Education Development and Leadership in Higher Education: Developing an Effective Institutional Strategy

By Kym Fraser | Go to book overview

9

Education development: the role of graduate university teaching programmes

Kym Fraser


INTRODUCTION

As Ling discusses in Chapter 1, in the past decade the changes that have taken place in higher education have had a significant impact on teaching across the higher education sector. Helping to drive these changes are increasing student numbers and student diversity, an increasing emphasis on student-centred teaching and flexible learning, and the use of educational media, in particular online environments. Education development units are positioned to build on some of these changes through award-bearing university programmes that focus on teaching in higher education. These programmes can be used to introduce staff to what is already known about the facilitation of student learning through good teaching and to encourage staff to take a scholarly approach to their teaching. Programmes of this nature are also one way to begin the professionalisation of university teaching.

While graduate university teaching programmes have existed for several decades, the current climate requires today's programmes to be quite different from those developed in the 1980s and early to mid-1990s. Today's programmes need to: be more accessible to academics; model the learning environments in which we teach; enrol participants who are at a stage in their academic career at which they can cope with the scholarly nature of the discipline of teaching/student learning in higher education; take into account the different disciplinary and local contexts of academics; be articulated with higher degrees and be linked to institutional structures that promote teaching.

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