Developing as a developer – how do we do that?

Katarina Mårtenson, Torgny Roxå

13:30 – 17:00 (half-day afternoon workshop)

This pre-conference workshop aims to address the need for professional development of academic developers, ADs. We know that academic developers have a background in a range of different disciplines, but we don’t know as much about how our trajectories in AD progress. Baume & Popovic (2016) highlight a variety of ways to develop professionally, more or less formally: through mentorship, technology, participation in national and international networks (like ICED and its national branches), reading and writing groups, portfolios, and national Fellowship schemes, where those exists. However, there is only a small amount of literature on how such professional development actually comes about, and what it is that is developed through this variety of opportunities. More formal professional development programmes for ADs seem to be rare, although there are examples. Since academic development is gradually expanding and encompassing a broader, more complex task, it seems appropriate and important to ask how we professionalise ourselves in the midst of these changing work environments?

The aim of this workshop is therefore to collegially reflect upon and discuss various ways to develop ourselves. We want participants to exchange experiences of what they have encountered, with what purpose and its effects on their professional development. Based on some of our own experiences with semi-formal extensive programmes (called Strategic Educational Development) and their results we further seek to contribute mainly to two conversations: Firstly, exploring how ADs develop professionally and what these development trajectories might look like, and secondly, exploring to what degree AD is a strictly contextual practice or whether generalizable patterns can be discerned.