We took the Smart Casual modules for a viewing by other disciplines at the HERGA conference: From Research and Policy into Practice on 23 September 2016. Our hope was to share the model we have developed in Smart Casual with people from other disciplines who also want to be able to provide discipline specific professional development for sessional staff.
The HERGA conference arises from collaboartion between all three South Australian public universities and TAFE SA as well as several other education providers from around the state. It is a great opportunity to meet passionate teachers and scholars of learning and teaching. This year the keynote speaker was Simon Barrie from UWS, whose focus on how we should respond to disruption was timely, bracing and extremely interesting.
The Smart Casual session was well attended by people from a large number of disciplines. This is the panel chair introducing the presentation. It was clear from the audience reaction that many disciplines recognise the steep rise in casualisation as well as the precarity of sessional teachers’ employment and the need to ensure sessional staff get access to resources, support and professional development. Questions afterward canvassed access to the resources we have created, the level of web development that has been involved in them, opportunities for people using the modules to be involved in interactive environments, and so much more. Some people present at the session have already been in touch seeking further information and wishing to stay in touch.