Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Portfollio for Professional Learning Technology Certification

The UK based Association for Learning Technology (ALT) last year announced extending their Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) to Australia. The CMALT process might make a good model for other portfolio based accreditation processes. For the final unit of my Certificate in Higher Education, I am looking at how university higher degree programs can be flexible enough to support both professional accreditation and research.

CMALT support for candidates and assessors

CMALT provides support for both the candidates and the assessors. Often such assessment schemes fall down because they assume that those doing the assessment know what to do. But just because someone is an expert in the area being assessed, that does not mean they know how to do assessment. Even those familiar with exam based assessment will need some help assessing a portfolio.

CMALT Provide:
  1. CMALT Prospectus: a guide to the process for candidates
  2. CMALT Community: An on-line forum for candidates to get mutual support. On the Crowdvine platform.
  3. Information for CMALT candidates: A short document to start the portfolio process.
  4. CMALT webinar: A live on-line session every few weeks, with questions and answers. There appears to be no stored alternative offered, for those who cannot attend the live webinar. Also there does not appear to be an on-line non-real-time forum for questions and answers.
  5. Guidelines for CMALT candidates and assessors: More detail on requirements for CMALT.
  6. FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
  7. CMALT Development Group: The email addresses of the individual developers of the CMAL process are provided for queries. This is an unusual personal touch for such a process, which usually has an anonymous administrative point of contact.
  8. Portfolio submission form: A Microsoft Word document set up with fields to be completed (I was able to use LibreOffice to fill in the form).
  9. Email address: For submitting the form. It is curious that ALT are not using a Learning Management System, such as Moodle for managing the student interaction and document submission.
Assessors are recruited from those who have already been through the CMALT process and are thus familiar with it (as well as being certified in the subject matter). In addition to the material for candidates, assessors are offered:
  • CMALT webinar for assessors: A live on-line session, with questions and answers. It is not clear how often these are held (there were three webinars for candidates listed on the ALT Events Page, but none for assessors).
  • Assessment form: A Microsoft Word based form. The form is clearly alid out and only two pages long. However, it appears that two people need to fill out the one form: Lead and Second Assessor, which would complicate the process. The new Outcomes feature in Moodle 2 might be a better way to accomplish this.

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