The Pedagogical Developers Initiative - Development, Implementation, and Lessons Learned from a Systematic Approach to Faculty Development

The Pedagogical Developers Initiative - Development, Implementation, and Lessons Learned from a Systematic Approach to Faculty Development

A. Berglund, H. Havtun, A. Jerbrant, L. Wingård, M. Andersson, B. Hedin, et al, et al (2016).  The Pedagogical Developers Initiative - Development, Implementation, and Lessons Learned from a Systematic Approach to Faculty Development. 12.

This paper provides insights on a systematic university-wide approach to create an encompassing movement towards faculty development. To implement and strengthen the teaching and learning practices among faculty and students, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 2014 launched the pedagogical developers’ initiative, appointing pedagogical developers on part-time from all schools of KTH. In line with CDIO standard 10, the purpose of the pedagogical developers initiative is to facilitate cooperation and knowledge exchange between faculty, and to establish communities of practice.

Implementing change in large educational organisations is as a rule difficult. Changes often remain limited in scope and effect. To go beyond such limitations, KTH has used a systematic university-wide approach with the pedagogical developers acting as change agents. The pedagogical developers are teachers active in different educational programmes, with experience of and interest in pedagogical issues. The pedagogical developers are working locally to ensure dissemination of results, as well as at university level to achieve coordinated efforts, and build bridges and contacts across departmental and school borders.

This paper presents the activities and preliminary results from the initiative’s second year, which has focused on supporting faculty development mainly by developing a series of workshops. The topics of the workshops (e.g. assessment, motivation, course syllabus and formative feedback) were matched to faculty needs identified by the pedagogical developers during the first year. The workshops were created by smaller groups of pedagogical developers from different schools of KTH. This enabled a wide array of experiences and perspectives to be incorporated in the workshops. Main foci of the workshops have been to create internal discussions through dynamic communities of practice on specific subjects of interest, and on creating forums for exchange of ideas within the whole faculty. The workshops have also been offered as voluntary add-on parts of the basic course in teaching and learning offered to teaching faculty at KTH during the autumn 2015. The first round of workshops indicated a high interest to participate, and from the participant feedback, the participants particularly appreciated the opportunity to work directly with their own courses and to discuss pedagogical aspects with peers.

As the pedagogical initiative is run as a time-limited development project that is expected to be concluded by the end of 2016, there is a concern whether the activities initiated in the project can be sustained and how they can be institutionalised. Although strategies for reaching long term effects are taking form, the details of such prescriptive character exist beyond the scope of this paper. In summary, we present the direct and indirect consequences from implementation of pedagogical workshops as indications of valid and reliable ways to target faculty development. Whether these dedicated work ambitions are institutionalised and sustained over time remains to be seen as evaluation and impact are still in its first cycle of implementation.

Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016

Authors (New): 
Anders Berglund
Hans Havtun
Anna Jerbrant
Lasse Wingård
Magnus Andersson
Björn Hedin
Juliette Soulard
Björn Kjellgren
KTH Royal Institute of Technology,Sweden
pedagogical developers
educational developers
change agents
faculty development
CDIO Standard 10
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