Advancing Practice in Academic Development

Spoiler alert there may be a bit of shameless self promotion in this post.

Earlier this week I received my copy of  Advancing Academic Practice in Academic Development, edited by David Baume and Ceila Popovic.   The collection addresses a number of key questions for anyone currently involved in academic development including:

  • How have global academic developers and their units developed and changed over recent decades?
  • How has the context in which academic development works is done altered?
  • What have academic developers and their professional associations learnt?

I was delighted to be able to co-author the “Technologies and Academic Development” chapter with Professors Peter Hartley and Keith Smyth.  Our chapter explores “what academic developers need to know and be able to do about learning technologies, considering both breadth and depth of knowledge . . . we concentrate on the functional and educational potential of current and emerging classes of technologies.”

Like a number of my peers, I see myself as a bit of a hybrid academic/educational developer. David Walker and I explored this notion last year in our Chapter on Learning Technologist as Digital Pedagogues in The Really Useful Ed Tech Book.

Our roles in universities are evolving which is good, but we do still need to fight to be heard at strategic levels too. Our chapter explores a number of models that are being used successful to bring around bottom up change and at times more top down strategic change.

I think many of  could be drawn to “the middle way” describe by Peter Bryant in his recent post. I continue to support the need for academic developers to be at the heart of developments and institutional  strategies relating to (digital) technology and learning and teaching.  I’m sure that this book will make a significant contribution to the discourse around the evolution and impact of academic development.

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