Reflecting on practice – CPD for Learning Designers

shutterstock_155255801Here in the Digital Learning Team a number of the Learning Designers are working on completing our CM-ALT portfolios. Becoming a Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technologists is “a peer-based professional accreditation scheme developed by ALT to enable people whose work involves learning technology to have their experience and capabilities certified by peers and demonstrate that they are taking a committed and serious approach to their professional development“. It’s an excellent way for many of us to formalise the many years of experience we have gained and is encouraging us to think more critically about what we do and how best we can achieve impact.

The portfolio is light touch but a significant component involves reflecting on our current practise. This also ties in very well with the current drive to improve ways of working in iSolutions and across the faculties as the new structure begins to take shape.

CMALT is suitable for professionals who use technology in teaching and learning with at least two years of experience. In our team we come from a range of career paths, education history and disciplines and we feel that this diversity is a real advantage, but it’s also great to work towards this qualification together. The CMALT Prospectus indicates that a wide range of people are eligible for CMALT, including teachers and lecturers, so any academic staff are welcome to join us. We love a challenge and a bit of friendly competition; maybe together we could beat Edinburgh with the largest number of CMALT holders?

Finding time to write is challenging though; there’s a lot of demand for our services so it often gets bumped down the priority list. We were thinking that a short but intense half day ‘writing retreat’ might be a good way to reconnect with colleagues and get it done. If you think this might suit you, please drop us a line at digital-learning@soton.ac.uk.

CMALT is mapped to the UKPSF, as is the various tiers of Fellowship of the HEA. As Learning Designers in iSolutions, the most appropriate level of those is Associate Fellow and we are interested in pursing this also. Not only is that useful CPD for us as a team, but we can also appreciate the process that academic colleagues go through as they apply for other levels of fellowship.

It does often feel that everything is working at a furious pace, but in making the time for these reflections we will start to reap the benefits much sooner.