Towards a purposeful professional learning model for academics to support pedagogical change

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Background/context - Professional learning (PL) has become increasingly important for teaching academics as institutions seek improved student experience (Fabriz et al., 2021). Common approaches offer single PL sessions to upskill academics although these are not always effective ways to achieve change in pedagogical practices (Trowler & Cooper, 2002, as cited in Zou, 2019). Community-based PL centered on student outcomes tends to transform teaching and learning rather than transactional sessions focused on improving teachers’ skills and knowledge (Zou, 2019).
The initiative/practice – A Community of Practice (CoP) was established to implement a new assessment approach to enhance student outcomes and the pedagogical practices of academics. Participants met weekly to explore the modification of assessments, related learning activities and resources in the design of their subjects.
Methods of evaluative data collection and analysis – A mixed-method, longitudinal research project sought to discern the impact of the CoP on academic practices. In the initial data collection, participant feedback was collected through focus groups and personal reflections. Thematic analysis of transcripts was conducted to qualitatively derive the themes.
Evidence of outcomes and effectiveness - The cross-disciplinary CoP provided an opportunity to share concerns and challenges, a sense of belonging and collegiality, and influenced both subject design and teaching. The outcome of the research validates the use of a CoP model to support pedagogical change in academic practice and aligns with Zou’s (2019) findings of transforming teaching and learning practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022
EventHERDSA 2022 - Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Jun 202230 Jun 2022
Conference number: 41


ConferenceHERDSA 2022
Abbreviated titleProfessional learning for changing academic practices
OtherThe HERDSA Executive and Victorian Branch are delighted to invite you to join us at HERDSA 2022, the annual conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA), to be held in Melbourne Australia, 27-30 June 2022.

HERDSA 2022 will inspire: drawing together experience, analysis and insight in a rapidly changing environment. The disruption of the global pandemic has challenged our assumptions and prompted deep reflection and creative solutions. We are changing the way we work, learn and interact, but we are building from strength.
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