WrAP Portfolio planning: a ‘significant’ journal

In advance of our third EdD meeting this coming Saturday I’ve been asked to select a journal that has been significant to me and my professional practice in some way, and to explain my selection. I made a shortlist of three:

Runner-up No. 1 is Innovations in Education & Teaching International, which is the journal of the Staff & Educational Developers Association (SEDA). Since moving over from e-learning to learning & teaching development three years ago, my involvement with SEDA increased to the point where I was presenting at their conferences and teaching at their summer school. Then I went to their 20th Anniversary symposium in May and had a weird time. Feeling a bit like I was ‘not in the gang’ was probably to be expected when the focus of the event was on celebrating the achievements of the last two decades! While I find the quality of the work (and the writing) in IETI consistent, this is often the case with the authorship of the articles too 😉 I am currently working on a piece about some work I’ve been doing with Lesley Gourlay and Martin Oliver (both awesome writers & thinkers), but for Educational Developments – the SEDA magazine (it has its own ISSN number) – rather than the journal.

Runner-up no. 2 is IRRODL – the International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning. I have a deep interest is in blended learning design and have been actively participating in cMOOCs since their conception; constructivist learning design and distributed learning environments really interest me. This originally came from a simple personal preference for online communication over face-to-face, but my thoughts and feelings about that are a lot more complex these days. Actually designing and running blended courses – particularly with high numbers of dyslexic and visually creative people – continues to widen my perspective. The variety of material you get in IRRODL is great.

My winning journal is Research in Learning Technology, formerly called ALT-J until the superb indie rock group of the same name were nominated for the Mercury prize. (I have no idea if these two events were actually connected). Incidentally the band got their name from the Mac OS keyboard shortcut for a triangle (representing the three guys in the band I guess). So, obviously the excellent musical connotations are a plus, but also I still feel like I really belong to the community of people who write for and edit this journal – despite making that move from Learning Technology three years ago. Current and past editors include the awesome Lesley Gourlay and Brookes’ very own Rhona Sharpe, the editorial intros are mercifully short and clever, every issue is freely available online without signing in – and therefore easily shareable through links. I published in it last year and it was a great experience – a really thorough, rigorous edit, which helped me to feel a lot happier with the final output. In conclusion, I feel like this journal represents a community I feel part of and comfortable with.

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