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Ascilite 2014 presentation


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Presentation for Ascilite 2014 - "Having your cake and eating it too: The rhetoric and reality of redesigning staff professional development"

Published in: Education
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Ascilite 2014 presentation

  1. 1. Professional development sucks
  2. 2. (gratuitous child spam)
  3. 3. Academic staff have a huge demands on their time, with full teaching loads, research requirements and administrative work filling their calendar. There is little free time available to attend professional development activities, and meetings and face to face teaching make it difficult to attend events. When staff are able to attend events, often overall numbers are low which provides limited opportunities to collaborate with peers. Workshop-style professional development is usually a single scheduled block of time (anywhere from one hour to full day workshops). The nature of these workshops mean that a large volume of content is presented in one sitting, usually with only the handwritten notes of the participant as lasting artifacts. Information retention in this situation is a challenge for even the sharpest memory, and subsequent requests for assistance or development due to forgotten content is common. Crumley (2011) notes that “retention of content...a few months after the course ended was shown to be only slightly higher than that of a control group that had never taken the course”. The University of New England has a relatively unique cohort demographic, with roughly 80% of students studying purely online. Additionally, teaching staff are bombarded daily with a need for “21st century technology-enhanced” learning models, lest MOOCs and other trends render them irrelevant (Palmer, 2012; Johnson et al, 2014). Experiencing professional development in a face-to-face low-technology environment creates a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ situation in which the method of delivery they are experiencing is completely disconnected from the methods of delivery they are expected to use in their own teaching. Low workshop attendance is endemic across the sector, and it is not unusual for some workshops to have low (or even no) registrations or high numbers of no-shows. Taking into consideration the fact that development staff have generally spent several hours preparing for each workshop, the ROI for both cost and effort is often extremely limited. It is common practice for professional development to be developed and delivered only within one institution, offered only to staff of that university. This results in a silo effect where many central teaching units across the sector are offering similar programs within a narrow context, none of which can be openly accessed. McGill (2013) lists a host of benefits to the provision of open educational resources (OERs), including collaboration, enhanced reputation and enhanced sustainability, that cannot be leveraged when professional development is offered only within an institution.
  4. 4. something something should probably change uh, the thing, you know
  5. 5. Let’s fix it.
  6. 6. (rebranding…)
  7. 7. Webinars • 116 uniques - 21% penetration • 3452 recording views
  8. 8. Coffeecourses • 6,584 page views • 114 comments on various course posts • 108 registrations (70 internal, 38 external) • 21 different institutions (including students, professional bodies and K12/TVET education) • 4 different countries
  9. 9. Did we win?
  10. 10. Ish. • Convenient! • Flexible! • More accessible! • Reduced workload! • Better ROI! • Cheap! • Quick! • Yay! but…
  11. 11. • Not a great learning environment • Less impact on practice • Doesn’t suit our needs • Yeah actually could you just give us F2F workshops? We like those.
  12. 12. oh but we’d like to learn about online teaching please