Producing pedagogy

Burton, Lorelle and Lawrence, Jill and Dashwood, Ann and Brown, Alice (2013) Producing pedagogy. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. ISBN 978-1443-84592-2

Abstract

Higher education globally is operating in a highly volatile context, a consequence of the rapid globalisation and intense technological change characteristic of the early 21st century. These forces challenge assumptions about work, productivity, and international demand for knowledge, skills and resources, igniting needs for highly competent and educated graduates. Then there are equity demands about wider access to higher levels of training and higher education for personal growth as well as demands to advance national goals of innovation and technology in a changing world. At the same time, government scrutiny and reporting is increasing, external quality audits are in place and external pressures for change are escalating. Funding per capita is decreasing while competition is up; institutions are more commercial; students are more numerous, diverse and forthright about getting value for money paid; instances of litigation against universities are emerging. At the same time rapid developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have made possible modes and approaches to learning unimagined 30 years ago. For instance, there is a proliferation of more diverse sources of education and an increasing blending of various technologies, particularly digital, to deliver, manage, and support this education.

This volatility is exacerbated by more local and personal change forces. These include the need to manage the pressures for continuous change while simultaneously dealing with slow and unresponsive administrative processes. There are also challenges in finding and retaining high-quality staff, recruiting students in unpredictable economic times, satisfying increased government reporting and scrutiny, and balancing work and family life. These change forces generate questions about the extent to which a university is a place where new knowledge is created and where learning primarily is seen to involve transmission of set content using a 'one-size-fits-all' model delivered in lecture theatres, tutorials, and laboratories on a set timetable operated at the institution's convenience over fixed semesters.

To remain viable, universities must build their capacity to respond promptly, positively and wisely to this interlaced combination of 'change forces'. One answer is the instigation of an institutional learning and teaching redesign to enhance quality and promote good practice: A redesign capable of meeting future learning needs for the 21st century. However, efforts to develop capability in relation to learning and teaching vary widely across institutions. While some institutions focus on further developing individuals' knowledge and skills within their discipline, others provide an additional learning and teaching framework to build institutional knowledge and capabilities and connect them to the university's strategic plan. This book focuses on the second approach. Taking a longitudinal perspective, covering seven years and three separate research projects, the book describes the development and subsequent evaluation of a whole-of-institution approach to pedagogy.

The book presents nine chapters peer reviewed by esteemed colleagues and international experts in the fields of learning and teaching and higher education research and development. Chapter One sets the scene by outlining the development and adaptation of a whole-of-institution pedagogy at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), a regional university in Queensland, Australia. The chapter explains how a project team developed the rationale for an institutional pedagogy based on five associated pedagogical principles: Sustainability, Engagement, Scholarship, Flexibility, and Contextual Learning. Chapter Two reviews the literature underpinning each of these principles.

The initial impetus to produce the pedagogy was USQ's 2005 vision to be Australia's leading transnational educator. However two years later, USQ's vision changed to an emphasis on USQ's commitment to sustainability and flexibility. The transnational pedagogy became a best practice learning and teaching pedagogy. The research team was able to accommodate this change, as well as the others which were to follow, because of the applicability and continued relevance of the five principles both to in relation to USQ's strategic planning, and in the higher education literature.

Chapters Three, Four, and Five report the findings of a research study conducted to investigate the applicability of the five principles in relation to both students and staff in the USQ context. The research process and student results are documented in Chapters Three (the quantitative results) and Four (the qualitative results) while Chapter Five specifically investigates the students' perceptions and experiences of the Contextual Learning principle. Chapter Six discusses the staff results (both the quantitative and qualitative results).

In 2010 the authors were awarded a USQ Fellowship to develop an on-line questionnaire–the Self-Assessment of Learning and Teaching (SALT) tool–with inbuilt sources of information and support. The online SALT platform was designed to facilitate capacity-building among USQ academic staff using the five principles as a framework. The platform enabled staff to reflect, prioritise, and develop their learning and teaching design and delivery capacities in line with the principles described in this book. Chapter Seven outlines how the fellowship project, including how the SALT platform was developed and piloted. The chapter augments understandings already developed about the efficacy of two of the five pedagogical principles–Engagement and Scholarship. Chapters Eight and Nine enhance understandings in relation to the other three principles.

The final chapter, Chapter Nine, also reflects on the journey undertaken by the project team. The journey is contextualised against both USQ and Australian higher education imperatives to draw out threads related to the rapid changes impacting on higher education, in particular technological innovation, managerial governance, and quality assurance. In so doing, the chapter reviews the applicability of the five principles in constituting the core of a pedagogical approach. The approach needs to retain its relevance and be agile enough to ably respond to the rapid and complex shifts in the contemporary higher education environment. Chapter Nine thus anticipates a conceptual framework for developing a relevant, responsive, and agile institutional pedagogy.

This refereed volume provides an opportunity to gain insights about the development of pedagogy in a regional university as well as its capacity to reflect and to build staff and student knowledge, skills, and capabilities and connect them to the university's strategic plan.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 22620
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Item Type: Book (Commonwealth Reporting Category A)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2013 by Lorelle Burton, Jill Lawrence, Ann Dashwood and Alice Brown. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2013 00:51
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2017 04:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: online learning; flexibility; change management; student expectations; delivery methods; philosophical aspects; higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220202 History and Philosophy of Education
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22620

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