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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.28 - Setting our sights: Exploring alternative career routes in educational development

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Pathways into educational development are highly varied and often serendipitous (McDonald, 2010). As educational developers, we have diverse titles, roles, and responsibilities, and over time we shift from “new developers” to “experienced developers” (Sorcinelli & Austin, 2010). Career progress is often described as moving from entry-level, to senior, to director of a teaching and learning centre (Dawson, Britnell, & Hitchcock, 2010) and witnessed in shifts to faculty, administrative, or specialist roles. These career paths offer existing maps; however, for new or varied career routes, how do individuals identify what mountaintops to pursue next, what trails to follow, or when to forge new ones? What literature can we draw on when deciding? What signposts suggest that we are developing as developers? How might we plan for, conceive of, and experience career success? This session is for questioners, whether new or experienced travellers in educational development. Through group discussion and some guided individual reflection, we will explore diverse strategies for (re)defining routes and goals for career progression and success. Learning outcomes include: 
• identifying experiences and ideas that have disrupted assumed paths and opened up new possibilities for careers;
• articulating how we are (re)imagining possibilities for career progression;
• identifying resources that may inform future exploration; and
• identifying possible next steps in achieving harmony and integration between values and career design.

This session is informed by literature on orientations (Land, 2001), threshold concepts in the careers of educational developers (Timmermans, 2014), and insights on academic culture (Sorcinelli & Austin, 2010).


Dawson, D., Britnell, J., & Hitchcock, A. (2010). Developing competency models of faculty developers: Using World Café to foster dialogue. In L. B. Nilson & J. E. Miller (Eds.), To Improve the Academy: Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development, Volume 28 (pp. 3-24). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

McDonald, J. (2010). Charting pathways into the field of educational development. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Issue 122, 37-45. doi:10.1002/tl.396 

Sorcinelli, M. D., & Austin, A. E. (2010). Educational developers: The multiple structures and influences that support our work. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Issue 122, 25-36. doi:10.1002/tl.395 

Timmermans, J. (2014). Identifying threshold concepts in the careers of educational developers. International Journal for Academic Development, 19, 305-317. doi:10.1080/1360144X.2014.895731

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 Isabeau Iqbal

Isabeau Iqbal

Educational Developer, University of British Columbia
Isabeau consults with instructors on teaching and learning matters, facilitates processes and workshops designed to improve teaching and student learning in higher education, and is involved with various formative peer review of teaching initiatives at the University of British Columbia... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon D

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