H808 Diversity in e-Learning (5.2)

For this assignment we have been asked to get a sense of the diversity of those involved in the profession of elearning by looking at job opportunities in the field via jobs.ac.uk and conference announcements on ALT-C.

At the time of writing (16th Jan 2012) there were 11 jobs with the keyword ‘e-learning’ and four with the keyword ‘elearning’ on jobs.ac.uk.  Here’s a screen capture.

elearning

e-learning

   

 

Though some jobs appear under both keywords, there seems to be a slight tendency for salaries on the right hand column to be a little higher, even though the nature of the appointments is similar (at the officer/manager level).   Most of these jobs seem to reflect a supporting role for the educational technologist, though this doesn’t equate to a lack of seniority or executive power judging by the salaries and the various descriptions of duties.  At the same time, there are some roles here where elearning is mentioned as an afterthought or as lip-service to current trends in higher education.  For instance, the  Assistant/Associate Professor in European History at Qatar University is expected to be competent with elearning methods but it’s not clear how this is integrated with other aspects of the job or what kind of measures the university intends to use.  This gives the impression that the person writing the job specification may not themselves have a good understanding of elearning.

Moving on to the conference notices at ALT-C… there are currently four conferences being promoted here.  They are as follows:

 

The first two are online webinars run using Blackboard virtual learning environments and intended for assessors and candidates for the CMALT professional membership scheme for elearning practitioners.  Looking over the list of CMALT members at http://www.alt.ac.uk/sites/default/files/public/Cmalt%20holders%20list_20111121.pdf I noted that none of my OU colleagues seemed to be members (which is a bit surprising given the fact that  CMALT is mentioned in H808).

The third event is a webinar featuring two eminent learning technologists, Diana Laurillard and Stephen Downes.  There isn’t much in the way of detail about the content of the webinar – only the question ‘to what extent should learning design be supported computationally?’.  Most of the page is just biographical information which suggests that they’re relying on reputation alone to sell the event.

The final event is a conference which takes place in Manchester next September.  There aren’t many details here and you have to go to http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2012 instead.  The motivating questions for this conference seem to be very general and focused on the core activities of learning technologists rather than anything particularly topical.  I suppose this lends weight to the idea that the activities of learning technologists can be highly diverse.

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One comment

  1. I’ve come to realise that the nature of the search engines employed may also be a deciding factor in the choice between ‘e-learning’ and ‘elearning’. Because the minus (-) is the operand used by many search engines to EXCLUDE a word from its results, I’ve noticed over the past few days that ‘e-learning’ as a search term causes all LEARNING jobs to be listed, whereas ‘elearning’ lists elearning and e-learning jobs. Therefore, I might suggest that sometimes the term used by the poster is determined by their prior experience with similar posts.

    Big picture, I agree with your interpretation.

    I just add my observation as another factor. And just add that it’s all a hideous mess. A job at a nursing college in a London University caught my attention and I sent them a preliminary e-mail to ascertain if I was overqualified for what they had in mind. The job description was woolly and seemed to be a clerical job even though they called it a Learning Technologist position. (I’ve a first-class Masters in e-Learning Design & Development). I got the very, no kidding, tart reply that if I thought I was too good for them, I need not apply. Hand on heart, that’s the reply I got – no distortion, no embellishment, no exaggeration.

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