Representing Academic Development


  • Cathy Gunn The University of Auckland
  • Linda Creanor Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Neil Lent Edinburgh University
  • Keith Smyth Napier University



academic development, evaluation, higher education policy, quality enhancement initiatives


This article outlines strategies designed to meet the challenge of reporting on the influence of academic development work to different stakeholders. The broad scope of the work is illustrated by examples of initiatives at sector, institution, programme and practice levels. The examples demonstrate how the aims and approaches of academic development have evolved in recent years and why evaluating the expanded range of activities is challenging. This ‘evaluation challenge’ delays growth of a body of knowledge and gives rise to an ever-present risk of removal or restructure facing academic development centres in a rapidly changing higher education sector. The challenge should, therefore, be addressed as a matter of the highest priority.


Author Biographies

Cathy Gunn, The University of Auckland

Deputy Director and Head of eLearning,

Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education (CLeaR)

Linda Creanor, Glasgow Caledonian University

Professor and Head of Blended Learning in the Centre for Learning Enhancement and Academic Development

Neil Lent, Edinburgh University

Lecturer in Learning and Teaching. the Institute for Academic Development.

Keith Smyth, Napier University

Senior Teaching fellow and Senior Lecturer in Higher Education


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Reflective Analysis Papers