This presentation critically introduce CampusMoodle Audit Tool (CMAT) online peer –mentoring project, share lessons and findings from research on CMAT project for sharing best practice. The rationale was derived from student feedback in Staff Student Liaison Committee meeting. Students voiced a concern of disparity between modules delivered through the School’s VLE areas. A subsequent audit demonstrated that the VLE interfaces captured customary sections. However, by exploring the VLE in more detail, a few differences were noted. Primarily, that the module coordinators varied their presentations of the module interface to suit the topics and course content.
During the initial consultation stage in the School, four staff development workshops were organised. Such an inclusive approach, fits the ethos of creating ‘communities of practice (CoP)’, based on the early work of Lave and Wenger (1991). However, CoP theory highlights the existence of expert-novice relations within any community or social presence (Wenger, Hawkins and Seifer 2012). As a result, this project was driven by a more inclusive approach with the academic community from the start of CMAT project, to be involved in a refinement of the CMAT framework. Preparation for the initial CMAT project consisted of the following: a staff workshop explored current perceptions of ‘best online LTA practice’, after which the CMAT was refined; a draft CMAT was subsequently shared and discussed with 20 academic staff who commented on the tool; a School of Nursing and Midwifery ‘Best Practice Guide for Technology Enhanced Learning’ was also disseminated. Meanwhile, an all staff workshop exploring integrating the 3E Framework (Smyth 2013) into VLEs was held. The central VLE development department in the university utilise “the 3E framework to Enhance and Extend learning, and Empower the students” for consensus in the VLE. Such a peer-reviewing approach is in concordance with a study by Little (2009), who cautioned that academics require additional training in peer-reviewing, when using peer reviewing tools for the first time. Hence the staff workshops not only provided technological support for utilising the CMAT but also included guidance around constructive feedback and courageous conversations (Mangin and Stoelinga 2011; Kowalski 2017).
Findings from the first phase is shared in this presentation with important lessons learned from setting up such an innovative but voluntary project. Aligning CoP theory, some of the issues centralised around twelve themes; expert/novice (inexperienced) members; voluntary participation continuous communication and support; power; informed decision making by using the toolkit; toolkits development (standardised); trust; security; terminologies; anonymity; confidentiality and balancing relationships. The findings also allow initiating the discussions around peer-mentoring versus peer-review, belongingness and emotional intelligence concepts for the development of module materials as well as teaching-learning experiences in the School community. In order to provide openness, the feedback from participants indicated that anonymity was a barrier for them to further discuss their comments. Besides, many suggest that this process should become mandatory for all module leaders to be beneficial in the School. Finally, the other Schools could participate to peer-mentoring project to expand the expert-novice experiences for wider feedback.
KOWALSKI, K., 2017. Giving and receiving feedback: Part I. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 48(9), pp. 395-396.
WENGER, L., HAWKINS, L. and SEIFER, S.D., 2012. Community-engaged scholarship: critical junctures in research, practice, and policy. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(1), pp. 171-181.
LAVE, J. and WENGER, E., 1991. Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. London: Cambridge University Press.
MANGIN, M. and STOELINGA, S.R., 2011. Peer? Expert? Teacher leaders struggle to gain trust while establishing their expertise. Journal of Staff Development, 32(3), pp. 48-51.