About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7135-7143
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0629

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

A COHORT WITHIN A COHORT: THE ROLE OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF

C. Hickson

University of Alberta (CANADA)
In the present academic world, institutional administrators are faced with the need to be financially astute in managing large scale work environments that incur considerable costs at the same time as also ensuring that high quality educational experiences are provided to students. With the increase in popularity of undergraduate education, the need for viable programs to assist in the effective delivery of undergraduate courses and the support of the continued development of instructional excellence has become essential (Hickson, 2015). This is not an entirely new issue though as in 2002, Dyson and Hanley identified that the effectiveness of instructional delivery had already started to become a point of considerable interest for administrators at higher education environments. This was particularly due to the emerging and continued demand for accountability and reform. Therefore, institutions started to consider how programming experiences were structured in order to best support student learning opportunities. Such pressures resulted in a movement toward more learner-centered experiences (Doolen & Biddlecombe, 2014, Leisey et al., 2014) and an appreciation of the importance of developing learning communities in higher education environments (Cleveland-Innes, Garrison, & Kinsel, 2008, Lei et al. 2011) as learning communities had begun to be identified as being essential when aiming to support collaboration and promote high levels of learning (Rausch & Crawford, 2012). However, the vast majority of the research conducted on the importance and effectiveness of learning communities has focused on the perspectives of students and little attention has been placed on gathering the perspectives of the instructional staff members (Hickson, 2015). This paper addresses a long-term research project that has purposefully aimed to interpret and understand the experiences of a group of instructional staff members who work with a student cohort learning community. Although instructional staff members are viewed as being a part of the overall success of such learning communities, little else is known about the specific role they play in this success or their perceptions of their role. Therefore, this research provides a much needed “voice” to instructional staff members and provides new understanding on the cohort learning community from an instructional staff perspective. This research project has utilized action research as its methodology to systematically investigate, gather information about, and improve ways of operation (Creswell, 2014) within the role of instructional staff in a cohort experience. Year 1 of data collection created a set of initial findings that have been further explored and investigated in Year 2 of the study. Findings through the identification of constructs, themes and patterns after these two years of data collection have identified three main themes: the need of instructional staff to recognize their own potential as a cohort; the importance of creating platforms for communication between instructors for the sharing of information on cohort matters; and the need for the instructional staff members to spend time on developing the potential of the cohort and supporting its establishment with the student members.
@InProceedings{HICKSON2016ACO,
author = {Hickson, C.},
title = {A COHORT WITHIN A COHORT: THE ROLE OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0629},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0629},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7135-7143}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Hickson
TI - A COHORT WITHIN A COHORT: THE ROLE OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0629
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 7135
EP - 7143
ER -
C. Hickson (2016) A COHORT WITHIN A COHORT: THE ROLE OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7135-7143.
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