This session introduces you to the design and delivery of an optional mentorship module which forms part of the Blended & Online Learning & Teaching (BOLT) project for 5 of Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions (www.bolt.edu.hk). CMALT Professional Development, a self-paced module, is designed to nurture an understanding of the principles and values of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), whilst also providing advice and guidance for potential CMALT applicants. This advice and guidance focuses on the development of critically reflective thinking, and the importance of achieving description, evidence, reflection and impact within their statements. Participants in this session are encouraged to act as critical friends – we very much welcome feedback and ideas for enhancement, whilst we also aim to inspire peers and institutions to support their colleagues and staff at all levels to successfully navigate through the CMALT accreditation scheme.
Delegates who attend this session will see how this support module uses learning technology to empower participants with the knowledge and tools to develop and submit a critical and evidence-based CMALT portfolio, whilst they will also hear of the design ideas and approach behind the modules creation and its peer-focused ‘on-demand’ nature. Furthermore, the module promotes activity and sharing, in line with the view that “the opportunity for teachers to participate actively and collaboratively in professional communities is an essential component of high-quality PD” [Borko, Jacobs, & Koeliner, 2010]. Structured through 5 defined sections, the CMALT Professional Development modules rich resources include interactive multimedia ‘Mentor Views’ which provide audio insight and links to official ALT documentation where appropriate, whilst core to the module dynamic are section-themed ‘coffee break’ discussion forums which are designed to encourage participants to share ideas and peer-review statements or choice of platform, for example. In addition to these forums, an open Padlet wall also provides an accessible area for the uploading of multimedia components which participants may seek feedback on.
Although in its infancy, progress to date has been positive. Two successful webinars with 31 attendees have attracted 32 registrants onto the CMALT Professional Development Module across 5 institutions. 9 participants attended a recent face-to-face ‘Sharing & Enhancement’ session, and so far 4 participants have registered with ALT for the CMALT Scheme, with 1 final submission. Focus in the session will fall on the challenges and issues faced when promoting and applying mentoring practice, and our approach to promoting ALT (and CMALT) overseas. We will also highlight the impact of one-to-one mentoring and initiating self-reflection in participants, and how they then align their reflection to the framework with appropriate supporting evidence on a platform that reflects their work. In addition to broadening the approach and scope of platforms that CMALT candidates adopt to present their portfolio, it is becoming increasingly clear that this module can enhance the quality of submissions, and therefore by the end of the project in 2018 this can be reflected in a reduction of referral numbers.
Attendees will also see an overview of the key component of the BOLT project – the BOLT Foundation Course – a two-module professional development course offered in a blended mode, which has so far supported 96 graduates from its Module 1 (Designing Blended Learning) and 48 proceeding to complete Module 2 (Implementing Blended Learning). Currently, 45% of the BOLT participants have enrolled onto the CMALT Professional Development module, with project funding from the University Grants Committee (UGC) enabling the availability of a funding & reimbursement model for CMALT applicants from participating institutions.
Borko, H., Jacobs, J., & Koeliner, K. . Contemporary approaches to teacher professional development. In P. Peterson, E. Baker & B. McGaw [Eds.], International encyclopedia of education [pp.548-555]. Oxford: Elsevier.
Fry, H. Ketteridge, S. Marshall, S.  A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic practice. 3rd edition. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.