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Three Tips for Choosing Best-Fit Professional Learning Experiences

Professional learning isn’t what It used to be. The old version of professional development was a one-size-fits-all programmed day that may be helpful for some members of the school staff, but not others. Janice Bradley, chair of the LearningForward Foundation, makes the case between the distinction of professional development of the past and professional learning of the future.  


Times have changed, and educators need customized, relevant professional learning that gives them skills, techniques, and competencies that serve them in their current position and for years to come. The emergence of self-paced and online learning extends beyond the classroom and is connected to practical circumstances that fit into the schedule of the learner. 


For a successful learning experience, participants should ensure each course has: 


1. Self-Paced Learning Opportunities 

Not every learner has time to travel to conferences, sign into a webinar, or join a lecture. Self-paced or asynchronous learning allows learners to participate at the time and within time periods that work for them. This includes signing in during a school in-service day, on a weekend, or even in small periods of time throughout the week or evening.  


2. Flexible Formats

Micro-credentials or learning opportunities that address relevant, timely topics that need to be addressed. Instead of a comprehensive course that takes weeks or months to complete, micro-learning opportunities allow learners to piece together learning experiences to build skills and competencies that are needed for that specific learner. 


3. Timely Topics

Relevant topics allow learners to gain skills and techniques that they can apply in their work immediately backed by recent research and best practices. In addition, timely, relevant topics provide the opportunity for role-based application of concepts and skills. 


The Institute for Career Advising and Development has aligned learning opportunities closely to these guidelines to ensure a comprehensive, convenient experience for those looking to expand their knowledge in career advising, counseling, and workforce development. For more on the courses available, visit our website





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