This blog is inextricably intertwined with my academic development practice. It is the result of my previous academic development work, it is my current personal academic development, and it leads to further academic development work for others.
- The blog summarises what I have learned from years of academic development. By working with many staff on many different issues of academic practice, and by reading the literature and conducting formal research on empowering academics, I have learned what the common problems are, and the fruitful solutions. The blog summarises the results of this informal, iterative, research into academic development.
- As I write the blog, I engage in my own academic development. As I write, I reflect on my practice as a teacher and academic, and I clarify, refine, elaborate and illustrate what I do, then I systematise this in a personal and useful theory of teaching and learning. What I end up with in the published blog is (I think) clear, well-illustrated, complex, informative and (hopefully) insightful accounts of different aspects of academic practice. Putting this another way, the blog is my informal micro-research about academic development. In the blog I develop and refine new ways of conceptualising academic development practices, and test how clear and informative they are.
- When I share the blog, it can facilitate and inform academic development for others. If I am consulting with a staff member about designing their course, I can share my blog posts about course design; if I conduct a workshop on supervision, I can send participants a link to my blog posts about supervising and postgraduate learning. What’s more, the blog allows for wide dissemination of this academic development advice and support. I don’t have to be personally involved in the academic development.
- Finally, the blog is also a model for how others can engage in reflective academic development about their own practice.