Sunday, July 22, 2012

Professional learning and development

The teacher & the VPLD approach by hazelowendmc

I am sold on Hazel Owen's Virtual Professional Learning Development approach. For the larger size of the image click here. At first glance the model looks complicated but in actual fact it is surprisingly simple. At the core is the teacher who becomes a participant in a virtual learning community. The model uses a Moodle platform to facilitate online interactions with other teachers, resources and mentors. The diagram shows how the teacher is linked to a virtual learning community, the students and the wider education community. It is worth noting that the virtualness of the approach does not exclude face to face interactions. The complexity of the diagram comes from the inclusion of all the processes and practices involved in the professional learning and development that the teacher engages in. What I am exploring is how this model could be applied to specific teaching and learning practices such as assessment, in particular assessing action competence

Owen, H. (2011). Design for virtual professional learning and development: infinity and beyond. Proceedings of the International Conference on eLearning Futures 2011 (pp. 46-53). Auckland: Unitec.


Hazel Owen said...

Hello, Brownyn - and thank you for the vote of confidence in this model. We are now in the second year of using the model, after it was piloted for a year, and we are really pleased with the results to date.

I just wanted to clarify that, alongside Moodle (the more 'formal' space), the online community of practice uses Ning ( for asynchronous communication and informal text chats, and we use Skype and Adobe Connect (a Webinar platform) for synchronous sessions. The synchronous session are mentoring, topic based PLD arising from a cross-group needs analysis (quite complex as everyone is working on their own project and in their own context), and relatively informal 'sharing' of effective practice sessions.

I am really looking forward to hearing how the model works when applied to specific learning and teaching practices :-)

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Hazel I know of ning but have never used it. How do you find it compared to something like Google circles or Gtalk? I can't quite get to grips with Circles.

I put forward a proposal for a staff development initiative to our management - it was based on your model - too scholarly for them I think and it didn't light their fire. I think they are heading down the corporate training slippery slope.