Educational Development: The Views of Academics

Grant type: Development (2000-08)
Round: July 2003
Amount awarded £2,428.00
Completed: August 2005
Leader(s): Dr Kym Fraser
Organisation: Warwick University
Contact Email:
Contact phone: 0247 657 2958
Address: Warwick Diabetes Care, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
Dr Liz Elvidge
Cambridge University
Start Date: 3 November 2003
End Date: 1 February 2005
Interim report received: 20 January 2009
Final report received: 18 November 2008

Teaching is one of the key roles of academics. With the massification of higher education, the introduction of student fees and the increasing accountability required by governments and the public, there has been pressure on universities to provide academics with support for their teaching role. In the 2003 'White paper', the UK government reasserts the importance of teaching in higher education. The response of the sector has been mixed. It is however clear that HEFCE and universities are willing to invest in education development for academics. What is not clear is how academics would prefer to engage in education development, both initially in their career and as continuing professional development during their career.

We believe that academics enhance and develop their professional teaching practice in ways other than via central services and disciplinary networks. Oxford and Cambridge are both collegiate universities with a unique and very successful mode of teaching. However, only a small percentage of academics in these universities engage with central education development provision. Quite clearly teaching is successfully delivered. Where do academics discuss and develop their teaching and how may centrally based and faculty based education development units work to enhance that development?

This project seeks to answer those questions through investigating the experiences, perceptions and conceptions of Oxbridge academic staff of professional development of teaching. The outcomes will be used to inform current education development provision.