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Reimagining Professional Development for Next Generation Higher Education: Mapping Professional Accreditation Pathways

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 11:30am – 12:00pm parallel session



Room 8 – 303 B09 Sem



Dr Thomas Cochrane
Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Martin Jenkins
Coventry University, England



Higher education (HE) has a long history of tension between the competing demands of academic teaching and research expectations, and recent changes to funding models for higher education have driven the development of professional teaching accreditation frameworks and pathways. Part of the conversation was started by Boyer (1990) in his definition of the Scholarship Of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) in an attempt to validate research-informed reflective teaching practice in HE. Dearing (1997) highlighted the need for professional standards in HE, and led to the development of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowship (from Advance HE) and the Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) accreditation (from the Association for Learning Technology) were developed in parallel in response to the UKPSF. More recently the integration of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) into SOTL attempts to bring SOTL into the 21st century under the acronym SOTEL – the Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning (Cochrane & Narayan, 2018; Haynes, 2016; Wickens, 2006).

Citing multiple international studies, Matthews and Pilkington (2018) argue that there is increasing evidence of the link between the impact of teaching standards and teaching quality in higher education. Alongside this, longitudinal research from JISC (2017a) highlights the need for the development of digital literacy frameworks in higher education and aligns with the development of SOTEL (JISC, 2017b). Digital capacity is emphasised in CMALT accreditation and Ireland’s National Professional Development Framework.


The issues

A key issue facing HE is the proliferation of professional standards frameworks and the lack of clear or explicit alignment between them. Examples include the UKPSF, Australian National Standards for HE Teaching, and Ireland’s National Professional Development Framework for teaching and learning in higher education (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 2018). This showcase focuses upon two of the more mature international frameworks, both based on the UKPSF:  HEA fellowship, and CMALT accreditation. A significant issue is demonstrating a tangible link between these accreditation frameworks and professional development (Ellis & Hogard, 2018). Another on-going issue is the difference in level of emphasis of the impact of technology upon teaching and learning highlighted by different frameworks, and the often uncritical positivistic rhetoric surrounding TEL (Selwyn, 2015; Walker, Jenkins, & Voce, 2018; Walker, Voce, & Jenkins, 2016). The growing adoption of professional standards frameworks faces a challenge to the scope and scalability of traditional models of professional development. With the internationalising of UKPSF, there is also the challenge of the cultural relevance of professional standards frameworks based upon the UKPSF beyond the UK (Buissink, Diamond, Hallas, Swann, & Sciascia, 2017)



Association for Learning Technology (ALT). (2017, 5 October 2017). CMALT and other frameworks. Retrieved from
Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Buissink, N., Diamond, P., Hallas, J., Swann, J., & Sciascia, A. D. (2017). Challenging a measured university from an indigenous perspective: placing ‘manaaki’ at the heart of our professional development programme. Higher Education Research & Development, 36(3), 569-582. doi:10.1080/07294360.2017.1288706
Cochrane, T., & Narayan, V. (2017, 4-6 December). CMALT cMOOC: Developing a scalable lecturer professional development framework. Paper presented at the Me, Us, IT! Proceedings ASCILITE2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.
Cochrane, T., & Narayan, V. (2018, 25-29 June, 2018). The Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning: Reimagining SOTL for the Social Network Age. Paper presented at the EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Cochrane, T., Narayan, V., & Burcio-Martin, V. (2015). Designing a cMOOC for Lecturer Professional Development in the 21st Century. In J. Keengwe & G. Onchwari (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Active Learning and the Flipped Classroom Model in the Digital Age (pp. 378-396). Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global.
Dearing, R. (1997). The While Paper ‘HE in the Learning Society’. Retrieved from
Deepwell, M. (2019, 25 January). Announcing the launch of Associate & Senior CMALT. Retrieved from
Ellis, R., & Hogard, E. (2018). Handbook of Quality Assurance for University Teaching: Taylor & Francis.
Haynes, D. (2016). Introducing SOTEL. International Journal for the Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning, 1(1), 1-2.
JISC. (2017a). Building digital capabilities: The six elements defined. Retrieved from
JISC. (2017b). Learning technology mapping. Retrieved from
Matthews, L., & Pilkington, R. (2018). Developing teaching standards: A professional development perspective. In R. Ellis & E. Hogard (Eds.), Handbook of Quality Assurance for University Teaching (pp. 515-530): Taylor & Francis.
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. (2018). Ireland’s National Professional Development Framework Summary Findings of the Initial Implementation. Retrieved from
Selwyn, N. (2015). Technology and education – why it’s crucial to be critical. In S. Bulfin, N. Johnson, & C. Bigum (Eds.), Critical perspectives on technology and education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Walker, R., Jenkins, M., & Voce, J. (2018). The rhetoric and reality of technology-enhanced learning developments in UK higher education: reflections on recent UCISA research findings (2012–2016). Interactive Learning Environments, 26(7), 858-868. doi:10.1080/10494820.2017.1419497
Walker, R., Voce, J., & Jenkins, M. (2016). Charting the development of technology-enhanced learning developments across the UK higher education sector: A longitudinal perspective (2001–2012). Interactive Learning Environments, 24(3), 438-455.
Wickens, R. (2006). SoTEL: Toward a Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning. Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education, 32(2), 21-41.


Presentation topic

Academics – Academic Development

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