Thursday, 1 September 2016

Principles to underpin the online learning and teaching induction program

Dear Colleagues

I'd like to have your input into the sorts of principles that you think ideally would underpin the learning and teaching induction program that we develop through this fellowship. While we don't yet know the form that the program will take, we do know that it will be fully online and that it is unlikely that any one person will be moderating the program (so many things to consider in designing the program).

I believe that it will be extremely useful if we could identify some core principles that underpin the work that we do. In this way, when we have decisions to make about the program, we can go back to the principles when needed.

Below are some principles that the Fellowship Reference Group have suggested for our consideration. I would love your opinion on these and also other principles that you would like us to consider.



The program is:

  1. engaging
  2. based in the context of the participant's work environment - relevant, authentic
  3. structured so that participants can easily see what pathway through the program best suits them
  4. brief, providing layers of information so that the participant has the choice to engage at a surface level of the topic/module or to delve further
  5. task oriented such that participants are asked to explore their own organisation and share what they find
  6. linked to institutional imperatives.


  1. Dear Kym and colleagues,

    here are my suggestions. I had been reading around the topic so I did get a bit carried away:

    encourages self-regulating (one's learning);

    adaptable structure and/or content to accommodate and integrate into academic disciplines outside teaching;

    linked with professional higher education practice;

    constructively aligned with current and future learning and teaching initiatives;

    able to accommodate opportunities for collaboration with colleagues through an online community of practice;

    linked with Higher Education teaching standards;

    structured to encourage integration of technology with pedagogy;

    and a few recent articles...
    Higher education teachers’ professional learning: Process and outcome
    Alenoush Saroyan a,Keith Trigwell Higher education teachers’ professional learning: Process and outcome

    An evaluation framework for identifying the effectiveness and impact of academic teacher development programmes
    Denise Chalmers, , Di Gardiner



  2. Dear Kym, I'm following this project with great interest, thank you.

    Like Bernie I'm wondering about providing for social learning possibilities, and also about participants who need to do induction at several institutions (declaration: I have a side interest in micro-credentialling).

    Might need to differentiate the quick, strategic learning described in point 4 from deprecated 'surface' learning?

    With best wishes

  3. Dear Penny,
    yes I am glad you brought this up! Many of the academic teachers new to ACU in Melbourne who attended my recent workshops were employed by at least 2 other universities either in Melbourne, Ballarat or online teaching in another state.

    So I do agree that differentiation is important.


  4. Hi Kym and Colleagues
    A few other principles that should be considered:
    * self-paced/ self-directing/self-reflective / self-reviewing - so self-regulating
    *opportunities for collaboration/ peer review/ peer reflection
    *does being 'engaging' include being interactive and mix of media
    *does being contextual include variety of case scenarios/ from disciplines/ levels/ types of institutions/ multi campus locations
    *How will the eventual online program be sustained? updated / web links checked/ kept current?
    Agree that the layered approach will be optimum - of core and extended pathways
    So much more to consider

  5. I agree with the principles already identified so far.

    Principles will cover the main elements that need to be overarching, yet generic enough to meet the needs of all users.

    My suggestion to limit the number of principles and keep the statements brief.

    Additional principles that may be relevant, if not already subsumed by the principles already identified?

    Evidenced-based practice
    Resources that include exemplars
    Central focus on the teacher academic motivations, e.g. career progression
    Reflective practice

  6. My apologies for coming late to this discussion. As I have read the posts, and have been thinking about the potential audience, I am wondering about the merits of some exploration of academic identity. How do our inductees see themselves - and what are their goals in terms of teaching as well as academics? I think this is becoming increasingly important as demands on teaching academics change.

    So, I would add a principle that we should allow the participants to reflect on their own identity/role/aspirations as a university teacher. This may also be helpful to them as they choose a relevant path to take through our material.