NAEEA Special Interest Groups

The groups will be facilitated by NAEEA members from around the country. To join, just email the contacts provided below and register your interest.

  • Research Development and Collaboration

    Anna Bennett and Penny Jane Burke will co-facilitate the Research Development and Collaboration Special Interest Group, which aims to bring together colleagues who are interested in research about enabling programs, the transition of students into and through higher education and lifelong learning, and as related to other related fields of research, such as widening participation, equity and social justice in education. The SIG aims to:
    • Provide a supportive framework, including some events and activities offered across the country, to bring together diverse perspectives to the field of enabling and related fields of research;
    • Foster a research community where members feed into and develop the direction of the SIG in collaboration;
    • Provide information about research approaches, skills, development, publishing and projects;
    • Promote activities that enhance the NAEEA research capacity and influence across national and international contexts; and
    • Contribute to other NAEEA activities and events.
    Please email Anna.Bennett@newcastle.edu.au or Pennyjane.Burke@newcastle.edu.au if you are interested.

  • Enabling Assessment

    Assessments play an important role in promoting learning while enabling educators to make informed decisions about student progression and attainment of skills and knowledge. Although significant research has, and continues to be undertaken within the higher education space around developing more relevant, engaging and reliable assessment instruments, there is a need to generate a constructive discussion about how and what other types of assessments can be used within the enabling education space. Given the increasing diversity of students within the enabling education programs in Australia, it is even more important to develop understanding about relevant enabling assessments through sharing ideas about existing practices, as well as seeking opportunities to develop innovative assessment practices, reflecting the increasing diversity of students.
    Dr Pranit Anand (pranit@uow.edu.au) UOW College, University of Wollongong

  • Enabling Curriculum

    The aim of this SIG is to initiate a discussion at a national level between enabling educators in Australia about the characteristics of the curricula of enabling programs. Through these discussions, it is hoped that curriculum principles of enabling programs will be articulated as a unified voice.
    The SIG will seek to share information about curriculum design approaches, informing and promoting best practice within enabling education in Australia. Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this discussion.
    My contact details are Bronwyn.Relf@newcastle.edu.au

  • Mental Health:

    Students in enabling programs bring a richness and diversity to our universities, but they may also arrive with numerous challenges. For a variety of reasons, students may seek support and advice in regard to their non-academic challenges (such as mental health issues) from their teachers, rather than from psychologists and counsellors. The NAEEA Mental Health SIG is exploring the area of student wellbeing in enabling programs; what do we do as enabling educators to support our students’ wellbeing?
    This SIG meets every two months (via skype)to share our experiences in our different enabling programs, and ideas from the literature. Please contact Nicole.Crawford@utas.edu.au to be involved!

  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM):


    Are you someone who is passionate about inspiring more students to consider studying STEM subjects at university? If you are, we’re here to put you in touch with a network of likeminded people!

    We are currently in the process of putting together a mailing list of people who are interested in sharing their experiences, thoughts and ideas in the sphere of STEM education – so if that strikes a chord with you, please drop us a line at Anthea.Fudge@unisa.edu.au or Jane.Stratton@utas.edu.au

    In the near future we will be establishing an online forum where we can begin discussions around STEM education in the enabling environment. In the meantime we will be communicating with interested persons via email.

    We would particularly like to hear from you, if you have any thoughts as to how this Special Interest Group could be of most use to you, and we hope to be able to bring members of the group together at the NAEEA November conference.

  • Culturally & Linguistically Diverse students:

    Are you interested in helping students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds?
    Would you like to develop a range of approaches to assist with CALD students in pathway programs?
    Do you have knowledge and experience from your own programs you would be willing to share with others?
    Are there issues that you would like help with in your work with CALD students?

    As the newly appointed facilitator of the NAEEA special-interest group for CALD students, I would like to invite you to contact me with your details so we can form a community of practitioners who work together to improve the outcomes for our CALD students. I am currently investigating ways of facilitating communication, which include a mailing group, a google group and an online forum discussion space, and would welcome any suggestions from you as future participants. A special session will also take place at this year’s conference in November where we can meet and discuss issues, practices and research.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me at geoffrey.parkes2@usq.edu.au as we form this important group. Until a firm decision is made regarding our meeting “space”, I will maintain an informal email list and forward you all messages, announcements and updates as they are sent to me.

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who is interested in participating.

  • Online Learning:

    Evonne Irwin and Liz Goode facilitate the Special Interest Group for Online Learning. We hope to provide a space for sharing knowledge and ideas in this emerging and ever-changing area.

    The activities of the group include a weekly online newspaper, a website housing a growing pool of resources for online learning practitioners, and a monthly blog (for which contributions are most welcome). Take a look at the website here: http://www.onlineenabling.com The group also has a Twitter account, so follow us @OEnablingEd for Tweets relating to online education, enabling education, and access and equity issues in higher education.

    We’d also love to hear from you about what you want out of the group. All suggestions welcome.

    Please get in touch with Evonne.Irwin@newcastle.edu.au if you’re interested in joining.

  • Indigenous students:

    Are you interested in Indigenous enabling programs or helping students from Indigenous backgrounds within mainstream enabling programs?
    This special interest group will focus on Indigenous pedagogical approaches to teaching in enabling programs and culturally appropriate ways to assist Indigenous students navigate enabling programs.
    If you are interested in Indigenous ways of learning, being, knowing and doing then this special interest group is for you.
    Given the increasing numbers of Indigenous students within the enabling education programs in Australia, it is even more important to develop understanding about Indigenous pedagogical approaches through sharing ideas about existing practices, as well as seeking opportunities to develop innovative new practices to assist Indigenous enabling students navigate the system.
    Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, (Sharlene.leroy-dyer@newcastle.edu.au), Program Convenor, Yapug, University of Newcastle.