Staff and Educational Development: Case Studies, Experience, and Practice

By Helen Edwards; David Baume et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1

YES, BUT CAN YOU PROVE IT?

Case reporter: Serge Piccinin


Issue raised

The issue raised in this case is how to establish the likelihood of individual teaching consultation leading to lasting improvement and whether such consultation is worth the time and effort.


Background

This case takes places in a large urban Canadian university. The author is an experienced academic and head of the academic development unit. A significant part of the author's work over many years has been individual consultations with academic staff about their teaching.


PART 1

What a dreary, rainy day! And here I sit trying to complete my first annual report of the activities of the teaching centre over the past term. I've provided individual consultation to over 40 academic staff members. And this was just an annual report-between 1990 and 2001, my records showed over 450 out of a total (for 1988) of 840 professors had used the service. It had sure taken a lot of time, energy and effort, but the unsolicited notes from two of the academics expressing appreciation appeared to make it worthwhile. They seemed delighted with the help received, and felt their teaching had indeed improved. They bragged about end of term teaching evaluations by their students. I began to wonder about the others I had seen. Had they also improved?

-13-

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