Prof. Celia Popovic publishes virtual book as primer for educational development

Celia Popovic, associate professor at York University’s Faculty of Education, recently launched a virtual book titled Educational Developers Thinking Allowed with Fiona Smart from Edinburgh Napier University.

Celia Popovic

Celia Popovic

The book serves as a primer to the field of educational development and has emerged from the collective experience and knowledge of a large number of educational developers in several countries. It explores teaching and learning in post-secondary education, and aims to provide guidance and resources from experienced educational developers. Readers will be able to gain information, advice and support in their work.

Educational development involves supporting those who teach in post-secondary education such as faculty, contract faculty and TAs.

"Educational developers came to the forefront when we all had to pivot to remote teaching in March this year, but they provide continuous support with online and in person teaching, as well as supporting AIF (Academic Innovation Fund) projects, helping to write research proposals, conduct research and publish,” says Popovic.

Popovic says she wrote Educational Developers Thinking Allowed (EDTA) because it was challenging to locate specific advice and resources early in her career.

“As director of the Teaching Commons at York University, I found it challenging to find people with appropriate knowledge and experience when recruiting, and ways to support newly appointed educational developers,” says Popovic. “EDTA is aimed at newcomers and those who might be considering joining the profession. It is also for people who may not have the role in their job title, but do this work, for example faculty members who support their colleagues with workshops, events, resources on teaching and learning.”

“Initially, we were going to publish EDTA in print, but we moved online when we realized that we would be able to reach our audience more quickly and engage in dialogue with them if we made this an Open Educational Resource (OER). All of the material is covered by Creative Commons 4.0 license – which means that it can be used as it is or repurposed by someone else,” says Popovic. “Every page has a discussion space. We are now engaged in encouraging debate and discussion on the site, making this a dynamic resource."

There will be a "Speakeasy" event Nov. 19, and one of the authors will join Popovic and Smart in a debate anticipated to be provocative, engaging and energizing.

“I am very grateful to all the colleagues who wrote or reviewed pages in this resource, and particularly to my ‘partner-in-crime’ Fiona Smart of Edinburgh Napier University,” says Popovic.

To access Educational Developers Thinking Allowed visit https://edta.info.yorku.ca/.

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