This resource is intended primarily as a facilitator of critical dialogue as the basis for the development of academic practice (see, for example Appleby & Pilkington, 2014; Killick, 2018). It derives from research with academics involved in the learning, teaching, and assessment of diverse students in diverse contexts. It may be particularly useful for:
- Academics collaborating with others on the design and/or delivery of programmes of study in different countries or cultures or academic traditions;
- Academics working with students from different countries or cultures or academic traditions;
- Academic developers working with faculty from different countries or cultures or academic traditions;
- Academic developers working with faculty whose students are from different countries or cultures or academic traditions;
- University leaders in learning and teaching planning extensions or expansions to university engagement with students and/or academics from different countries or cultures or academic traditions.
The tables which form the basic ‘tool’ are derived from a ‘concept mapping’ (Novak & Cañas, 2006) study which sought to capture how diverse academics in diverse contexts conceptualised key issues in learning, teaching and assessment. The small-scale study involved a limited number of countries (Swaziland, Japan, Malawi, Spain, Nepal, England) and institution types (private independent university, private global group university, private college, public college, public university). Neither the research nor the tables presented here claim to be in any way ‘representative’, nor do they claim to capture all key issues. The tables do, however, identify faculty perspectives on a range of topics, any of which might lead to meaningful professional dialogue, and which collectively have potential to enable those conversations to bring forth the issues which are representative of the key concerns of dialogue participants and their contexts.
Wherever possible, the tables capture exactly the language used by the research participants. This in itself highlights some differences and similarities between participant groups – for example, the use of ‘staff’, ‘teachers’, ‘lecturers’, or ‘professors’ to refer to academics in their learning, teaching and assessment roles. For clarity, sentence structure has occasionally been slightly modified, or a consistent term for a concept has been introduced. Where there has been an addition to the actual content by way of clarification, this is enclosed in square parenthesise. Where very similar relationships occur on more than one concept map, these have not been repeated. Themes are, inevitably, not watertight categories, and in some cases a statement could have been allocated to more than one Theme.