Towards free-range Academic Practice


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Hub for Education Research at Edinburgh Napier University

10 May 2012

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Towards free-range Academic Practice

  1. 1. towards free-range academic practice examples from Academic Development Chrissi Nerantzi Academic Developer @chrissinerantzi Edinburgh Napier University 10 May 12 Edinburgh
  2. 2. “A shift towards „openness‟ in academic practice as not only a positive trend, but a necessary one in order to ensure transparency, collaboration and continued innovation.” (Wiley, 2006, online).context
  3. 3. trial 3 monthsAssessment & feedbackfamiliarisation socialisation collaborative PBL Mills (2006) 5 stage-model sharing, feeding back
  4. 4. findings: open online collaboration multi-disciplinary groups group size rules community technology facilitation
  5. 5. sharing
  6. 6. impact
  7. 7. open TESS
  8. 8. opportunities
  9. 9. Free-range AP:Challenges and how do we overcome them?
  10. 10. references• Downes, S. (2010) New Technology Supporting Informal Learning, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence, 2(1), pp. 27–33.• Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Derry, S. J., Bitterman, A. and Hatrak, N. (2009) Targeting Transfer in a STELLAR PBL Course for Pre-service Teachers, The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, Volume 3, No. 2, Fall, pp. 24-42.• Marton, F. (1994) “Phenomenography as a Research Approach”, Husen, T. and Postlethwaite, N. (2nd ed) The International Encyclopedia of Education, Vol. 8, Pergamon, pp. 4424-4429, available at [accessed 7 Feb 2012].• Mills, D (2006) Problem-based learning: An overview, available at [accessed 5 Feb 2012]• Savin-Baden, M (2003) Facilitating Problem-Based Learning, Illuminating Perspective, Maidenhead: SRHE and Open University Press.• Scardamalia, M. and Bereiter, C. (1994) ‘Computer support for knowledge-building communities’ in The Journal of Learning Sciences, 3(3), 256-283.• Siemens, G. (2011) Moving beyond self-directed learning: Network-directed learning, 1 May, available at [accessed 27 Jan 2012]• Wenger, E., Trayer, B. and de Laat, M. (2011) Promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks: a conceptual framework, Rapport 18, Ruud de Moor Centrum, Open Universiteit, available at [accessed 3 Feb 2012]• Wiley, D. (2006) Open Source, Openness, and Higher Education, innovate, Oct/Nov, Volumne 3, issue 1, available at,_Openness,_and_Higher_Education.pdf [accessed 28 Jan 2012]
  11. 11. Using existing resources and expertise Developing and delivering sessions, more effectively through sharing and modules and programmes in exchange with other institutions. collaboration and partnership, thus enriching institutional offers. Utilising freely available social media Providing learners the opportunity to tools and technologies, accessible to or connect with other learners beyond owned by learners, enabling enhanced module and programme level and connectivity, thereby increasing buy-in. become active members of more open learning communities.Flashcards: benefits of sharing Adapting and creating resources Using opportunities for collaboration collaboratively, preferable as OER and and shared pedagogical and subject- sharing with other learning specific research and scholarly activities communities. to raise standards of teaching and create good relationships among institutions, transforming competitiveness into cooperation –aiming for a common good.
  12. 12. quotes
  13. 13. cross-institutional collaboration"Communicating with people from otherinstitutions was one of the best aspects of thetrial, it was good to exchange ideas withpeople from other institutions [...] it was noveland exciting – this aspect kept me going onthe trial really!"
  14. 14. multi-disciplinary groups“It was very positive. Especially because we allcame from different backgrounds. Enriching myexperience a lot. Because, I was a scientist and Ilooked at the problem in a very scientific way.Divided it in my head and categorised it. And theywere more global and social and personal. I didn’tthink very much on the personal aspect, aspect,as I told you, first of all, I was very sort of puzzledby the scenario and I felt, because I didn’t see theproblem to solve. And they saw the problem moreglobally and they had that insight that I didn’tperhaps have.”
  15. 15. group size“Actually we lost one person and that mighthave been a blessing actually. Just in terms 3people are easier to organise than 4.”
  16. 16. rules“The basic manners and etiquette must beclearly communicated at the beginning; Forinstance at the beginning I was apologising tocut others writing, but I later found out that itwas taken for granted. I wished that we had adiscussion on those very basic ethics andmanners working online within our team.”
  17. 17. community“real human contact–eye-to-eye, smile, feelingthe other’s real presence”“the sense of writing into a black hole”“I would have liked to come away feeling itwas more of a community being created”
  18. 18. facilitation“The chief thing that the trial highlighted forme was the importance of the facilitator to thesuccess of the project. It is a lot more workdoing things this way, and the facilitator needsto be pretty “hands on" in the absence of face-to-face meetings between group members.”
  19. 19. technologies“I was curious about the choice of tools. Werethey what facilitators felt comfortable with? Iam happy online. I forget how dauntingpeople find the technology. [...] Oh!, it is reallycomplicated. [...] How to buy in? To give themthe initial knowledge-base. People areselective of which platforms they use.”
  20. 20. towards free-range academic practicean example from Academic DevelopmentChrissi Nerantzi, Academic Developer, University of SalfordIn this session we will explore the benefits and challenges of free-range/open and cross-institutional learning using an onlineProblem-Based Learning framework.We will share findings from an experiment and take you on ajourney towards an open academic practice implementation at theUniversity of Salford.Do institutions, teachers and students benefit from such initiativesand how could we use such an online PBL framework to provideenhanced opportunities to connect, communicate and collaboratebeyond institutional walls?
  21. 21. towards free-range academic practice examples from Academic Development Chrissi Nerantzi Academic Developer @chrissinerantzi Edinburgh Napier University 10 May 12 Edinburgh