Leading Learning in the 21st Century: Engaging Educators and International Partners in the Practice of Online International Learning (OIL) through Collaborative Projects
AbstractShort Abstract: This paper presents an innovation that brings together international partnership working and online international learning (OIL) to enhance student-centred experiences. Using meaningful learning practices designed for collaboration and the transfer of knowledge to practice educators from two institutions, UK and Finland, were engaged with online collaborative working to enhance 21st Century HE through learning designed for this purpose. Full Abstract: The opportunity for practicing educators to be involved with Online Collaborative Learning (OIL) as part of part-time postgraduate programmes led to two HEI’s, UK and Finland, working collaboratively to create online learning experiences and shared practices. Walsh and Kahn (2010:3) observed that ‘increasingly, university staff and their institutions are engaging in collaborative working and partnerships in a variety of arenas’. Therefore, the challenge for this project was to bring together two international partners, with different programmes, assessments and cultures to achieve the common goal of engaging with OIL through active learning which was meaningful to practitioners. Learning that educators could go on to apply further and adopt within courses to enhance student experiences. Designing the innovation enabled collaborative learning to form across disciplines and countries. International teachers from two partner institutions underwent this new learning experience and discovered how it was possible to introduce OIL projects within the designs for programmes and learner-centred activities. Sixteen participants were involved in an online collaborative project. Groups were tasked with producing learning resources and objects that were shareable as part of coursework. Four groups became collaborative partners working completely online as a team to achieve differing assessment outcomes set by two HEI’s. UK participants created knowledge resources that could be shared by both institutes. Finnish participants investigated a range of technologies selecting the most appropriate to develop learning objects. As designers we share experiences of a successful innovation where trusted international partnerships, worldwide networks and future collaborative opportunities resulted. Those seeking ideas to enhance 21st Century HE practices through programmes and international online collaborative working will find this presentation of interest.