This blog was originally posted on the former Higher Education Academy website.
Working in an area that stimulates learning, an area that assists students to find their way forward by facilitating the development of foundational research skills really makes my day and inspires me to further develop my academic scholarship. I am a librarian and an educator at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia.
At the very beginning of my career, I fell into teaching with little preparation and I’ve realised over the years, so too did many of my librarian colleagues. I was daunted by my first teaching event where I presented to over 400 medical students. I thought at the time that I would never get over the nerves, dry mouth, that ache in the pit of my stomach and feeling like a spotlight was firmly placed in my corner of the auditorium. Fast forward many years; that first nerve-raking experience has guided and influenced my teaching practice and encouraged development of my personal outlook on ‘becoming’ and ‘being’ an educator. A big factor was the realisation that as a professional I needed to take responsibility for my own development and avail myself of the professional development opportunities offered by my institution. Hence, when there was an opportunity to apply for recognition as a Fellow of HEA I jumped at the chance.
Two dimensions of the application process have affected and further developed my professional attitude and praxis – reflective writing and developing a community of practice. For instance, the act of writing reflections rather than just thinking reflectively has stimulated deeper understanding of experiences and highlighted significant ways forward to further develop my practice and support for student learning. During this period I was motivated to write an article which views the experience of teaching through the lens of librarian and considers two professional development activities that can enhance and recognise teaching capabilities – the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and application to be recognised as a Fellow by HEA. All in all, my experience of engaging with the HEA Fellowship Scheme through QUT’s Academy of Learning and Teaching has been rewarding, invigorating and has stimulated other opportunities and increased my community of practice.
Find out more about Fellowship.
Hall, Jenny (2017) Developing teaching best practice—pedagogy, preferences, and professional development. International Information & Library Review, 49(1), pp. 59-64.