Sep 28, 2012

Thoughts from the 47th Annual Australian Psychological Society Conference

I attended Friday 28th of the 47th Annual Australian Psychological Society (APS) Conference, Perth, where I was involved in a poster presentation and two individual research paper presentations about:
For more details about these presentations, see James Neill's publications 2012.

This is the first time I've attended the APS conference. I was struck and reminded that:
  • Psychology is diverse
  • Psychology is a hub (is relevant to many other disciplines)
  • There is a "tension" between academia and practice (many presenters were academics presenting research; many attendees were practitioners wanting approaches to treatment of psychological problems)
I attended several 15 min. individual research and 45 min. symposium sessions, the highlights of which included:
  • Reading the play and situational awareness of AFL athletes (Craig Harms, Edith Cowan University)
  • A critique of cross-cultural psychology (favouring instead emphasis on intra-individual and inter-individual differences) (Graham Davidson)
  • Treating body image disorders (Vivienne Lewis, University of Canberra)
  • Pain enhances sensory awareness (Bastian)
  • Neurofeedback (a type of biofeedback which uses EEG feedback which allows people to learn to control amplitude) is an efficacious treatment for ADHD (Symposium; Clark, Duff, Perl Aniftos)
  • - Web survey design should focus on simple, classical design and seek to build of trust with respondent via "social presence" of researcher (e.g., background about who is conducting the research) (Tristan Casey)
I perused several posters. In particular, I noted a poster that distinguished usefully between:
  • Positive procrastination (prioritising/managing tasks) and negative procrastination (avoiding tasks)
With many presentations and posters I noted that:
  • Font sizes could often be larger to improve readability
  • Images are often used without apparent permission
In terms of professional psychology practice, I noted that:
  • The APS has released a reconcilitation plan and there were several sessions around bridging the mental health gap for indigenous Australians
  • The federal Australian eHealth infrastructure is now live and being gradually rolled out - it will give every Australian citizen and health provider unique IDs that will allow citizens to have health information about themselves (on average 22 visits to health practitioners per year) shared with their health providers.
Other topics I noted to follow up included:
  • APA standards for levels of (treatment) efficacy 1, 2

May 15, 2011

Worm farming

I've been experimenting with stackable-tray and hole-in-the-ground worm farm systems for a household garden over the last few years. Here's a couple of video tours I've made:

Dec 6, 2010

Discussions with Abdul Samad, Outdoor Educator from Pakistan

Over the last few months I've spent some time meeting with Abdul Samad, a passionate outdoor educator from Pakistan, who is on a study tour of outdoor education programs in Australia (see Endeavour Awards). Samad, who arrives after an inspiring personal journey, visited and participated in more outdoor education programs and met more key figures in outdoor education in Australian than anyone I've previously known of, out of passionate curiousity to see what how outdoor education is conducted in Australia. Perhaps the most telling of Samad's observations about outdoor education here in Australia is that he observed much focus on outdoor activities and relatively little emphasis on the educational process and facilitation. I shared with him Simon Priest's life cycle observations about national development of outdoor education - if seems Australia might well be on the downward slide. Interestingly, Samad has contributed not only to his own education and that of outdoor education in Pakistan more generally, but also to discussion and collaboration between outdoor education organisations and people in Australia. A big thank-you to Samad for not only visiting Australia, but immersing himself so proactively and thoughtfully in exploring outdoor education practices here in Australia and sharing about outdoor education in Pakistan.
 Abdul Samad at the track junction on the Mt Tennent range - he was more than up for a quick rainy Spring hike and chat one dusk!
Abdul Samad and James Neill (Tharwa, ACT)

Oct 10, 2010

Mt Tennent - Overnight family walk

We did our first overnight hike as a family (Oct 9-10, 2010), walking 5 kms the first day up the Mt Tennent trail (from the junction with Naas Road), camped near the 3-way track junction on the Mt Tennent ridge, then summitted the next morning, (5 kms return) and back down again (5 kms).

We made damper, watched the sunset, and slept in the open - there was a slight drizzle around 1am and mutterings about who decided to leave the tent behind, but in the end it lightened off and was fine.

Oct 6, 2010

Student-authored open textbooks as learning and assessment exercises - Getting underway

A proposal to conduct and evaluate a demonstration "student-authored open textbooks as learning and assessment exercise" has received a $5,000 grant through the University of Canberra Blended Learning Hothouse. There are 11 recipients of UC's Innovative Teaching and Learning Leader award in this round (Sep-Nov, 2010).

To learn more about the proposed project, see the Student-authored textbooks project homepage.

A plan for the project has been developed and the demonstration project is well underway on Wikiversity (as part of the third-year Motivation and Emotion undergraduate psychology unit).

Basically, the project aims to address three inter-related teaching and learning needs:

Three pedagogical elements underpin the theoretical basis for conducting the project:

As a fellow advocate of open education, the project piqued Leigh Blackall's interest and he popped into a tutorial and put together this neat 4 min. video clip about the open textbook getting underway: 

Aug 27, 2007

Mind-mapping - Embedding MindMeister Map

Below is a MindMeister Map presented in two different ways. Steps for bringing the map into a blog or webpage are suggested.

Embedded map

Click Share (at the bottom of a map)
Click Publish
Tick Publish Map to the Internet
Click OK
Copy the code for inclusion in blogs and webpages.
Create or edit a new blog post
Click on Edit Html
Paste the code
Save the page