The Role of Educational Developers in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Educational developers (EDs) are change agents. They play a crucial role in helping colleges and universities adapt and respond to change. As technology advances and attention to student success, retention, and completion grows, EDs play an essential role in supporting faculty in creating the best possible student experience. The role of an ED may multifaceted depending on an institution’s need: researcher, instructional designer, instructional developer, assessment professional, instructional coach, multimedia specialist, faculty developer, trainer, and the like. As subject matter experts in curriculum design and professional learning, it is important that EDs recognize their value and contributions to the institution—the skills, talents, and knowledge needed to support the design and delivery of a quality student learning experience. Based on my experience of nearly 10 years as an ED in higher education, doctoral and postdoc research on faculty professional development, and considerable discussions with colleagues about the discipline, the following summarizes my framing of an ED: who we are, the importance of our role, and how we are continuously being established as a staple within the landscape of higher education.