academic developer academic development attitudes benchmarking change education design Education Support People edvisor higher education management organisation

Research update #51: Been a long time Been a long time Been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely time*

Actually it hasn’t been that lonely at all, life is pretty good on that front, but it certainly has been a long time since I last posted here – coming up to 3 months.

So why is that? Well, I moved cities and changed jobs for one thing. After 16 years in Canberra and three at ANU, I’ve finally returned to Melbourne to work as a Senior Learning Technologist at Swinburne University of Technology. It’s a step up in many ways and it also gives me an opportunity to develop some insights about how a centralised TEL support unit works.

In the times that I have found to work on revising my thesis proposal, which my supervisor has assured me can be a little late because life changes are factored in, I’ve been looking at some significant structural issues and fleshing out the core areas that have been a little thin or overlooked. Conducting more empirical research on edvisor numbers, origins and edvisor unit structures absolutely makes sense, given the paucity of existing data – it’s virtually all feelpinions, the closer I look at it – and I’m also starting to realise that while I like Bourdieu’s ideas about power and belonging, I have nothing to say that smarter people haven’t already said about it or used it for.

I’m also trying to work out how this research can dovetail with the wider objectives of the TELedvisors SIG and how both can inform the other. It hadn’t occur to me that this was something that I could talk about in my research proposal but Peter sees it as a strength, so that sounds good to me. This does mean that I need to explore some new ideas (such as Participatory Design and Development) to see if that can give this a framework but my ducks are now all in a row and I’m well into the process of actually rewriting draft 2.

There is a mountain more to learn in my new role – far more management and operational responsibility than I’m accustomed to – and we’re in the midst of some massive projects (transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas, rolling up Echo360 ALP upgrades and training, looking for an ePortfolio, looking at badges, developing an education technology evaluation pipeline) but I’m incredibly glad to be here.

Yesterday’s TELedvisor SIGs both look like they could be particular helpful in both work and study as well. Check them out below.