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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Wednesday, June 17 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
CON02.12 - Deploying autonomous project teams in educational development

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Educational development work is necessarily driven by and aligned to institutional priorities in learning, teaching and curriculum development (Gibbs, 2013). In practice however, Educational Developers also need to respond to emerging priorities, arising needs and serendipitous opportunities as and when they present themselves (Gosling, 2009; Roche, 2003). The variable nature of such issues requires balancing a setting of medium to long-term direction with strategies which are emergent and unplanned. The concept of autonomous project teams (e.g., Clark & Wheelwright, 1992) within organizational effectiveness research offers insights into how we can respond effectively and efficiently with existing personnel to meet new challenges. Through this lens, we have examined one Centre’s approach to structuring tasks, problem solving, accountability, and collaboration to uncover how and why this approach works within our context. Additionally, we offer insight into how an infrastructure of autonomous project teams can be created and implemented and we identify ways to facilitate that process. During this presentation, we will share our experiences and initial outcomes of a study of use of this strategy by one educational development unit and invite colleagues attending to see their practice through the lens of autonomous project teams, and evaluate fit with their context and structure.

Clark, K. B., & Wheelwright, S. C. (1992). Organizing and leading “heavyweight” development teams. California Management Review, 34(3), 9-28.

Gibbs, G. (2013). Reflections on the changing nature of educational development. International Journal for Academic Development, 18(1), 4-14. 

Gosling, D. (2009). Educational development in the UK: a complex and contradictory reality. International Journal for Academic Development, 14(1), 5-18.

Roche, V. (2003). Being an agent of change. In Kahn, P. & Baume, D. (Eds.), A guide to staff and educational development (pp. 171-191). London: Kogan Page.

Speakers
avatar for Carolyn Hoessler

Carolyn Hoessler

Program and Curriculum Development Specialist, GMCTE at the University of Saskatchewan
Carolyn Hoessler (Program and Curriculum Specialist) is a program and curriculum development specialist with 8 years of educational development experience. Her areas of specialty and focus include supporting faculty with curricular innovation, assessment of program outcomes, program... Read More →
avatar for Nancy K Turner (University of Saskatchewan)

Nancy K Turner (University of Saskatchewan)

Director, Teaching and Learning Enhancement, University of Saskatchewan


Wednesday June 17, 2015 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Cypress 2 Room

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