Development of the new academic: The case for blended delivery

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 34: Higher Education on the Edge

July, 2011, 394 pages
Published by
K. Krause, M. Buckridge, C. Grimmer, & S. Purbrick-Illek
0 908557 85 X

This case study reports the design, implementation and evaluation of an academic induction program, delivered using a blend of in campus and online environments at Macquarie University. The Teaching Induction Program (TIP) was designed to provide professional learning opportunities to novice academics in the Faculty of Business and Economics, particularly sessional staff. A five-point philosophy underpinned the design, ensuring TIP offered a collaborative, reflective, evidence-based, discipline-embedded and student-centred experience. To investigate the effect of the program and in particular the use of digital technology such as wikis, videos and online discussion forums in the delivery of the program, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve program participants. Findings show positive gains in their professional learning, enhancement of their attitudes towards using digital technologies in teaching and learning as well as building a community of practice among sessional staff. This paper argues that blended delivery can be used as an effective and complementary tool to reflectively introduce and engage new academics in their teaching endeavours.

Keywords: Blended delivery, academic development, learning technologies