Episode 55

"A Big Move to Web-based Professional Development"

Duration 00:13:45      Recorded on December 23, 2008

In this episode Susan and Dan interview Greg Stevens, assistant director for professional development for the American Association of Museums (AAM) about the organization's transition to web-based professional development. Anyone involved in a large organization offering professional development to a variety of levels of staff might be interested in the lessons he shares.

Show Notes:

In this episode Susan and Dan interview Greg Stevens, assistant director for professional development for the American Association of Museums (AAM) about the organization's transition to web based professional development. Anyone involved in a large organization offering professional development to a variety of levels of staff might be interested in the lessons he shares.

The AAM professional education program has been in existence for 20 years. Last February, the organization offered their first webinar series in association with LearningTimes. A series that ran throughout the year, this online venue has broadened their audience and made professional development more accessible and affordable to its members. Whereas the organization may have seen 300 participants in face to face training, at last count more than 3000 had participated in online programs.

A major lesson learned is that about three times as many people participate than register. In other words, one member might register and have two or three colleagues sit in on the webinar with him or her. That makes interaction among participants and presenters broader and richer. For example, a survey following recent raining showed 240 registered, yet revealed 1000 listeners. What is exciting about this is the community that is developed as a result.

Greg discusses the philosophy of practice in trying to help all professionals regardless of the stage of their career development. Programs are differentiated for a variety of target audiences. He also repurposes presentations that may have been delivered live at their traditional conference. These may be offered online later in the year. The organization plans programs based on a "circle of influence model." The idea is to offer professional development for their members so that members can be better at their jobs and then strengthen their institutions, therefore enhancing not only what they offer the general public, but reinforcing the importance of museums with the general public. Toward the end of the interview, Greg reflects on how planning professional development is a lot like staging a theater production.

 
About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.

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Susan Manning
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Dan Balzer
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Carl Heine
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