Professor takes leadership role with International Consortium for Educational Development

Deandra Little is a professor of English and the director of the Center for Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

Deandra Little, who heads Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, is taking on a new leadership role with the International Consortium for Educational Development. 

Deandra Little, professor of English and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Little, a professor of English at Elon, has been named vice president of the international group, and will step into the role at ICED’s biennial conference in South Africa at the end of November. The increased involvement in ICED offers Little the opportunity to play a more integral role in sharing best practices for effective teaching on a global scale. 

“It’s been fascinating,” Little said about her involvement with ICED, which is a network of about two dozen country-based organizations focused on promoting effective teaching practices. “ICED is about researching and sharing effective teaching and learning practices here and in other countries. Learning more about the international contexts for higher education, allows us to reflect on, study, and understand universities in the U.S. context much better.”

Little became involved in ICED through her work with the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. More commonly known as the POD Network, it is one of the organizations that participates on the global level through ICED. 

ICED also supports the publication of the International Journal for Academic Development, which is a publication venue for educational developers from around the world and highlights advances in the field.

In her role as vice president, Little will serve on the ICED Council and support the journal along with other collaborative research projects that ICED is involved in. One project ICED is now undertaking is identifying the skills and knowledge sets that educational developers need in the field. That poses a challenge, given that educational development seeks to enhance teaching across multiple disciplines and in different national contexts, Little said. 

Next month’s conference in Cape Town, South Africa, has the theme of “Ethics, Care and Quality in Educational Development,” with Little saying she looks forward to discussions about the social justice mission of higher education, particularly in the context of post-apartheid South Africa and recent student-led protests about the purpose and cost of higher education there. 

“I think the intersection of the conference theme and location will make it a really relevant, visible and important conversation to have,” Little said.