I was reading this on the train on the way home tonight and felt I have to share it – from the Leonardo daVinci project in Europe, the results of their Thematic Monitoring of eLearning Projects (downloadable as a PDF file)
Although the report is based around the activities of some 150 relevant projects in the vocational education sector, the findings should be of relevance and interest to anyone involved in eLearning.
The study highlights that eLearning-related approaches have so far been too technology and/or media oriented; the recommendations point out that a strong focus on learning, on the learner and on teachers/trainers is necessary.
I’ve included some highlighted quotes from the paper in the extended entry below.
Quotes from the paper include:
- There would appear to have been a change in thinking on eLearning in the past three to four years, with a new focus on the discussions on eLearning. Rather than the emphasis on technoogy, the new focus on thinking on eLearning is increasingly on the learner him/herself and on methodologies and didactics.
- eLearning moves the learning experience from the traditional classroom into the learner’s world, providing access to learning anytime and anywhere without geographical or time barriers, and the internet provides access to learning materials and interaction with experts and fellow tutors. (from http://www.ucalgary.ca/cted/elearn)
- the success of eLearning depends to a great extent on the attitude of the learner towards the learning situation. All other considerations are secondary; learning processes in which the learner does not constitute the primary focus are doomed to failure from the beginning.
- The traditional academic mission of transmitting a closed body of knowledge from the standpoint of a undisputed expert is inadequate for ICT supported, open and flexible learning spaces.
- In many countries teacher training, however, seems to be highly traditional with limited attention to ICT based methods.
There is much more contained in this report – some excellent summaries of the differences found between what the researchers refer to as “media-oriented” approaches to eLearning and “Learner-centred” approaches. Worth a read – be prepared for the 50 page download though!