This article discusses a national partnership in Irish higher education between the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the sector. The partnership initiative focussed on the scalable design and development of a suite of open-access professional development (PD) courses in teaching and learning. The empirical work explored the role and value of digital badges as professional recognition for open courses, and in particular the transformative experience of the collaborative course design teams from teachers into teachers-as-designers. Each course has been mapped to Ireland’s national PD framework for all staff who teach. This initiative aimed to provide multiple nationally developed access points to PD opportunities and recognise engagement through digital badges. The partnership with course designers from institutions across Ireland was multifaceted, and their transformation from novice creators of digital content is explored here. Lessons learnt relate to developing consensus on national criteria and associated evidence for scalable open courses, ensuring quality assurance and supporting teams working in partnership. A framework of triple-loop learning was used for conceptualising the different phases of development of the collaborating teams and the sectoral learning around partnerships and nationally recognised collaborative course design.
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