2023 Theme – Making Waves

2023’s conference theme, ‘Making Waves’, reflects the innovative practices that higher education institutions can adopt to stand out from the crowd and influence the broader sector. In line with the theme, this event will explore how the use of information technology innovations in higher education can deliver truly unique and captivating experiences for students – and staff – that echo across the sector.


  1. Embracing Disruption
    The crises we face are global, medical, health, economic and societal. The human toll of the pandemic is massive, both physical and mental. As we fight to care for each other and our ways of being, we must grasp the opportunities this time of upheaval gives us to reshape ourselves, our relationships, organisations, technologies, workplaces and society. The fundamental and seismic challenges of climate and environment, inequalities of race and gender, and the path to reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will be met more impactfully if we are able to embrace the disruption of this moment in time.
  2. Locked In and Locked Out
    What do we mean by digital equity? What is an adequate level of digital access? Can technology fix social inequality? These questions were already circulating in the field of online learning prior to the arrival of the pandemic in 2020. Questions of digital equity, however, and the shape of teaching and learning practices have been sharpened by the requirement to practise ‘locked in’ pedagogy through increased use of online learning tools delivered to students in novel and challenging learning spaces. What has this meant for students who were already ‘locked out’ and deprived of the type of access to learning technologies that are a prerequisite for online learning? What do we mean by digital equity and how does this intersect with questions of social inequality? How can we help to shape the future of teaching and learning that provides opportunities for all students?
  3. Beyond the ‘Pivot’
    In 2020, universities around the world shifted their primary mode of delivery to online, en masse. In order to provide ’emergency remote instruction’, many academics – and in some cases, many universities – made their first forays into online learning. Navigating the challenges of an overnight shift to online learning meant there was not always space for careful design of high-quality learning experiences or for selecting perfect technologies for the job. Now it’s time to move from emergency remote instruction to high quality online learning and teaching experiences. What did we learn from the successes and failures of large-scale remote learning? How can we build on these successes and failures? What does high quality online learning look like going forward? What technology infrastructure do we need to support high quality experiences for staff and students? What are the opportunities?
  4. Testing Times
    Authentic assessment, discontinuation or reduction in face to face exams, contract cheating and other Academic conduct concerns are all hot topics in the online assessment space. As higher education adapts to maintain the integrity of assessments in a rapidly changing environment innovative tools and processes are emerging to navigate this high stakes space.
  5. Dynamic Delivery
    Service excellence remains a focus across the sector to ensure quality experiences for students and staff. Technology and teaching delivery is changing rapidly, often outpacing existing delivery processes. How can institutions flex within existing policies and processes? Can more dynamic delivery methods and mindsets help institutions deliver rapid change while still remaining student centred?
  6. Teaching to the TikTok Paradigm
    The constant use of technology has shortened attention spans from 12 to 5 minutes and seen the rise and massive adoption of various social media apps. TikTok is one of the fastest growing apps with over a billion users, and with a 15 second format, sees users consuming and creating content fast. Users engage with the content and each other with features such as response videos, challenges and duets. This self-organising format is fun and engaging for users, but what does that mean for formal learning? As with all social media there are exciting opportunities for education but how do we leverage student’s engagement with this fast-paced content in a higher education context?
  7. Cyber Complacency
    In the age of the 24-hour news cycle and daily attacks, are we becoming complacent with institutional cyber security? Educating staff on their role in protecting institutional data is an essential line of defence. How can institutions balance the goal of improving staff awareness without creating information overload? What processes and tools do institutions need to have in place to minimise impact when security events do eventuate? And how can we use our students to our advantage, driving innovative new cyber security solutions?