Evaluating academic workplaces: the hyper-expansive environment experienced by university lecturers in professional fields

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Boyd P., Smith C., İLHAN BEYAZTAŞ D.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT, vol.20, no.1, pp.18-32, 2015 (ESCI) identifier identifier


Academic developers need to understand the situated workplaces of the academic tribes they are supporting. This study proposes the use of the expansive-restrictive workplace learning environment continuum as a tool for evaluation of academic workplaces. The tool is critically appraised through its application to the analysis of workplace experience questionnaire responses from higher education lecturers in nursing and midwifery in the UK. The analysis identified excessive professional learning expectations and opportunities for these lecturers that we describe as a hyper-expansive workplace environment. We conclude that these academics need support to identify priorities and to develop synergy between areas of their work by focusing on the links between research, teaching, and knowledge exchange activity. Used within an ethical research framework, the expansive-restrictive continuum provides a useful tool for academic developers to understand academic workplaces and offer tailored support to lecturers within specific subject disciplines.