C3 - ‘Collaborating, connecting campuses and communities’ Innovations in online professional development using digital integration

Day Day 2
Code C3
Start time 11:10
Developing research staff
Developing doctoral researchers
Developing supervisors and principal investigators
In a policy/strategic/leadership role

Dr Alison Matthews, Manager, Research Professional Development, Charles Sturt University

Dr Claire Davies, Researcher Development Coordinator, Heriot-Watt University

Dr Sara Tilley, Researcher Development Coordinator, Heriot-Watt University

Julie Kennedy, Researcher Engagement Coordinator, Heriot-Watt University

Davina Whitnall, Researcher Development Coordinator, University of Salford

Dr Mark R. Proctor, SFHEA, Academic Development Officer (Research), University of Sunderland

Dr Sandrine Soubes, Researcher Development Manager, The University of Sheffield

Workshop overview: 

Researcher developers are increasingly looking towards online provision to support the developmental needs of their students and staff.  The reasons for this include: to encourage participation and engagement from time poor researchers and part-time researchers, to be able to provide more with ever-decreasing budgets, and to support staff and students at international campuses and those who work or study remotely. We explore strategies to achieve a successful and engaging program of online professional development that focus on incorporating learning technologies in the virtual classroom, using effective instructional design and facilitation techniques, building capacity in researcher developers, support the research culture of the Institute and promoting cultural change. Integrating ranges of perspectives from academics in different types of institutions about what it means to develop as a researcher, and how to go about it, is at the core of this initiative. This session will challenge researcher developers to consider their own approach to ‘flipped- development” and the integration of flexible/ digital approaches to researcher development.

Case studies from multiple institutions and a range of experiences:

  • Charles Sturt University is Australia’s largest university in a regional setting, with 10 campuses, four study centres, and multiple partner locations around the world. With a widely-dispersed community of staff and students, the University has focused on supporting innovation in online learning and invested in infrastructure to connect people through online systems.
  • With campuses in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Orkney, Dubai and Malaysia, Heriot-Watt University (HWU)  is investing in online development training to ensure that researchers across its global campus have access to and receive equally high-quality support to enhance their skills and career development.
  • Researcher developers across several institutions including The Universities of Sunderland, Salford and Sheffield have collaborated to offer online, recorded and live broadcast sessions to support Researcher Development, providing a diverse source of perspectives.

Themes covered: 

  • Innovative and practical approaches to the professional and career development of researchers across all career stages and institutional contexts

Workshop aims: 

  • Exploration of recent case studies, experiences and examples of practice.
  • Present a detailed case study of online skills development provision in an international and local context.
  • Identify potential solutions for online provision, the benefits and drawbacks of such solutions.
  • Share the experience of online professional development from the perspective of a regionally-based, multi-campus University
  • Outline innovative strategies used to build engagement and interaction into online sessions to support the development of researchers in dispersed locations

Value for delegates:

This session will be of value to delegates who are interested in building or improving an online program of research professional development. Learn directly from case study experience on how to deliver online researcher development provision which has taken place in an international context. Consider advantages and challenges in integrating such approach in researcher development offers; it aims to encourage participants to reflect on their own approaches for such integration and explore opportunities to collaborate, connect campuses and communities.