Dear Colleagues and fellow travellers on the the digital learning journey,
When I set out to work in a small little school in Amman, run in a residential building, little did I know what was lurking around the corner. Well, I know the danger of being in this area but wasn’t really prepared for the magnitude or the ramifications of it. Teaching and working with children is a calling for me and I know that I will have to venture down some intrepid paths but this was a little out of my League.
I refer of course to the lurking Syrian war. Now that the crisis has abated I can breathe easy but I did go into survival mode for a while there. So I do apologise for my absence from the cognitive discussions that have been thrown back and forth about the eMM and eLPF.
The course notes mention that maturity in itself may allude to a one way process; however, the reality is that the organisation arrive at maturity through processes of monitoring and evolving into the change. This could look haphazard but actually is the value of an ecology that gauges its own technological needs and then pursues them. I can’t help applying this to my current situation and the organisation that I am in. The imminent war brought about a panic mode and made us realise as a school that we were not prepared to leave at a moments notice; all our curriculum plan would have to be left behind and the learning of the students would definitely suffer. I rushed to load and set up Moodle so that at least some of the learning material could go online and the possibility of access, should there be internet available, be a way of continuing our courses. Now, that the tension has died down a bit we have relaxed ,but are looking at how we can encourage the educators to adopt a more online approach to the teaching and learning using a LMS.
In no way am I alluding to the fact our school represent a mature model, but I did find it fascinating to apply and contextualise some of the research I was reading. The value then of this e Maturity Model (eMM) is that it merely measure progress, but describes the capability of a process from different aspects. The five levels of the model are colour coded to prevent ‘number happy’ people rating an organisation and can be measured individually as well as in conjunction with each other. Once again drawing some parallels to my institution and situation here; although we have a sophisticated learning management system and have organised it well, we are still miles away from using it pedagogically.
The brilliance of the model is that it can be used to identify the areas of need and then simulate ways to supports quality improvement activities rather than merely auditing and tracking them. Additionally, it tracks the assessment and the change both from a predictable and an unpredictable aspect( wars and rumours of wars!).
As the model itself has gone through changes since 2003, it has developed some significantly improved sets of processes and practices. The latest eMM (Marshall and Mitchell, 2006) has , through extensive consultation, workshops and examination of literature established some robust benchmarks. Having explored the assessment workbook, the realisation of how extensive but precise some of the processes are, was made quite evident to me. Although, we are a secondary school, and I will be exploring and applying the eLPF model to my context, it will be intriguing to see the results of some of this self-assessment explored by of the stakeholders.
Now that I am beginning to settle into the normalcies of life, I can’t help thinking in some ways that I was given a glimpse into the future and now have the luxury of adopting and adapting to it at our leisure. But then of course, I could be totally mistaken and realise that the future is truly unpredictable!
Marshall, S.J. and Mitchell, G. (2007). Benchmarking International E-learning Capability with the E-Learning Maturity Model. In Proceedings of EDUCAUSE in Australasia 2007, 29 April – 2 May 2007, Melbourne, Australia.
Davis, N., Eickelmann, B. & Zaka, P. (2013). A co-evolutionary perspective on the restructuring of schooling systems in the digital age.Journal for Computer-Assisted Learning. In Press.