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Engage me! Getting the academic development that you need to succeed

Friday 5 July: Conference day three, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 8 – 303 B09 Sem



Dr Pamela Roberts
Charles Sturt University, Australia

Marie B. Fisher
Australian Catholic University, Australia



Academic development in teaching is important because academics’ pathways into higher education through research and/or professional practice often mean that they have limited knowledge and experience in this area (Matthews, Lodge & Bosanquet 2014). Higher education institutions need effective academic development programs for new and experienced staff due to changing contexts, demands for new forms of teaching and learning and increasingly diverse students. Many countries require new academics to undertake initial teaching preparation programs (Chalmers & Gardiner, 2015). Australian experience suggests that there are a plethora of continuing professional development options; however, academics are typically not required to undertake them (Fisher & Gemmell, 2017). Limited research has been undertaken exploring academics’ motivations for engaging in teaching professional development and their perceptions of benefits and barriers. There is a need for a framework to help academic developers design programs that align with academics’ motivations and needs. 



What motivates academics’ to engage with teaching development programs and what do they hope to gain? What kinds of program are effective for transforming and enhancing teaching and student learning?  What can we learn from international experiences?

In the roundtable we will explore participants’ stories of their motivations, benefits and barriers to engagement and transformative experiences in teaching development programs. Our perspectives will include academic developers and program participants.

The roundtable aims to develop a framework for designing academic development programs that builds on the work of Gibbs & Coffey (2000); Hicks, Smigiel, Wilson & Luzeckyi (2010) and Hood & Houston (2016). This framework explores program purposes that include staff orientation and networking; developing reflective practice, scholarship of teaching and learning, developing teaching skills, innovative teaching practice; and preparing academics for careers and promotion.  



Intended outcomes are to explore the feasibility of a conceptual framework for informing the design of academic development programs that reflects academics’ and institutional motivations and needs and the benefits and barriers to participation.



Chalmers, Denise & Gardiner, Di. (2015). The measurement and impact of university teacher development programs. Educar 51(1):1-28.
Fisher, Marie B. & Gemmell, Anna. (2017). Academic teacher induction in a multiple campus university environment 2: Engagement in professional development. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), 8(1): 2990-2998. Accessed at:
Hood, Cassandra. & Houston, Don. (2016). Evaluation of longitudinal impact from a university teacher preparation program. In M. Davis & A. Goody (Eds.), Research and Development in Higher Education: The Shape of Higher Education, 39: 106-116. Fremantle, Australia, 4 – 7 July 2016.
Hicks, Margaret, Smigiel, Heather, Wilson, Gail, & Luzeckyi, Ann. (2010) Preparing academics to teach in higher education: final report, ALTC supported project. Accessed at
Gibbs, Graham. & Coffey, Martin. (2000) Training to teach in higher education: a research agenda. Teacher Development, 4:1, 31-44.
Fanghanel, Joelle., McGowan, Susannah., Parker, Pam., Mcconnell, Catherine., Potter, Jacqueline., Locke, William., Healey, Mick. (2015) Literature Review. Defining and supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): a sector-wide study. York: Higher Education Academy. Accessed at
Fisher, Marie B. & Gemmell, Anna. (2017). Academic Teacher Induction in a Multiple Campus University Environment 2 – Engagement in Professional Development, International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), 8(1): 2990-2998. Accessed at:
Fisher, Marie B. & Hill, Andrew J. (2017) Eportfolio Implementation in a Multiple Campus University Environment 6 –Academic Teacher Continuous Improvement, International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education (IJCDSE), 8(2): 3055-3063. Accessed at:
Kennedy, Mary M. (2016). How Does Professional Development Improve Teaching? Review of Educational Research, December 2016, 86(4): 945–980 Accessed at
Matthews, Kelly E., Lodge, Jason M., & Bosanquet, Agnes. (2014). Early career academic perceptions, attitudes and professional development activities: questioning the teaching and research gap to further academic development, International Journal for Academic Development, 19(2): 112–124.


Presentation topic

Academics – Academic Development

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