The South East Academic Leadership Network met at London College of Communication on Tues 26 November, drawing together a range of academic development specialists from London and the South East.
Discussion ranged from the impact of Access and Participation Plans on academic development work; the benefits of HEA Fellowship for professional development along with ways of evaluating its impact on student learning; and the all-important course leader role.
Elizabeth Staddon from UAL gave a presentation on a current cross-institutional study into the nature of the course leader role and related staff development needs: qualitative data gathered from very generous course leaders from three universities is helping Elizabeth and co-researchers to develop a staff development template that takes into account how course leaders learn about their role over time, and the range of organizational mechanisms that help and hinder their ability to perform well.
Colleagues around the table shared details about course leader programmes now offered at many universities, all recognising both the value and the challenges associated with the role. Attendees also learnt that the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) will be publishing a course leader toolkit in the New Year.
It is reassuring to know that this role is getting special attention within the academic community, and it will be important to embed new insights into our staff development programmes.
More information about the research study:http://www.hedg.ac.uk/ico/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Towards-a-professional-development-framework-for-leaders-of-degree-programmes.pdf
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