Re-conceptualising Approaches to Academic Development in Technology-enriched Learning Environments

James Cook University, Australia

Angela HILL
James Cook University, Australia


Reconceptualising professional development in a globalised world requires an understanding of a common driver. That of increased accountability: in relation to the quality and impact of professional development programs and in demonstrating return for investment in physical spaces and technology (Steel & Andrews, 2012; Chalmers et al 2012). There is abundant research around the use of technology in teaching and learning in the online environment and about the design of learning spaces. However, there is relatively little literature on effective academic development approaches which support the transitioning process when staff and students move into new technology-enriched learning spaces with new opportunities for active learning approaches.

This study contributes to re-conceptualising approaches to research in higher education, moving the scope of academic development beyond traditional 'professional development' for academic staff. Academic research into the effectiveness of technology in contributing to student learning outcomes is being complemented by working with the multiple stakeholders who support the student learning experience through initiatives such as; supported trials of new mobile technology, audio visual equipment and classroom furniture that inform the widespread introduction of new systems; the student Learning Space Mentors who support staff with the use of AV technology in new spaces; and capturing exemplars of good practice in collaborative learning spaces.

The JCU Learning and Teaching Academy Learning Spaces Special Interest Group is bringing together academic and professional staff from across JCU's north Queensland and Singapore campuses. Finally the Learning Spaces Leadership Group provides a central forum for discussion of operational and research-related issues.

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