Contextualising Horizon – Reflection on Scholarly Activity

What? (Descriptive)

I applied for and was accepted to participate in the writing of a new report commissioned by ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) entitled Contextualising Horizon. The report itself can be read here. From the website:

Contextualising Horizon aims to identify the educational technologies and practices likely to impact the Australasian tertiary sector. Intended as a companion to the EDUCAUSE Horizon Report, the Contextualising Horizon Report brings together analysis of the trends impacting tertiary education and insights and exemplars of the significant educational technologies and practices. 

My role was to work in a small team with two other academic colleagues (Henk Huijser, QUT and Kerry Russo, JCU) to research and write about the Technological trends likely to have a significant impact on Australasian higher education in the
next 12–18 months. Technological trends were one of a series of trends identified by Contextualising Horizon participants. The trends included Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental
and Political (STEEP).

I met with the larger Contextualising Horizon project team on several occasions for discussion about the project and to clarify expectations. I then met on a series of occasions with Henk and Kerry and we co-wrote and reviewed the Technological trends section, based upon our individual research.

So what? (Reflective)

Participation in this project was important because the area of Teacher Librarianship is impacted upon many of the STEEP trends. As Course Director it is important that I also stay abreast of recent research regarding the impacts of trends impacting upon higher education and which may have a flow on effect for our course. Through this process I made important network connections with academics at a range of Universities. I also learnt about the process undertaken to generate a report such as this, and built my skills in collaborating with others to research and write an entry for a report.

Participation in this project raised my awareness of current trends which I will now interpret and apply to my own teaching, and share with my colleagues. This will have a flow on effect for students. It will also improve Teacher Librarianship students’ achievement as the report has raised important considerations to be taken into account for the design of learning and teaching opportunities such as the importance of learner digital equity, the value of redefining and interrogating pedagogical practices and the opportunities made available through co-design of the curriculum.

Now what? (Implementation)

As a result of engaging in this scholarship activity my knowledge and awareness of the range of issues and trends impacting higher education has been enhanced. This knowledge will inform my curriculum design and interactions with students and colleagues. As this report was designed as an accompaniment to the Educause Horizon Report, I am now able to contextualise these trends within the Australian Higher Education environment, and therefore more easily able to apply to my discipline and students.