CROSSING OVER : PRACTITIONER TO ACADEMIC TRANSITIONS IN AN ONLINE BUSINESS AND LAW SCHOOL
The Open University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Taking an identity perspective to HRD in various areas is now thought to yield productive insights into various aspects of individual and group development across a number of disciplines (Black et al., 2017). This is particularly true in the case where individuals change career, for example moving from business to academia. Although there is a plethora of research on acquiring and legitimising academic identities ,(Henkel, 2005b; Billot, 2010; Anctil et al., 2008; Henkel, 2005a),there is little that specifically examines how business practitioners acquire salient teaching identities that align and are integrated into their overall business focused identities. Although it is recognised , that combining the two elements can cause profound stress and feelings of anomie (Knittel Mabry et al., 2004). There is also little research into which communities of practice (Wenger, 2007), are influential in contributing to feelings of salience in role, during such a transition , particularly in online teaching situations (Baxer, 2019).
Acquisition of an online teaching identity is known to engender different challenges its counterpart in a face to face environment (Baxter, 2010a; Baxter, 2011a). Baxter (2010) reports that this is due to lack of opportunity for modelling, combined with the very different types of engagement with students (Baxter et al., 2008; Baran et al., 2011), and the emotions that arise during online, all of which, influence motivation of online teachers (Fini, 2009). Mcuiggan, notes the role that the faculty plays in developing online teachers’ beliefs and assumptions about teaching (McQuiggan, 2007), whilst elements such as self-disclosure and boundaries are also known to play a considerable role in teachers’ understanding of role identity (Barak and Gluck-Ofri, 2007). Many academics within business schools come from senior roles in management, and are expected to make a rapid transition to business academic. However, as Blenkinsopp and Stalker report, whilst current managerial experience may provide the individual with an entrée to academia, once in post they often encounter ambivalent attitudes to this experience (Blenkinsopp and Stalker, 2004) Learning has a key role to play in the acquisition of any identity (Brown and Duguid, 1991; Black et al., 2018; Baxter, 2012), and, with this in mind this project adopts a case study approach within an online business and law school to examine:
a ) What type of development do academics from business (AFBs) feel most develops their ability and confidence to teach
b) What areas do they need most support in?
c) What kind of learning, informal and formal, do they feel equips them to be good professional online academics and teachers
d) What communities of practice do they draw on to enhance their new identities?
e) What are the implications of a-d for the development of new business academics from the business /public /third sector ?
This project draws from a sample of 15 business academics to investigate the issue.
They will be interviewed for approx. half an hour each on the phone or at a location of their choosing. The interviews will be semi structured and draw on identity research carried out by the PI in this area (Baxter and Cawley, 2010; Baxter, 2011b; Baxter, 2011a) . The data will be anonymised and coded via a thematic framework drawn from previous research (Baxter and Hult, 2017) .
Keywords: Academic identity, professional development, online teaching, online learning, business, community of practice, e-learning, blended learning.