Doing what’s right is not always what is good

The course is heading towards the break and we have been looking more specifically at business and purpose again.

During these last few weeks before Christmas, I am struggling to remain up to date with the lass prep and was not able to dial into some sessions. For at least one of those it was an act of self-preservation, just needed not to be thinking beyond 5 o’clock that day: go for a walk, sit on my couch and enjoy the view and not be responsible for anything.

That’s a simple example of what I mean by doing what’s right- fulfilling my commitment and keeping up to date with content- is not always good. I’ve had several moments over the past few weeks where I felt I should withdraw from the course. Not because my interest is waning, but because my energy level is relying on me to be very conscious of wellbeing.

So I am thinking that I will be able to ‘catch up’ over the holiday, have some leisurely days reading articles, for example (a favourite pastime actually- to think for the sake of thinking and have scope to ponder and reflect: luxury). We shall see.

As I am preparing this portfolio submission I have been looking through previous posts and I had a moment of thinking, am I processing course content, or using this as a way of rehearsing and dramatising the distresses? Is this a pity party?

Reflecting again on what is happening in my org at the moment, and my title statement:

I’ve no doubt that bringing our learners into the LMS is the “right thing to do”:

  • -catering to ailings to demographics of our of apprentice learners
  • -currency
  • -expanding interactions for learner support

I am used to working in with digital tools and in fact, when I left Unitec I felt I still had a way to go to get my skills to the level that would allow me to use it even more effectively. So I also understand some of the demands that our field team will face using them- effectively, this is an entirely new ball game in terms of how they will now be expected to fulfill our service level agreements.

However,  the rushed development and attempt to transition all of our learners before the organisation has worked out how staff will meaningfully engage with them in blended forums is not good.

What is not good about this is that we are running the risk of  (re) producing a ‘banking concept’ of education (see Paulo Freire). The  LMS will become the place where learners make ‘deposits’ devoid of their workplace learning context. Without a careful and principled design, we will be encouraging learners to expect credits for uploads – it’s troubling that at the moment some of the people who have a voice are thinking our assessors will be more efficient when they can simply count the numbers of uploads as an indicator of achievement of a learning outcome.

It is in that sense that I’m saying that just because something is right (learners should have access to an online platform; digital tools can enhance learning) to door have does not necessarily mean it is good. The way it has been approached and the potential impact it will have on our model has not been fully considered.

This is not for lack of meetings and many sessions on whiteboards and in Trello and Teams channels and google docs and Zoom meetings!