Core activity 5.1: mapping elearning as a profession
In my recent assignment I reflected on the context in which I might define myself as an ‘elearning practitioner’. The first time I really identified myself with the ‘world of elearning’ was when I studied my first module on the OU MA course. Since then I have started working in a role where I am managing the development of interactive training modules.
When contemplating what it means to be an ‘elearning professional’, I feel that I don’t readily identify myself as an ‘elearning practitioner’, I feel my participation as a student in the OU MA modules is what gives me my ‘elearning identity’, which combined with my workplace learning will provide me with the skills I feel I need to enable me to identify myself in future as an ‘elearning practitioner’ or professional.
My view of elearning as a profession
I decided to ‘brainstorm’ a healthcare profession that I am familiar with, the Chiropractic profession, identifying the core elements of what constitutes being a professional, and then tried to reflect this for the elearning professional…
The thing that I struggle with is that I see a Chiropractor as a distinct professional, with clearly defined requirements for education and practice, professional associations and a governing body (UK perspective) etc.
However, I still haven’t identified an elearning profession or professional as a distinct and easily represented field of practice. To me it is one aspect of various professions, where technology and the associated pedagogy can be adopted to deliver learning. The professional may come from a diverse range of backgrounds, whether IT, education or subject specific and brings a broad range of skills, expertise and knowledge to their role. However, to be confident in delivering an aspect of their role that is elearning, I believe they do need to have some level of knowledge and skills with different technologies, as well as an understanding of the theory behind applying these in practice. They need to be aware of the needs of their audience/clients and how best to meet these in terms of their approach to learning enhanced by technology.
What this mapping activity has also highlighted for me is that I know very little about the world of ‘elearning’ in terms of qualifications or professional associations and many other aspects.
Having posted this brief summary I am going to delve in to some of the course forums and see what others have identified as core to the elearning profession(al) and then revisit my thinking . . .