Reflect upon the diagnostic tool
In week 2 of the SLEC course, I had the opportunity to use a diagnostic tool which helped me to reflect on my current practice, identify where I was and where I wanted to go. The different areas of development activities included in this tool helped me indeed to diagnose some of my strengths and also identify opportunities for further development.
The results showed clearly that there is a lot I can and need to learn to do my job more effectively. I didn’t mark myself as being an expert in any of the areas. Expert is not a word that I like or would use when referring to myself… there is always room for improvement and I rather feel that there is a lot I can learn, than thinking that I know everything.
When I was adding my responses, I wondering if the areas for improvement, should be defined by the ‘weaker’ areas identified in the first part? Or should they be based on immediate needs linked to the current situation and context? In some cases, there would be an overlap of these two. Maybe a question, such as “where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?” would have been useful to contextualise especially the areas for development based on specific priorities, personal and institutional ones. Anyway.
Looking back now, I can see that I am on a journey and this course has helped me a lot to find myself, discuss my practice with colleagues from other institutions and feel that I am not alone on this journey of discovery. This togetherness made me feel so much more positive and confident and gave me strength to move forward and continue my adventure of and for learning.
Needs analysis and action plan
Through the diagnostic tool, I identified a number of opportunities for further professional development. I am focusing below on some of these which I have identified as areas for immediate action and urgency due to institutional and personal priorities.
I have also found chapter 13 of the book by Kahn and Baume (2003) really useful to reflect on my current practice, find gaps and identify how I can develop further as an academic developer to fill these. I understand that I will have to review my progress regularly and set new goals which need to be realistic and achievable too.
|Become competent and confident in monitoring and evaluating staff development activities and especially accredited provision which leads to staff with teaching qualifications in HE and/or Fellowship of the HEA.||Increasingly, we are asked to measure and evaluate the impact our work has. This is linked to quality assurance but also important for quality enhancement which is at the heart of academic development.
If our institution wants to increase numbers of academics and other professionals with teaching qualifications in HE and individuals with Fellowship of the HEA, we need to keep track of numbers and achievements. However, it will be also important to create alumni of individuals who gain such qualifications through us but more importantly it will be very useful to keep track of their further development and engagement with teaching and learning.
|Defining and refining our approaches to collect meaningful data that provide a rich picture of current status but also are useful to inform future practices. Also review current programmes and identify opportunities for new.
The PGCAP programme needs to be reviewed. I am already doing some work on this and am thinking of a number of changes for all modules. I would like to discuss these with the programme team and decide together what the best way forward is.
Documentation for accreditation of the CPD framework needs to finalised so that accreditation can be given by the HEA. This will be very important and enable my institution to play a strategic role in increasing number of individuals with AFHEA, FHEA and SFHEA through the accredited CPD Framework.
|This is something I need to start looking into it Semester 2 (2011/12) in collaboration with the HEA of Academic Development and colleagues from the ADU and HRD.
This activity needs also to happen before the beginning of the next academic year 2012/13.
January 12: I have been asked to write the first PGCAP programme report. This is especially challenging since it hasn’t been done before but I am already making good progress with this.
Documentation needs to be prepared by the summer 2012. A pilot of the CPD Framework should be offered in Semester 1 2012/13.
|Evidence-informed practice||This is something I am doing already. I continuously reflect on my practice and carry out research linked to interventions to enhance my practice further.
However, I have not emphasised that this is happening, perhaps because I didn’t feel that it was right to “talk” about my research in my practice despite the fact that some have been carried out with participants too. I understand now, that I need to do this more openly to gain more credibility as an academic developer within my institution and show that my approach is evidence-based and informed by research.
a. Making available my research and scholarly activities linked to the activities I am undertaking and
b. involve participants in further research activities and dissemination.
In semester 2 (2011/12) I will create a space within the PGCAP programme to showcase all the research carried out by members of the PGCAP team linked to the programme and announce current research projects linked to this.
Semester 2 (2011/12) Identify new participants to carry out collaborative research linked to peer observations and the use of video.
|Working on educational projects||I have initiated a number of small-scale educational projects and have participated in a few larger scale projects. I feel that it will be important to engage further in larger scale projects to gain more experience and develop my understanding, knowledge and skills linked to working and learning through these.
|I am in the process of applying to Edinburgh Napier to start a PhD linked to Academic Development and more specifically the open access module Flexible, Distance and Online Learning (FDOL) which is currently under development. I would like to develop an open PBL model under a Creative Commons licence that could be used within and beyond Academic Development for open educational practices including MOOCs to enable authentic collaborative learning.
Also I will continue my role as an Accreditor and Associate of the Higher Education Academy which enables me to participate in programme accreditation processes as well as engage in HEA funded projects.
|Submit PhD proposal to Edinburgh Napier in February 12 the latest. If my research proposal is accepted, I will be able to start my research in the summer 2012.
Jan 12 I am a critical friend for 2 JISC and HEA funded OER Change Academy Projects. Through my participation in these, I will be able to gain valuable experience in participating in more complex projects.
|Practising teaching ‘real’ students||I feel that it is essential for academic developers to keep teaching real students so that academics and other professionals who support learning understand that we are one of them and have shared and common experiences with students.||I would like to teach
a. translation, especially translation of children’s literature which I have done for about 10 years and enjoy very much.
b. German or Greek, which have done in Greece, Germany and the UK and also love.
c. Coaching and Mentoring about which I feel very passionate and have been teaching not for very long within Teacher Education.
|Semester 2 (2011/12) I have made some contacts with the Language School at Salford to identify opportunities to collaborate with specific academics to teach any of the subjects shown on the left.
An opening has been identified and it looks now very possible that I will start teaching real students in Feb 12. I am very excited about this.
Overall, as a result of the SLEC course, I can now see more clearly how I can become a well-rounded academic developer and gain more credibility.
- Gain SEDA Fellowship (working towards this already)
- Gain higher qualifications (plan to start a PhD and carry out a research project linked to my practice)
- Work towards becoming a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (this is something I need to explore in the next few months)
- Teach ‘real’ students (there is a good possibility that this will happen in the near future)
- Networking and collaborating at local and national level (there is still room to develop activities further)
- Engage in pedagogic research (and become more strategic through disseminating findings in peer review journals)
- Continue research-informed teaching approach (but make this known to students)
Kahn, P. And Baume, D. (eds.) (2003) A Guide to Staff and Educational Development, SEDA, Oxon: Routledge