Australian Learning and Teaching Council Project

Effective Teaching, Effective Learning in the Quantitative Disciplines

About the project

This project has been funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) (“A national discipline-specific professional development programme for lecturers and tutors in the mathematical sciences”). The project has been developed in conjunction with the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS), and in consultation with a reference group representing the Statistical Society of Australia, Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, Australian Science Deans Council, the Australian Business Deans Council and Engineers Australia. 

Project objectives

The broad aim of this project is to provide professional development for University lecturers and tutors teaching in the mathematical sciences. Our definition of the mathematical sciences is broad and inclusive of any of the quantitative discipline (such as finance, mathematics, statistics, operations research, psychology).

We have developed a professional development unit which will provide practical, discipline-specific and best-practice strategies for teaching and assessment so as to enhance student engagement and learning in mathematics. We have endeavored to make the learning activities embedded in your own day to day practice and context

We will examine how students learn in mathematics and how you can use this knowledge to plan your lessons and units; when and how you might utilise learning technologies; how you go about writing assessment tasks and giving feedback; service teaching; and planning for your ongoing professional development.

Professional development unit trial

We completed a trial of the the professional development unit with participants from seven institutions in 2011. Since then the unit has run since 2012. The content and delivery of the unit has been reviewed, based on participants’ feedback.


We held a professional development workshop at the University of Ballarat in September 2012 in conjunction with the 56th AustMS Annual Meeting. In 2010 and 2011, we held workshops at The University of Queensland and The University of Wollongong respectively. We trialled material from the modules in interactive, hands-on sessions facilitated by the team members, and used feedback from participants to refine the unit. Abstracts and slides for the workshop sessions are available at the ALTC workshop 2010 and ALTC workshop 2011 page. You can read about the workshop proceedings in more detail.  No workshop was held in 2013, due to the Delta conference being held in Kiama.

More information

Project team

  • Leigh Wood, Macquarie University (Project Leader)
  • Nalini Joshi, The University of Sydney (Project Deputy Leader)
  • Walter Bloom, Murdoch University
  • Matt Bower, Macquarie University
  • Natalie Brown, University of Tasmania
  • Diane Donovan, The University of Queensland
  • Birgit Loch, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Jane Skalicky, University of Tasmania


NB. This project will not be affected when ALTC ceases operations at the end of 2011.