Teaching staff in higher education cite time constraints as a significant barrier to engaging in professional development (Brownell and Tanner, 2012). To address such issues, the literature highlights the need for flexibility and accessibility in the provision of Professional Development (PD) (Rientes, 2013; Teras, 2016). Moreover, findings show that flexible modes of delivery, professional recognition, and pathways to accreditation including inter-institutional recognition of prior learning (RPL) would significantly enhance current programme provision, uptake, and future sustainability.
The FLEXIPATH project will illustrate how work-based, formal and informal learning can be combined to provide accredited flexible pathways of PD. It will design flexible PD pathways for the professionalisation of those who teach or support teaching. Building on the success within Teaching &Learning across the Shannon Consortium (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology), the project aims to provide a framework for HEI contexts whereby allowing learners to accumulate and evidence non-accredited CPD for conversion to formal credits. FLEXIPATH will demonstrate how learners can successfully engage in flexible learning activities and identify modes of recognition and reward for participation, application and reflection. By modelling PD programmes for staff on innovative pedagogical models of flexible and student-centred learning, it will facilitate the transfer of such approaches to academic practice.
Project Review (November 2018)