Issues around staff development for e-learning

Just working my way through Pettit (2005) which tells the story of how the OUK used online conferencing for staff development around e-learning. What I’m finding useful to my situation is the literature review which covers some of the issues around this issue and which connects nicely with some earlier ideas.

For example

  • academics must be familiar with technologies before thinking about how to apply them in their course….many references on this
  • staff suffer from time-poverty
  • there are some issues around using online technology to help
  • rather than being “developed” through centralised programmes there should be local support within the existing discipline-based structures
  • this can make it more palatable for those that are reluctant and avoids the difficulties of top-down change in universitites
  • But, local support is costly in a large institution and can also result in fragmentation and entrenching of local differences
  • mentions the problems with reinventing the wheel
  • Not all exemplars are suitable across different disciplines
  • The problem of “staff developers” being seen as the university’s agent
  • the importance of selecting the participants

The ideas I have around the REACT process take a slightly different approach which might be useful.

This particular quote is interest, and is something I need to follow up.

it is important to acknowledge that academics possess varied knowledge bases and that one valuable source for informing the design of creative and effective programmes
of professional development may be found in the insights, experiences and knowledge
of the academics themselves’ (Ferman, 2002, p. 146).


John Pettit, Conferencing and Workshops: a blend for staff development, Education, Communication and Information, 5(3), 2005, 251-263

FERMAN , T. (2002) Academic professional development practice: what lecturers find valuable, The International Journal for Academic Development, 7(2), pp. 146–58.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s