I’m at Academic Technologies for Learning (ATL) at the University of Alberta working on our research project about instructional designers as agents of social change.
I’m interviewing instructional designers, and as it turns out, one of the most important gaps I’ve found is the lack of a community of practice in Canada. I know, everything looks like a CoP issue to me, but I really do think there is a need to pursue this.
The research team has gathered a list of instructional designers across the country as a by-product of finding people to interview. This list may well turn out to be the most important product of our research. As I reviewed the list, I was struck by how I knew so few of the instructional designers in our own country. Yes, it is a big country, but is there a way to bring these people together? Is there a need for an ID community of practice and any benefit to people who might participate?
Similarly, I do know most of the professors in Canada in this field of study, and they are a great group. But we also don’t have much in the way of a community of scholars. There are several professional and academic organizations, but there doesn’t seem to be one dominant rallying point. Should there be? What would it look like? Should be have a way to bring together the community of scholars and the community of practice into a community of ID?
These are things we can all think about.