Opinion post on the role of editorial in professional learning.
This morning I was trained in a new professional learning product which I’ll be, in my editorial role, reviewing, updating, and maintaining.
My colleague in the US was patient (thankfully) and the training went fine, but seeing it all in action and in every detail highlighted more for me than just the nuts and bolts of the system.
It’s easy to see professional learning on a point-by-point, test-by-test basis, and from some people’s perspectives, I think it might be exactly that. But seeing a larger system and seeing it on scale, online learning takes on a far more complex and editorially driven challenge.
Aside from the obvious (lessons need to be taught, tests need to be taken), seeing a system holistically exposed for me that, just like a journal’s editorial direction, professional learning needs to be structured and directed for its audience (professionals) so they learn what they need to.
Seeing it all holistically, I think:
- Professionals need to sub-consciously find their way through a detailed program of learning (with an invisible had guiding them), as if to them it is a largely ad-hoc exercise.
- People administering learning opportunities are most effective when seeing the bigger picture so the professionals they are serving don’t have to.
- Learning opportunities need to build and shape a professional’s entire career, not just their immediate needs.
In the end this system, just like every other system, is just a piece of technology. Its strengths lie in the skills of its administrators and editors to effectively build the right path for professionals.
What do you think?
Chris Shorten is an e-Editorial Assistant for Wiley in Melbourne.