Reflecting on the value of resources for internationalising the curriculum: exploring academic perspectives
MetadataShow full item record
McKinnon, S., Hammond, A. & Foster, M. (2017) Reflecting on the value of resources for internationalising the curriculum: exploring academic perspectives. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 43 (1), pp. 138-147.
Increased interest in internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) has led to the development of a range of resources designed to support staff in translating theory into practice. Studies on how such resources are actually used and impact on academic practice are scarce. This article aims to fill the gap by reporting on a cross-institutional study of academics' perceptions of the value of such resources; specifically, two examples designed in-house in two UK universities. The study adopted a qualitative approach, conducting 18 semi-structured interviews with academics in two universities and analysing 20 scripts from participants on a postgraduate programme in learning and teaching in higher education in a third. It explores how such resources can be used to inform individual approaches to IoC and what their value might be for wider curriculum development. Results show that reflective engagement with the resources can lead academics to analyse and benchmark their own practice and critique entire programmes but that they still struggle with translating pedagogical concepts into practical innovations. Critical comments included objections to generic resources that are too abstract and too far removed from practice in the subject disciplines. Participants also voiced concerns about time pressures and suspicions that they might be used by senior management to exert unwelcome control over academic staff on the ground. The article suggests that university policy makers need to adapt IoC resources to their institutional context and provide clear guidance on how to use them. Linking them to other staff development opportunities could ensure maximum benefits.