Who says academics don’t do CPD? Connecting practitioners and developing together through distributed cross-institutional collaborative CPD in the open

Main Article Content

Chrissi Nerantzi



In this paper, the author shares an emerging model to engage academics and other professionals who teach or support learning in Higher Education (HE) with continuing professional development (CPD). The model fosters informal cross-institutional collaboration through distributed and diverse communities of professionals for them to learn and develop with and from each other. A potpourri of pedagogical initiatives developed and offered as open educational practices and resources interwoven into each other using social media has been included. These illuminate opportunities for cross-institutional and cross-cultural CPD, highlight challenges as well as invite further exploration and research in this area.

Initial evidence indicates that open practices are changing the academic development landscape, and informal cross-institutional collaborations among HE Institutions and other partners can provide valuable opportunities for self-organised informal and formal academic CPD that strengthens relationships internally and externally and has an impact on practices and the student experience.

Article Details

Aspects of CPD Opportunities for Staff
Author Biography

Chrissi Nerantzi, Manchester Metropolitan University

Principal Lecturer in Academic CPD, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, PhD student in open education with a focus on cross-institutional collaboration


Armstrong, J., & Franklin, T. (2008). A review of current and developing international practice in the use of social networking (Web 2.0) in higher education. Franklin Consulting.

Bates, A. W. (Tony), & Sangra, A. (2011). Managing technology in higher education: Strategies for transforming teaching and learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Beckingham, S., Nerantzi, C., Reed, P., & Walker, D. (2015, January). Speedy professional conversations around learning and teaching in higher education via the brand new tweetchat #LTHEchat. Journal ALISS Quarterly. Available from http://www.alissnet.org.uk/

Bennett, L. (2012). Learning from the early adopters: Web2.0 tools, pedagogic practices and the development of the digital practitioner (Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.)

Browne Report. (2010). Securing a sustainable future for higher education, Department for Employment and Learning. Available from http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/publications/pubs-higher-education/browne-report-student-fees.htm

Conole, G. (2012). Fostering social inclusion through open educational resources (OER). Distance Education, 33(2), 131–134.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2012.700563

Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an Open World. London: Springer.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-8517-0

Conole, G. (2014). A new classification schema for MOOCs. The International Journal for Innovation and Quality in Learning 2014, Special Issues in Massive Open Online Courses, 2(3), 65–77. Available from http://papers.efquel.org/index.php/innoqual/article/view/164/44

Dearing Report. (1997). Higher Education in the Learning Society, Department for Education and Employment. Available from http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/

Donnelly, R. (2010, February). Harmonizing technology with interaction in blended problem-based learning. Computers & Education, 54(2), 350–359.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.08.012

Douglas, T., & Seely Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning. Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change.

European Commission. (2013). High level group on the modernisation of higher education. Report to the European Commission on improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions. European Union. Available from http://ec.europa.eu/education/higher-education/doc/modernisation_en.pdf

Freire, P. (2011). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Gibbs, G. (2012). Implications of ‘dimensions of quality’ in a market environment. York: HEA.

Gunn, C. (2011). Innovation and Change, In L. Stefani (Ed.), Evaluating the effectiveness of academic development. Principles and Practice (pp. 73–86). Oxon: Routledge.

Hawksey, M. (online). TAGS, available from https://tags.hawksey.info/

HEFCE. (2011). Collaborate to compete – seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education. Available from http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/year/2011/201101/

Higher Education Academy. (2013a). Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, Code of Practice. Retrieved from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/Code_Of_Practice.pdf

Higher Education Academy. (2013b). Measuring the impact of the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning (UKPSF). Available from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ukpsf-impact-stud

Littlejohn, A. (2002). Improving continuing professional development in the use of ICT. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 18(2), 166–174.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0266-4909.2001.00224.x

Mainka, C. (2007). Putting staff first in staff development for effective use of technology in teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(1), 158–160.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00624.x

Megele, C. (2014). Theorizing Twitter Chat. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 2(2), 46–51. Available from http://jpaap.napier.ac.uk/index.php/JPAAP/article/view/106

Nerantzi, C. (2011a). “Anyone there?” Online Problem-Based Learning within Academic Development. Unpublished MSc dissertation, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh.

Nerantzi, C. (2011b). Teaching and learning conversations. Flexible, bite-size staff development by, with and for academics. UCISA Best Practice guide on Engaging Academics with TEL (pp. 4-8). Available from http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/publications/engaging.aspx

Nerantzi, C. (2011c). Freeing education within and beyond academic development. In S. Greener & A. Rospigliosi (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on e-Learning, 10–11 November (pp. 558-566). Brighton Business School, University of Brighton: Academic Conferences International.

Nerantzi, C. (2012). A case of problem-based learning for cross-institutional collaboration. Special European Conference in E-Learning, Brighton 11, Special Issue EJEL, The electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL), 10(3), 306–314.

Nerantzi, C. (2014). A personal journey of discoveries through a DIY open course development for professional development of teachers in Higher Education (invited paper). Journal of Pedagogic Development, 4(2), 42–58. University of Bedfordshire. Available from http://www.beds.ac.uk/jpd

Nerantzi, C. (2015). Conceptions of open learners using FISh, a Problem-Based Learning design, used in a professional development course for teachers in higher education. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Nerantzi, C., & Beckingham, S. (2014). BYOD4L – Our magical open box to enhance individuals’ learning ecologies. In N. Jackson & J. Willis (Eds.). Lifewide learning and education in universities and colleges [E-Book]. Available from http://www.learninglives.co.uk/e-book.html

Nerantzi, C., & Beckingham, S. (2015a). Scaling-up open CPD for teachers in higher education using a snowballing approach. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 3(1), 109–121.

Nerantzi, C., & Beckingham, S. (2015b). BYOD4L: Learning to use own smart devices for learning and teaching through the 5C framework. In A. Middleton (Ed.), Smart learning: Teaching and learning with smartphones and tablets in post-compulsory education (pp. 108–126). Sheffield: MELSIG.

Nerantzi, C., Middleton, A., & Beckingham, S. (2014). Facilitators as co-learners in a collaborative open course for teachers and students in Higher Education. In Learning in cyberphysical worlds (eLearning paper), 39, 1–10. Available from http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/en/article/Learning-in-cyber-physical-worlds_From-field_39_2

Nerantzi, C., & Uhlin, L. (2012). FISh, a pedagogical design. Retrieved from http://fdol.wordpress.com/design/

Nerantzi, Uhlin, L., & Kvarnström, M. (2013). FDOL132 design, available from https://fdol.wordpress.com/fdol132/design/

Nerantzi, C., Wilson, J., Munro, N., Lace-Costigan, G., & Currie N. (2014). Warning! Modelling effective mobile learning is infectious, an example from Higher Education. UCISA Best Practice Guide using mobile technologies for learning, teaching and assessment (pp. 11–17). Available from http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/~/media/Files/publications/case_studies/ASG_Effective_Use_Mobile%20Learning

Oliver, M., & Dempster, A. D. (2003). Embedding e-Learning practices. In R. Blackwell & P. Blackmore (Eds.), Towards strategic staff development in higher education (pp. 142-153). Maidenhead, SRHE and Open University Press.

Palmer, P. J. (2007). The courage to teach. Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Redecker, C., Leis, M., Leendertse, M., Punie, Y., Gijsbers, G., Kirschner... Hoogveld, B. (2011). The future of learning: Preparing for change. European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Prospective Technological Studies EUR 24960 EN. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available from http://ipts.jrc.ec.europa.eu/publications/pub.cfm?id=4719

Reed, P., & Nerantzi, C. (2014, June). Tweet-chats: The new ‘condensed’ synchronous discussion forum? In C. Nerantzi & S. Beckingham (Eds.), Using social media in the social age of learning. Lifewide Magazine, Special Edition, 13–16.

Rennie, F., & Reynolds, P. (2014). Two models for sharing digital open educational resources. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 2(2), 17–23.

Smyth, K. (2009). Transformative online education for educators: Cascading progressive practice in teaching, learning and technology. In D. Remenyi (Ed.), Proceedings from the 8th European conference on e-learning, University of Bari, Italy, 29th-30th October. Academic Conferences International, 549–557.

Smyth, K., Vlachopoulos, P., Walker, D., & Wheeler, A. (2013). Cross-Institutional development of an online open course for educators: Confronting current challenges and imagining future possibilities. In H. Carter, M. Gosper & J. Hedberg (Eds.), Electric Dreams (pp. 826–829). Proceedings ascilite, Sydney.

TESEP. (2007). Transforming and Enhancing the Student Experience through Pedagogy. Scottish Funding Council, e-Learning Transformation Programme, JISC. Retrieved from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140702233839/http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearningsfc/sfcbooklettesep.pdf

UCISA. (2012). 2012 Survey of Technology-Enhanced Learning for Higher Education in the UK. UCISA survey report. Retrieved from http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/~/media/groups/ssg/surveys/TEL_survey_2012_with%20Apps_final

Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar. How technology is transforming scholarly practice. London: Bloomsbury.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781849666275

Weller, M. (2014a, 21 March). The Battle for open webinar. The Ed Techie. Available from http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/

Weller, M. (2014b). The battle for open: How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press Ltd.
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bam

Zourou, K. (2013). Open Education: Multilingual, user driven and glocalised. European Commission (2013) Open Education 2030 JRC-IPTS Call for Vision Papers. Part 1: Lifelong Learning, 33–37. Available from https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-cuW9MpLUC4YTB6MupnTktBbU0&usp=sharing