IJAD: call for proposals on the theme of Failure (2020)

IJAD: call for proposals on the theme of Failure (2020)

Dear SFDN members,

Please see attached a call for proposals for a special issue in IJAD on the theme of Failure.



Failure: A catalyst for learning and development

International Journal for Academic Development 

While successful interventions and practices create important opportunities for learning across international academic communities, less successful initiatives are seldom shared. Still, when asking how people learn to become an academic developer, most people acknowledge the trial and error aspects of learning the practice. The shortage of empirical research in higher education settings, as well as theoretical contributions that help us better understand failure in academic development, puts academic developers at the risk of repeating mistakes rather than learning from them.

This special issue welcomes contributions that deal with failure as a catalyst for learning and development in different ways. Contributions could include analyses of narratives from academic developers’ encounters with failure in the context of academic development work or in conjunction with academic staff on departmental or organizational development. Empirical studies of cases relevant to academic development work are welcomed. Examples of contributions could include analysis of institutional or departmental change, where data is made up of policy and strategy documents and interview data, and where there may be a longitudinal perspective. Different stakeholder perspectives involved in the change initiative are also encouraged, as are studies of initiatives carried out which lead to unintended or contradictory outcomes. These types of contributions will add value by linking to theoretical perspectives on narratives enabling a deepened understanding of how failure may be productive and lead to unintended consequences, positive or negative.

Emphasis in the papers should link to theoretical frameworks that broaden our understanding of failure. By providing contributions on the topic of failure, the academic development community is enabled to engage in double-loop reflection, and learn, not only from own mistakes, but also from others’. Contributions to this Special Issue will seek to fill in some of these blanks and set the course for a broadened scholarship of academic development.

This is an early call for proposals for a Special Issue on ‘Failure – a catalyst for learning and development,’ due for publication in 2020. The extended timeline is intended to give authors opportunity to not only reflect on previous initiatives, but also to design and execute newstudies into academic development work on how failure contributes to academic development while still having time to go through IJAD’s regular review process for possible later publication.


Best wishes

The SFDN Board


Ariane Dumont has developped the Center for Teaching and Learning at Yverdon Western University of Applied Sciences, she is the Academic Director of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Higher Education at the western Switzerland University of Applied Sciences HES-SO. She is serving as President of SFDN since 2017. She is a Council Member at ICED International COnsortium for Educational Development, as the representative of switzerland.

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