Continuing Professional Development to support good teaching is rising up the agenda both nationally and in our institutions. The theme figures prominently in this issue of Educational Developments because of SEDA’s role in helping to bring about improvements in student learning.

We have brought together a number of pieces which show the work in progress on CPD. We have reports of two recent meetings on this topic (Heads of Educational Development and our SEDA London & South-East group), an account of the development of Learning Advisers at Manchester University, which shows the flexibility and usefulness of SEDA’s scheme for Professional Accreditation in Higher Education, the outcome of research into SEDA members’ own CPD requirements, and an important contribution in which Helen Beetham has drawn on her experience of the EFFECTs project at Plymouth to shape the questions and themes of this major issue. Meeting the agenda for our colleagues will require SEDA members to reflect on and develop their own practice, and Ray Land’s article on orientations to educational development will contribute to this process.

While the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme will be keeping many of us occupied for the next few weeks (details at http://ntfs.ilt.ac.uk), the UK is not the first to try such approaches. The Canadian experience can be found at http://www.umanitoba.ca/academic_support/uts/stlhe/index.html. We would welcome responses to these national developments, and we print in this issue Colin Evans’ reactions to the ILT’s emphasis on excellence.

At local level, many of us will be working with colleagues who are making application to the ILT through the direct route. Good and enthusiastic teachers are now setting down, perhaps for the first time, why and how they have developed in the way they have. The professionalism of instinctive self-evaluation, judgement and change is being expressed in the language of the reflective practitioner. If this succeeds as a developmental process in its own right, can research into practice and the “dual professional” be far behind? This is a good time to share your experience in this area.

At the institutional level we must surely be looking for approaches which are both various and appropriate. We are delighted that Cliff Allen has set out the ILT’s agenda for us, and it is good news that the ILT will be taking the CPD discussion thoroughly and with extensive consultation. Much will depend on how positively PVCs, Heads of Schools, Chairs of Teaching Committees and others respond to the challenges of HEFCE’s Learning and Teaching Strategy. In the light of the emerging subject centres it is perhaps surprising that little has yet been heard of Department-based approaches to pedagogic CPD – another area on which we would be pleased to receive contributions.

We learnt from that stumble during the creation of the current ILT scheme just how dangerous was the pro-forma, box-ticking approach to the creation of a genuinely developmental culture. SEDA has a lot to gain from, and give to, the next stage of this public debate.


This issue contains articles on:

The Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN): the implications for educational developers 
Cliff Allan, LTSN Programme Director

An Alternative Perspective on CPD 
Helen Beetham, Development Officer, University of Plymouth

Against Excellence 
Colin Evans, Academic Staff Development Advisor, Birkbeck College, University of London

Creative Pathways to Professional Development 
Catherine O’Connell, Enterprise Centre for Learning and Curriculum Innovation, Joy Anderson, Central Academic Advisory Service, Emma Coe, Enterprise Centre for Learning and Curriculum Innovation University of Manchester

Continuous Professional Development Report from the Heads of Educational Development Group

Supporting the Continuing Professional Development of Experienced Lecturers

SEDA CPD Survey 1998/99 
Ranald Macdonald FSEDA, Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University

A Review of Online Resources for Computer-Assisted Assessment 
Colleen McKenna and Ian Hesketh, CAA Centre, University of Luton

Orientations to Educational Development 
Dr Ray Land FSEDA, Director, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, University of Edinburgh

Sri Lankan Diary 
Professor Liz Beaty FSEDA, Director of the Centre for Higher Education Development, Coventry University