Grant Holder(s)Project Title & AbstractGrant Status
Dr Kerry DobbinsExploring the features that characterise Educational Developers’ Experience

Educational developers share a mission to support the enhancement of educational practices and students’ learning experiences. It is their specific remit to support teachers in developing their expertise; yet the development of educational developers’ expertise remains underexplored. This project will address this gap by exploring the extent to which King’s (2022) model of teacher expertise captures and characterises how educational developers learn from and in their practice. Utilising a participatory research approach, the project will involve collaborating with the wider educational development community to design research methods that support reflection on journeys of learning to become an educational developer and developing our practice. The project will cultivate the community’s ownership of and agency within the study, with findings and further actions confirmed through group dialogue and shared decision-making. As well as providing an evidence-base that characterises the development of educational developers’ expertise, one of the greatest outcomes of the project will be the practical implications of the findings to be used by the community to help to inform professional learning support, resources, opportunities, etc, for new and experienced educational developers.
Dr Melanie Marie Haywoodedefining resilience: using educational development to address deficit language around the achievement of black and brown students in HE.

With the recent political and social change concerning equality of higher education for all students, research has shown a need to change attitudes, expectations and norms that have historically oppressed people of colour. there is still much to be discovered from an empirical perspective of how educational development can provide meaningful support for developing anti-racist practitioners in HE – creating autonomous allies and educators who do not depend entirely on the expertise of others to create inclusive classrooms. As such, this project seeks to evaluate the potential of educational development to create autonomous anti-racist educators with a view to providing black students with a greater sense of belonging in their learning. We also believe that educators still need to feel a greater sense of autonomy but also confidence in engaging with students of colour in a culturally relevant manner. This project seeks to do so through addressing the language that is used about and toward students of colour, using positive and affirming language to change attitudes, but also enhance student belonging in their learning.
Kiu SumDesigning an inclusive toolkit to empower Early Career Academics in their educational practice

Early Career Academics (ECA) face extraordinary pressures when it comes to establishing themselves in academia. The negative impact of high workloads and research demands on ECAs’ wellbeing (Stratford et al., 2023) and confidence (Dore & Richards, 2022) has been extensively documented (Hollywood et al., 2020), and many resources exist to advance ECAs’ research-related development. However, less attention has been paid to supporting their teaching practice, especially when it comes to supporting students’ writing development rather than subject knowledge. Indeed, Dore and Richards (2022) have argued for the need to ‘equip and empower’ ECAs with a range of skills to build their confidence across multiple areas of activity.
Our interdisciplinary project is a response to this call to empower ECAs in a particular area of their educational practice: supporting students with the development of their writing – a key skill that learners need to master at university – and do so in the context of Generative AI. Through a series of semi-structured interviews with ECAs from a range of UK universities, we will establish their perspectives on such support and use this data to generate a resource that we will then refine through focus group discussions. The anticipated product will be a generalisable and transferable toolkit that enables ECAs to better understand how to support their students in academic writing and AI integrity. We also anticipate that the research will generate important conversations around the role of ECAs in supporting student learning while protecting ECAs from overwork and ensuring their wellbeing.
Dr Tunde Varga-Atkins & Dr Sam SaundersAn Educational Developer’s Guide to Multimodal Learning and Generative AI (artificial intelligence)

The role of educational developers is key in modelling best practices in HE professional programmes (e.g. PgCerts). As of recent, this role has been presented with a new challenge: the steady rise and utilisation of Generative AI (GenAI). This project responds to that challenge by scoping existing practice via 1) a literature review, 2) a survey of educational developers, followed by 3) focus groups with educational developers, educators and students to develop a guide to multimodal learning pedagogy and GenAI in partnership with a Student Advisory Group.
The project will adopt key principles of multimodal learning, which is the application of diverse communication modes for student reflection, artefact production and analysis. This is particularly relevant to Generative AI (GenAI), as this new technology can be used to generate artefacts in a variety of modes, such as images, texts and videos, thus presenting an untapped potential for teaching, learning, and assessment.
The proposed SEDA guide will offer practical learning designs for integrating present and future freely-available GenAI tools for multimodal learning, paying attention to equality, diversity and inclusivity, in three strands: 1) teaching, i.e. how GenAI can be used to represent subject knowledge multimodally, 2) learning, i.e. how students could encounter, explore, evaluate and express ideas via multimodal GenAI, and 3) assessment, i.e. how students’ using GenAI to create or critique/reflect on multimodal artefacts. The guide will support educational developers in understanding the potential and challenges of integrating GenAI into teaching/learning practices.
Prof Debbie WilsonMicro-CPD: Evaluation of effectiveness and impact on best practice and the student experience

A combination of factors such as COVID-19, global uncertainty and Generative AI are impacting the wellbeing of staff in higher education (HE). Research suggests there is correlation between sector-wide disruption, changes to the workplace and the engagement of staff in continuing professional development. At Strathclyde, the response of the Academic Development team has been to institute a weekly programme of micro-CPD. Introduced in 2020, the programme is now entering its fourth year.
Tentative evaluation data suggests that the programme is both popular – micro-CPD posts receive an average of 250 unique engagements per week – and potentially transformational. In 2022, a survey of 94 participants found that 89% of respondents had been introduced to new approaches and ideas, while 76% had made, or intended to make, changes to their teaching because of their engagement with one or more micro-CPD inputs. However, questions remain about the extent to which micro-CPD supports innovative and enhanced practice in teaching and learning; the alignment between micro-CPD and other development opportunities; and – ultimately – the benefits to students who are taught by staff who engage with the programme. This project will undertake mixed-methods research including a staff survey and focus groups to thoroughly evaluate the programme’s impact. The findings will be used to make recommendations regarding the transferability of micro-CPD and micro-learning approaches to other HEIs. In particular, colleagues at UCL and the university of Birmingham where similar micro-CPD programmes exist have indicated that they are keen to engage with the resources and other outputs from this project.