Journal article

Pedagogical support services and academic developers at French universities

Numerous programmes have been implemented to improve the quality of French higher education but the paucity of learning-focused objectives has resulted in contradictory initiatives. Expanding pedagogical development activities for professors, as emphasised by various reports, is a remedy worth exploring as only approximately 15 out of 150 higher education institutions currently have a teaching development centre. Professorial support for these initiatives is growing. A recent survey of professors found 91 per cent in favour of teaching development activities, with young instructors the most in favour and the most diverse in their teaching development requests (Demougeot-Lebel and Perret, 2011). In response, new teaching development units are emerging. The nascent pedagogical support structures raise issues of how to foster both the development of these centres and of their often inexperienced academic developers. Two promising initiatives are the national network of academic development centres and an academic developers’ community of practice in the Rhone-Alps region

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