Technology enhanced academic development: Exploring approaches for professional learning in higher education

Open fishbowl

Katharina Freund
Australian National University

Sarah Thorneycroft
University of New England

Emily Rutherford
University of Canberra

David Bruce Porter
University of Wollongong

Carole Hunter
Charles Sturt University

Catch this session

Monday 4 December,  3.30pm – 4.30pm
Stream 2
Room R113


As universities move towards new methods of delivery for their teaching, academic development in higher education still relies heavily on face-to-face contact (Thorneycroft & Landrigan, 2014; Cochrane & Narayan, 2016). This fishbowl session will explore how technologies can facilitate new methods and paradigms for designing and delivering professional development. The combined pressures of increasing academic workloads and changing teaching methods make timely professional development essential and challenging (Gregory & Lodge, 2015). We will discuss the complexities and challenges of delivering effective staff professional development in this environment, and consider new solutions and opportunities using technologies. This session examines the issue of faculty professional development and how tools and technological innovations can inform and support effective practice.
The fishbowl participants represent a range of contexts in Australian higher education and will debate issues in professional development including:
Working with the limitations of staff time
Affordances and challenges for different modes of delivery, including face-to-face, self-paced, and synchronous online delivery
Working in partnership with faculty, central teams, and support teams
Options for encouraging, recognising, and incentivizing participation
Methods for recognition or credentialing professional development
Innovative and creative approaches to professional development
This session will present a realistic and research-informed view on the complexities of providing academic development in universities and will be of interest to educational designers, academic developers, academics, academic librarians, managers, and strategic leaders.

About the authors

Katharina Freund

Dr. Katharina Freund is a Senior Learning Designer at the Australian National University. She coordinates training and academic development on education technology, and leads educational design projects for ANU Online. Katharina completed her PhD in 2012 from the University of Wollongong on digital remix videos, fan practices, and online communities, and is a researcher on education technology and digital communication.
Sarah Thorneycroft
Sarah Thorneycroft is a Learning Designer at the University of New England. Her educational background is wide-ranging, including academic development, teacher professional development and primary and secondary teaching. She works extensively in the development of online teaching and learning, and researches in the fields of digital scholarship, practice-led innovation in teaching & learning, games-based learning and professional development.

Emily Rutherford

Emily Rutherford is an Educational Designer at the University of Canberra. She works in partnership with the academic staff from the Faculty of Business, Governance and Law on staff development projects, teaching strategies and innovation, as well as University-wide learning and teaching projects.

David Bruce Porter

Dr David Bruce Porter is Manager: Educational Technology in the University of Wollongong Faculty of Science, Medicine, & Health. David leads of team of technology-enhanced learning specialists to support and empower academics to use technology to innovate and transform student learning. David’s interests include educational technology leadership, academic support and development, and educational design.

Carole Hunter

Carole Hunter is a Lecturer in Online and Blended Learning in the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences at Charles Sturt University. She currently leads a team of Educational Designers in a large scale initiative to foster innovation and enhanced online learning across the Faculty. She has over 20 years experience as a teacher, writer and learning designer in four countries. Her current research interests focus on humanising approaches to the leadership and management of large scale online design initiatives and academic development.