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Next generation academic development: The metamorphosing educator

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 11:30am – 12:00pm parallel session



Room 2 – 303-G14, Sem



Ashwini Datt
The University of Auckland, New Zealand



‘Faculty development’ and ‘academic transformation’ are key issues for teaching and learning in 2019 (EDUCAUSE, 2019). An ongoing need exists for “digital architecture and components for learning that contribute to and enable the transitions” (Brown, Dehoney, & Millichap, 2015, p.3) in higher education. How do we adapt to meet the expectations of our learners who are either born (Palfrey & Gasser, 2008) or grow up digital (Tapscott, 2009)?

While 21st century technologies present great opportunities, their effective use challenges educators who don’t possess the requisite skills or experience to teach with them. Furthermore, there are institutional parameters that educators need to traverse. Who is listening to and addressing the concerns of these educators? How can they be encouraged to build their capacity for teaching with technologies?

This is a showcase of (1) a contemporary, process-driven approach to academic development; and (2) the transformation of a team of higher educators who adapted their teaching for a changing student cohort. Philosophy educators from a traditional, research-led university challenged themselves by offering a massive, open, online course (MOOC) that informed their scholarship of technology-enhanced learning (SoTEL) and led to the re-design of a large on-campus course. The process of designing, developing and facilitating a MOOC was an effective capacity development opportunity for these educators (Datt, 2017).

The effectiveness of the process-driven strategy will be demonstrated using data gathered on the experience of learners and educators. Also discussed will be the stages of capacity development, akin to phases of metamorphoses described by Nietzsche (a 19th century philosopher). In his 1893 novel, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, Nietzsche suggests that the spirit changes from a bearer of burden to a risk taker, to a transformed beginner ( The showcase will conclude by drawing parallels between the three phases of metamorphoses and the stages of transformation in the educators.



Brown, M., Dehoney, J., & Millichap, N. (2015). The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment: A Report on Research. Online: EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).
Datt, A. K. (2017). Learning to teach online through massive open online course (MOOC) design and facilitation. INTED2017 Proceedings, 3519-3525. Valencia, Spain: IATED. 10.21125/inted.2017.0875
EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, (2019). Retrieved February 22, 2019 from
Palfrey, J., & Gasser, U. (2008). Born digital: understanding the first generation of digital natives. Philadelphia, United States of America: Basic Books.
Tapscott, D. (2009). Grown up digital: how the net generation is changing the world. New York, United States of America: McGraw Hill.


Presentation topic

Academics – Academic Development

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