Breaking down the barriers to collegial engagement at the program level

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Curriculum Transformation Vol. 40

June, 2017, 455 pages
Published by
Ruth Walker & Simon Bedford
ISBN
978-0-9945546-6-6
Abstract 

This article describes the experiences of an Australian university Information Technology school that embarked on a journey of cultural transformation aimed at breaking down the barriers to collegial engagement at the program level. Using action research methodology, data was collected from various sources to evaluate the effectiveness of the transformation effort as well as the process of implementation. This paper focuses on the latter. The school shifted a pre-existing norm of separating the curriculum into course based silos whose proponents avoid the sharing of feedback that could inform appropriate program level change. In the rapidly changing higher education environment, leaders need to develop expertise in transforming practices. This paper enables leaders to engage in practice-based learning by providing a study of a real life problem. Kotter’s 8 stages of change are used to makes sense of the data from the action research process in order to reflect on how this collegial, evidence based approach to course and program design became “the way we do things around here”. The article offers insight to other schools that are seeking to implement a sustainable, shared approach to developing a collegial, open culture capable of supporting evidence-based curriculum transformation.

Keywords: Culture, leadership, transformational change

Breaking down the barriers to collegial engagement at the program level

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Venema, S. & Jeremijenko, S.