The Flinders University Teaching and Learning Scholar program has been designed to contribute to a distributive leadership model for teaching and learning and to encourage development and innovation in learning and teaching across the University. It also supports continuing professional development in learning and teaching in faculties.
Each year, Executive Deans are asked to nominate a Faculty Scholar to undertake a teaching and learning project chosen by the faculty. The process of nomination is different in each faculty. Often there is a call for expressions of interest but in other situations someone is nominated because of their expertise or perceived leadership potential. The position of faculty scholar is sometimes nominated in turn to schools within the faculty.
Through involvement and leadership of two national OLT projects (2008-11) the Director of the former Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching researched the required elements for successful implementation of faculty scholar programs. These elements are embedded in the Flinders program and include:
- Nomination of the faculty scholar and the project by senior leadership in each faculty.
- On-going support and mentorship from within the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, including attendance at monthly meetings to discuss progress.
- Support and regular meetings with the DVCA.
- Development of a support group among the faculty scholars.
- Regular reporting within faculties through the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning and the Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee.
- A requirement to share progress and outcomes of the project across the university and within the faculty at the end of the year.
As well as personal benefits, the initiative provides valuable opportunities to engage with like-minded staff from across Flinders. There are also wider benefits to students, Faculties, Schools, and the University in taking forward innovation in learning and teaching through this distributive leadership approach.
Supported by the former Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, Faculty Teaching and Learning Scholars from 2008-2014 have each recorded a video providing an overview of their project. Some scholars have also prepared a poster that displays the outcomes of their project.
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