What am I?

Monday, 15 October 2012

What's in a DMeLD?

I should know the answer - after all, DMeLD (Digital Media and eLearning Developer) is my job title. We've been given this title in the latest re-structuring process in 2011. I'm asking now, more than a year later - where's the developing? Where are the digital media? And - last but not least - where's the eLearning? Currently it's all about Moodle. Our new VLE. I always liked Moodle. It's open source, it's flexible, it's expandable. But NOT in the way we're using it here. It's disempowering. First of all, our system is hosted by another University. So each and every little change has to be begged for with the host. But that's by far not all. Within our establishment it's not only hosted by another establishment, but it's run by our IT department. If we establish some kind of setting that would make sense we can't put it in place ourselves. We have to put in a request. So there's a neat little chain of requests then...

Never mind all that. It's worse to be thrown back to a situation where the main priority is getting on top of what's called 'the technology'. I really don't mind it in principle. Firefighting is ok when trying to cope with a new system. But in our role as DMeLDs we're more and more reduced to that role, and that role only. And is it real or just my imagination that I'm looked at with great suspicion if and when - as a simple DMeLD - I'd like to achieve more than just that. Learning design, developing digital media, advising on best practice in using virtual environments now seem very much the things of the past. And I'm beginning to question if there will ever be a future that is different? I observe in my surrounding that 'being serviced by DMeLDs' is - understandably - what our customers want. And I do very much understand why. It helps them to get on top of their own workload, after all. Will that finally be the last straw, and - in the process - turn DMeLDs into glorified administrators? Is it just me seeing it all like this? Once upon a time, I wrote an article about the DMeLD role in Brookes. I submitted it for publication in the Brookes eJournal for Learning and Teaching (in May 2012). It was - sort of - accepted, but never published. Why? Nobody bothered to tell me. Perhaps it's important to state that all views and opinions published on this blog are solely mine...

PS This is a link to a version of the short article about DMeLDs at Brookes I submitted for publication in BeJLT

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