IISME 2012 kick-off event!

15 February 2012

Kick off a brand new year in innovation in Science and Mathematics Education at IISME's 2012 special presentation...

Issues and strategies for dealing with diverse cohorts

Register online

Australia needs increasing numbers of graduates with mathematical skills and a greater number of university courses require quantitative skills. Despite this the proportion of high school students choosing adequate levels of mathematics as preparation for university continues to decline.

This forum will provide an opportunity for staff from different universities to share their experiences with students who come to university lacking the relevant mathematical preparation, exchange information about best practise and discuss useful strategies. Teachers are welcome to attend and contribute to developing direction in university mathematics education.

The forum will be held on Wednesday 15 February 2012 in the New Law School Lecture Theatre (LT101) at the University of Sydney. 10:30am for 11am start. The formal proceedings will conclude at 5pm. Includes coffee and croissant on arrival, lunch and afternoon tea.

At the conclusion of the event, networking sessions over drinks and dinner will take place. Although drinks and dinner will be at your own cost, please indicate when you register if you would like to attend, for booking purposes.


You can download the program and the event handout booklet.

The day will begin with a keynote presentation from Jacqui Ramagge (UoW) bringing us up to date with the current pattern of mathematics study in Australian high schools.

There will be presentations from the...

  • Quantitative skills in science: Curriculum models for the future - Dr Shaun Belward (JCU)
  • Discipline Network: Australian mathematical sciences learning and teaching network - Dr Deborah King.

There will be an opportunity for a representative from each university to give a 5 minute overview of what their university currently does to cater to diverse cohorts in first year and to raise one or two significant issues for later discussion.


Workshops on at least four of the following five issues will take place at the end of the day to come up with some valuable strategies. Please indicate when registering for the event, which two you would prefer to attend.

    • effectively supporting increases in underprepared student numbers
    • using online resources, including social media
    • collaborative development and sharing resources between institutions
    • evaluating existing resources (incl. textbooks)
    • how can we be pro-active when students don't recognise the skills they need
    • service teaching and nature of compulsory vs. optional courses
    • what works to encourage the reluctant and math-phobic students
    • comparing participation and drop-out rates across the country
    • how do we know that bridging courses (and similar activities) are adequate
    • what is best practice for diagnostic testing of students
    • evaluating student learning and also evaluating the courses and resources
    • what theory/frameworks can successfully be used with these students and courses
    • worked examples vs. problem sheets, the role of tutorials or peer-group teaching
    • cognitive load theory, constructivist learning, threshold concepts
  5. BEYOND FIRST YEAR (maintaining maths skills and integration into other disciplines, after they "leave the nest"...this is huge and may be the next big thing we need to do)

Register online by Wednesday 8 February 2012.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Ms Jessica Morris ( .

Location: New Law School Lecture Theatre (LT101) at the University of Sydney

Cost: Free