Pages 7

Staff and educational development, by which we mean the systematic and scholarly support for improving both educational processes and the practices and capabilities of educators, has moved in recent years from complete absence or at best periphery to centre stage in higher education. We have seen the creation of educational development units, whether within institutions or working with subject communities; extensive funding of projects seeking to improve the quality of student learning; new posts for learning development within departments; and substantial resources devoted to learning technology. Large numbers of staff have become involved in staff and educational development, often without receiving any specific professional education for their new role. At the same time, these developers are likely to face a variety of challenges as they seek both to effect educational change and to develop their own careers. More experienced developers also face change in their own work, as they engage in new areas of practice, extend their own professional expertise and assist with the development of newer entrants to the field.