Rethinking our underlying assumptions about what we do and why we do it: Academic development as a case

  • McAlpine L
  • Amundsen C
  • Clement M
 et al. 
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In this paper, academic developers from universities in three countries explore underlying assumptions about what we as developers do and why we do it in relation to evaluating development programs. Through addressing three questions, key ideas emerge that highlight what is often overlooked in day-to-day practice: the fact that academic development has a ?signature pedagogy? defined by the ?learning paradigm?; the potential role of different stakeholders in setting criteria for evaluation; and the inclusion of non-traditional academic development literatures (e.g., adult education, educational change, organizational development) to avoid perpetuating established practices. Our intent is to intellectually challenge ourselves and others to move beyond sharing program and evaluation activities to explore ideas and literature not often considered in our day-to-day work. While the context is academic development, we believe the questions and the answers that emerged are of value to all involved in staff and professional development.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Assumptions
  • Development
  • Evaluation

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  • Lynn McAlpine

  • Cheryl Amundsen

  • Mieke Clement

  • Greg Light

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