RMIT Vietnam academics are taking a collaborative approach towards addressing global trends in tertiary teaching, with a focus on localisation of curriculum, innovation in blended learning, reflective practice and innovation in assessment.
Academics from across the University's programs and centres are coming together as part of an RMIT Vietnam initiative in learning communities, which involves sharing ideas, identifying training needs as well as facilitating peer observation and mentoring.
Established by RMIT Vietnam's Learning and Teaching Unit, over 30 academics took part in the semester one twelve week program, which saw four communities established to facilitate professional learning on themes of blended learning, localisation of curriculum and developing scholarship of learning and teaching.
Semester two will see the facilitation of reflective practice and assessment focused communities.
RMIT Vietnam Senior Lecturer Catherine Peck said learning communities enable interdisciplinary groups to address some of the common challenges faced by academics in tertiary teaching.
"There are similarities in the experiences of all teaching staff, disciplinary boundaries notwithstanding," Ms Peck said.
"Learning communities are an effective space in which academic staff can collaborate on finding creative solutions for those common issues and challenges, and benefit from hearing a broad range of perspectives on learning and teaching."
Ms Peck, along with RMIT Vietnam Senior Lecturer Melanie Brown, recently spoke on the potential of learning communities as a pathway for teacher development in the rapidly changing global context of higher education at the recent Asia@RMIT conference held at RMIT Vietnam Saigon South in early June 2014.
RMIT Vietnam Senior Lecturer Melanie Brown said some of the skills required of those teaching in contemporary higher education include the capacity to adopt and integrate new technologies into their practice, develop contemporary academic literacies among their students, manage cross language barriers and cultural differences, identify industry expectations and foster graduate attributes.
"These common themes across teaching and learning contexts can be approached effectively with peers from different academic departments," Ms Brown said.
"These topics and more form part of discussions within the learning communities established at RMIT Vietnam."
"We have currently have communities across RMIT Vietnam Saigon South and Hanoi and we're looking forward to the potential of building learning communities with our peers in Melbourne and at other universities across Vietnam."