Opening-up the HE box through cross-boundary collaborative open learning in cross-institutional academic development

Chrissi Nerantzi

The Open University, UK.

This contribution reports on the development of an openly licensed cross-boundary collaborative open learning framework for cross-institutional academic development, one of the key outputs of a doctoral phenomenographic study.

While competition and financial incentives seem to be the drivers for teaching excellence in the United Kingdom, this study proposes collaboration and openness instead. This includes practitioner-led collaboration among Higher Education Institutions, as well as collaborative open learning among diverse academic staff, students and the public.

Two opened-up cross-institutional academic development courses developed and offered using social media were used to explore the lived learner experience in collaborative open learning in these settings through a series of semi-structured interviews which formed the basis of the phenomenographic analysis. The findings illustrate learner engagement patterns of the ‘selective’ and ‘immersive’ collaborator, their behaviours and needs, which were used to inform the framework. They also provide evidence about the fluidity of open learning online and offline, and the impact cross-boundary learning experiences and community have for engagement and learning.

This study has shown that cross-boundary collaborative learning can act as a powerful motivator for engagement in professional and personal development. Can we afford to ignore collaboration and openness as drivers for teaching excellence and innovation?

Presentation

Opening-up the HE box through cross-boundary collaborative open learning in cross-institutional academic development from Open Education Consortium