Posted by: Gillian | November 8, 2008

CRA, BILD, IABD, elearning Guild and international lifelong learning

As a result of a blog interview, I am collecting emails from (mostly) cheerful people wondering why I did not mention their particular institution as being innovative and good.  I shall respond to that tomorrow or Monday but  want to add a note about some of the professional bodies to which I subscribe or for whom I work.  This is not a complete list but is a select group that may be of use to any working learner as well as those who are involved in education and training.  In not-quite alphabetical order:

The BILD (British Institute of Learning and Development).  Despite its name, this UK-based charity is international in membership and reach.  Its friendly, practical style and willingness to engage in research but share knowledge attracted my interest enough for me to join and I am a Fellow (FBILD).  Membership is for those involved in the professional side of education and training, HR management and suchlike but if you need a hand checking anything in the learning field or finding a trustworthy expert, try asking.  See

The CRA, the Centre for Recording Achievement.  This, also, is UK-based but international in reach.  I was attracted to take on a role as an Associate Director (Overseas), because the attitude to learning is non-judgmental about methodology.  It sounds a bit ‘motherhood and apple pie’ but the organisation strongly believes in a portfolio approach to learning.  In plain English: it does not matter if individuals just add one bit of learning to another to achieve economic or life goals, or whether individuals add bits of this and bits of that to end up somewhere where they (and those around them) are happy.  The CRA supports both approaches and, in a fast changing social and economic world,  works closely with employers who, of course, themselves have an increasingly global interest.  Methods for achieving appropriate ends are both supported and subjects of research.  Anyone can join.  See the CRA website. Also, anyone may join the CRA LinkedIn Group.

The IABD (International Academy of Business Disciplines) has had my support from the moment Ahamd Tootoonchi asked if I would like to join.  US-based, the organisation is about as diverse as any I have ever encountered.  A UN with a united vision.  Yes, there is vigorous academic debate but all learners are welcome. There is a special conference track for students and seasoned professionals are always welcome to present workshops, offer papers, etc.  It is supported by two great learning institutions: Frostburg University and University of Maryland University College.

The eLearning Guild and Steve Wexler’s research group are just one of those sites that both learners and learning providers need.  Learneres need access to the results if only to reassure themselves that all that web-spin is not a disaster.  People learn in different ways and while some bits of technology are more use than used, others are just plain more marketed than market.  The elearning Guild has the ever-expanding research base and anyone non-tech and non-academic can get answers if they will be an associate and add to the research.  It’s not hard!

OK, who have I forgotten this time?


  1. Gillian,

    I’m delighted to hear that the blog interview on UniversityCMO has started some dialogue about who else is doing innovative things. Great to hear!

    I’m actually looking forward to the next interview – when we’ll no doubt uncover a few more schools and topics and ruffle a few more feathers!



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