25 July 2019 - Bursary winner reflects on the value of learning from others and the benefits of networking at ALT-C
In September 2018, I attended the Association of Learning Technologist annual conference funded by a bursary from ucisa. It has now been over five months since my trip and quite a lot has happened. It seems like an appropriate time to reflect.
Attending ALT has been fairly significant for my personal development. Watching people being awarded their CMALT at ALT was quite an emotional experience and on returning I began work in earnest on my own portfolio. I submitted in January and am waiting to hear back about how I have done. If I pass, I would love to return to ALT to be awarded my certificate.
In discussion with others at ALT, it became clear that first-hand experience of teaching alongside opportunities for real application of pedagogy contribute a huge amount to one’s depth of understanding. Since then I have put myself forward for opportunities that I would not normally have considered. In June this year, I will be going out to RAU’s partner institution Shandong Agricultural University and teaching preliminary English as part of their real estate course.
The conference was a perfect way to highlight the journey RAU had just started out on. I had some great feedback on my poster session (From little acorns…growing a learning technology culture) and there was real affinity from others who were also in one-person teams. I talked to my team (IT Services) about my experience on my return and also shared my posts with all interested. I hope others within IT will be encouraged to apply for future bursaries, and to attend conferences – something some of them don’t usually consider.
Since being awarded the bursary, the RAU Learning Technology team has grown and we now have two new LTs: Aurelie Soulier and Chantal Schipper. Being able to talk to Aurelie and Chantal about technical and cultural challenges has made my working day much richer. We have discussed lesson and materials from the ALT conference, and from other relevant events.
HE and FE IT community
At its heart ALT is about people and networks. I’ve kept in touch with quite a few attendees from the conference through social media and other means.
I met up with my fellow bursary winner (Karl Luke) at the Panopto conference later in the year and have asked his help with technical problems on a number of occasions. He’s probably getting fed up with me now! There was a lot on multimedia at ALT and I have been pushing hard in this area. It’s exciting to see our academics have a go at creating video and audio content. We recently purchased some new recording equipment to help us with our experimentation and to support this new area of work I am developing a Recording of educational activities policy.
However, it’s not just about what you learn in the sessions. I recently followed up on a late-night pub conversation about myday campus maps with Dan Meer from the University of Cumbria. With Dan’s help I have now implemented our own maps at the RAU. I knew it was a good decision to stay up late!
Thanks again to the ucisa team for giving me this opportunity.