Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Can we just go back to learning please?

I'm getting a bit tired of the whole e-learning, eLearning, blended learning, learning 2.0 debate. The same goes for e-assessment, computer based assessment and computer aided assessment. All these debates seem to imply that there is a right mode of teaching, and a right mode of learning. And if there is one thing that does not exist for learning, then that's a magic recipe to make it happen. In the same way that I'm not in favor of the (ab)use of learning styles, I am also highly allergic to the vocabulary wars around the use of technology in learning.

As Clive Shepherd points out in his post on the subject: "the essence of good design for learning is to first develop a strategy that will produce an effective outcome and only then consider the media through which this strategy can be delivered efficiently." And the success of learning is not a result of the medium used. It is the result of the strategy, and the match of the strategy with the medium. Multiple choice tests aren't bad, nor are they good. They are a tool that can be used and abused expertly and inaptly.

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