About this project
‘Not a Waste of Space’ is an Office for Learning and Teaching funded project involving RMIT University (lead institution) and the University of Melbourne. The project aims to design and validate a flexible and ‘just-in-time’ professional development approach for academic staff teaching in new generation learning spaces (NGLS). The project is investigating effective approaches for professional development for academic staff teaching in NGLSs.
Suggestions from staff at RMIT and University of Melbourne on what would motivate them to undertake professional development activities on NGLSs will be sought. In addition, staff already teaching in these areas will be asked what types of professional development activities would have helped them to teach in these spaces.
Based on this feedback, and in collaboration with first time users of new generation learning spaces and new staff members from both RMIT University and The University of Melbourne, a number of professional development resources and an implementation ‘eGuide’ will be developed. Staff will be invited to trial the professional development activities and provide feedback on the activities and the professional development approach.
In addition, ongoing feedback on the development of professional development resources will be sought through Council of Australian Directors of Academic Development (CADAD). Three universities will also be invited to validate the approach, resources and ‘eGuide’. Feedback will inform further refinement of the resources and approach for distribution across the sector.
The outcomes of the project are the design, development and validation in university contexts, of an academic staff professional development approach with accompanying resources and an implementation ‘eGuide’ for learning and teaching in NGLSs.
The ultimate goal of the project is to help staff to improve their teaching practices in NGLSs that enhance student learning experiences and to make innovative approaches and resources widely available for sector wide use.
Specifically, the project will investigate the following questions:
- What are the professional development needs of academic staff teaching in NGLSs?
- In what ways do academic staff believe their professional development needs are best met?
- What are the drivers for staff to engage in professional development activities?
- What does the research on professional learning of academic staff and the effective use of NGLSs reveal about best practice in professional development for NGLSs?
- What approaches, including just-in-time resources, encourage staff to engage in professional development about teaching effectively in NGLS?
- What are the financial/resource requirements/implications of various professional development activities?
- How can effective and accessible professional development activities be embedded within organisations?