This presentation reports on a project that has run from the start of 2014 until July 2015. The aims of the project were perhaps over ambitious given the level of funding and the fact that it involved international collaboration. In the project proposal, we (Christie, Simon and Heck) sought to build on, formalize and research international cooperation between staff and students engaged in a similar suite of Master of Education research courses at the School of Education , FoSHEE, University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Australia, and Fredonia College of Education, State University of New York (SUNY), USA. The project aimed to investigate, implement and evaluate the ways in which student learning and beginner researcher skills can be promoted via asynchronous, online feedback on project planning, data collection, analysis, presentation and written reports. A cohort of USC Master of Education students peer reviewed the drafts of reports submitted by students from SUNY, and vice versa. The planned outcomes were an increase in students’ ability to plan, implement, review and disseminate the results of a master’s research project, an increase in international networking at student and staff levels; an increased awareness of the impact of cultural diversity on research; and the benchmarking and dissemination of best practice in Master’s courses. The project was designed to assist students to not only become knowledgeable in planning research but also effective in undertaking ethically approved investigations and reporting on their draft results, both verbally and in writing, to a supportive group of international peers. Following a visit to Fredonia in mid 2014 it was decided that the larger project be broken into three smaller ones. Christie focussed on the use of peer review in the feedback that was given to oral presentations; Simon focused on how peer review could improve leadership courses; and Heck made use of short online videos as a means of getting students to understand each others project and provide peer reviews online for them. Fredonia was never funded and unfortunately the international aspect of the project did not eventuate in the way we had hoped. Despite this the relationships have been strengthened and there is an exchange of undergraduate students planned and two Fredonia researchers have collaborated on publications, one of which is already accepted and one that is ready for submission. Many of the key intended project outcomes have been achieved, namely: 1. The enhancement of student learning and motivation in the Master of Education research methods courses at USC. 2. Assuring quality in the Master of Education research and development projects undertaken by students at USC via peer review of final drafts of such projects and project proposals. 3. An exchange of knowledge and skills between USC and Fredonia scholars on the topic of online peer review. 4. An evaluation of the impact of Blended Learning pedagogy at both institutions. 5. A scholarly report that can be used as a basis for spreading new ways of envisioning learning in postgraduate courses at USC.
2015 Learning & Teaching Week: Teaching Visions: Seeing Teaching in New Ways, Sunshine Coast, Australia 14-18 September 2015