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Would you like professional recognition for effective technology use in education?

Karen Shackleford-Cesare28 January 2022

If so, why not join the 2022 Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE) Cohort and work towards CMALT accreditation? You may be a tutor, a PGTA, an ELO, a TA, a Librarian, a Learning Technologist, etc. Anyone in fact, who is a staff member at one of the institutions affiliated to the BLE (namely, Birkbeck, LSHTM, RVC, SOAS, UCL, City, University of London and UoL) and has been using technologies effectively to teach or support teaching and learning. Indeed, in the last two years many more UCL staff members have been doing just that.

What is CMALT?

CMALT stands for Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology and the CMALT Accreditation Framework provides pathways to peer-assessed accreditation for a cross-section of learning technology focused professionals, educators and administrators in the UK and internationally.

Join the BLE CMALT Cohort

Registration for the BLE CMALT Cohort is now open! (Until March 1st 2022*). If you missed our two Introduction to CMALT sessions, our slides are available to view here and the session’s recording is here. Attached is the CMALT Prospectus; further information about CMALT and the Association for Learning Technology can be accessed here: https://www.alt.ac.uk/certified-membership

When you have decided, which of the 3 CMALT pathways you may wish to pursue, (download the CMALT Prospectus for details), then please complete our sign up form. Thereafter more information will be emailed to you. The first cohort meeting was or will be on Thursday 3rd Feb, 1 – 2.30pm and was recorded. Future meetings will take place on the first Thursday of every month for no more than 8 months.

Late starters are very welcome! (Until March 1st 2022*). So, if you are interested please do get in touch using the aforementioned form.

*It is also possible to pursue CMALT accreditation independently at any time. See CMALT Support for details.

Inspiration – Great News – It has been saved!

Michele Farmer29 January 2020

I have heard that Inspiration mind mapping software has been bought by another company and will be continued.

Digital Accessibility – from Directive to DNA

Samantha Ahern22 July 2019

I have been very excited by the flurry of activity that has been triggered by The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations (2018)   across my own and other institutions. These regulations haven’t really introduced anything new, much of it is covered by existing equalities legislation, but it has shifted the focus. Previously, we could be reactive and in our laziest moments rely on those that needed adjustments to request them. Now, we are required to be proactive. To create content that is accessible by design and follows Universal Design for Learning principles around designing for POUR (i.e., so content is Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust). Aligning with the social model of disability: people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference.

Tweet by Danielle Johnstone describing some of the Lego activity outcomes.Many colleagues I meet are concerned about what the regulation means in terms of workload, what is required of them and how they become compliant. A range of guidance and support is being delivered to help raise awareness and develop the required skills. But, fundamentally there needs to be a mind shift.

Although there are deadlines associated with the regulations, I would argue that digital accessibility is not a compliance challenge but a cultural shift. A move from directive or requirement to part of our institutional DNA.

In a workshop I co-hosted with my colleague Leo Havemann, a participant described Digital Accessibility as being akin to Escher’s staircase, and I believe that they are correct. We will never not need to consider accessibility as part of our learning and content designs, and it may at times be impossible to be 100% accessible to everyone. However, it doesn’t mean that this shouldn’t become part of our day-to-day practice. The recently launched Student Health and Wellbeing Strategy echoes this with Action 1D: Make key concepts related to disability awareness, inclusive learning, health and wellbeing an integral part of relevant professional services staff and Personal Tutor training. Incorporate these concepts into curriculum development, design and governance.

So, how do we make accessibility part of our everyday? The aim of the aforementioned workshop was to crowd-source ideas on how to create the cultural shift, but also to identify what we can do now to help affect our institutional cultures.

Screenshot of tweet by Kris Rogers showing workshop Lego modelFor creating a cultural shift, key themes were to obtain buy-in from senior leadership teams and to embed digital accessibility in induction, training and promotion/development requirements. Making it part of the institutional language and ways of working for all. There was an acknowledgement that we needed to be honest with colleagues that it would require additional effort and different ways of thinking and doing. However, this would reduce over time as a result of skills development, cultural shift and tools to help. There should also be a bottom-up approach facilitated by peer evaluation and creating a network of champions within and across institutions.

With regard to what we can do now, 15% solution, a key theme was walking the talk – demonstrating good practice through our own behaviours and leading the way for others to follow. Training and support were also key themes, as were demonstrating good practice and cultivating empathy.

There may well be dragons to face along the way, but they are worth facing for the creation of a more inclusive and equitable institution.

If you would like to run the workshop at your institution, the materials are available under CC BY-SA 4.0 license: DirectiveToDNA-AccessibilityWorkshop

The materials are also available via OpenEd@UCL.

Gain accreditation for learning technology expertise with CMALT

Caroline Norris25 June 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is CMALT?

CMALT is the professional accreditation scheme developed by ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) for anyone whose work involves learning technology.

The scheme enables candidates to

  • have their experience and capabilities certified by peers
  • demonstrate that they are taking a committed and serious approach to their professional development

Accreditation is achieved by successful submission of a reflective, online portfolio, which evidences skills and experience in learning technology across four core areas and a specialist area.

UCL staff and CMALT

UCL staff can undertake CMALT accreditation with the Bloomsbury Learning Environment partners.  In the past three years, over 50 staff members have set off on their CMALT voyage with the BLE – many have now achieved their CMALT accreditation. Previous cohorts have comprised academics, librarians, learning technologists, careers advisers and professional support staff who all have a strong interest in learning technology.

You can view further details about CMALT on the ALT website.  there is also this handy document for a brief overview.  An introductory meeting was held in Bloomsbury on Thursday 19th July to explain further what accreditation means and what is involved in achieving it.  You can watch a recording of this introductory meeting or view the slides.

Interested in joining the 2018-19 cohort?

Please confirm your intent to register by completing the registration form by Friday 31st August. You will be sent an introductory welcome email from ALT with links to all relevant documents. You will also then be given access to the BLE CMALT course on Moodle and added to the BLE CMALT mailing list.

The cohort will meet monthly on the first Wednesday of the month during lunch time; the first meeting will take place on Wednesday 5th September, 1230-1430 in Bloomsbury.

Costs
Registration is usually £150 per person. However, for groups of between 5 and 9 candidates, ALT offers 10% off each registration, which would be £135. For groups of 10+ they offer 20% off each registration, which would be £120., I will be able to confirm the fees once we reach those thresholds.

Further CMALT information

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Sherman, BLE Service Manager directly.

ABC has reached 21

Natasa Perovic24 March 2016

(For latest news about ABC LD, visit ABC LD blog)

Digital Education has now run 21 of our popular rapid learning design workshops. ABC uses an effective and engaging paper card-based method in a 90 minute hands-on workshop. It is based on research from the JISC and UCL IoE and over the last year has helped 70 module and course teams design and sequence engaging learning activities. It has proved particularly useful for new programmes or those changing to an online or more blended format.

To find out if ABC is for you this short video captured one of our workshops earlier this year.

Participants feedback remains encouragingly  positive 

“I thought the ABC session was really helpful.  I had been a little unsure ahead of the session what it would achieve – but I genuinely got a lot from it.  Going back to the basics of methods etc really helped focus on the structure and balance of the module.  I thought the output was very useful.”

“Thank you for convening the abc workshop today, i  found it thought provoking and challenged the way we think about our teaching. It is too easy to stick to what we have done previously and I found today gave me different ways to think about how to evaluate our current teaching and to bring in different approaches. It will definitely improve my thinking and I will continue with the approach to incorporate some of the ideas into the modules.”

“Thank you for the workshop today- it was an eye opener. I found it really useful to think about categorising how the learning objectives will be delivered and assessed, and examining the variety of ways that these can be achieved. It made me think more deeply about what skills the students can develop by making them responsible for their learning journey and not simply the content that needs to be delivered to them. We will let you know how it goes!”

“It was great and many initiatives have emerged from it.”

abc workshop group work

For questions and workshops contact Clive and Nataša

cy_np

 

 

 

For more information see :

ABC Curriculum Design 2015 Summary
https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/12/02/abc-curriculum-design-2015-summary/

ABC workshop resources and participants’ feedback https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/09/30/9169/

ABC beginnings https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2015/04/09/abc-arena-blended-connected-curriculum-design/

 

ABC News:

We are currently developing an online toolkit to support the workshop, have been working closely with CALT to embed the Connected Curriculum in designs and we are developing collaboration projects with The University of Glasgow, Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Leiden (Netherland) and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile) in order to look at the learning impact of this method. Our colleagues in Chile are even translating the workshop into Spanish.

ABC also featured on UCL Teaching and Learning portal as a case study: Designing programmes and modules with ABC curriculum design http://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/case-studies-news/e-learning/designing-abc-curriculum-design

Join us on CMALT 2016 – UCL’s popular digital education certificate

Clive Young27 January 2016

Association for Learning TechnologyDo you use Moodle, Turnitin, Lecturecast, Opinio, My Portfolio, the UCL Wiki? Do you use Email, text, Facebook to contact students, do you read or contribute to blogs or Twitter etc. or use other technologies to support the student learning experience?

If so, why not try UCL UCL’s professional portfolio in e-learning?

Now in its fifth year at UCL, CMALT is a chance to learn about, share and implement good practice in the wide range of technologies that support our students’ teaching and learning.

Working together with colleagues from across UCL was helpful in terms of discovering and developing good practice”.

CMALT is a national peer-based professional accreditation scheme developed by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and an opportunity to certify your growing skills and experience in learning technology.

  1. What does it involve?

Completion of a descriptive and reflective portfolio of about 3,000 words, demonstrating your knowledge in four core areas: operational issues (constraints/benefits of different technologies, technical knowledge and deployment); teaching, learning and/or assessment processes; the wider context of legislation, policies and standards and communication/working with others, plus one specialist option subject. We will run monthly workshops to discuss and work on the core areas of your portfolio, and provide you with a mentor from our team to support you as you complete your certification portfolio.

  1. How long does it take?

It takes about six months from start to submission and it takes around 25-35 hours in all to complete including around 15 hours contact time. The 2016 cohort will start in February 2016.

  1. How much does it cost?

It costs £120 to register as a CMALT candidate under the UCL scheme (normally £150). In many cases the candidate’s department covers this fee.

This is an excellent opportunity to support your professional development with lots of support available.

There will be a lunch time meeting to provide further information for prospective participants next week on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 from 1pm-2pm in Chandler House, room 118. All staff are welcome. If you are interested in CMALT but unable to attend this meeting please contact a.gilry@ucl.ac.uk