A global perspective on #cmalt professional development in Learning Technology

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ALT has been working to advance, explore and disseminate knowledge in the field of Learning Technology – the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching and assessment – since 1993. Central to that mission is CMALT, ALT’s Certified Membership scheme, which provides peer-based professional recognition and accreditation for individuals who work with learning technology. As technology in education becomes ever more ubiquitous, that includes a growing variety of roles, from learning technologists and developers, to teachers and researchers, to senior managers and leaders. Running for over ten years, the CMALT scheme recognises that, as technologies and tools develop, the skills and competencies needed for effective practice, and the sorts of roles which require them, also continue to expand and evolve. CMALT helps to establish a consistent standard in the context of constant evolution, setting out the key areas which are important for the professional development of all practitioners working with learning technology, and the core competencies which will always underpin good practice regardless of how technology changes.

CMALT’s flexible and comprehensive framework means it retains its relevance for professional development in learning technology not only across different sectors and working roles, but also across geographical contexts. A sister scheme, CMALT Australasia, operates in collaboration with the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE), and has provided many individuals and institutions in Australasia with a route to professional recognition and staff development: http://ascilite.org/get-involved/cmalt/

2017 and 2018 has seen an ambitious project, originating in New Zealand, to to provide agile and scalable professional development by designing a cMOOC (connectivist massive open online course) around the CMALT accreditation framework: https://cmaltcmooc.wordpress.com/about/ . The cMOOC has seen engagement from around the globe, reflecting the uptake in recent years of CMALT accreditation in North America, mainland Europe, and the Middle East, expanding its traditional bases in the UK and Australasia.

Meanwhile, the equally ambitious BOLT project in Hong Kong is a multi-university collaboration designed to increase awareness and improve practice of blended and online teaching and learning in Hong Kong: https://www.bolt.edu.hk/blended-learning/ . The BOLT project supports staff through CMALT, providing funding, guidance and resources to enable individuals to gain recognition for their skills and capabilities with learning technology (find out more in a recent ALT Winter Conference presentation).

On 3 May 2018 Dr Maren Deepwell, ALT’s CEO, will join the BOLT project organisers and partners at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University at their blended learning Symposium @PolyU,  a celebration and culmination of the BOLT project. As this 4-year University Grants Committee-funded project draws to a close, the Symposium will look at its impact so far - evidenced by its shortlisting for the Reimagine Education 2017 awards - and also to the future and its sustainable legacy, with the ALT CEO sharing her views in a keynote on ‘Critical Perspectives on Blended Learning’.

As technology and tools develop and diversify, we need to ensure that, as educational practitioners, we engage with them on the basis of robust and enduring principles and values that will always underpin effective pedagogical practice. In a global educational marketplace, CMALT offers a well-established and consistent framework that allows institutions to invest confidently in their staff, and gives individuals the opportunity to gain meaningful recognition from a growing and global network of professional peers.

If you’d like to find out more about CMALT and future development of the scheme go to https://www.alt.ac.uk/certified-membership