Supporting Early-Career Academics in the UK Computer Science Community

Crick, Tom, Davenport, James, Hayes, Alan, AIrons, Alastair and Prickett, Tom (2021) Supporting Early-Career Academics in the UK Computer Science Community. In: Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Computing Education Practice 2021 (CEP 2021): Durham University, UK, January 7th 2021, Online Event. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, pp. 33-36. ISBN 9781450389594

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3437914.3437977

Abstract

The early career of a computer science academic in the United Kingdom (UK) – as with most other disciplines – is challenging in terms of balancing research aspirations, learning and teaching responsibilities, wider academic service commitments, as well as their own professional development. In terms of learning and teaching development, this commonly involves working towards Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (now known as Advance HE), either by direct application or via successful completion of an accredited institutional taught postgraduate course. Typically, if a course is required (often as part of their academic probation), the focus will be general higher education learning and teaching pedagogy rather than specifically focused on computer science and cognate areas. The formal institutional course requirements are normally supplemented by mentoring from within their department from experienced academic colleagues. Thus, the quality of development for an early-career academic will be enhanced in part by the strength of the community of practice operating within the department and the communities of practice that exist at a national and international level, often through professional bodies, learned societies and sub-disciplinary groupings. This paper explores the work-in-progress to address some of these structural, cultural and community challenges at both the institutional and national level in the UK, based on empirical themes collected from a workshop help at a recent UK computer science education research conference. We identify a number of specific actions and recommendations to supplement the current formal institutional requirements with enhanced national-level academic practice support and professional development, alongside local and regional professional mentoring.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: early-career academics, community, professional development, computer science education
Subjects: G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
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Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 14:21
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2021 10:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/44849

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