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Learning Development Expertise
• Did you become a Learning Developer at the beginning of your career, or did you
have a different role before becoming a Learning Developer?
How did you become a Learning Developer?
What does your institution think you are?
• What is your job title?
• What type of contract are you on?
• Where in the institution are you based?
• Which discipline did you study?
• (How) does it influence or enhance your Learning Development practice?
• Do postgraduate academic qualifications (Masters, PhD) enhance Learning
• What formal professional qualifications do you hold?
• How many different professions do they represent?
• Which do you draw on most in your Learning Development practice? Which most shapes
and defines your professional identity?
• How well did these qualifications map onto your needs and practice as a Learning
Developer? Is anything missing?
• What informal experience informs your Learning Development practice? How key is it to
• What skills have you acquired informally, to enhance your Learning Development
practice, and how did you acquire them?
• What knowledge, skills or experience (formal or informal) do you feel it would be useful
to gain additionally?
• Where might your career progression go next?
Case Study 1: One to One work
You are working with a second year student in a one to one tutorial. She is anxious as her
marks have been 2:2 since first year, although she did reasonably well at A-level. She
feels she works very hard, but it takes her so long to get her work done that she runs out of
time and the quality of her essays suffers as a result. She feels she has a better
understanding of her subject than is reflected in her marks, and does well in seminar
She never feels that she has read enough - she tries to read thoroughly and critically, but
still doesn’t feel she’s read enough to back up her points or that she’s grasped the reading
well enough to critique it properly. Writing is similarly slow - she tries to make sure it is
academic-sounding and properly structured, and tries her best to proofread it as she goes.
However, feedback suggests her writing is muddled and unclear, and lecturers have
indicated that they think it is last-minute work and she should put more effort in. She is
very reluctant to go and speak to them.
Throughout the discussion, she seems hesitant about the strategies you suggest,
countering them with either ‘yes, but…’ or a non-committal ‘I suppose so. Maybe…’. By the
end of the session, you don’t feel you’ve made much progress, but she requests to see
you again as she feels comfortable discussing her studies with you, and can’t talk to her
• What guidance can you offer the student?
• What might be the underlying issues?
• What additional expertise or skills might enhance your ability to help this student, within
• Who else might be in a position to help the student, and what is their expertise?
• Who is best placed to support her? Or how might your expertise and that of another
professional complement each other?
Case Study 2: Workshops
You have been asked to deliver a workshop for second year students by a member of
academic staff in a science Faculty. The cohort tends to be at least 50% international
students; the rest are home students straight from A-level. The lecturer has been thinking
about assessment and has set them a more innovative assignment, not a traditional
essay, but writing for a non-academic audience (either a journalistic piece or a resource for
He wants to stress the importance of correct English. He is frustrated and concerned about
the students’ basic grammar, as their writing tends to be riddled with basic grammatical
errors, but he feels he doesn’t have the skills or expertise to help them. He is clearly very
appreciative of your expertise in teaching linguistic issues like this, and defers to your
higher standard of writing fluency and ability to support the weaker students and those
who’ve not been well served by their previous education. He says doesn’t know much
about grammar and is very grateful that your service is available to offer this writing
support. The assessment is designed to get them thinking about employability, and it’s
frustrating that fundamental language issues are still getting in the way. A lecture on basic
grammar should sort it, and then he can focus on the real learning outcomes.
• Can you offer what this lecturer is asking for? Should you?
• What else might be needed in this instance? How might you persuade the lecturer of
• What solution might you ideally offer? How would you persuade him, if it doesn’t match
what he’s asked for?
• Is there anyone else whose expertise might be drawn on here?
“when I grow up, I want to be a learning
Designing a bespoke training framework/curriculum/qualification for
Imagine that Learning Development is an established and well-known career, like librarian, counsellor,
teacher…. There is a clear route into the profession, with a bespoke training programme.
What would our professional training look like? What would you advise a young person who wants to be a
qualified learning developer like you that they will need to do?
What are the modules? What do they contain? What are the key texts?
• Entry level (essential): What programme would you put together for someone just starting?
Prerequisites - What qualifications and expertise would you expect them already to have?
• Senior (desirable): What additional programme would you put together for someone who’s
had a few years in the role? Is there a level above this?
o Specialist? (is there a role for specialising in some areas? What training might be
• What level of qualification would these be equivalent to?
Areas of work:
• One-to-one work
• Resource development (incl. online)
o Theoretical underpinning
o Values and ethics
What form and process of accreditation does this programme take?
What form and process of accreditation does this programme take?