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

Dr Anna Bennett and Dr Jo Hanley 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  Joanne.Hanley@newcastle.com.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. This SIG is facilitated by Dr Pranit Anand (anandp@qut.edu.au), Dr Liz Goode (Liz.Goode@scu.edu.au) and Dr James Valentine (james.valentine@cdu.edu.au).

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 lecturers and tutors, rather than from psychologists and counsellors. The NAEEA SIG on Mental Health explores the area of student wellbeing in enabling programs; what do we (or could we) do as enabling educators to support our students’ wellbeing? We are also interested in the experiences of academic staff in teaching and supporting enabling students; what are the challenges and protective factors for staff? Our SIG meets every two months (via Skype) to share experiences, strategies and ideas from the literature.
Please contact Nicole.Crawford@utas.edu.au

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

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

We would like to invite you to join us in developing a strong network of enabling educators, who are particularly interested in sharing the challenges and opportunities of teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students. We hope to develop synergies that will stimulate new approaches and ideas in a respectful and effective manner. For more information about this SIG, please contact: Dr Carol Carter (carol.carter@curtin.edu.au)

Online Learning

Evonne Irwin facilitates the Special Interest Group for Online Learning 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.