The process of distance learning, supported by mentorship, is the practical conclusion of a process that is built on the educational foundation of this framework. Materials used are designed in accordance with the guidelines and criteria referred to in this framework.
The learner (educator) should be engaged in reflective learning. This activity is not only grounded on a sound theoretical base, but more importantly, based on concrete experience. A combination of course materials, mentorship and collaboration with other learners, should influence the learner in developing strategies for improved classroom practice.
Figure 2 - The Reflective Learning Process
Initially this reflection is retrospective and change is considered in response to an analysis of events. The intended outcome of the development process is that such reflection should occur in practice, i.e. that the situation should normally be dealt with strategically while it is being experienced during class time, and not retrospectively with the assistance of others. This is not a short-term growth process.
The cycle of thoughts and experiences sketched in Figure 2 should be recorded in an electronic journal which forms part of a portfolio. The electronic journal is an informal record of the educator's experiences, feelings, reflections and self-assessment. It records the learning process for the benefit of the both the learner and the mentor, whose responsibility it is to assess the applied outcomes of the course. The contents of the journal therefore not only supply evidence of learning and change, but also provide the mentor with a review of development needs and an opportunity to play a supportive role.
Portfolios should also consist of submissions of work completed with learners in integrated curriculum contexts. This would provide evidence that the outcomes of the course have affected the community of learners and educators, and do not just represent a temporary positioning by the educator. The writing of in-service educators sometimes does not correlate with their practice.