The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has created the Community of Practice scholarship program to encourage a culture of research in vocational education and training (VET) organisations. With the guidance of an experienced mentor, VET practitioners without any formal research experience undertake research to address a workplace problem.
Sarah Phillips, an e-learning consultant and content services advisor at eWorks, participated in the 2010 Community of Practice program. Her researched looked at practitioners in the adult and community education (ACE) sector who champion electronic learning in a training environment. Her aim was to identify how ACE organisations can provide a workplace environment that encourages the development of such practitioners.
The study was built on the current body of research relating to the professional development of VET practitioners, and the identified skills and knowledge of e-champions. The paper specifically focuses on the adult and community education (ACE) sector in Victoria. The research draws on individual and focus group interviews conducted in a virtual classroom. The interviews were an attempt to help to identify the barriers, enablers and drivers facilitating VET practitioners’ engagement in self-directed professional development, both within their allocated employment time and personal time. The paper attempts to identify how ACE organisations might provide a workplace environment that encourages the development of e-champions capable of leading in the area.