A. Advantages and Risks
I will say it first (and get it out of the way) - everyone participating in this project is a volunteer. This means NO financial compensation. That said, everyone who participates will be given credit in a list of contributors and collaborators.
In the process of creating the final project, you may be exposed to new ideas, you may develop an interest and insight into in a particular specialty within music therapy and finally, you may indeed be contributing to the future of music therapy education! (I am hoping that this project will serve as a model for future learning about, and teaching of, music therapy. I am also hoping that it will serve as a model for the development of/transfer of additional course materials into a digital/online format).
1. Inequity of participants/participation.
This is a collaborative effort. Not everyone will be able or willing to put in the same amount of time and commitment that you may put in. This might mean that individuals are recognized for very little contribution.
2. Personal/Professional attacks and/or insult.
I am hoping that by first ensuring that persons involved in MTECP are members of a professional music therapy association we will avoid the pitfalls of non-ethical treatment of fellow participants. If ethical concerns arise during the course of the project, you can be assured that you will "have an avenue for recourse". I will personally retain confirmation of membership (in good standing) for each member, in a encrypted and password protected file folder on my computer, which is itself password protected.
As mentionned previously, the final MTECP content will be made available via a Creative Commons license. I truly believe that this is the future of education, where knowledge is shared and is open to public scrutiny/criticism. The flip side - more people will know about, and may participate in, music therapy!
The use of Moodle is another attempt to open up this information to a wider public audience. We are not restricting access to those who may be financially disadvantaged, or geographically isolated. "Open source" software is capable of running on a variety of operating systems (not just Windows or Macintosh) and is, in most cases, available free of charge. It can operate on systems based on dial-up speeds through high-speed/T1 connections (although it does operate more efficiently on the later). Finally, it is not dependant on you being located in a major city, educational institution, or specific country. You will be able to access this information anywhere, at any time, in any place, as long as you have a reliable internet connection.
C. Reliability/Consistency of information?
Does the fact that information is coming from digital and online sources pose a challenge and potential for misinformation to occur? As we all know, the internet is a source of much information based on correct facts and theory, and a source of much incorrect or false information. By having groups of individuals involved in/being educated in music therapy review materials before they are shared globally (a back channel review process), we will hopefully prevent the spread of misinformation and promote the sharing of "good, quality" material.
As well, I hope that information will be updated regularly (at least annually). As a consequence, viewers will receive the latest, and most up-to-date information. This is not possible through the use of text-based materials, especially in the field of music therapy, where new editions may be many years in the making (i.e. There was a lag-time of nine years between the 2nd and 3rd editions of the textbook that we will be using as a basis for this project!).
As stated earlier, I hope that this project will generate new way of thinking and dicussion around music therapy and music therapy practice. I also hope that it will generate some research, qualitative and quantitative. I don't want this to be a static resource but rather a dynamic and evolving resource.
John Lawrence MMT, MTA
Edmonton, AB CANADA
E-mail: email@example.com (Put "MTECP" in the subject line)
Ph: (780) 477-3948