Having recently completed the SEDA course Supporting and Leading Educational Change (snappily called SLEC), I thought I would share some reflections that might be of interest to those of you considering it. You might, for example, be actively involved in educational development as a member of a central teaching and learning unit, you might offer postgraduate teaching-related programmes to academic staff, and/or you might lead a team that implements funded projects of a technological and pedagogical nature. If you are toying with the idea of gaining a professional qualification for this type of work, then read on to explore if this course might be a good fit for you.
First, some basic facts. This is a 12-week online course that as the website goes is “designed to accredit and advance your work in supporting and leading educational change in further or higher education”. It is divided into two six-week blocks before and after the Christmas break. Successful completion of the course leads to Fellowship of SEDA (FSEDA). SEDA is the UK-based Staff and Educational Development Association, a professional body that seeks to promote innovation and good practice in higher education. Established in 1993, the overall mission of SEDA is to offer members professional learning opportunities, professional recognition, and practice-oriented publications with the ultimate goal of supporting student learning.
As someone who has worked in academic development for a number of years, but who did not have a qualification in that specific field, I felt it was time to give time to probe and more deeply reflect on the way I have been approaching my role. I wasn’t looking for CPD that focused primarily on the science and craft of teaching, I wanted something that was tailored to a role where you are supporting and hopefully enabling other staff to develop as teachers. To my mind the distinction is important and the big questions for educational developers are very different: Are there better ways of evaluating the impact of various initiatives we are spending time and money on? How are other institutions designing and offering their CPD for maximum gain? Are we doing the right thing as regards the opportunities in place to support the sharing of teaching practice? Am I doing what I really should be doing in my job? These were the types of questions I wanted to explore and develop more confidence in through learning from an international community of peers.
[You can read the remainder of Clare’s reflections on her SEDA Fellowship experience on her personal blog].