ALT's Framework Ethical Learning Technology

ALT’s Framework for Ethical Learning Technology (FELT) is designed to support individuals, organisations and industry in the ethical use of learning technology across sectors. It forms part of ALT’s strategic aim to strengthen recognition and representation for Learning Technology professionals from all sectors.  The need for such a framework has become increasingly urgent as Learning Technology has been adopted on a larger scale than ever before and as the leading professional body for Learning Technology in the UK, representing 3,500 Members, ALT is well placed to lead this effort. We define Learning Technology as the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that are used to support learning, teaching and assessment. We recognise the wider context of Learning Technology policy, theory and history as fundamental to its ethical, equitable and fair use.

Building on ALT’s professional accreditation framework, CMALT, which was expanded to include ethical considerations for professional practice and research in 2019, a working group of 120 members has helped define this framework for professional practice alongside tools  and resources to help for individuals, institutions and industry.

 Awareness, Professionalism, Values and Community and Care. The full text version of the framework is included below.

Resources

The following resources are openly available: 

Keep informed and contribute

The work to further develop the framework is now underway. We invite you to:

  • Keep informed: Members will receive a quarterly update about the new framework. If you are not already a Member, consider joining or sign up to our public monthly updates;
  • Join the summit: we are holding an annual summit meeting online, helping you learn about the new strategic developments and research;
  • Contribute: We are actively looking for contributions in order to develop a robust baseline of policies and practice.  
     

How to contribute

Year 1, September 2021 - September 2022

In the first year our focus is on collecting examples of case studies and policies from individuals and institutions. Specifically we are looking for:

Year 2, September 2022 - September 2023

In the second year our focus will be on developing pathways to accreditation and expanding the framework via mappings to other standards. Specifically we are looking for:

  • Examples from accredited CMALT portfolios
  • Mappings to other professional/ethical frameworks
     

The ALT  Framework for Ethical Learning Technology is licenced by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) CC BY-NC-SA, September 2021.  This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.  If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

Text version of the Framework

Framework for Ethical Learning Technology (FELT)

Awareness

  • Respect the autonomy and interests of different stakeholders 
  • Be mindful, reflective and reflexive
  • Think critically about your practice and consider the wider environment(s) you can influence
  • Recognise the limits of one’s own knowledge and the possibility of unconscious bias 

Professionalism

  • Demonstrate accountable, evidence-led practice
  • Commit to ongoing professional development and enhancing your skills 
  • Act with integrity and honesty
  • Ensure practice complies with relevant laws and institutional policies 
  • Apply knowledge and research to advocate for and enhance ethical approaches

Values

  • Support the agency and development of learners 
  • Promote fair and equitable treatment, enhancing access to learning
  • Develop learning environments that are inclusive and supportive 
  • Celebrate diversity as a route to innovation 
  • Design services, technologies to be widely accessible 
  • Be accountable and prepared to explain decision-making
  • Be as open and transparent as is appropriate 

Care and Community

  • Practice care of oneself and others 
  • Promote collegiality and mutual understanding 
  • Minimise the risk of harms
  • Recognise responsibilities and influence beyond your institution
  • Share and disseminate best practice