Thursday, January 04, 2007

New year's resolution... of sorts

Okay, let me admit right up front that I'm not that hot on New Year's resolutions per se. That said, my family and I like to spend New Year's day lunch time reflecting on the highs and lows of the past year and setting some goals for the year ahead. Since I had come down with a thumping case of eyeball-aching 'flu the day before, I found it difficult to stay focused. So we postponed the discussion to this weekend. That has given me time to think...

About 18 months ago I took my current job. For 18 years I had been a classroom-based trainer. For all that time, my role had encompassed the whole gamut of the learning cycle: TNA, design, development, delivery, implementation, evaluation, mentoring, coaching, make the tea, drink the tea... I was immersed in the world of my learners. I loved it and I was good at it, very good at it (if I do say so myself - I have the unsolicited testimonials to back up my boast, scouts' honour).

But I was getting frustrated in my last job. I wanted to introduce some online learning, a portal, some short e-snippets. But he-who-signed-the-cheque wasn't having any: it wasn't the right culture or climate, apparently. So I sought for and found a job that would broaden my experience to include elearning. My current title is Blended Learning Solutions Designer. A bit of a misnomer, really, since I have somehow gotten stuck in an eddy of elearning. I design the elearning component of blended solutions and very seldom get a look in to the workshops, the mentoring, the coaching, and as for contact with the learners (aside from the SMEs)... Try as we might, we have been unable to persuade our clients to let us in beyond a rather narrow remit.

This year, I am determined to change that. I don't want out. I want in. In to designing the blended learning solution as my title suggests. In to contact with the learner - how do I evaluate the effectiveness of my designs without that? In to helping people overcome challenges in the workplace. I don't want to be a vendor, I want to be a provider. I might not work in an educational institution, but I am a teacher nonetheless, and I miss teaching.

Vicki Davis refers to teaching as a noble calling. I think it might actually be a state of being, rather than a titular thing. It might just be the Lemsip talking, but this year I think I need to find a way to re-release the teacher within.

Any suggestions???

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