Investigating Networks within the field of Higher Organisation Institutions

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Higher education institutions (HEIs) have been described as “loosely coupled systems” (Weick, 1976) where academic disciplines have stronger cohesive forces than formal structures (Becher & Trowler, 2001). Disciplinary ties are also extremely important for the development of teaching practices in HEIs. Roxa & Martensson (2011) have shown that higher education faculty form local networks in which they share and develop teaching-related experiences. These networks are influenced by disciplinary affiliation and mediated by senior faculty (Roxa & Martensson, 2015). Considering these findings, its is not self-evident for the actors on different vertical (e.g. management, faculty and education developers) and horizontal levels (e.g. disciplines) of HEIs to work collaboratively. Therefore, the bounded nature of disciplinary networks can actually inhibit the development of educational innovations that require collaboration beyond such “disciplinary microcultures” (Kries & Nierobisch, 2016). Effective educational practices such as problem-based curricula or cross-disciplinary co-teaching require interactions that reach beyond disciplinary and hierarchical boundaries.

In this study we investigate a network – “Lehren” – that was initiated in Germany to stimulate educational innovations in HEIs by overcoming the abovementioned boundaries. A series of five workshops brought together 32 potential innovators representing different disciplines, functions (management, teaching faculty, educational developers), and status groups (full professors, post-docs, others). Three of these workshop series provide a total 96 individuals who are intended to form a professional network promoting educational innovation in their respective HEIs. Providing intense support and incentives to collaborate among each other (network meetings, travel funds, online communities), the aim is to develop a heterogeneous network connecting people with, among others, different functions and from different disciplines.

Authors Jenert, Tobias Johannes & Gommers, Luci
Language English
Subjects education
Institute/School ?? GSK ??
University of St.Gallen
IWP - Institute of Business Education and Educational Management
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Date 2 September 2017
Event Title EARLI 2017
Event Location Tampere
Event Dates 29.08.-02.09.2017
Depositing User Dr. Tobias Johannes Jenert
Date Deposited 01 Sep 2017 09:39
Last Modified 17 Jan 2018 15:27


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Jenert, Tobias Johannes & Gommers, Luci: Investigating Networks within the field of Higher Organisation Institutions. 2017. - EARLI 2017. - Tampere.

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