Roundtable Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Leading learning and teaching in a landscape of change and complexity (#188)

Trish McCluskey 1
  1. Deakin University, Williamstown, VIC, Australia

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)  In recent times there has been a relentless clarion call for a paradigm shift in the tertiary education sector, to leverage the affordances of digital technology and to better prepare students for an increasingly complex and rapidly evolving world of work and ongoing learning.  This change requires innovative leadership, creativity and vision. However, the question that will be explored in this round table is: are our existing models of academic induction, professional development and leadership capability building sufficient to prepare our upcoming learning and teaching leaders to forge a distinctive and differentiated future for our stakeholders?  Many graduate students transition into careers as teaching academics following internships as sessional tutors or research fellows. They often proceed to teach as they have been taught which usually emulates a traditional ‘deliverology’ model and although there is an expectation that they will complete a graduate certificate in tertiary education, this is not a prerequisite for employment and can often take a number of years to complete. Inevitably they find themselves in positions of responsibility such as unit coordinators or course directors with very little preparation for the complexities of this daunting leadership role in a rapidly shifting landscape.  This round-table will draw on the ‘wisdom of the participating crowd’ to map out a collaborative research project investigating the leadership development needs and sources of support for new teaching academics in a socially networked milieu. 

The proposal is to explore an action research approach premised on the principles of Connectivism which espouses the notion that “knowledge is distributed across a reciprocal network of connections, and that learning develops from the ability to construct and traverse those networks”. (Siemmens, 2005 & Downes, 2007)  

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

 This roundtable addresses the theme of Navigating Uncertainty and Complexity and focuses on the ongoing learning development of our graduate students and the skills, knowledge and dispositions required to prepare them for the world of work in Universities of the future.