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New Frontiers: Exploring the Power and Possibilities of the Unconference as a Transformative Approach to Faculty Development

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In the spirit of exploration, this paper discusses the what, why and how of unconferencing and explores its implications as a transformative approach to faculty development in higher education. The authors define an unconference faculty development experience as: a less-structured opportunity for participants to learn and grow by sharing individual expertise in a variety of ways that reflect participant interests, preferences, skill sets, and needs. This paper explores the distinctiveness of unconferencing as compared with traditional conference structures, presents a rationale and theoretical underpinnings of this practice, and suggests general guidelines that address some of the pragmatic and logistical issues that inform successful unconference events. Three cases are examined to contextualize the what, why, and how of unconferencing as a dynamic and grassroots approach to envisioning faculty engagement and development.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 15 May 2016

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