Revising, Updating and Creating Professional Development
Learning environments will continue to evolve. Thinking through impactful solutions for potential problems and offering explicit examples could help instructors and students navigate these obstacles. Consider how advances in innovative, solution-oriented technologies allow for creative strategies in teaching and learning.
As the need for quick fixes diminishes, explore how the technology and its features can meaningfully support evidence-based best practices. There are a multitude of ways your initiatives might change: developing new workshops, revising existing trainings or enhancing access to offerings. The future of one’s professional development will be unique to your outcomes and audience.
Content changes may include providing relevant and authentic pedagogical examples; solving teaching problems and challenges; modeling use in multiple delivery modes, even perhaps simultaneously; promoting additional tools and features; and showcasing applications for inclusivity and accessibility.
Logistical changes may include altering the modalities of trainings (changing live webinars to asynchronous modules, for example), complementing trainings with on-demand videos and resources, or making trainings more hands-on and interactive
Your needs assessment, inventory and evaluation will help you decide what to change and when.
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After Altering Content, Process Improvements Continue
Depending on the modifications your team plans to make, there will be a range in the breadth and depth of resources needed. After determining the ideal changes, prioritize these projects and allocate assets accordingly.
Aside from content alterations, there are some considerations to review. Making substantial changes to professional development can be a comprehensive process. Develop a strategic plan and monitor the project’s progress.
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The continuous improvement process requires time, personnel and money. Identify your available resources and determine how to use them accordingly. Establish the tools that will be used to develop, host and share your content and trainings. This may include websites, videoconferencing platforms, learning management systems and recording software.
In some cases, the content developers are different from the session facilitators. Think about your plans for training the trainers. Other items to consider include scheduling, branding, marketing, data collection and analytics.
Whether or not you keep, add, remove, replace, adapt or enhance training offerings, taking a collaborative and data-driven approach will allow your team to make informed decisions about the future of your professional development opportunities.