Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Application of On-line Professional Pedagogy at a Research-Intensive University

My aim when enrolling in studies of university teaching, about a year ago, was to learn more about how to teach on-line and blend that with research supervision. For the "capstone" course I am required to prepare a report on what I have learned. So I thought I would do it in the form of advice for the university, which is looking at the role of e-learning and how to train its staff. Here is what I propose to do over the next few months (comments, corrections and suggestions welcome):

Research Project Outline

Title: The Application of On-line Professional Pedagogy at a Research-Intensive University

Student: Tom Worthington

Version 3.1
Research Question: How can the tools and techniques which have been developed for on-line postgraduate professional education be applied to supervision of higher degrees?
Importance: Universities are under pressure to accept students with a wide range of backgrounds and to rapidly produce graduates with work relevant skills. The traditional approach of having graduate students gradually absorb skills in an ad-hoc way on campus, from staff who learned their craft the same way, is no longer workable. ANU policy makers discussed the current use of online education (ANU Academic Board (2012) and future use (ANU Council, 2012) in July 2012. However, there appears there is no published comprehensive strategy to transition ANU to research-intensive on-line education and supervision. Such a strategy is needed to enhance ANU's position as Australia’s pre-eminent research-intensive university (ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Research Training,  2011).
Proposed Approach: Investigate how to progress the core objectives of The Australian National University's strategic plan (ANU, 2011) using on-line pedagogy developed for professional education. Look at existing policy and procedures of vocationally oriented universities for professional doctorates which combine coursework and research. Also look at adapting techniques from non-university programs, particularly the Australian Computer Society's certification and education programs. Draw on experience of designing vocational on-line courses using mentored and collaborative e-learning for the Australian Computer Society and ANU, plus experience in formulating the Defence Department's on-line policy.
Suggest how policy might be framed to cover both professional and research degrees, combining coursework and research. Investigate the use of the framework of Lee (2012) for research supervision (Functional, Critical Thinking, Relationship development,  Emancipation and Enculturation) with Lindley (2007) on professional education derived from  using a methodology derived from Salmon's Five Stage Model (2002).
This could use an e-portfolio provide evidence of skills beyond the dissertation, as is planned for University of Canberra from 2013. Also Peer Endorsement of Skills and Expertise, as being introduced on LinkedIn could also be considered.
Resources needed: Consult with colleagues in ANU and ACS.


ANU. (2011). ANU by 2020: The Australian National University. Retrieved from http://about.anu.edu.au/strategy-reviews/anu2020
ANU Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Research Training. (2011). Code of Practice - Supervision in Higher Degrees by Research: The Australian National University. Retrieved from http://policies.anu.edu.au/policies/code_of_practice_supervision_in_higher_degrees_by_research/policy
ANU Academic Board. (2012). Academic Board Minutes Meeting No. 2/2012: The Australian National University. Retrieved from http://about.anu.edu.au/__documents/committees/academicboard/abminmtg2_2012.pdf#page=9
ANU Council. (2012). Council Minutes for 27 July 2012: The Australian National University. Retrieved from http://about.anu.edu.au/__documents/council/meetings/nonconcclmin270712.pdf#page=6
Lee, Anne Dr (2012). Successful research supervision : advising students doing research (1st ed). Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon
Lindley, David. (2007) Computer Professional Education using Mentored and Collaborative Online Learning [Online]. Retrieved from http://www.ijcim.th.org/SpecialEditions/v15nSP4/P09SEARCC_ComputerProfessionalEducation.pdf
Salmon, G (2002), e-tivities: The key to active online learning, Kogan Page Limited, London.

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