Peer Learning Circles: Peer mentoring and evaluation of teaching within a Bachelor of Nursing program in Australia
Toohey, T and Betihavas, V and Say, RE, Peer Learning Circles: Peer mentoring and evaluation of teaching within a Bachelor of Nursing program in Australia, Places and Spaces Teaching Matters 2014, 2‐3 December, 2014, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 39. (2014) [Conference Extract]
The aim of this study is to report the experiences of new faculty’s participation in a community of practice (CoP) at a satellite campus of a major Australian university. The purpose is to examine how the experience of building portfolios through this CoP contributed to the enhancement of teaching practices and collegiality among staff members. As this project was conducted at a satellite campus of the University of Tasmania, the
sub theme of ‘Inner Space’ and 'That Place' is important to this project. How the staff at the satellite Campus perceive the larger main Campus can be articulated as ‘That Place’. As the portfolio building program was largely guided by academics from the main Campus, the connection with ‘That Space’ was notable. As participants came together and a community of practice evolved, a growing identity as occupiers of ‘This Place’ was reported. By utilising a CoP as the vehicle to drive portfolio building amongst academics, this program resounds with the sub-theme of ‘Inner Space’. This is a descriptive study. The Peer Learning Circle (PLC) program occurred over an eight-week period through fortnightly video conference link-up between staff presenting in Tasmania and staff attending the program on the satellite Campus. Following completion of the program, self-evaluations were completed by
the attendees. Thematic analysis was used to identify the experiences and attitudes of the participants within the program. In relation to the PLC, participants reported an experience of collegiality, teaching satisfaction and dynamism. An underlying theme that emerged was how this experience was shaped in the context of a satellite university campus. Dominant themes relating to portfolio building included professional development and career pathways. This study has shown collegiality and ambition are highly valued on satellite campuses. PLCs can be very effective in addressing feelings of isolation and retrograde career movement common to satellite university campuses. Portfolio building is highly compatible with PLCs in that it requires collaboration and engenders a spirit of ambition and progression in expertise.
communities of practice, portfolios, space, satellite campus