Presentation on theme: "ICED Conference 2012 Bangkok Across the Globe Higher Education Learning and Teaching."— Presentation transcript:
ICED Conference 2012 Bangkok Across the Globe Higher Education Learning and Teaching
Bridging the Gap. Faculty perceptions of institutional support and recognition for university – community engagement through the curriculum, and implications for organisational and faculty development. Presentation by Professor Lindsey McEwen, Environmental Management, University of West Of England, UK and Professor Kristine Mason OConnor, Learning and Teaching Innovation, University of Gloucestershire, UK
Who are we…..? Lindsey – formerly Director of the Pedagogic Research and Scholarship Institute UoG; now Professor, Environmental Management, UWE Research in community engagement – both pedagogic and subject-based research Kristine – Emeritus Professor Higher Education Development UoG, UK formerly Dean of Learning and Teaching Development background in sociology of education; Joint interest in community-engagement; supporting staff in different approaches to learning e.g. WBL, interdisciplinary learning
Current work …. Mason OConnor, K., McEwen, L. J., Owen, D., Lynch, K., and Hill, S. (2011) Literature review: embedding community engagement in the curriculum: an example of university- public engagement. Report for NCCPE, Bristol. Mason OConnor, K. and McEwen, L.J. (forthcoming) Developing Community Engagement. SEDA. (Chapter on staff attributes, quality assurance and building staff capacity; five institutional case-study approaches to community based learning)
The session Benefits to student learning and employability of community based learning (CBL). International literature review of CBL: calls for universities to engage with their communities; lack of recognition and support for staff/faculty involvement. International survey - key findings: mismatch between rhetoric and reality; barriers to staff/faculty involvement; facilitators of staff/faculty involvement. Participant discussion and good practice
Benefits of CBL to student learning and employability Experiential Reflection Flexibility, adaptability, initiative Problem based Team work Questions assumptions Links theory to practice Civic awareness
International Literature Review (Mason OConnor, et al., 2011) Two gaps: supporting staff / staff attributes strong focus on community engagement and research; less on community engagement and teaching
Pilot international e-survey (McEwen and Mason OConnor, report forthcoming) Institutional recognition and support for university staff/faculty involvement in university- public/community engagement –version 1: staff /faculty active in engagement –version 2: staff /faculty not active in engagement
Institutional survey: results E-survey sent around national and international networks (Nov11-Jan12) 103 responses – active in CE ; 36 responses inactive in CE Active in community engagement –male 47.6% female 52.4% –have interdisciplinary expertise 91.3%
Nationality – active in community engagement
Survey – discipline background
Q: Is University-public/community engagement included as part of your recognised workload/duties? Consistently problematic - some see the work as neither teaching nor 'scholarship/professional contribution', high stakes when this is a tenure cttee! Senior admins can be inconsistent - espoused beliefs don't match actions. ACTIVE n=103; INACTIVE n=36
Q: Does your institution offer staff support/ development specifically for University- public/community engagement activity? ACTIVE n=103; INACTIVE n=36 Central community engagement team/unit But mostly only for business engagement Informal, we should provide training but there's not enough time to do that as well as meet demand of role
Barriers to community engagement Lack of leadership, strategic direction and coordination
Barriers Workload, lack of time, other demands and priorities such as research Large teaching loads Bureaucratic procedures and non-facilitative structures
Barriers Perceived lack of value in relation to tenure and promotion Colleagues seeing it as lightweight and not as a worthwhile method of teaching Not generating income Feelings of isolation
Facilitators Acknowledgement in terms of promotion and recognised career pathways Time allowed in the allocation of academic duties Access to funding opportunities
Facilitators Institutions to establish networking opportunities for collaboration and mentoring Establishing information databases of engagement activities Multimedia support Developing a website of activities
Facilitators Staff development (workshops, seminars, conferences) to provide opportunities for sharing and training in a range of areas including: pedagogy of community engagement; methods to monitor and evaluate impact and effectiveness; staff awareness of issues relating to communities; gaining access to funding; working with external agencies.
Bridging the gap Implications for organisational and staff/faculty development
Bridging the gap – link strategic commitment with facilitating mechanisms for community engagement activity espoused, but not fully engaged with. limited commitment to meaningful action – encourage is a typical verb. university level as a high level, abstract goal in our strategic plan.
Bridging the gap: combine top down and bottom up approaches Alignments of strategic objectives regarding community engagement with KPIs. Promotion, funding models. University needs to be flexible enough to let staff run with good ideas and see how it develops.
Bridging the gap: Recognise, support and reward community engagement Recognising the specific skill set required to broker successful relationships and engage with the community. Recognise the value of community engagement and how it can enhance the profile of the university. Provide opportunities for sharing networks so other areas can benefit.
Initial conclusions Link strategic commitment with community engagement activity Combine top down and bottom up approaches Recognise, support and reward community engagement Establish coherent institutional staff development/ support (building on good practice elsewhere)
Initial conclusions (cont.) Identify community engagement in work load to address issue of time Create coherent opportunities to share experiences Draw on the enthusiasm of staff for community engagement and inform them of opportunities
To add to our international survey on institutional support and recognition for staff involvement in community engagement: https://surveys.glos.ac.uk/engagement_start_page https://surveys.glos.ac.uk/engagement_start_page To contribute a case-study to the Communiversity project –Professor Lindsey McEwen (University of West of England, UK) –Professor Kristine Mason OConnor (University of Gloucestershire) Project website address: communiversityproject.wordpress.com