Promoting professional learning for academic teaching practice

An Innovative Research Universities (IRU) project led by La Trobe University, funded by an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Extension Grant

The project involves the development of an approach to the recognition of formal and informal professional learning activities in the area of learning and teaching for academics across the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) network.

The project extends the work of two previous Australian Learning and Teaching Council/Office for Learning and Teaching projects: Preparing academics to teach in higher education (Hicks, Smigiel, Wilson & Luzeckyj, 2010) and Measuring the effectiveness of academic professional development (Chalmers, Stoney, Goody, Goerke & Gardiner, 2012). It also builds on the Australian university teaching criteria and standards (AUTCAS) project (Chalmers, Cummings, Elliott, Stoney, Tucker, Wicking & Jorre, 2014) and its extension project (Chalmers et al, 2015).

The focus is on how individual professional learning activities, broadly defined to include educational development projects as well as accredited units of study, can be recognised across universities. A flexible approach is required that accommodates recognition of activities that might contribute to accredited graduate certificate programs or non-accredited professional development programs. The emphasis is on the cross-university recognition of elements that might contribute to local programs within each university rather than on developing collaborative programs across universities.

The Project

The Project Includes:
  • Identification of professional learning activities in participating IRU universities, such as formal and informal courses, formal units of study, workshops, seminars, peer review activities and curriculum renewal projects.
  • Development of a framework for the recognition of these professional learning activities across the IRU network.
  • A workshop in which representatives from partner universities work on the development of the framework and the development of processes for its use.

The Project Team

The Project Team:
  • Associate Professor Rhonda Hallett, La Trobe University (Project Leader)
  • Emeritus Professor Roger Gabb, La Trobe University (Project Officer)
  • Dr Trish Andrews, La Trobe University (Project Adviser)
  • Alison Reedy, Charles Darwin University
  • Professor Heather Smigiel, Flinders University
  • Dr Jude Williams, Griffith University
  • Kathryn Meldrum, James Cook University
  • Dr Lisa Carey, Murdoch University