Detailed Program of the Conference

Parallel sessions - E.13Faculty Development, Scholarship and Professionalism in Teaching: Challenges and Perspectives for Higher Education
Friday, 04/June/2021:
1:15pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Ettore Felisatti
Session Chair: Loredana Perla
Session Chair: Viviana Vinci
Location: Room 1

Session Panels:
E.13. Faculty Development, Scholarship and Professionalism in Teaching: Challenges and Perspectives for Higher Education

External Resource:


Loredana Perla1, Viviana Vinci2, Alessia Scarinci3

1Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy; 2Università Mediterranea, Reggio Calabria; 3Univerità degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Italy

The need to support the quality of academic teaching is clearly recognised at international level. In particular, assessing and promoting the pedagogic competences of the university teachers appears a priority task, albeit complex, aimed to improve teaching and to increase learning outcomes. The recent COVID-19 pandemic, which suddenly forced teachers to introduce hybrid models and practices in their teaching, accelerated the process of raising awareness about the need for high quality professional development and for an advancement in the field of Digital Scholarship. The University of Bari has started, on the basis of the needs analysis emerging from the PRODID research project, the structuring of pilot training paths for the professional development of university teachers in UNIBA Teaching Learning Laboratory (TLL). The curricular model is based on adult learning and methodologies for professional learning, in particular the so-called 'artefacts'. The training model for the university teacher requires a research posture of co-construction and ample space dedicated to the epistemological dialectic between disciplinary teacher and didactic.


Alessio Surian, Fulvio Biddau, Anna Serbati

University of Padua, Italy

In this paper, we examine ways to manage processes of faculty development through peer feedback and reflection in higher education during times of social distancing such as those experienced during the Covid-19 syndemic. To this purpose, we draw from the data gathered through the Erasmus+ IntRef project (2018-2021) involving three core partners - Durham University, Goethe University Frankfurt, University of Padova – and a growing network of European universities.

Various studies indicate that without adequate training and focus teachers tend to direct their attention on elements of relative significance, producing a descriptive and superficial reflection (Gaudin & Chaliès, 2015), and that higher levels of reflection can be reached with a structured learning process to support reflection.

The IntRef project aimed at developing innovative methods to enhance and internationalise reflection on university teaching through peer collaboration and research. Academics are linked across institutional and national boundaries through technology such as video recordings and video conferencing to facilitate communication and exchange about learning, teaching and assessment. The “distance” and “online” dimensions of the IntRef project offer multiple tools and insights on how to promote peer reflection in higher education during times of social distancing.

The core partners designed and tested three reflective methods: Reflecting Team, Teaching Process Recall, Peer Observation.

Reflecting Team invites participants to share cases arisen in their practice and to discuss these with a transnational group, facilitated by video-conferencing.

In the Teaching Process Recall a small group of academics record and review their own teaching and share a video excerpt to be inquired and discussed during a mutually supportive meeting facilitated by videoconferencing.

In Peer Observation, academics film their own teaching and form transnational pairs in which recordings are shared in an online repository and analysed and discussed through videoconferencing. Participants review their own recording and that of their peer, identifying significant classroom events (Tripp, 1993; Wood, 2012) and take turns in the role of observer and observed.

The second and the third method focus on the use of video recordings. In the last 15 years videos have been increasingly used both for teacher education and professional development. Most studies have focused on initial training of pre-service teachers, or the professional development of in-service schoolteachers. Only a few studies refer to the professional development of higher education teachers (Baecher et al., 2018) with almost a lack of research in an international context (Hamel, Viau-Guay, & Nkuyubwatsi, 2019).

Thus, despite this large body of research, very little is known about how video-based protocols support reflection (Danielowich, 2014), especially in higher education. We intend to contribute to address this gap.

We present both quantitative and qualitative data, analysing higher education teachers’ actions and reflections from different contexts. Together they contribute to enhance the understanding of teaching challenges, ways to observe and analyse them, and the key dimensions of formative reflection upon them even under conditions of social distancing.


Fulvio Biddau, Alessio Surian, Anna Serbati

University of Padua, Italy

This paper presents a brief literature review on technologies and web-based tools for faculty development. It investigates what resources are available to higher education (HE) teachers to support online professional development (OPD) activities based on feedback, collegial discussion, collaborative reflection or teaching observation. From recent studies we note that collective reflection is effective when technologies are acted and used as a medium for collaborative professional learning, appropriately choosing and aligning technology with education purposes and teachers’ developmental needs, acknowledging the interrelations among technology, content and pedagogy. The paper provides a better understanding of the limits and potential of different technologies and how programmes of online faculty development can be designed to promote dialogical collaborative thinking.


Antonella Nuzzaci, Iole Marcozzi, Liliana Ercole, Lucilla Spetia

University of L'Aquila, Italia

The contribution describes the activities of the ERASMUS+ Project - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education entitled QUALITI – Didactic Quality Assessment for Innovation of Teaching and Learning Improvement, which aims to improve the quality of teaching in higher education through a systemic action in the logic of integration between evaluation of teaching, didactic-pedagogical training to the professionalism of teachers, didactic innovation. The project, coordinated by the University of L'Aquila (IT), includes among its partners the University of Barcelona (SP), the Universisty of Vilnius (LT), the Valahia University (RO) SSW the Collegium Balticum (PL), ilmiolavoro (IT) and the Siuolaikiniu Didaktiku Centras. The aim is to consolidate and improve evidence building on higher education by measuring the performance of higher education policies, systems, and individual institutions; build evidence on the skills needs of the economy and society through skills anticipation, graduate monitoring, and forecasting studies, including supporting the further development of graduate monitoring systems in program countries in line with the Council Recommendation on graduate monitoring; and improve the availability of comparable data on graduate outcomes in Europe. The project also aims to promote and reward quality in teaching and skills development, including through promoting effective incentive structures and human resource policies at national and institutional levels, encouraging the training of academics and the exchange of best practices (e.g., through collaborative platforms) in new and innovative pedagogies, including multidisciplinary approaches, new methods of curriculum design, delivery, and evaluation, enabling institutions to provide a wider variety of courses to full-time, part-time, or lifelong learning students. It’s about connecting education with research and innovation by fostering an entrepreneurial, open, and innovative higher education sector; and foster learning and teaching partnerships with commercial and non-commercial partners in the private sector. The project adopts a methodology that plays on the following strategic assets. Specifically, it aims to develop reliable and valid indicators for the assessment of teaching quality in higher education in order to: (1) measure the performance of higher education institutions focusing on teaching quality; (2) acquire data-driven evidence aimed at initiating a process of innovation in teaching strategies; and (3) support the ongoing professional development (training/upgrading) of higher education teachers on new pedagogical approaches/strategies.


Antonella Lotti1, Dario Torre2


Research and Teaching often do not have equal dignity in the university world, research often being considered more important than teaching.

Recruitment policies take into greater consideration the scientific profile of future professors, even though they must subsequently offer quality teaching to their students.

Many Faculty Devolpment initiatives are spreading in Italian universities and many faculty are learning new ways to plan their teaching, innovative active teaching/learning methodologies and innovative methods for valid and formative evaluation.

Lecturers who are introducing these new methodologies would like to communicate their innovative teaching experiences in a scientific way but often do not know how to write a scientific paper in higher education. Teachers who are exceptional researchers in hard disciplines, find themselves unprepared to write papers in pedagogical and didactic areas that use research paradigms typical of education.

The University of Genoa has considered important to propose a training course for its teachers on planning and writing a scientific paper in higher education.

10 teachers have enrolled and are involved in a longitudinal scholars program lasting half a day, monthly, for 6 months, led by an expert in higher education and adult education.

Course topics are: Rationale, research question, methods, results, discussion of results, conclusions, journal selection, referee evaluation.

The 10 participants write their paper, step by step, receive feedback from the instructor and peers.

This paper reports the participants' satisfaction rating and quality analysis of the 10 papers produced.

We believe that publishing scientific papers dedicated to university teaching experiences can contribute to enhance and value the importance of Faculty teaching skills in the future.

A model of the virtuous circle that is established between innovative teaching, research about university teaching and enhancement of teaching skills is proposed.


Maria Cinque

LUMSA, Italy

This article illustrates the results of the Pilots carried out between September 2019 and 2020 within the EU funded Erasmus+ international project eLene4Life - Learning and Interacting to Foster Employability, designed to support curriculum innovation in Higher Education (HE) through the development of active learning approaches for soft skills, with the ultimate aim of improving students' employability. Basing on a Transnational Analysis on Innovative Higher Education Learning Models on Soft Skills and a Transnational Analysis of the Transferability to Higher Education of Corporate Active Learning on Soft Skills, the eLene4Life partners have selected 30 active learning methods for soft skills development, described in practical terms in the eLene4Life Dynamic Toolkit. These methods have been piloted in five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom). Due to the pandemic, some of the pilots which were initially planned face to face had to be adapted rapidly to an online modality. In fact, over half of the methods described in the Dynam-ic Toolkit had been tagged as being relevant for, and possible in, an online learning context. Consequently, it was not difficult to adapt them for online classes. Teachers taking part in the project were interviewed and some qualitative data collecting during the interview are reported and commented.