|Title||Objects in (the) mirror are closer than they appear – exploring perspectives of educators on their engagement with CMALT for reflective learning|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Authors||Concannon F, Bree RT, Bruen C, Buggy C, Fennel C, Clinch G, McDonald E, Molloy K, Morris P|
|Conference Name||EdTech 2018; TEL Quality Matters - People, Policies and Practices. June 2018, IT Carlow.|
|Publisher||Irish Learning Technology Association|
|Conference Location||IT Carlow|
The relevance and importance of learning through reflection to improve the quality of teaching and learning has long been acknowledged, originating with the work of Dewey (Dewey, 1933) and it remains a mainstay for educators today (Ghaye, 2010, Moon, 2006, Thompson and Pascal, 2012). In recent years, there has been an increasing number of avenues open to higher education practitioners to engage in reflective practice on their work-based learning in Ireland (National Forum, 2017). However, there remains a lack of professional development opportunities open to those whose work centrally involves learning technology, where it has been observed that this often takes “a largely non-accredited and self-directed form” (National Forum, 2016).
This article reports on the experiences of a group of Irish educators working towards CMALT—the (Association for Learning Technology (ALT)) certified membership scheme for people whose work involves learning technology. The process demands that candidates engage in reflective practice, consider the learning achieved through one’s work-based activity through five structured categories or themes, and to submit a portfolio to be peer-assessed. Participants comprise of ten members of the Irish Learning Technology Association community, who work in a diversity of roles and institutions. This article shares their experiences in how they uniquely approached the art of becoming reflective. Skills, capabilities, commitment, and pragmatic challenges are discussed. This article has implication for future educators who wish to undertake CMALT certification, in Ireland. We raise questions about the ideal supports for participants, and offer insights for others in preparing to become reflective practitioners. The article also considers the relevance and appropriateness of the particular model of structured reflection embodied within the CMALT framework for work-based learning within the Irish higher education context. Future developments may include mapping it to other continuing professional development frameworks.
Professional development, CMALT, reflective practice
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