Participatory action research for professional development: changing our approach to distance learning

Tynan, Belinda; Stewart, Cherry; Adlington, Rachael; Littledyke, Mike and Swinsburg, Steve (2008). Participatory action research for professional development: changing our approach to distance learning. In: ASCILITE 2008 Conference: Hello! Where are you in the landscape of educational technology?, 30 Nov - 3 Dec 2008, Melbourne, Australia.

URL: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/melbourne08...

Abstract

This paper details a mini-case of (a) the implementation of a professional development program which underpins the design, development and implementation of renewing curriculum for improved distance education learning experiences; and (b) using an alternative open-source learning management system, Sakai. The methodology of Participatory Action Research (PAR) has proved important for gaining deep engagement and conceptual change of teaching and learning practices. The min-case reflects the voices of various members of the project throughout the first PAR cycle. The focus of this minicase is on ‘who leads’ in relation to professional development of/with academic staff. There is some focus on how the project came about, how professional development has been pursued and how one academic has experienced the process so far. The lessons drawn from the project at this first stage will be of interest to a wide audience especially in relation to the methodology. The lessons do not intend to be generalisable beyond this context but for many they will “ring true” and add to the substantive emerging field of professional development when using technologies for enhancing student learning.

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