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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What to Call Ourselves and Our Industry?

A few weeks ago, I received an email question that asked:

Something I wanted to ask you is if you have defined somewhere on your blog the meaning of a term which I’ve seen you use frequently – ie “learning professional”. Or if you’ve seen someone else define it and could point me in the direction of this source.

Also, just curious if there is any particular reason why you prefer “learning professional” over something like “elearning professional” or “e-learning professional”.
I've looked a few different times for an appropriate definition - and come up empty. And certainly, I use the term. We got dinged for the use of the term in the LCB's Big Question for September: Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?

I believe that I first started using the term after hearing that ASTD was now going to refer to their membership as "Workplace Learning Professionals" - which sounded good. When I refer to "Learning Professionals" - I personally include folks outside of Workplace learning as well. Thus, dropping the "Workplace" portion of the term.

I believe that there's even more of a challenge around the segmentation and naming of groups of Learning Professionals (our industry)?

So, does anyone know where appropriate definitions can be found?

And, I can answer the second part - if I use the term "eLearning Professional" then I would be talking about someone who is a Learning Professional but with focus on delivery that leverages technology primarily software/web/online technologies. Thus, to me those terms are more specific and wouldn't include a folks who do ID or delivery that is classroom only. (Does anyone do that anymore? - Heck, even my kids teachers all put school notes with resources online.)

Sorry, I couldn't be more helpful. I hope a comment will appear with good links to help this person out.

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