Developing a typology for designing appropriate learning and teaching professional development strategies for an Australian regional university

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The topic of this study contributes to the growing research on professional
development of academics who teach in Australian higher education. Specifically, this exploration focused on the under-represented perceptions of teaching academics within Australian regional universities. The research presented in this dissertation builds on the community of practice related to professional development for teaching academics, therefore, the voices of academics in regional-based universities were given opportunities to be heard. Furthermore, the evolving nature of higher education teaching in the face of new opportunities and challenges calls for an exploration of strategies that are being employed to facilitate learning and teaching professional development in the sector. Therefore, the study also aimed to inform the practice of and equip academic developers, who design and deliver learning and teaching professional development, with a typological tool. This dissertation first establishes a broader context of learning and teaching professional development in the Australian
landscape, prior to investigating the perceptions of teaching academics and their
motivation to participate in professional development in Australian regional
universities. A typology is then presented as a tool to assist with uptake and
implementation of learning and teaching professional development. Pragmatism was used as the research paradigm to guide this research study’s design and methods. For the purposes of this research study, an exploratory sequential mixed methods design was appropriate. This Thesis was conducted over four years (2019-2023) and was presented across three academic journal articles. Three papers are embedded in this Thesis by Publication presenting the literature review, semi-structured interviews, and survey respectively. The context of academics teaching in higher education has changed dramatically with the emergence of new realities, opportunities, and challenges. The findings of this research study open opportunities for relevant and strategic learning and teaching professional development activities that academics are motivated to participate in. The dissertation ends with a discussion of the relevance of this research to the sector and answers the research questions, as well as outlines its
limitations, directions for future research and implications for practice. A personal reflection of the author’s learning journey is then given.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • van der Laan, Luke, Principal Supervisor, External person
  • Danaher, Patrick, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date23 Nov 2023
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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