About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2243-2246
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain


N. Shapland

Griffith University (AUSTRALIA)
This paper repositions academics as students; and proposes reconceptualising our approach to staff training with an Academic Lifecycle Model.
The current rhetoric surrounding ‘student centred learning’ and ‘teaching for learning’ advocates, indeed demands that teachers employ multiple methods of engaging and supporting students in their learning. It suggests that flexible on line delivery and multi media are essential to connect and interact effectively with the ‘net generation’. The incorporation of inter-professional learning opportunities, authentic work-integrated and/or simulated learning experiences, problem-based learning approaches are to be integrated and combined with an engaging curriculum that supports cultural diversity, internationalisation and of course develops that University’s ubiquitous Graduate Attributes. Assessment must be formative and support learning as well as validly certify levels of students performance. Everything must be supported by research and throughout all this academic achievement standards must be assured and maintained.
“Effective pedagogy depends on the learning of all those who support the learning of others” (1). Yet, what proportion of those responsible really have the breadth and depth of educational experience let alone technical skills and confidence to do this in a manner and at the level of sophistication currently being demanded by those higher up in the Higher Education echelons? How many new academics are really comprehensively and supportively inducted into their roles with appropriate opportunities to practise and develop their skills for lecturing and convening prior to taking on multiple courses or programs? Although many Institutions now offer induction programs and some form of Higher Education Certificate, managing the transition into academe as a teacher still remains a major issue for the majority of staff (2); characterised by stress and frustration (3).
Could Universities approach the training and development of new academic staff in the same way it approaches teaching new students? Are these staff not students as well? Do they not need to have their learning structured, scaffolded and sequenced? Do they not need opportunities to practise? Would they not engage more deeply and become better educational practitioners if their learning was meaningful, authentic, engaging and everything else we strive for with our student body? New academics enter a process of commencing, transitioning, developing and maturing as an academic; not unlike that described in many student lifecycle models. Applying sound pedagogical principles for learning and development within an Academic Lifecycle Model is one suggested approach.
Academic staff are the backbone of any University. And a backbone needs to be supported appropriately. Institutions need to take the training and development of its backbone seriously.

(1) Teaching and Learning Research Program. TLRP’s evidence-informed pedagogic principles, Economic & Social Research Council, UK.
(2) Barlow, J., & Antoniou, M. (2007). Room for improvement: the experiences of new
lecturers in higher education, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 44:1, 67-77.
(3) Staniforth, D., & Harland, T. (2003). Reflection on practice: collaborative action research for new academics, Educational Action Research, 11: 1, 79-92.
author = {Shapland, N.},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {2243-2246}}
AU - N. Shapland
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 2243
EP - 2246
ER -
N. Shapland (2013) ACADEMICS ARE STUDENTS TOO: RETHINKING OUR APPROACH, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 2243-2246.