Core area 4: Communication and working with others

Demonstrating knowledge and skills in communication through working with others.

Over the past 10 years as an academic advisor I have developed an approach to working with colleagues and lecturers (my ‘students’) based around the facilitation and nurturing of communities of practice (COP). This is a social and collaborative approach, with my role often taking the form of a technology steward (Wenger et al., 2009) and peer learner. Developing trust through building collaborative relationships is a key element of this approach, and technology has been an enabler in both face-to-face and remote global asynchronous COPs. This has also been reified in the development of a global network of peer researchers, as illustrated by the following interactive Google map of selected conference presentations (blue place marks) and co-authors (red place marks):

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 3.17.32 PM

This is also illustrated by the breadth of my co-authorships based upon collaborative projects at AUT 2011-2018 (117 co-authorships with 42 AUT peers).


The Web Of Science (WOS) research database also provides some research collaboration tools to graphically illustrate collaboration across articles within the WOS database: Collaboration Network.

Examples of collaborative teams and projects that I have led:

  • eLearning team leader, Unitec (Cochrane, 2010; Cochrane & Naryan, 2012; Cochrane et al., 2012)
  • Unitec COPs (2006 to 2011)
    • Dummies2Delight  (Cochrane & Kligyte, 2007)
    • Product Design(Cochrane & Bateman, 2010, 2013)
    • Contemporary Music (Cochrane, 2012)
    • Landscape Architecture (Cochrane et al., 2009)
    • Architecture (Cochrane & Rhodes, 2013)
    • Film Studies (Cochrane, Antonczak, & Wagner, 2013)
  • iCollab (Cronin et al., 2015; Cochrane et al., 2011;2013; Cochrane & Keegan, 2012; Buchem et al., 2012)

These projects are summarised in a book chapter (Cochrane & Bateman, 2013) and illustrated in figure2 below.


Figure 2: Mobile learning projects 2006 to 2011.

Selected collaborative projects post 2011:

  • Moco360
  • NPF14LMD
  • Mosomelt cMOOC
  • Ascilite Mobile Learning SIG
  • AUT LTDF projects/COPs (2012 to 2016)
    • Journalism (Cochrane, Sissons, Mulrennan, & Rive, 2016)
    • Product Design (Cochrane & Withell, 2013)
    • Public Relations (Cronin, Cochrane, Gordon, 2016)
    • Law (Cochrane, Sissons, Mulrennan, & Rive, 2016)
    • Paramedicine (Greig, Goodson, Peach, Summers, & Cochrane, 2015)
    • Game Design (Kenobi & Cochrane, 2015)
    • Communications Studies (Cochrane, Guinibert, Simeti, Brannigan, & Kala, 2014)
    • Public Health & Ethics (Cochrane, Narayan, Burcio-Martin, Lees, & Diesfeld, 2015)
    • Graphic Design
    • Performance for Screen

Examples of collaborative teams I have participated in

Example of a collaborative remote conference presentation (Cochrane, Narayan & Antonczak,  2015).

MINA2015presentation: Mobile Learning, Altmetrics, and SOTEL


A key issue when working collaboratively is the necessity of building trust (Jameson, 2014) to develop sustainable working relationships. This often involves taking risks in establishing collaborative partnerships, nurturing these collaborations over time, and developing mutual accountability. One key to developing trust that I have found is to be explicit about any collaborative proc goals, timeframes and expected outcomes – to do this I will usually create a shared Google Doc as an outline of the project and invite all the project participants as co-editors to flesh out and agree upon the project details. I also encourage participants to develop a culture of open social scholarship, using Twitter, Google Plus, and a personal open access blog as ways of communicating, sharing ideas, and reflecting upon collaborative projects. Within a community of practice model these artefacts become reified evidence of the the activity and goals of the COP that can then be used to broker the ideas and outcomes to wider audiences. Developing a culture of collaborative social scholarship around peer-reviewed publishing of the project design, outcomes, and reflections has also been a powerful way of deepening these collaborative relationships. In the process I aim to model this approach to open social scholarship to my peers. A danger of openness is the misinterpretation of the culture of open sharing as ‘hubris’ – rather than the intent of ‘humility’ (Cronin, 2014).

UPDATE 2018: During my sabbatical in 2017 I worked with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology to introduce my model of Communities Of Practice for lecturer professional development and spent two months developing and prototyping a cMOOC to support lecturer CMALT portfolio development. Working with a smaller team in a smaller urban centre of New Zealand proved to be a great collaborative experience, and the collegial networks established during my Sabbatical have led to continued curriculum redesign projects with NMIT (Stenhouse, Atkins & Cochrane, 2018). It was great to get another perspective of curriculum redesign teams from another institution. The richness of trans discipline collaboration on curriculum design leads to creative ideas and innovative learning environments for students, as well as building creative teams of educators, and similar to others (Mor et al., 2014; Emin-Martinez et al., 2014) we have found social media to be an enabling technology for these collaborations.


Buchem, Ilona, Cochrane, Thomas, Gordon, Averill, Keegan, Helen, & Camacho, Mar. (2012). Mlearning 2.0: The potential and challenges of collaborative mobile learning in participatory curriculum development in higher education. In I. A. Sánchez & P. Isaias (Eds.), Proceedings of the iadis international conference on mobile learning 2012 (pp. 311-314). Berlin, Germany: IADIS International Association for Development of the Information Society.

Cochrane, T., Antonczak, L., & Wagner, D. (2013). Post Web 2.0 pedagogy: from student-generated content to international co-production enabled by mobile social media. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 5(4), 1-18.

Cochrane, T., & Bateman, R. (2010, 19 – 21 March). Reflections on 3 years of mlearning implementation (2007-2009). Paper presented at the Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning 2010, Porto, Portugal.

Cochrane, T., & Bateman, R. (2013). A mobile web 2.0 framework: Reconceptualizing teaching and learning. In M. Repetto & G. Trentin (Eds.), Using network and mobile technology to bridge formal and informal learning (10 ed., pp. 57-92). Oxford: Chandos Publishing.

Cochrane, Thomas, Narayan, Vickel, & Antonczak, Laurent. (2015, 19 November). Mobile learning, altmetrics, and sotel. Paper presented at the 5th Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Cochrane, Thomas, & Kligyte, Giedre. (2007, 11-14 June). Dummies2delight: Using communities of practice to develop educational technology literacy in tertiary academics. Paper presented at the JISC online conference: Innovating eLearning, JISC online conference.

Cochrane, Thomas. (2012). Contemporary music students and mobile technology. In Information Resources Management Association (Ed.), Wireless technologies: Concepts, methodologies, tools and applications (Vol. 3, pp. 1390-1414). Hershey, PA 17033, USA: IGI Global.

Cochrane, Thomas. (2010). Beyond the yellow brick road: Mobile web 2.0 informing a new institutional elearning strategy. Special Issue ‘The Transformational Impact of Learning technology’ of ALT-J, Research in Learning Technology, 18(3), 221–231. doi: doi:10.1080/09687769.2010.529110

Cochrane, Thomas, Bateman, Roger, Buchem, Ilona, Camacho, Mar, Gordon, Averill, Keegan, Helen, & Rhodes, David. (2011). Mlearning 2.0: Fostering international collaboration. In I. Candel Torres, L. Gomez Chova & A. Lopez Martinez (Eds.), Iceri2011: 4th international conference of education, research and innovations (pp. 42-51). Madrid, Spain: IATED.

Cochrane, T., Bateman, R., Cliffin, P., Gardner, J., Henderson, I., & Holloway, S. (2009, 6th to 8th July). Mobilizing Learning: Mobile Web 2.0 Scenarios in Tertiary Education. Paper presented at the EDULEARN09 the 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona, Spain

Cochrane, Thomas, & Narayan, Vickel. (2012). Defrosting professional development: Reconceptualising teaching using social learning technologies. Research in Learning Technology, 19(Supplement 1 – Proceedings of the 2011 ALT Conference), 158-169. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v19s1/7796

Cochrane, Thomas, Black, Becca, Lee, Michelle, Narayan, Vickel, & Verswijvelen, Miranda. (2012). Rethinking e-learning support strategies. International Journal for Academic Development, 18(3), 276-293. doi: 10.1080/1360144x.2012.733884

Cochrane, T., Guinibert, M., Simeti, C., Brannigan, R., & Kala, A. (2014). Mobile Social Media as a Catalyst for Collaborative Curriculum Redesign. In J. Keengwe & M. Maxfield (Eds.), Advancing Higher Education with Mobile Learning Technologies: Cases, Trends, and Inquiry-Based Methods (pp. 1-21). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Cochrane, Thomas, & Keegan, Helen. (2012). New global learning cultures: Interdisciplinarity through networked technologies. Selected Papers Of Internet Research, 0(October 2012), 1-31.

Cochrane, Thomas, Buchem, Ilona, Camacho, Mar, Cronin, Catherine, Gordon, Averill, & Keegan, Helen. (2013). Building global learning communities. Research in Learning Technology, 21(ALT-C 2013 Conference Proceedings – Building new cultures of learning), 1-13. doi:

Cochrane, T., Narayan, V., Burcio-Martin, V., Lees, A., & Diesfeld, K. (2015, 29 November – 2 December). Designing an authentic professional development cMOOC. Paper presented at the Globally connected, digitally enabled, Proceedings the 32nd Ascilite Conference, Curtin University, Perth.

Cochrane, T., & Rhodes, D. (2013). iArchi[tech]ture: Developing a mobile social media framework for pedagogical transformation. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(3), 372-386.

Cochrane, T., Sissons, H., Mulrennan, D., & Rive, V. (2016). Journalism 2.0: Collaborative curriculum redesign. In D. Parsons (Ed.), Mobile and Blended Learning innovations for improved Learning Outcomes (pp. 187-206). Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global.

Cochrane, T., & Withell, A. (2013). Augmenting design education with mobile social media: A transferable framework. Journal of the NUS teaching academy (JNUSTA), 3(4), 150-168.

Cronin, C. (2014, 2 September). Navigating the Marvellous: Openness in Education. Paper presented at the ALTC University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Cronin, Catherine, Cochrane, Thomas, & Gordon, Averill. (2016). Nurturing global collaboration and networked learning in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 24. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v24.26497

Cronin, Catherine, & Cochrane, Thomas. (2015). Nurturing global collaboration. Research in Learning Technology, In Review(Learning Technology innovation in Higher Education and beyond: Sharing global perspectives on research, practice and policy?).

Emin-Martinez, V., Hansen, C., Rodríguez-Triana, M. J. s., Wasson, B., Mor, Y., Dascalu, M., . . . Pernin, J.-P. (2014). TowardsTeacher-led Design Inquiry of Learning. eLearning Papers, 36.

Greig, E., Goodson, H., Peach, A., Summers, L., & Cochrane, T. (2015). Mobilising Paramedic Education. In S. Frielick (Ed.), LTDF 2014 ebook (pp. 67-69). Auckland University of Technology: Centre for Learning And Teaching.

Jameson, J. (2014). Why we Need Distributed, Transformational e-Leadership and Trust in the Fifth Age of Educational Media and Technology. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2014(1).

Kenobi, B., & Cochrane, T. (2015). Innovative Pedagogy in Game Design. In S. Frielick (Ed.), LTDF 2014 ebook (pp. 79-81). Auckland University of Technology: Centre for Learning And Teaching.

Mor, Y., Antonczak, L., Buchem, I., Camacho, M., Cook, J., Janke, I., . . . Spikol, D. (2014). Social Mobile Learning: Empowering teachers as designers of learning experiences utilising social mobile technologies. Paper presented at the ECTEL 2014, Graz, Austria. Workshop retrieved from

Stenhouse, D., Atkins, S., & Cochrane, T. (2018, 15th February). NMIT Music Curriculum Redesign. Paper presented at the SoTEL: Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning 2018, Auckland University of Technology, Manukau, New Zealand.

Wenger, Etienne, White, Nancy, & Smith, John. (2009). Digital habitats: Stewarding technology for communities. Portland, Oregon: CPsquare.