Preparing Academics for a Collaborative Future

The University of Adelaide, Australia


The ability to learn and work collaboratively is an important graduate attribute. Within higher education settings, interprofessional/interdisciplinary learning activities offer a range of opportunities for students to hone their collaborative capabilities.

In the health context, interprofessional learning curricula offer many opportunities for health profession students to develop collaborative capabilities. However, despite a shared objective of improving health care, there are significant challenges

associated with working across traditional health discipline boundaries especially within the core curriculum. Broad engagement of academic staff has also proven difficult.

Fully embracing interprofessional/interdisciplinary learning represents a deep shift in thinking about learning and teaching for many academic staff. There is a need to think and act beyond traditional discipline boundaries, to move beyond the concept of disciplinary silos and to embrace a more pluralistic understanding of education.

This round table discussion will focus on the following key questions:

  1. How best to assist academic staff in negotiating change in the way they conceive their teaching role?
  2. How might particular deficits in relation to specific knowledge, skills and/or attitudes limit academic staff engagement with interprofessional/interdisciplinary teaching activities?
  3. How might important attributes be enhanced through staff development activities?
  4. What might new models of interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration in learning and teaching look like? The facilitator will provide examples drawn from health and all participants will be encouraged to contribute their own disciplinary and interprofessional/interdisciplinary experiences to the discussion.

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