Infoscience

Conference paper

Educational Development Practices in Switzerland or Conquering the Swiss Alps of Higher Education

This paper presents the preliminary results of a survey on faculty development practices in Switzerland. A sample of 40 faculty developers contacted though the Swiss Faculty Development Network replied to a set of 35 questions between March and May 2016. The survey identified the 12 core activities they consider to carry out in their role as faculty developers from which: teacher training, personal or small-group advising and curriculum development. The main goal of the survey was to explore if the choice of core activities thereby mentioned could be driven by the faculty developer’s training more than by the type of institution in which they work, of which Universities, Polytechnics and Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS). The main findings show that there is a significant difference of practices between the Universities/ Polytechnics on one side and UAS on the other side. For instance, conducting teacher training programmes and personal advising are the most often mentioned activities for the former; whereas administrative tasks are the front line activities for the latter. Surprisingly, curriculum development is seldom mentioned at all for UAS, although it is understood as a central role of faculty development. This paper will suggests that the altering use of change tactics (Gibbs; 2013) in Faculty Development in the Swiss Higher Education landscape is underlined by elements concomitant to each academic institution -such as class size, institutional educational strategies or even students’ academic freedom.

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