Introducing ASCILITE – Sponsors of Special Issue #81

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The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, also known as ASCILITE is a not-for-profit professional association leading and advocating for excellence in the use of digital technologies in tertiary learning and teaching. ASCILITE seeks to promote and recognise exemplary innovation, evidence-based practice and research into the sustainable use of educational technologies to progress pedagogical practice.

ASCILITE was formed in 1985 after its first three conferences in 1983, 1984 and 1985 held under the CALITE (Computer Assisted Learning in Tertiary Education) banner. Since that time ASCILITE has grown into a vibrant professional community of innovators, leaders and scholars engaged with the application of technology to enhance teaching and learning in higher education. ASCILITE is governed by an Executive that consists of a President, Vice-President/Executive Officer (combined role), Treasurer and 6 non-office bearing committee members elected by the membership every two years. The Executive is also supported by a Secretariat.

ASCILITE seeks to offer member services and facilitate initiatives that will positively progress tertiary education, particularly through technology-enhanced learning. Following is an overview of the member services and initiatives

Annual Conference Held in late November or early December, the conference is hosted by a different institution each year. It provides an opportunity for delegates to present and attend full or concise papers, experientially focused, poster and symposia sessions or workshops which are offered either prior to or after the conference proper. The conference is renown for its networking and social activities especially the conference dinner which is always themed to connect with the area in which it is being hosted. Increasingly, sponsors have supported the conference and the keynote and invited speakers have been a feature on the program, delivering contemporary and often topical presentations.
ASCILITE Awards There are three ASCILITE awards that members apply or nominate for: the Innovation Award, a Life Member Award or a Fellow Award .The ASCILITE Innovation Award, which was introduced in 2011 celebrates work undertaken by an individual or team of people in support of the exemplary and research informed use of technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education. An ASCILITE Life Member Award is a prestigious award that recognises the significant service and/or sustained contribution of an ASCILITE member to the Society. Life Member Awards are the highest recognition of achievement made by ASCILITE. This award is made only when an appropriate candidate meets the criteria. This means that the award may not be presented every year. The ASCILITE Fellow Award aims to recognise the outstanding contributions of individual ASCILITE members in the exemplary use of, and/or research into, technologies for teaching and learning in tertiary education. Fellow Award recipients undertake several ASCILITE activities in the year following their award. A Fellow Award can be awarded to the same person more than once; however, the award cannot recognise the same achievement more than once. Student Bursary Awards were introduced in 2017 to support 2-3 full time PhD/EdD or equivalent students to attend the ASCILITE conference and receive a year’s ASCILITE membership
ASCILITE LIVE! Webinars ASCILITE offers a series of interactive webinars each year as a professional development activity and for Communities of Practice outside of the annual ASCILITE conference. ASCILITE LIVE! Webinars are available to both members and non-members. Some of the interesting topics that have been presented in ASCILITE LIVE! Webinars include student relationship engagement systems and empowering teachers to use meaningful data at scale, the role of data in the provision of feedback, writing effective research funding applications, improving student learning outcomes, harnessing the power of immediate feedback and digital learning without connectivity.
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) ASCILITE publishes AJET, a refereed academic journal that promotes research and scholarship as well as effective practice on the integration of technology in tertiary education. AJET is indexed in Scopus, Thomson Reuters Web of Science, EDITLib, the ACER Blended Online Learning and Distance Education research bank and EBSCOhost Electronic Journals Service. AJET citation statistics appear within the Thomson Reuters ISI Journal Citation Reports (Social Science Citation Index), the Google Scholar Metrics and the Scopus SCImago journal rankings. AJET is open source and has no publication charges. It has published 2-8 issues a year since the first edition in 1985.
Bulletin A fortnightly bulletin is emailed to all current ASCILITE members with a wide variety of news items such as TEL related conferences, pending events, tertiary education job vacancies, SIG activities and ASCILITE “latest news”. Relevant contributions to the bulletin are encouraged from both ASCILITE members and non-members.
CMALT Australasia CMALT Australasia is a certified membership scheme offered in partnership with the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) in the UK. The scheme is a form of professional accreditation, which enables people whose work involves learning technology to have their experience and capabilities certified by peers, and to demonstrate that they are taking a committed approach to their professional development. The basis of the accreditation process is a portfolio which contains both evidence and reflection in relation to a number of key criteria. ASCILITE has been engaged in this scheme since 2011.
Community Mentoring Program (CMP) The ASCILITE CMP seeks to involve participants in a professional mentoring relationship built between learners (the mentees) and experienced practitioners (the mentors). Whilst the new learners may be experienced in some areas of educational technologies, the ASCILITE Community Mentoring Program is a vehicle for enhancement of specific knowledge, skills or capacities in an area of developing expertise. This arrangement is formalised through a Mentoring Agreement. The focus of the mentoring collaborations can be across a number of areas which can include but is not limited to Academic practice, Early career research, Teaching innovations, Learning design, Graphic design or Programming. The Community Mentoring Program offers two partnering alternatives: For a mentee to work individually with a mentor on a project or for several mentees to work collaboratively with a pair of mentors on projects related to a negotiated overall theme.
Regional Events ASCILITE sponsors and/or endorses events and activities that promote research, trends and uses of educational technologies in tertiary education. There is criteria to guide decisions about which regional events will be sponsored by ASCILITE including there being some form of reciprocity for ASCILITE such as potential membership recruitment or conference attendance.
Social Media ASCILITE is active on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and YouTube and both members and non-members are welcome to subscribe, like and join in the conversations and communication at any time.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) ASCILITE SIGs have been established in the technology enhanced learning (TEL) interest areas of: Transforming assessment; Learning analytics; Learning design; Mobile learning and TEL educational advisors. These SIGS offer ASCILITE members the opportunity to work together to pursue common interests in research and practice and to create a ‘buzz’ around their interest area, goals and achievements both within and beyond the ASCILITE community. ASCILITE provides funding to SIGs to support engagement and dissemination activities for the SIG. Current ASCILITE members can submit a proposal for a new SIG by describing the engagement and dissemination activities the SIG intends to pursue, to achieve meaningful outcomes and active participation.
Spring into Excellence Research School In 2017, ASCILITE delivered its inaugural Spring into Excellence Research School. This initiative was conceptualised as a means of providing support and guidance to participants in developing and progressing technology enhanced learning research projects. The Research School, which is facilitated by ASCILITE Life and Executive members, runs for two and a half days and has a wide target audience from tertiary institutions including but not limited to Early to mid-career researchers, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) enthusiasts, Teaching intensive academics, those interested in applying for TEL research grants or forging TEL research collaborations and cross-institutional research projects.
Technology Enhanced Learning Accreditation Scheme (TELAS) ASCILITE has undertaken an ambitious endeavour to introduce an Australasian accreditation scheme that will assess online learning against a suite of standards and criteria. The Scheme would see accredited peer reviewers conducting assessments of online learning and developing an evaluation report for key stakeholders that would highlight the strengths and areas for improvement against each standard. On overall rating would be assigned which would align to an accreditation level (e.g. Gold, Platinum, Diamond) that could be benchmarked, used in marketing, or for academic promotion and probation purposes. The Scheme is being designed through consultation with tertiary education stakeholders across a range of forums. This aspirational initiative is being implemented across four phases that should see the Scheme commercially introduced in 2020.
TELall Blog ASCILITE disseminates a regular blog to engage those interested in issues, topics, theories and research in regard to the use of digital technologies in tertiary learning and teaching. A global register of guest bloggers have contributed to the TELall Blog with many interesting insights and musings being shared and discussed.

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Dominique Parrish

Dominique Parrish

Dominique Parrish is Director Learning, Teaching & the Student Experience, Health & Behavioural Sciences Faculty University of Wollongong
Dominique Parrish

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