PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION TEACHING STAFF: AN EXPERIENCE OF PEER LEARNING IN A PORTUGUESE POLYTECHNIC
1 School of Education and CI&DEI, Polytechnic of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2 Polytechnic of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
3 ESTGV and CISeD, Polytechnic of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Several challenges have been tackled by Portuguese (Fernandes, 2016; Mendes et al., 2016) and European Higher Education, many of which are in the pedagogical arena. Although Pedagogy in Higher Education is not an invested area, there are studies, initiatives, projects, and structures of great quality in the national context (Costa, 2019; Fernandes, 2016; Gonçalves et al., 2010; Vieira et al., 2016; Pêgo & Mouraz, 2017; Vieira, 2017). An important part of the advances in the area has resulted from the systematic analysis, sharing, and discussion of practices that have embodied several publications and sustained several interventions in Portugal and internationally. The EQuIPES - Study of Quality and Pedagogical Innovation in Higher Education aims to contribute to this body of experiences and studies that allows to understand and improve teaching and learning in Higher Education institutions, based on the analysis of practices in the Polytechnic of Viseu (PV) in communication with external partners. The PV has five schools with a teaching staff of 400 members for 5400 students. The programs range from professional learning (level 5, no degree) to Masters level, with a large percentage of students enrolled in Bachelor degrees from different areas (teacher education, social work, and education, nursing, community health, engineering, arts, design and multimedia, marketing, management, tourism, media studies, agriculture, public relations, information and communication technologies, and sports). The majority of PV’s study programs are professionally oriented, in line with the mission of the polytechnic Higher Education system. This holds true for EQF level 5 programs but also for the BAs and MAs. Each program is designed in close proximity and alignment with professional contexts and practices. The supervised practical training in professional contexts is combined with project-based learning throughout the programs and there is a strong emphasis on active learning strategies. These pose challenges for Pedagogy and pedagogical knowledge and competencies, developed in the workplace through action, but also through reflection (Kuh et al., 2010). Peer learning and discussion groups are important for supporting those processes. Pedagogical action becomes something that is shared, regardless of scientific areas (Behrens & Junges, 2018). In the discussion of pedagogical practices, a focus on the learning and the students is important and technology has been highlighted as facilitating that shift (Sharples, 2016). In the past year, a group of seven professors developed a set of opportunities to share and discuss practices, named “Apps & Things”, that ran 10 workshops. In this paper, we will present the set of workshops and analyze the pedagogical elements of each one, as well as how the technology was articulated with the pedagogical elements. The pedagogical elements identified were: assessment and evaluation; communication and interaction; planning and monitoring work; distance learning; students’ participation; and trust. The results also include how the colleagues that participated in the workshops (around 25 in each) valued the pedagogical elements and what challenges were shared regarding them The experience is discussed in terms of the EQuIPES framework, intending to contribute to the visibility of Pedagogy in Higher Education, associated with peer-to-peer training opportunities and experiences.
Keywords: Higher education, peer learning, pedagogy.