Contextual Statement

When I wrote my CMALT portfolio four years ago, I had been in the same position in medical education for approximately 9 years and whilst I loved my job I was craving a new journey but had limited possibilities for promotion until the position of Digital Education Consultation came up at Ulster University.

The opportunity for a new adventure coincided with starting my PhD and graduating with a Diploma in Digital Education with distinction so the autumn of 2018 turned out to be quite an exciting few months.

I started in my new role in the Office for Digital Learning in March 2019. The role is completely different to my previous one as I am now part of a team of around ten in a central role supporting institutional educational technology including Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Turnitin, Panopto, Qwickly attendance reporting and a lot more. Leaving an institution after 13 years was not something that I did lightly but I already knew several of my new colleagues through Twitter and the ALT NI members group and relished the new challenge.

Building connections takes time and I was awarded a place on the 2019/2020 Advance HE Aurora Leadership Programme early on which significantly contributed to starting these crucial networks both within Ulster and beyond, as part of the Dublin cohort.

Before starting on the main areas of the portfolio I thought it would be appropriate to pick up from the end of my existing portfolio – Future Plans and review these:

There my plans four years ago were:

  • Professional Accreditation: I had wanted gain Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy once I had completed my CMALT. Not only did I successfully gain Fellowship but I went on a year later to gain Senior Fellowship.
  • Continuing Professional Development: I had just enrolled on the MSc Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh and had the ambition to continue to PhD but not knowing how to fit it into my life. Over three years on I graduated with a Diploma in Digital Education (with distinction) and am now in the third year of my part time PhD with the same department in Edinburgh.
  • Team Interaction: I wanted to get involved with the newly formed ALT NI regional group. Since then I became co-chair of the group and through that role participate in the ALT Assembly, taking part in initiatives as much as possible, such as contributing to conference committees.

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