"Making Change Happen": Supporting Collaborative Developments in Departments

"Making Change Happen": Supporting Collaborative Developments in Departments

I. Taylor, A. Mannis (2008).  "Making Change Happen": Supporting Collaborative Developments in Departments. 9.


This paper focuses on the Supported Change Program, an initiative pioneered by the UK Centre for Materials Education (UKCME), drawing on a range of literature. The program has at its basis an appreciation of the real barriers that exist within Departments to implementing change; an appreciation heavily influenced by detailed external evaluations undertaken of UKCME‟s early initiatives. A lack of time and the absence of a tradition of a culture of collaborative development feature very strongly as limiting factors.

The authors will share how the UKCME Supported Change Program has operated to address this situation, drawing on experience gained when working alongside Departments of Engineering and of Materials in five contrasting higher education institutions. A number of strategies have been adopted by UKCME, with a view to „create time‟ on behalf of colleagues. These will be considered and evaluated.

However, experience has taught that change is most effectively implemented when mechanisms are put in place which enable colleagues to engage collectively in a process of critical appraisal of current practice. Collecting, analysing and sharing staff perceptions on what is currently being done is a necessary precursor to pushing forward development. The experience gained through this process, along with the outcomes, will also feature in this paper.

Finally, the applicability and value of the UKCME Supported Change Program will be considered in relation to what is being attempted by the planned expansion of the CDIO approach within the higher education sector. 


Authors (New): 
Ian Taylor
Adam Mannis
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Change Management
collaborative development
critical appraisal
collegial support
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