post the Symposium. Pre-recorded Technology showcase videos (3 to 6 minutes) will be accessed from this space, as will recordings of the live stream sessions.

The Symposium event will discuss our innovative teaching design and delivery experiences over the two days throughout the opening plenary, parallel sessions, panels, activity sessions, and closing plenary.

Tuesday 10 November
10am to 11am
Opening Plenary
11.15am to 12.15pm

Parallel sessions

  • Presentations, demonstrations or Technology sandpit

1pm to 2pm

Panel – Intersectional teaching

2.15pm to 3.15pm

Activity sessions
  • Technology sandpit demonstrations
  • Technology Q&A – ask the digital experts
  • Time to view the Technology showcase videos (3 to 6 minutes)

Thursday 12 November

10am to 11am

Parallel sessions

  • Presentations, demonstrations or Technology sandpit

11.30am to 12.30pm

Panel – Intensives
1pm to 2pm Keynote presenter
Closing Plenary.


Steering Group

The Symposium Steering Group consists of:

Dr Kachina Allen, School of Health and Human Sciences
Dr Leticia Anderson, School of Arts and Social Sciences
Dr Patrick Gillett, School of Business and Tourism
Dr Liz Goode, SCU College
Dr Lisa Jacka, School of Education and Centre for Teaching and Learning
Dr Erika Kerruish, School of Arts and Social Sciences
Dr Lachlan Forsyth, Centre for Teaching and Learning
Tina van Eyk, Centre for Teaching and Learning

The Symposium Steering Group provides guidance to the Centre for Teaching and Learning in organising the event and is responsible for reviewing submissions.