Building Developmental Networks of Early Career Academics: An Informed Learning Perspective
A key factor in the successful development of universities is the quality of its support system, particularly for early career academics (ECAs). For this group of academics, it is increasingly being recognized that the quality of their research and teaching outcomes, in establishing themselves as professional academics, is largely dependent on their ability to effectively build and make use of a ‘developmental network’ involving supportive, learning relationships with a range of people in both professional and personal contexts. The notion that information and learning are inextricably linked via the concept of ‘informed learning’ (Bruce, 2008) is used as a conceptual framework to gain a clearer picture of what informs ECAs’ learning, and how it informs their learning within a complex practice of building, maintaining and utilizing their networks for professional growth and development. Ms. Miller will discuss her current research in how these networks are formed and utilized by new professionals.