Reflection, the Best Preparation for 2021

Following on from the ALTC Winter Conference Session on Learning Design (Learning technologists as learning designers: reflections, roles and modes of learning [806]) it’s taken a while to identify what to write about. Matt Cornock has already written an excellent piece on his blog (

With the turn of the new year thoughts to how to best prepare for the shifting sands that will be 2021. Setting goals, having a plan and being able to measure the success of that plan still applies but this post aims to share a couple of ideas explored over the last couple of days with the hope they may help others prepare for the year ahead. These are based on the governments changing plans and a feeling that emergency has turned to essential provision which includes support for colleagues and clients who are still learning and also those people actually providing learning technology support.

What worked in 2020? The ABC Model ( was essential to underpin support in many areas including the development of course materials and learning practice (see the ALTC session). However, having revisited this recently it has been further developed to support the situation we now find ourselves in ( and it has felt appropriate to add this to the home office setup as short reminders which may help in the coming months. Thanks to Clive Young and Natasa Perovic at UCL for this.

ABC for COVID Response

The other model that has had personal relevance when creating content has been the Gilly Salmon 5 stage model (

5 Stage Model

This sits on the wall next to the computer. What’s interesting about this one is that it has influenced the interactions between colleagues in this ‘remote’ office environment. Whilst it is designed to assist teaching interactions online it has helped with developing skills of colleagues and designing support. Interaction with colleagues new to online involved ‘Welcoming and encouraging’, ‘Familiarising and bridging’, ‘Facilitating and supporting’ as well ‘Facilitating process’ and ‘Supporting responding’. So definitely relevant and reflection on my own interactions identified it’s influence.  

The biggest challenges may be yet to come as colleagues are stretched further to provide even more support and resources with the rise in COVID cases in the UK prior to vaccine roll out which any push more online. One missing element may be making sure the learning technologists (learning/instructional designers) themselves are supported and they actually make sure they make the time to support themselves. So taking the time to look at your own working environment, what’s on the wall, how your desk is setup, who you interactive with (watch out for those who drain your energy), where you acquire help if you need it (ALT is a good place to start), how you manage and setup your working practice before you go back to the coal face and are snowed under with work may help. So do look after yourselves in 2021. #altc #learning design #technology #femedtech the @mattcornock @CliveYoungUCL @NastaPerovic @gillysalmon