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Type: Conference item
Title: What is innovation in learning and teaching within higher education?
Author: Baron, Judith Ann
Citation: The Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA) conference 2010: The Changing Face of Education, 24-25 September, 2010
Publisher: University of Australia
Issue Date: 2010
Conference Name: ERGA Conference (5th : 2010 : Adelaide, Australia)
Department: Centre for Learning and Professional Development
Abstract: What is innovation in learning and teaching within higher education? Is there a difference between innovation and excellence? Why focus on learning and teaching innovation within higher education? What are the characteristics of a learning and teaching innovator? This presentation will examine each of these questions including a review of two universities as well as ALTC criteria for learning and teaching citations, fellowships and excellence awards. Six different categories of criteria have been identified including: students; graduate attributes; the institution; leadership; curriculum design/methodology; online/ flexible delivery; and personal teacher characteristics. Contemporary literature indicates that there are other aspects which may be inferred from the above criteria, but are made more explicit as indicators of teaching innovation. Innovation can be defined as “to make something new” (Tidd, Bessant & Pavitt, 1997, Smith 2003, Potgeiter, 2004) and is derived from the Latin innovatio (renewal or renovation), based on novus (new) as in novelty. Teaching innovation can be described as “change in practice using educational technology” and within higher education contexts “significant change, and its potential to transform practice” (Hannon 2009). Alexander (2006) distinguishes between teaching innovations that are products versus processes. Examples of teaching and learning products can include stand-alone interactive audiopresentations using software such as Articulate™ or Adobe Presenter which embed multimedia, flash animation and quizzes. A teaching and learning process innovation can include problem-based learning, situational learning (eg online roleplay simulations) and self and peer assessment. Other examples of innovations within online learning include the use of ‘disruptive’ technologies which offer the potential for pedagogical innovation (Conole et al 2008) (Blin and Munro 2008) and user centred and Web 2.0 technologies to allow for collaborative learning and social construction of knowledge (McLoughlin & Lee, 2008; Downes, 2006; Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005). And also “Innovation can occur when practitioners use a variety of teaching and learning strategies: for instance, when they skew teacher-centred methods towards student control; when they support self-directed learning; when they facilitate activity-based and problem-based learning; and when they enable students to develop future oriented capabilities” (Mitchell et al 2003). Within the context of the 2010 ERGA conference theme of The Changing Face of Education, participants will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion to help inform wider research into enabling innovation in learning and teaching within higher education and the implications for professional development. This will be enabled with a case study outline to set the scene for discussion and include the aspects of evaluation that determine the effectiveness of an innovative teaching practice.
Rights: Copyright © 2010 The University of Adelaide
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Appears in Collections:Centre for Learning and Professional Development publications

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