Taking the first step: Valuing the role of an academic induction program to foster continuous professional development and student success outcomes.

Year: 2018

Author: Weuffen, Sara, Andrews, Tulsa, Roberts, Kate, Holden, Sharon

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Over the past decade, academic development has emerged as a theme among the membership of the International Consortium for Educational Development. In particular, there has been an increasing focus on the challenges associated with academic teacher transition to the higher education sector, and the impact of academic development programs to influence educational change (Chadha, 2015; Grunefeld, Tartwilk, Jongen & Wubbels, 2015). Considering contemporary concern for teaching quality and the power afforded to students as consumers of learning, within the institutionally competitive nature of the higher education sector, data detailing notions of quality education and student career outcomes have become essential markers of student achievement outcomes. In this paper, we build upon the work of Roxa and Martensson (2017) to present a case study exploring the role of a mandated academic induction program for newly employed academic teachers. Presenting our discussions from a critical perspective, we draw upon participant voices to interrogate discourses of academic development and student retention that permeate the sector. Rather than being concerned with the intricacies required to perform the academic developer role, we discuss to what capacity a mandated academic induction program supports academic enhancement, or perpetuates controlling conditions for the assessment and evaluation of learning experiences by the student consumer. We argue that this is particularly timely as the higher education sector struggles to move beyond quintessential traditional learning and teaching experiences systematically entrenched for centuries to integrate the rapid technological advancements of the past decade.
Chadha, D. (2015). Evaluating the impact of the graduate certificate in academic practice (GCAP) programme. International Journal for Academic Development, 20(1), 46-57.
Grunefeld, H., van Tartwiljk, J., Jongen, H., & Wubbels, T. (2015). Design and effects of an academic development programme of leadership for educational change. International Journal for Academic Development, 20(4), 306-318.
Roxa, T., & Martensson, K. (2017). Agency and structure in a academic development practices: Are we liberating academic teachers or are we part of a machinery suppressing them? International Journal for Academic Development, 22(2), 95-105.