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Learning Enhancement and Development

Developing and enhancing the educational career of an academic

Principal investigators: Professor Pam Parker, Professor Susannah Quinsee, Professor Rachael-Anne Knight

All academic staff are expected to engage in education activities to enhance students’ learning and for some this is the main focus of their academic career. In order to support staff in their educational activity there are a range of professional development activities that can support this. For some staff this may include undertaking a teaching qualification such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and / or gaining Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy at one of their four categories. However, in addition there is a need to engage in annual professional development to ensure practice remains current and contemporary.

There are a range of opportunities for staff to engage in development which include:
*Modules of the MA Academic Practice
*Workshops provided on a range of topics
*RISES programme and CPD
*Peer Supported Review of Education
*Individual mentoring/coaching
*Education projects
*Programmes and seminars provided externally
*Reading focused on a specific education practice
*Attending conferences focused on education practice

Whilst staff engage in these activities there is limited evaluation of the reason for engaging in these and how they impact on an individual’s practice. The Department for Learning Enhancement and Development provide many of these activities and would like evaluate individual’s reasons for engaging in these activities, the impact this has on their practice and what individuals would like provided to support their future development.

In addition, there is limited guidance around career development and enhancement for educational practice and so the team would like to draw on the participants experience to develop an educational career guidance framework.

The aims of this project are to:
*Identify why staff engage in different professional development activities
*Explore what impact different activities have on their practice
*Examine what activities individuals would like to support their future development
*Develop a career guidance framework

The overall key research questions arising from this are:
*Why do staff engage in the development activity they have chosen?
*What impact has the activity had on their practice?
*What future development activities would individuals like to engage in?
*How have individuals’ careers been influenced by their professional development and what has had the most impact and why?

This project has significance for City University of London with the introduction of the TEF in 2016 and focus on teaching excellence it is important that any professional development activity has a positive impact on education practice. In addition, City, University of London has a promotion route focused on education and this would inform those seeking promotion through this route and those supporting them.