Hello everyone -
Firstly, I hope I'm not being gauche in just inviting myself into this seminar - I picked up a reference to it from an “Educational Communities of Practice” event on Staffordshire University’s Best Practice Models for E-Learning site (UK) (http://crusldi1.staffs.ac.uk/moodle/course/view.php?id=9&topic=29 - needs registration)...
In answer to Heather's questions:
Where do you work and what is your position there?
I work at the University of London, supporting technology-enhanced learning in distance learning programmes
Through what methods do you receive / take part in professional development?
My own professional development largely comes through taking part in online seminars and conferences such as this, along with participation in mailing lists and discussion groups (mostly) within the UK education community. My role here includes some responsibility for professional development, although we don't deliver formal staff training as such. The University is formed of a federation of independent Colleges and Institutes (such as University College London and the London School of Economics), so individual programme teams are expected to tap into their College’s professional development provision. In practice, I work in more of a technical mentoring and advisory role with individuals within the academic teams, although part of my role is to foster practice sharing amongst the distance learning programmes. I also try to disseminate what I pick up from my connection to the wider eLearning community.
What methods are working and which ones aren't?
It's actually quite hard for me to tell what methods are working, since, being at something of an arm’s length from the Colleges, I don’t get to see how effectively programme teams tap into staff development opportunities there. I work pretty much in a team of one, so I rely heavily on viral processes for the practice and skills I can share to pass amongst the programme staff - my next main focus will be how to make this a more defined(?), possibly structured, process - certainly one that I can present in a more concrete way to new staff.