Using openness and international collegiality to improve teaching pedagogy

David Smith, Chrissi Nerantzi, Damian Keil, Gerasimos Chatzidamianos, Jacquie Tinkler, Heather Campbell

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The art of effective teaching is continually under the spotlight no matter the stage of education and becomes a point of difference when students are selecting institutions to start or continue their pursuit of knowledge. As such, universities seek to provide more engaging learning spaces for their students creating a need and desire by academics to improve their teaching skills. While traditional professional development has its place, more diverse approaches to academic professional development should be considered that create opportunities for more practice-based, peer-supported and collaborative engagement that empowers academics to share ideas and practices, problem solve and feel part of a network or community.

This presentation reports on the first stage of the Teaching and Learning Conversations global project (TLCglobal). Using an approach based on principles of Open Education, a project between Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and Charles Sturt University (AU) started in 2018 where academics from both institutions, collaborated to discuss blended teaching practice online. Over 14 weeks, these academics shared and interrogated each other’s teaching methods with a collective aim of supporting and developing one another. A number of benefits manifested themselves as this project unfolded. Working in pairs, the conversations between the academics were impactful, founded on an erstwhile desire to improve teaching and committed to achieving an outcome in the project. Interestingly, and importantly, the cross-discipline pairings facilitated the critical and collegiate analysis. Avoiding intra-discipline pairings eschewed the potential traps of competition, rivalry and subject-specific discussion and created ‘safe spaces’ which liberated the conversations. New communities of learning emerged, whereby the safe space of the interactions provided opportunities for open and meaningful shared reflections to materialise.

Invigorated, academics experimented and implemented the newly found ideas into their own practice and, as such, a greater understanding about the different pedagogies developed. Due to the project’s success, in 2019 it, will expand further to include more additional academics and institutions. It will continue to provide open, cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary global conversation to facilitate professional development based on the concept of open communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019
EventOpen Education Global Conference - Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Duration: 26 Nov 201928 Nov 2019


ConferenceOpen Education Global Conference
Abbreviated titleOpen Education for an Open Future
Internet address


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