PD Fest 2023

PD Fest 2023
UTS College, Sydney
‘Live’ Event – Saturday, 11 November 2023

Unlocking Potential: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the AI era

Getting There

The venue is Building 8indicated by the location 11 on the map

The address is the UTS Business Building/Dr Chau Chak Wing Building (Building 8).

You can also Google “Café 80”.

The easiest access point is the Goods Line.

View the UTS Campus map here

UECA are pleased to present the UECA PD Fest on Saturday, 11 November 2023.

Join us for a transformative day of professional development where educators in the ESL industry will converge for a day of learning, collaboration, and inspiration.

Hosted by UTS College, this event is run by teachers for teachers, and promises to be a rich and rewarding experience for all.

The theme for the UECA PD Fest on Saturday 11 November is Unlocking Potential: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the AI era.

Since the Covid 19 Pandemic and the transition from online to face-to-face teaching, we recognize the need for innovative, augmentative strategies that empower educators to enhance student performance. It’s about embracing a fresh attitude, refining your approach, and taking action to meet the evolving needs of today’s learners.

The program will showcase different approaches to delivering engaging and innovative content to enhance student performance. Discover how Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence and other cutting-edge tools are transforming traditional classrooms into immersive, interactive and engaging environments. 


  • Stream 1: Setting a clear Education Policy framework that promotes learner engagement and autonomy, leveraging the use of technology, AI etc in academically responsible ways

  • Stream 2: Structures that support student engagement in the academic learning environment

  • Stream 3: Accessibility and inclusion for all students in an AI world

Don’t miss this opportunity to network, exchange ideas, and map out best practice and approaches for students to succeed.

Give Feedback Here

Registrations are now open.

Register Here

The Call for Presenters is now open

Please submit an abstract (up to 250 words) addressing this year’s theme, using the button below.

Please note, the closing date for Presenter Applications is 5:00pm Sunday, 15 October 2023.

Online Presenter Application

NEAS is proud to be the Principal Sponsor of UECA’s Professional Development Events.

This UECA PD event is also sponsored by Bookery and Cambridge.

‘Live’ Event – Saturday, 11 November 2023

9:00am – 9:30am AEDT

Building 8 – Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

Opening & Welcome
9:30am – 9:40am AEDT

Jason West
UTS College

Simon Winetroube
Curtin University & UECA President

Plenary + Q&A: Unlocking Potential: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the AI era
9:40am – 10:30am AEDT

Dr Rosalie Goldsmith
University of Technology Sydney

Dr Rosalie Goldsmith is an applied linguist who is a senior lecturer and manager of the Academic Language and Learning Team, University of Technology Sydney. Rosalie works with the faculty of Engineering & IT and with the Faculty of Science to embed communication practices throughout the curriculum. Her research areas include Engineering Education, Writing Practices, Theory of Practice Architectures, peer learning, WIL and developing professional identity. Her current projects include: Industry supervisors’ stories: a resource to enhance student supervision; evaluating the impact of the Embedding English Language Framework at UTS; investigating student and staff feedback literacy; and research writing practices for engineering and IT doctoral students.

Since the Covid 19 Pandemic and the transition from online to face-to-face teaching, we recognize the need for innovative, augmentative strategies that empower educators to enhance student performance. It’s about embracing a fresh attitude, refining your approach, and taking action to meet the evolving needs of today’s learners. Rosalie will share her insights into the challenges arising for teaching and learning in the AI era. Rosalie will share her insights, strategies and approaches to respond to these challenges and what leading educators can do to ensure a successful teaching and learning environment that enriches the student learning experience in a supported way.

Break – Morning Tea
10:30am – 11:00am AEDT

Session One

Stream One – Teaching and Learning Policy in the AI Era
11:00am – 11:45am AEDT

Mitchell Osmond
UTS College

As the UTS College’s Learning Experience Lead, he manages a team of curriculum developers, student experience designers and learning specialists. Mitchell has extensive experience in education teaching and learning, policy development, learning design and Ed. Tech solutions.

Teaching and learning have been deeply impacted by the emergence of AI and AI bots such as ChatGPT. As a result, smart responses to policy development are required to ensure that students and teachers are aware of their roles to embrace these technologies in a responsible way. This session will explore the challenges and considerations to achieve this.

Stream Two – Using AI Applications to Improve Pronunciation
11:00am – 11:45am AEDT

Gabriel Azpilcueta
University of Adelaide

Gabriel is a language teacher based in Adelaide with extensive experience in ELICOS and international student support, nationally and internationally, across the school and higher education sectors. Currently, he works at the English Language Centre at the University of Adelaide, teaching in a range of programs. Additionally, he is a teacher at Walford Anglican School, a prestigious day and boarding school for girls in SA, where he teaches Spanish and English as an Additional Language to senior secondary school students.

English pronunciation remains an overlooked area in the English as an Additional Language (EAL) classroom due to various challenges, including time constraints and the need for personalised feedback.  When faced with the pressure of teaching and assessing students in all four skills within limited class time, pronunciation often takes a back seat, leaving learners with insufficient guidance in this vital aspect of language acquisition.

This presentation seeks to present a solution by exploring the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to enhance pronunciation skills among EAL learners. These offer exciting possibilities for teachers and students alike by acting like a personalised tutor that offers constructive feedback and ample opportunities for practice. The session will introduce a selection of AI-powered applications available in the market designed to assess and improve students’ pronunciation. It will also analyse the practical aspects of integrating AI applications into the EAL classroom, considering factors such as cost, types of feedback, and level of detail. Real classroom experiences will be shared to illustrate the successful incorporation of AI for pronunciation improvement.

Stream Three – Evaluating the Potential of AI-Generated Feedback
11:00am – 11:45am AEDT

Ryan Phelan and Mark Broadbent
UNSW College

Ryan Phelan joined UNSW College as an Academic Language Facilitator in 2022. He has taught for 9 years in Australia and Europe. He holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics and is passionate about providing language learners with a dynamic and interculturally aware space in which they can develop their skills. He believes that the considered application of technology in the classroom can prepare students for the contemporary requirements of the modern world. Ryan presents with his UNSW College colleague Mark Broadbent.

As student use of ChatGPT and other AI assisted technologies becomes more widespread , the FS Academic English Department at UNSW College has run small trials to evaluate the potential of AI to provide feedback on specific aspects of writing, as well as to teach student the responsible use of such technology. This session will focus on the importance of prompt engineering and how to elicit meaningful AI feedback using the assessment rubric and the student’s work. The trial also focused on assisting students to develop a dialogic interaction with the AI tool using strategies to ask targeted follow up questions to understand, internalise and apply the feedback to their writing.

Session Two

Stream One – From novice to navigator: mastering AI literacy
11:50am – 12:35pm AEDT

Magdalena Hoeller
University of Newcastle College of International Education

Magdalena studied at the University of Vienna, Austria, before embarking on her journey at the University of Newcastle College of International Education. As Student Experience Manager and an Academic English Teacher, she is involved in curriculum development and transition pedagogy. Magdalena’s passion lies in reshaping pedagogy through AI integration, extending her focus beyond academia and aiming to equip students with critical AI literacy skills for future studies and career readiness. Her current work has earned her multiple nominations for the Kaplan Way Awards and invitations to professional development sessions on how to navigate the complex digital landscape of AI.

As Generative AI (GAI) is reshaping the higher education industry, English language teachers are finding that learners are unable to utilise effective and ethical techniques of this tool. This has led them to produce work that is often inauthentic with academic integrity issues. As GAI is inevitably the way of the future, Academic English learners need to be educated on the ethical and effective utilisation. As such, this presentation centres around a series of carefully designed problem-based learning modules to enhance students’ digital literacy, promote critical thinking, and foster ethical use of GAI. Specific lessons have been developed to engage international students in exploring diverse GAI tools while improving their proficiency in their application, working their way up the ladder of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Students embark on their journey with AI image creators as a first step to discover the potential of GAI. Then, a key emphasis is placed on the art of prompt engineering for ChatGPT, empowering students to craft meaningful, effective inputs and critically evaluating GAI output. As a last step, the initiative aims to deepen students’ critical thinking and reflection skills, facilitating a more profound understanding of the ethical dimensions surrounding GAI across problem-based contexts. The initial results of this initiative have been promising, with students transitioning from basic to proficient AI users within a remarkably short time frame. Students reported that they feel better equipped with the necessary skills to navigate this complex digital landscape in the future by themselves.

Stream Two – Vocabulary Enrichment in the Digital Age: Harnessi
11:50am – 12:35pm AEDT

Chen Chang
University of Sydney, Centre for English Teaching

Chen is an English teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in Educational Psychology. Currently, Chen teaches at the CET of USYD, where they passionately apply psychological perspectives to enhance classroom teaching. With over 6000 hours of teaching experience, Chen is dedicated to guiding students toward success in the ESL field.

Join me at the UECA PD Fest as we explore the intricate world of vocabulary acquisition. In this presentation, we dissect the formidable challenges presented by arbitrary symbols in vocabulary, as well as the extensive demands of vocabulary breadth and depth. We will unlock the transformative potential encapsulated in the realm of words and language, with a particular focus on the Power of Vocabulary. By harnessing the capabilities of artificial intelligence, we delve into innovative approaches that enhance vocabulary acquisition.

Specifically, we will uncover the AI-Powered Vocabulary Mastery, which harnesses the power of text analysis and vocabulary highlighting to propel vocabulary acquisition to new heights. In addition, we will discuss the critical role of Building Context for Vocabulary Mastery, where contextual tools become invaluable aids for language learning. Lastly, we will explore the personalized dimension of vocabulary growth with a focus on the Role of Personalized Quizzes. These quizzes are tailored to individual needs, ensuring a more engaging and effective path to vocabulary development.

This presentation aims to provide a comprehensive perspective on the challenges and solutions in vocabulary acquisition, all while underlining the pivotal role of vocabulary in fostering effective communication and comprehension. Join me in this enlightening journey at the UECA PD Fest and unlock the power of words.

Stream Three – What about the humans?
11:50am – 12:35pm AEDT

Will Lamb
UTS College

Will lamb is an experienced education specialist, trained linguist and ELT Teacher. In his current role as Learning Experience Designer, Will develops cutting edge learning experiences through the UTS College’s LMS, Canvas. Will has been a leader in developing and communicating interventions through the use of data to drive more effective support of teachers and coordinators in navigating the impacts of AI. Will is a member of the UTS College’s AI Working group.

We have recently been inundated with information about GenAI. This includes; what GenAI is, what it can and cannot do, what it is leading to, what it causes, how it can enhance learning, how it can reduce learning, when it should or should not been used, when it can and cannot be used, how to detect it, that it cannot be detected, that it is evolving so fast that we cannot mitigate it, and so on. All of this information is important in directing our approach to managing the potential for a student to use GenAI to generate an assessment submission. However, the tendency to focus on ‘it’ means that we are missing an extremely important question, and that is, Why would a student choose to use GenAI to generate an assessment submission in the first place?

This presentation argues that it is not so much ‘it’ that we should focus our attention on but ‘they’-the humans. In support of this, findings from a survey of course coordinators on reasons why students might use GenAI for assessment submissions will be discussed. This includes an analysis of the qualitative responses, which were allocated to four main categories; student self-efficacy, student self-regulation, course design and assessment design. Interestingly, conclusions from this analysis suggest that it is course and assessment design that can increase a student’s self-efficacy and regulation and that improved design targeting these areas may decrease the potential for GenAI generated assessment submissions.

12:40pm – 1:40pm AEDT

Session Three

Stream One – Gen AI tools: Possibilities and Problems for Students and Teachers
1:45pm – 2:35pm AEDT

Clare McGrath
English Language Teaching and Learning Expert

Clare has nearly 40 years’ experience in education and training in Australia and overseas, supporting teacher training and professional development for English language teachers as well as professional development in the higher education and VET sectors. She was instrumental in the design and development of the English Australia Continuing Professional Development Framework for English language teaching in Australia, and is one of the admins for AusELT on Facebook. She is also the Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee for SIBT, part of the Navitas Group. Over the last year in particular, she has been working with teachers there to develop their understanding of generative AI tools and on the re-writing of their assessment and academic integrity policies.

This is particularly for those teachers who have not yet delved very far into the possibilities and problems with generative AI tools. Maybe you haven’t had enough time, or are not sure where to go and what to do – let alone why or what to bear in mind. Maybe it’s been hard keeping up with the rapid expansion of the range of these tools and their capabilities. Maybe you’re not convinced they are useful, or are concerned about ethics and academic integrity. No doubt you’ll have questions and ideas to share. So we’ll be looking at how students can exploit them to develop language, skills and content / topic knowledge – and when they shouldn’t – as well as what teachers might use them for when planning and designing materials.  It will be hands-on, so bring at least your mobile, with time for discussion. It will also be flexible: we’ll see who’s in the room, how far we get in the time, and how your exploration can continue back at work.  Hope you can join us. 

Stream Two – Mind-maps in DE/AEP – making thinking visible in the age of generative AI
1:45pm – 2:35pm AEDT

Virginia Mawer and Tony Stock
UNSW College

Viriginia Mawer is a perpetual student and AEP teacher at UNSW College. Virginia was the recipient of the English Australia Anne Burns Action Research Grant for 2023, for her work on designing speaking activities for Direct Entry programs using the speaking app she designed.

Tony Stock comes from a visual arts background and has worked in education for many years, both as a teacher and in education management. Tony is an AEP teacher at UNSW College. He loves exploring new and old ways of engaging and empowering learners.

Grammar checkers, translation apps, generative AI…With the increasing development of tools to enable learners to create and interact with content, the educator’s imperative – to assist students in meaningfully engaging with and generating texts and ideas – has become more challenging than ever. This workshop-style session aims to explore ways of getting students actively generating ideas, identifying relationships and thinking creatively. It will focus on the potential of mind-maps to unlock and engage learners.

Stream Three – Using AI Generated Comics to Teach Vocabulary!
1:45pm – 2:35pm AEDT

Malcolm Kirkwood
UQ College

Malcolm is a TESOL language instructor at UQ College. His experience spans primary, secondary, and tertiary education in five countries (including a stint in Arnhem land, NT) in various roles including secondary biology, mathematics, English as an additional language (EAL) and vocational education & training courses for indigenous students. His research background includes a PhD in multimedia learning, and he has engaged in various action research projects, including several on the topic of vocabulary acquisition and feedback in learning.

A solid foundation of vocabulary knowledge is essential at every stage of the learner’s second language (L2) development. Despite this awareness, multimedia design research and the emergence of easy-to-use AI image generators have made little impact on the way we present new vocabulary (or other features of target language) to EAL students. This presentation shares findings from a recent action research project on using AI (Mid-journey) to assist vocabulary learning in a tertiary pathway English program at UQ College. Specifically, a comparison was made between 10 selected vocabulary items using, on the one hand, an AI-designed comic (with recurring characters), and the same terms in a more typical presentation (i.e., a worksheet). Both presentations were informationally equivalent though the comic was presented in a graphic novel format. The project, influenced by the growing quality and availability of AI image generators, as well as my own PhD research in multimedia learning, demonstrates the importance of context in learning material design, in particular emphasising the role of social interaction and emotion as essential ‘gatekeepers’ of cognition and memory. Implications of the research and practical classroom tips are provided which your students will surely thank you for!  

2:35pm – 3:00pm AEDT


Networking Event + Drinks
3:00pm – 4:00pm AEDT

Register Here

Give Feedback Here