3 heads equal 1, written on a chalkboard
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Editor’s Choice – the multifaceted role of a Learning Technologist

The three posts we have chosen highlight the diversity to the role of a Learning Technologist. Duties of the Learning Technologist continues to provide much debate in the Learning Technology community. Here I look at some of the responsibilities of a Learning Technologist that often come together under one job title If you are a Learning Technologist, maybe you’d like to think of what type of Learning Technologist you are most of the time as you read this post? Do you enjoy the variety or one particular aspect of your role more than others? Let us know what you think.

3 heads equal 1, written on a chalkboard
3 heads are better than 1

The Learning Technologist as the developer

In this blog post, City Law School Lecturer, Dr Steven Truxal discusses the process of designing and developing the City Law School’s first distance learning programme (Master of Laws (LLM) in International Business Law (IBL)), from inception to launch in the City University London LEaD Educational Vignettes blog. This is a great post for anyone thinking of doing similar things in their institutions, as it provides detail of how Steven undertook the task. It also highlights the role of the Learning Technologist as an Instructional Designer and Developer, especially in video production and the timescales needed to launch a distance learning programme of this size. As academics increasingly say, they are time pressured (UCISA TEL Survey, 2014) and that time is a cost. Working on projects that will have a bigger impact, such as these, are increasingly what City University London are doing.

The Learning Technologist as the adviser

Another key aspect of a Learning Technologist is offering advice to staff on how to use a variety of technology in their teaching. This blog post on David Hopkin’s Don’t Waste your Time, links to his book ‘The Really Useful #EdTechBook’ (2015) does exactly what it says on the tin, in my opinion. David and other contributors look at the role of the Learning Technologist as an adviser and outline the many useful tools, knowledge, skills and attributes needed for the role. The blog post and the book are examples of how the Learning Technology community are creating an identity and shaping the work they do with staff and students in institutions across the country. I discussed this further myself in a blog post entilted ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ in 2014.

The Learning Technologist as the architect

Finally, the Learning Technologist is sometimes the architect of curriculum design, as this blog post from UCL’s Digital Education team highlights. Here, they describe their codified approach to designing a module, with a hands on 90-minute workshop called the ABC (Arena, Blended, Connected) Curriculum Design model. This is an example of how the Learning Technologist can really add value to the model, the practice of the academic and to the student experience. I think this facet of the role is often neglected or under utilised by institutions. When done well, it can have a major impact on the provision offered to students.

This collection was compiled by Santanu Vasant, an Editor of #altc Blog. If you have ideas for future posts please contact blog@alt.ac.uk

If you enjoyed reading this article we invite you to join the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) as an individual member, and to encourage your own organisation to join ALT as an organisational or sponsoring member

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