Official starting date 14 January 2013
Institution: Edinburgh Napier University, Faculty of Health. Life and Social Sciences (moved to School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care in April 2016)
Director of Studies: Dr Karen Aitchison (until April 2014) then Dr Sandra Cairncross
PhD Supervisor (1): Prof. Keith Smyth
PhD Superviror (2): Tom McEwan, from April 2014 to July 2015
Working title: Towards cross-boundary friendly collaborative open learning within cross-institutional academic development
Where I am now? Working on final edits, submitting thesis on the 15 May 2017
Anticipated completion: Before August 2017
A few words about this study: This is a phenomenographic study investigating collaborative open learning experiences within two cases in the context of open cross-institutional professional development provision of teachers in HE. Through this research, I developed an openly licensed cross-boundary collaborative open learning framework, which is one of the main outputs.
Methodology: phenomenography (Marton)
Data collection: collective case study approach (Stake)
1. FDOL132 University of Salford, then MMU and collaborators from Karolinska Institutet (all data collected, transcribed, entered into NVivo, March 2014)
2. Creativity for Learning in HE MMU and collaborators from University of Macedonia, London Metropolitan University, University of Hull, Lifewide Education, Creative Academic (all data collected December 2015)
remote phenomenographic interviews (main)
initial and final survey instruments (complementary)
Academic development in the United Kingdom (UK) has been criticised recently for being behind the times and for not modelling innovative and technology-supported practices. Concurrently there are increased external pressures to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK to engage large numbers of academic staff in CPD to gain a teaching qualification and/or professional recognition, to enhance their teaching practice, and to raise the quality of teaching in order to achieve teaching excellence including the student satisfaction at institutional experience.
The UK Government view is that teaching excellence can be achieved through competition and financial incentives. However, academic staff collaboration and open education, combined can provide an alternative model. The call for more outwards facing and connected CPD by academic developers point towards real opportunities in this area where cross-institutional academic development and collaborative open learning can play a key role.
This thesis reports research that provides some options in respect of issues in this area. It is a phenomenographic study, which explores the collaborative open learning experience of academic staff and further open learners in two specific cross-institutional academic development courses with collaborative open learning characteristics using digital online technologies.
The findings demonstrate the impact it had on the study participants’ experience and the benefits and positive nature of collaborative open learning in cross-institutional academic development.
The study not only adds to what is known about collaborative open learning in cross-institutional academic development, but provides evidence for academic developers and course designers about the benefits of crossing boundaries (i.e. open learning) in an academic development context.
The study concludes with the proposal of an openly licensed framework developed with the aim of informing academic developers who may be considering and planning to model such approaches.
posts linked to my research can be accessed here.