What is the VicTeach professional learning community?
- we are a community-led group of staff interested in developing and sharing best practice in teaching and learning
- we welcome teaching staff, professional staff, postgraduate students, and anyone else interested in tertiary teaching and learning from any faculty, school, or division
- all are encouraged to listen, contribute and suggest new topics
- the sessions are designed to be informal, accessible, and enjoyable
- for a given topic, we aim to profile teaching staff who have explored the topic in their own classes, relevant professional staff and services, and associated theory/ best-practice
We established VicTeach because interest in many teaching issues and topics cuts across discipline boundaries. If you, for example, teach a large first-year class, run internships, or teach online you might share more of your teaching challenges with colleagues outside your school than with the person in the next office.
VicTeach began when a group of Victoria colleagues met at an off-site workshop for people interested in conducting research into their own teaching. We discovered we had many shared interests but found we hadn’t had opportunities to meet and share ideas. VicTeach facilities sharing of teaching successes, knowledge, ideas, expertise and challenges across Victoria.
What is a Professional Learning Community?
Professional learning communities are groups of colleagues who work together collaboratively to develop and improve their own teaching practice. Leadership is shared, and there is a practical focus on improving teaching and learning through trying out new approaches and sharing results. Professional Learning Communities have been found to support teaching and learning success, and our research suggests that VicTeach is developing many features of a Professional Learning Community.
In response to our survey, VicTeach community members particularly highlighted the fact that VicTeach supports community building, is organized from the ground up, creates a safe space to share ideas and experiences, and as a result, has a broad impact on the teaching and learning community at Victoria. Read more about VicTeach as a Professional Learning Community in this article, published by a cross-Victoria team of VicTeach community members:
Sue Cherrington, Anne Macaskill, Rhian Salmon, Suzanne Boniface, Sydney Shep & Jonny Flutey (2017): Developing a pan-university professional learning community, International Journal for Academic Development, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2017.139927