Doing staff development: Practices, dilemmas and technologies

John Hannon

Abstract


Online learning technologies now pervade higher education institutions, and the convergence of teaching and learning onto technological systems has created new work practices and a demand for staff development. Educational developers are located at a nexus between the institutional and pragmatic imperatives, from which tensions and incongruencies emerge and need to be resolved in daily practice. In this paper, this nexus is explored by analysing accounts of educational development practice from one institution, based on interviews with educational developers. This paper considers staff development practices in higher education in response to the processes of change associated with learning technology, and the strategies used to resolve incongruencies and conflicts that emerged from these practices were analysed. The discourse analytic method of "interpretative repertoires" (Potter & Wetherell, 1987) is used to explore the resolution of dilemmas in practice. In this case study, two contrasting repertoires are used to account for staff development: one that 'enables' academic staff in their use of learning technologies, and another which 'guides' staff in their online teaching towards specified technologies. The intersection of the two repertoires in the institution presented dilemmas for educational developers. The responses to these contexts and the implications for educational development are explored.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1227

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