Associate Professor joins HEDC
HEDC warmly welcomes Associate Professor Joyce Koh from Singapore, who has just arrived in Dunedin to join the department as a specialist researcher in educational technology.
(Photo from left to right: Sarah Harland, Associate Professor Joyce Koh, Professor Tony Harland)
Higher Education Development Centre Celebrates 40 Years
A brief history of the Higher Education Development Centre
From a growing interest in learning about university teaching, the suggestion to set up a research centre to study higher education was made in 1971 by the University’s Lecturers' Association. In 1973 an Audio Visual Learning Centre (AVLC) was formed and Terry Crooks, a lecturer in the Education Department carried out research and provided advice for academics on teaching and learning. In 1976 Senate established a Higher Education Research and Advisory Centre (HERAC) that merged with the AVLC in 1978 to create a new academic department, the Higher Education Development Centre (HEDC).
Throughout the 80s and early 90s there was a strong emphasis on teaching aids and the use of educational technology, alongside research-led academic development to help teachers. However, from the mid-90s, HEDC began a period of transformation. The first change was the introduction in 1996 of a formal course in tertiary teaching which has since grown into a suite of postgraduate qualifications and a strong Masters and PhD programme. The second change came in 1998 with the inclusion of undergraduate support and a new emphasis on student learning development. A few years later, with the expansion of the University’s postgraduate students, the department introduced dedicated programmes for this group. HEDC now has three main constituencies: academic staff and both postgraduate and undergraduate students. As might be expected, the educational technology side of HEDC has gone through some major revolutions, starting with visual aids and video production, then designing and building web applications, and latterly to data analytics and big data. Until 2017, HEDC also assisted the University and staff with teacher and course evaluations but this function now resides with the Quality Advancement Unit.
In 2000, Chris Heath began a process of re-focusing staff on producing high quality research as the foundation for academic development. HEDC is now one of the leading higher education research departments with a worldwide reputation. A more holistic vision for academic development also came into being in the early 2000s. Instead of focusing solely on teaching, the department developed a new model to support academics in their research, teaching and service. In other words, it recognised that all academic tasks are closely linked and that often advice is needed across the complex spectrum of academic work. HEDC staff also have close collaborations with various professional staff groups across the institution and work with senior management to help the University achieve its goals.
Professor of Higher Education
Head of Department
Higher Education Development Centre
New NZ Scholars with their Senior Mentors
In February, the HEDC provided an academic orientation programme for 15 postgraduate NZ Scholars (NZ Aid and ASEAN scholarship recipients) commencing their studies at the University of Otago. The students come from Oceania and South-East Asia, and will be based in departments across the university. We wish them all the very best for their studies!
Tuesday, 6 March 2018 5:21pm
Enthusiasm and passion in teaching their areas of expertise has resulted in four staff members being honoured in the University of Otago’s annual Teaching Excellence Awards.