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Shifting Professional Identities: Positioning Educators as Lifelong Learners in Higher Education

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 2:15pm – 3:45pm mini workshop



Room 8 – 303 B09 Sem



Ezrina Fewings
The University of Western Australia

Dr Ashleigh Prosser
The University of Western Australia

Dr Elaine Lopes
The University of Western Australia



The Educational Enhancement Unit at the University of Western Australia is developing a suite of high-quality professional development programs for educators in the Higher Education sector. These programs model best practices in learning and teaching and demonstrate metacognitive processes for effective learning. Developed from the EEU’s flagship ‘Enhancing Unit Design’ workshop series, the S.H.I.F.T. approach has been specifically designed to shift educators from perceiving themselves as knowledge disseminators to life-long learning facilitators.

This mini-workshop will be of value for all educators in the Higher Education sector. The mini-workshop will take participants through the S.H.I.F.T. approach, a five-step process that enables educators to redesign their professional identity. Educators will be supported to shift their perspective through a set of activities that follow the five steps below:

S.H.I.F.T (Scaffold, Higher-order thinking, Integrate, Facilitate, Technologies)
Step 1: Scaffold best practices in learning, to activate
Step 2: Higher-order thinking skills, and confidently
Step 3: Integrate strategies, to
Step 4: Facilitate metacognitive processes, while potentially employing educational
Step 5: Technologies for blended, online, hybrid learning environments.

When educators are (re)positioned as learners, their authentic experiences can influence their pedagogical practices in the future. The shift in perspective from educator to life-long learner highlights the uniqueness of this mini-workshop, as one’s professional identity broadens from subject-matter expert to life-long learning facilitator. This mini-workshop responds to a gap that is often ignored – that educators are learners just as much as their students. 

Through a series of interactive learning activities, participants will combine creating representations of their professional identity with crafting educator vision statements alongside their peers. Within an active learning context, educators will be coached to design a rich picture of their professional identity, participate in reflective practice, and showcase their output using the powerful teaching technique of storytelling, in a simulated environment of self-regulated learning. These authentic experiences will invigorate educators to design learning activities that replicate metacognitive processes, and help prepare for the challenges of the ‘augmented era’ within the Higher Education sector.


Presentation topic

Academics – Changing academic practice

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