· What do educational developers see as the main issues to be tackled within their work?
· How does the educational context and culture in which they work affect the practice of educational developers?
· How do educational developers perceive change occurring within higher education organisations?
In higher education institutions worldwide, issues relating to quality in teaching and learning have gained prominence over the last two decades as student numbers, and the need to be publicly accountable, have increased. During this time a sizeable community of educational developers has emerged whose work and research focuses on the enhancement of the student experience in higher education. A significant issue for these developers is how change can be effected in organisations with well-established academic cultures and practices, beset by many other priorities and pressures.
This first book-length analysis of developers as a community of practice illustrates in their own words the issues they face, their differing orientations to development (given their differing organisational cultures), and how they see their institutional role. What emerges is the contested notion of ‘development’ itself, and a tribe of developers who, though fragmented, offer a rich variation in their discourse, identity and practice.
Drawing upon developers’ own voices, the book offers a lively and accessible narrative approach to this rapidly evolving area. It is a useful guide to help individual developers compare their own practice with that of others, and development teams to map the effectiveness of their own centre’s provision.
Educational Development is essential reading for educational developers, teaching and learning co-ordinators and teaching fellows, as well as senior managers with remits for academic development, and directors of quality assurance. It is also of interest to those in higher education who are concerned with bringing about organisational or cultural change.
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Professor Ray Land is Professor of Higher Education Development and Director of the Centre for Higher Education Development at Coventry University. He previously taught at the University of Edinburgh. In addition to educational development, his curent research interests include theshold concepts and troublesome knowledge, and theoretical aspects of education in cyberspace.
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