Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Professional Learning Technology Accreditation in Australia

The UK based Association for Learning Technology (ALT) has announced "CMALT Australasia", an extension of the UK Certified Membershipof the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) to Australia. The details of the Australia scheme are not yet released, but presumably will be similar to the UK approach, where the applicant submits a portfolio for assessment.

CMALT looks useful, but as a student of higher education (and someone who helped design a professional RPL process), I suggest that more support will be needed for the average person. Just giving people a template to fill in with their prior experience is a daunting task. Even with a support group, and a mentor, this is a difficult task.

While I am an experienced course designer and university lecturer, as soon as I became a "student" of education, I started to behave like a student: concentrating on what was to be assessed and putting off tasks until just before the deadline. There may be a few self disciplined people who can do it all on their own, but I suggest the average person will needs a push along.

For my graduate certificate final assignment I am looking at integrating an e-portfolio into higher degree programs. Alongside their courses and/or research, students would do an on-line course top teach them how to compose an e-portfolio to present evidence of their skills. Students would then fill out either a generic graduate skills template, or one or more specific templates, such as for membership of a professional body (such as the Australian Computer Society or CMALT). The software used to do this is not very important, Mahara and Moodle would do (that is what I have used on my courses). The important point is to offer the student a framework to help them along.

Core areas of work

1 Operational issues. Candidates should demonstrate both their understanding and use of learning technology. ‘Use’ might include the development, adaptation or application of technology within teaching, training or the support of learning more generally. This should include evidence of:

a) an understanding of the constraints and benefits of different technology;
b) technical knowledge and ability in the use of learning technology;
c) supporting the deployment of learning technologies.

2 Teaching, learning and/or assessment processes. Candidates should demonstrate their understanding of and engagement with teaching, learning and assessment processes. ‘Engagement’ may include using understanding to inform the development,
adaptation or application of technology. This should include evidence of:

a) an understanding of teaching, learning and/or assessment processes;
b) an understanding of your target learners.

3     The wider context. Candidates should demonstrate their awareness of and engagement with wider issues that inform their practice. This should include evidence of:

a) understanding and engaging with legislation, policies and standards.

4     Communication. Candidates should demonstrate their knowledge and skills in communication either through working with others or through interface design.
This should include evidence of either (a) or (b).

a) Working with others.
b) Interface between human and technical systems.

Specialist option(s)

As well as the core areas, candidates are required to demonstrate evidence of independent practice in one or more specialist options. Here is an indicative list of
specialist options:
  • producing learning materials/content/courseware;
  • project management, including resource management;
  • training, mentoring and developing others;
  • evaluating projects;
  • research;
  • designing tools and systems;
  • institutional development/strategic work;
  • knowledge and application of standards and specifications for learning technology;
  • assistive technologies;
  • VLE administration and maintenance;
  • interface design;
  • managing and sourcing content;
  • copyright. ...
From: CMALT Prospectus, Association for Learning Technology, 2012.

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