Reflection sketch (looped arrows around a face)

Renewing my Senior CMALT portfolio

A little behind the three-year cycle, I have renewed my Senior CMALT portfolio, which (thankfully) passed and captures my commitment to the Association for Learning Technology core principles. Senior Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (SCMALT) is for experienced learning technology professionals or those with leadership responsibilities who are able to demonstrate influence beyond their immediate work area, or those who have impacted the field of learning technology through research. The three-year renewal does not require a complete re-write of the portfolio, but supplements it with a record and reflection of CPD activity, with three examples explored in more depth.

  • A commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning.
  • A commitment to keep up to date with new technologies.
  • An empathy with and willingness to learn from colleagues from different backgrounds and specialist options.
  • A commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice.
(CMALT Core Principles, Association for Learning Technology)

As a SCMALT peer assessor, I enjoy exploring how other professionals leading learning technology, digital education and online learning have captured their development and professional learning. Often portfolios show personal growth, innovation, and above all a lot of passion for working in the education sector. Writing a CMALT portfolio is a very valuable exercise in taking stock of achievements, reflecting on learning and development, and considering where to go next. I’ve had a significant transition between two places of work in the last three years, which gave much to reflect upon and compare in terms of my professional role and approach working in online education. 

I approached my portfolio renewal by considering three areas of development, rather than specific CPD events (such as conferences or research). This mirrors my approach to development which is more thematic and less about a single activity. By engaging with professional development in an ongoing way, I am able to make connections and take time to reflect on the relevance of activities to my own context, making changes and adjusting practice over a longer period. With that in mind, for the section on three CPD activities, I focused on the following areas which are professional priorities for me, my team and more broadly in online education:

  • Design methodology
  • Emphasising collaboration
  • Microcredential ecosystem

I then started by mapping out my learning journey for each area, with one or two short sentences for each, using the following prompts:

  • What I intended to learn
  • What I learned
  • What was the change in my practice
  • Future direction

This formed the basis of my description (a learning journey table and summary), evidence (list of activity and linked outputs), and reflection for each CPD activity. The reflection, as ever, was on my own learning and practice (conveniently summarised in the learning journey table), rather than a commentary on the sector. This keeps a focus on how development influences decisions and practice. I found this structure, particularly with the learning journey prompts, highlighted well how intended learning can result in unintended outcomes. Whether it’s reading an article, book or attending a conference, or something more practical like trying a new learning design approach or learning technology, we can go in with a specific intention, but come away learning something very new and inspiring. This capacity to explore new paths and make connections between different CPD activities is what to me makes professional learning enjoyable.

To read my portfolio update, please see:






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