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Changing staff development (2 Short Papers 0095, 0191, 0254)


14:50 - 15:30 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 in Room ALTCT

Paper 0095 has been withdrawn [SS 5/9/2010].

191 A strategy for supporting academic staff in the design, development and delivery of flexible CPD courses in Higher Education. Cath Ellis, Sue Folley, Helen Harris
254 Riding the wave – keeping staff developers afloat in a sea of change (supporting staff development with the VLE) Kirsten Thompson
191 A strategy for supporting academic staff in the design, development and delivery of flexible CPD courses in Higher Education. Cath Ellis, Sue Folley, Helen Harris According to Darby & Williams (2009) even though United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions (HEI) have only between 5-9% of the Continued Professional Development (CPD) market they have significant potential to increase their market share. Doing so would have the dual benefit of providing HEIs with a wider variety of income streams while also making a valuable contribution to government targets of higher-level skills development. To successfully achieve these outcomes, however, HEIs need to do more to meet CPD clients’ needs. Well established undergraduate teaching models (with their heavy reliance on face-to-face learning environments, and on modular course structures which follow the traditional academic year) are unlikely to be attractive to most CPD clients. Achieving greater flexibility in CPD course structure, delivery, access and timing is therefore vital if HEIs are going to successfully achieve these goals. A key element of successfully achieving this goal will be supporting academic staff in the development of the necessary skills for designing, developing and delivering flexibly delivered CPD courses. This paper presents on a strategy developed as part of a HEIF project at the University of Huddersfield to support academic staff through this process. Specifically it outlines the structure of a one-day workshop and follow-on activities which have been designed to guide course teams in the rethinking of flexibly delivered CPD programmes. It goes on to discuss the key priorities of the workshop design – including the building of a shared vision and the focus on increasing both the quality and efficiency of curriculum delivery – and the use of the student-centred learning design methodology developed by Barry Harper, Ron Oliver et al. It concludes by showcasing some examples of key successes of this strategy.
254 Riding the wave – keeping staff developers afloat in a sea of change (supporting staff development with the VLE) Kirsten Thompson HEFCE’s recently revised strategy for e-learning continues to emphasise the importance of technology enhanced learning within the higher education sector, with evidence suggesting that technology has the potential to positively transform education (HEFCE 2009). A blended approach to learning and teaching is currently the popular mode of delivery for higher education in the UK, and the use of institutional VLEs is the norm. Of course use of the VLE can extend beyond supporting learning and teaching provision; as staff developers hear of the successes their academic colleagues are experiencing with blended learning, they also want to harness the potential of the VLE to enhance and expand their own staff development provision, at a time when large cuts are being made to funding. The drivers for change in staff development are different to learning and teaching, as are the needs of staff developers and participants on non-assessed programmes of training, compared to faculty-based staff and students, so it is crucial to understand and acknowledge those different requirements. This short paper reports on the work-in-progress of a small-scale action-research project, which aims to: 1 - identify the drivers for change: how to engage staff developers and course administrators with the VLE and blended staff development; 2 - enhance staff development and training provision by integrating the VLE into the re-design of existing programmes of training; 3 - bridge the gap between central VLE support services and the needs of staff developers by developing a departmental community-of-practice support model which can be adopted by others; 4 – lead by example: model the University Vision for Blended Learning. The project addresses staff development programmes offered by a leadership and management development team (within a central staff development unit), where benefits to both participants and staff developers are being observed. Early results indicate a support model specific to the needs of staff developers is required to make the transition of implementing blended staff development successful. So far the VLE is being positively embraced by staff developers within the team, and it is already being sought as a solution to expand and enhance provision beyond the training programmes identified at the outset. Please see also a poster on this topic [ID number 0257]