A practitioner's journey exploring transformative approaches to the professional development of online educators

Abstract

In this study, the principles of transformative learning theory, a subset of constructivism within adult education, were applied to the design of professional development experiences for educators in online settings.

This study of transformation focused on change existing in two forms: the transforming of perspective (how people view the world and their work); and the transforming of action (how this translates to their practice). Using an action research framework, I investigated how best to prepare tertiary educators to teach (and learn) in online environments. Located at an Australian regional university, I collaborated with teachers from a polytechnic in Singapore to build the professional capacity of the group in online learning and teaching.

The challenge for a collaborative practitioner planning and conducting research that enabled informed decisions to be made about action and practice was balanced by the opportunity to trace transformative learning processes through the highly visible online environment. In this paper, I employ the notion of learning as a journey to describe, reflect upon and interrogate my doctoral research design.

Authors

Shirley Reushle
Faculty of Education; Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland, QLD

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Keywords

online learning; transformative learning; adult education; action research

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