Thursday, 12 November 2009

eLearning and professional development

Core activity 5.1 was to explore a number of websites looking for implicit and explicit definitions of elearning professionals, and then to consider how far the areas of professional development contained in H808 so far have been in line with what is going on elsewhere in the elearning world.

Clearly so far in H808 we've looked at eportfolios, reflection, PDP, and development of technical competencies. These are all related to developing skills to be both a successful learner and successful elearning professional (and presumably H808 students aspire to be both). In my exploration of the suggested websites I felt the focus was less on technical skills, and more on the development of communities of practice, accreditation and on the development of competencies particularly for (possibly predominantly )classroom-based teachers and trainers. I think this perception of difference between H808 and the elearning world based on focus on technical skills being a key part of this course is actually mistaken, as I see the technical elements as being included in order to explore the pedagogical principals they support.

The consideration of what it means to be an elearning professional (elsewhere in Unit 5) aligns very well with the variety of terminology that is out there. While I found none of the suggested websites attempting to define 'elearning professional', the scope of what was included (e.g. administration, facilitation, instructional design, teaching, content authoring, mentoring, learning system production) goes some way to illustrating the breadth of the term. Perhaps H808 is pushing boundaries and asking difficult questions by trying to define what we mean by elearning professionalism. Some of the websites certainly don't seem too questioning (e.g. The eLearning Guild, which appears anyone can join if you want to pay up), whereas others have more stringent conceptions of professional development and maintaining competence (e.g. CMALT, membership of which requires assessment by your peers and experts, with periodic updating). Certainly the questioning, reflective attitude promoted by H808 appears to be one cornerstone of professionalism on which the more rigorous websites (CMALT, EIfEL etc) are agreed.

No comments:

Post a Comment