A Case of Problem Based Learning for Cross‑Institutional Collaboration


  • Chrissi Nerantzi


Open Educational Practice, Academic Development, social media, Problem-based learning, Phenomenography


The idea of moving away from battery‑type Academic Development Activities and silo modules and programmes towards open cross‑institutional approaches in line with OEP are explored within this paper based on a recent small‑scale, fully‑online study. This brought together academics and other professionals who support learning, from different disciplines and professional areas who are studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Teaching and Learning in HE/Academic Practice during a facilitated open Problem‑Based Learning (PBL) task around assessment and feedback using freely available social media. The study aimed to explore if and how online PBL can be used within PgCert provisions to provide opportunities to connect, communicate and collaborate in a community of practice beyond institutional walls. The phenomenographic methodology underpinned this research. Participants experiences in this open Academic Development activity were captured through individual remote interviews, a series of questionnaires and reflective accounts. Findings indicate that open online PBL has the potential to enable learners and educators to break out of academic and virtual silos. It also widens collaborative learning within Academic Development in multi‑disciplinary and multi‑institutional groups. Recommendations are made to Academic Developers and other tutors on how to bring learners from different programmes, institutions and countries together online using social media to create the conditions and the environment for a meaningful, rich and fruitful exchange and enable collaborative formal and informal learning.



1 Aug 2012