When is a eLearning adviser, not an eLearning adviser?

For several years my role has been known as an eLearning Adviser, or is it e-Learning Adviser? With or without the hyphen it is an unhelpful title as it means different things to different organisations and to coin a phrase initiated by Craig Taylor several years ago – when are they going to take the ‘e’ out of ‘eLearning’ anyway. Well, when are they?

And running Google search for ‘what is e-learning’ will produce 288 million results, many of which date back from when someone felt the need to differentiate the use of electricity (electronic) when used in Learning. A bit odd, as I am sure that even when I was at school we had electric light, the teacher used TV and sometimes an OHP (some still do). So for once I would go along with a Jisc definition that is simply ‘The term ‘e-learning’ therefore essentially covers the use of computers and technology as a vehicle for knowledge exchange within teaching and learning.’ Fine by me so why not a ‘T’ adviser?

Colin 2None of which matters except when a Learning Provider finally gets around to calling for outside help, not just in how to use the latest ‘whizzy’ piece of software which their ‘e-champion’ imparts through staff development. Not just which bit of kit or hardware to purchase on which their IT manager will likely make judgement. No, I mean when a Chief Exec or Principal realises the benefits of using innovative technology (whatever that is) perhaps through discovering that their rivals along the road seem to have more going for them than a shiny new building. Who do they look for in yellow pages (does that still exist?).

So from a role title spawned at the turn of the century to today, what the heck is a snappy title to describe what I and others like me do that is different to or as well as the above? I have no idea, especially as the alternatives I have seen are almost as confusing.

What I do is to advise a Learning Provider in the effective use of learning technologies, including strategic planning, digitising learning resources but also identifying an appropriate learner management systems or platform. In essence, a somewhat wider remit that takes into account the organisations business ambition and how innovative technology might compliment that.

Hence the dilemma, should I be known as an ‘e’ for ‘electronic’ Learning Adviser, an Educational Technology Adviser or as I saw the other day which I thought a bit pretentious but quite tempted by and that was a ‘Strategic Learning Consultant.’ Maybe it should include ‘trouble-shooter’ as I often deal with the so called barriers that others don’t seem to reach.

Decisions, decisions and that’s only the half of it – Is it Adviser or is it Advisor?

colin 1

Further comments are unlikely to be welcomed, but if you have an enquiry you can also send it by post in an envelope with a stamp as in p-mail?

Colin Gallacher
Role under consideration.

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