Developing a Professional Development Collaboratory: August 18-31, 2008

Self-directed, informal, online PD

Self-directed, informal, online PD

by Christine Horgan -
Number of replies: 2

Hello:

I hope my question isn't too much off topic--I do think it's related. One of the trends I'm noticing in faculty development is self-directed, on-line PD....it's very much grass roots, very much informal. The PD is acknowledged, but there's not formal organization or additional support from Faculty Development. I may be answering my own question here, but it seems to me that a PD collaboratory is part of formal faculty development....it's happening in some places, so what is it about those institutions that encourages faculty to venture into the arena of non-traditional PD ?

Thanks, Chris

(Edited by Sylvia Currie Split from the welcome thread to make a new discussion topic - original submission Thursday, 21 August 2008, 03:14 PM)

In reply to Christine Horgan

Re: Self-directed, informal, online PD

by Sylvia Currie -
I saw Chris' post about informal PD in the "welcome" thread and thought it could use a hoist up to a new discussion topic.

One of the trends I'm noticing in faculty development is self-directed, on-line PD....it's very much grass roots, very much informal. The PD is acknowledged, but there's not formal organization or additional support from Faculty Development. I may be answering my own question here, but it seems to me that a PD collaboratory is part of formal faculty development....it's happening in some places, so what is it about those institutions that encourages faculty to venture into the arena of non-traditional PD ?

It brings us to the question of what types of PD are we talking about for a PD Collaboratory? Formal only?

A couple months ago we had a seminar discussion here in SCoPE called Viral Professional Development. Here is the definition of VPD by the facilitators, Heather Ross and Jennifer Jones:

Viral Professional Development (VPD) occurs when informal learning spreads through the organization and beyond, like a virus. VPD promotes celebration of individual learning and provides support for sharing knowledge informally and on-demand. VPD is an organic concept that is currently being explored internationally and recognized as a valid professional development opportunity. There are no set rules for implementing VPD, but the heart of the concept is in the development of an active learning community.

I think this is along the same lines as Jeffrey's comment:

...seeing some of the same faces in a number of these opportunities ...helps to bring the theory into practice and the practice back into the events themselves.
In this way, It almost adds a meta-professional development capacity.

How do we provide support for the individuals using the PD Collaboratory? Will an attraction to the site be the networking and seeing the same faces?
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Self-directed, informal, online PD

by Christine Horgan -

Hello:

(response to  Sylvia's August 21 (10:31 p.m.) post):

 

I participated in the Viral Professional Development seminar, and so I'm glad to see this session. Every organization has its informal networks (social and professional). It's not easy to quantify the learning that happens. Sometimes, learning shouldn't be/doesn't need to be quantified but it's helpful (if for no other reason than annual performance reviews) if there's some way to capture informal learning.

 

Sylvia, your comments and questions are helping me drill down and clarify my questions (if only for myself)….I don't have a clear vision of what a professional development collaborative would look like—and that's something I'd to understand and I'd like to know what it is about an organization that allows a PD collaborative to flourish.

 

Thanks, Chris