Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Book chapter in M. Maguire & N. Harding (Eds.), Impact of accredited professional development on assessment in Higher Education. Dublin: LIN, 2016. Creative Commons Copyright.


In the higher education context, the concept and implementation of measuring impact on practice of participation on academic professional development programmes has not been fully explored. More specifically, there is a lack of consideration for how assessment practices in particular have been impacted by engagement on such programmes. Generally, measuring impact is key for understanding how best to provide a coherent student experience, and academic developers are often drawn upon to support programme teams in this activity. This chapter provides guidance and direction to both academics teaching in higher education and academic developers charged with their support by discussing the key issues around how participation on professional development (PD) programmes and initiatives can impact (individual) assessment practice. This work builds on a previous in-house study (McAvinia, Donnelly, Hanratty & Harvey, 2015) and a large scale UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) review by Parsons Hill, Holland and Willis (2012). The former examined the extent to which we can assess whether accredited professional development programmes for academics have improved teaching and students’ learning in higher education. The latter explored the strengths and merits of the available evidence of impact assessment, opportunities for improvement of impact evidence of teaching development programmes, and practical challenges evident from impact assessment and evaluation. A more recent HEA study was conducted by the University of Plymouth (Kneale, 2015) with an aim to bring the discussion forward from this point by creating state of the art knowledge and understanding relating to how the impact of CPD schemes on the student learning experience can be measured. Within Australian higher education, there is further notable review work by Chalmers, Stoney, Goody, Goerke, and Gardiner (2013) and Chalmers and Gardiner (2015), which includes the development of an evaluation tool; both argue that the extent and longevity of the impact of teacher development programmes on the culture of the discipline and the institutions are less well researched and evidenced. Taken together these previous studies have identified issues with how impact is measured, with respect to content and methodology.