Yesterday we welcomed Dr Shirley Evans from the University of Worcester to Cardiff University to discuss all things CMALT.
CMALT is a peer-based professional accreditation scheme for individuals whose work involves learning technology. If you succeed in completing the accreditation, you will gain Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT).
As Honorary Secretary of the Association for Learning Technology – ALT (of which the University has been a member since October last year), a CMALT holder, and also a CMALT lead assessor, Shirley was the ideal person to come and speak to us as new candidates. We were also joined by Geraint Evans from the School of Social Sciences, and Dave Ruckley from the WCPPE, School of Pharmacy, who have both completed CMALT. Dave has now become an assessor on the scheme.
Things to think about
Shirley mentioned that CMALT gives practitioners a chance reflect on their work – where they are at the time of starting the scheme, and they want to go. It’s also a chance to look at what others are doing, and realising what you’ve done personally.
At the heart of CMALT is a set of key principles and values that inform the scheme. These should be considered for each area:
- a commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning
- commitment to keep up-to-date with new technologies
- an empathy with and willingness to learn from colleagues from different backgrounds and specialisms
- a commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice
Shirley, Dave and Geraint had a few tips for the group from their experience of writing their portfolios for CMALT:
- Understand your learners, and explain who they are – in a UKHE context, learners can be students (UG/PG, Campus based/distance/blended, professional etc), staff (academic, administrative, CPD etc);
- Remember – description / evidence / reflection / impact;
– Fully describe your work relevant to the section, and describe your personal involvement;
– Evidence your work, and if it’s a topic where difficult to evidence, consider asking for testimonials;
– Always focus on reflection – what have you learnt from the process?
– Consider the impact that the work that you’ve done has had on learners;
- Look at CMALT portfolio examples – CMALT holders have submitted information about their portfolio and openly accessible versions of them are available on the CMALT site;
- Decide on your topics – take a look at the criteria, and draw a list of the topics that wish to discuss, and decide on the most relevant ones;
- Outline your headings and start with a couple of sections – create an outline with headings on a site as a starting point. Portfolios have been created using Google Sites, ePortfolio systems like Mahara, WordPress, and even Word! Then start with a couple of sections;
- Clarity – be clear about what you are trying to say;
- Relevance – try to use evidence of work you’ve carried out over the last 2-3 years;
- Again, don’t forget – description / evidence / reflection / impact!
Please get in touch with us here at the Centre for Education Innovation if you wish to take part in CMALT, so that we can add you to our list of participants, discuss discount and make sure that you are fully supported during the process.
A big thank you to Dr Shirley Evans for the session, and for Dave Ruckley and Geraint Evans for sharing their valued experience.