Why you should CMALT

by Mark Northover, Associate Director Centre for Learning & Teaching (AUT)

Apologies in advance, but this acronym has nothing to do with the finest Scotch Whiskey, of which the occasional drop has been known to pass my lips.

Certified Membership of the Association of Learning Technologies (CMALT) is a programme equivalent to professional letters in a variety of other areas of work and expertise. It is a programme that recognises a person’s experience and level of capability across a wide range of technologies that support learning. It is also a portfolio-building process that requires reflection on what has been done and what has been learned from what was done.

To qualify for CMALT, an applicant must submit a portfolio, but must also be a current member of a supporting Association – at the moment the two such associations are ASCILITE (in Australasia) and ALT (in the UK). The requirement for current membership adds value to the accreditation by providing a dynamic community of interest and practice within which the holder can continue to maintain contemporary practice and ongoing development.

Who should apply for CMALT?

Basically anyone who works either as a teacher using technology to enhance their practice, or who provides the support and professional development to those who teach. There will be many non-teachers in tertiary institutions who work closely with academic staff – learning designers, technology support (such as LMS support), digital media developers, and so on – anyone whose role involves providing advice and expertise in the use of learning technologies.

What do I need to do?

You need to be a current member of ASCILITE, and you need to pay the CMALT processing fee to ALT of £150 (whatever that works out to in your currency). That processing fee gives you a target of six months in which to submit your experience and reflection portfolio, which can be in a variety of digital formats. There are 7 aspects to address in the portfolio, and it is expected that you cover all 7, although it is accepted that one or two may be a little weaker than the others –

  • Contextual statement
  • Operational issues
  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment
  • The Wider Context
  • Specialist Area
  • Future Plans

What do I get for my CMALT?

The CMALT accreditation adds you to a growing list of learning technology professionals and identifies you as an active, progressive and thoughtful member of this community. All CMALT holders are listed on the ALT website here, and holders can apply to be assessors to continue to support the community in a more active way.

Tell me more

There are many CMALT resources available on the ALT website, and the ASCILITE webinar series here has a number of recorded presentations on how to prepare your portfolio. ASCILITE also runs a Google+ community of practice to support members and prospective applicants.

Also, to provide further support for ASCILITE applicants, we are introducing a CMALT mentor group under the rules of the ASCILITE Community Mentor Program (CMP) and will be calling for expressions of interest to join this group in the very near future.  The group will conduct regular online support sessions and provide progress feedback. Keep an eye out for this call in the regular fortnightly ASCILITE bulletin.

For more information or to be added to the CoP please contact Mark Northover

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