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Implementation of the Professional Development Framework: Industry Active Part-time Lecturers Experience

Author Fiona O'Riordan
Abstract The aim of this paper is to share the experience of one pilot group's experience of implementing the national Professional Development Framework (PDF) for all staff who teach in higher education, specifically a pilot group consisting of industry active part-time educators.

There were twenty-two pilot groups in total spanning the complete Higher Education (HE) sector. Groups were across institutions and profiles. Each pilot group had an expert mentor assigned to it. The mentors were members of the National Forum Professional Development Expert Group (NFPDEG), a group convened by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (National Forum) to guide and direct this pilot project under the management of Dr Roisin Donnelly, Project Manager. The author of this paper is one of the mentors on the NFPDEG. The paper was developed with the contribution of all thirteen participants who volunteered for this pilot group (see list of contributors in acknowledgements).

Since its conception, the National Forum has been working on development a PDF. The development phase included a sectoral consultation process. As part of this process, Griffith College advocated on behalf of a PDF that included the voice of industry active part time educators. The rationale for this recommendation emanated from part time educators who argued that although they are not always research active, this did not disadvantage their learner's in any way, because they more than compensated through being at the forefront of industry instead. They reasoned that they were bringing current real life examples and scenarios into the teaching and learning space. This was not to infer that industry experience is more valuable than discipline research. It is simply seeking acknowledgement that there is a need for both in order to provide a rich and authentic learning experience for learners.

The National Forum (NF) invited a group of industry active part time lecturers to form one of the pilot groups for the PDF study. This paper provides feedback from the focus group of this one pilot group offering insight about their experience of participating in the PDF pilot study. We are grateful for the inclusive ethos of the National Forum, which informs all their work including developing, and piloting the PDF.

Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2017
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