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Digital Education team blog


Ideas and reflections from UCL's Digital Education team


Innovating e-Learning 2009 (Part II)

By ltss, on 25 November 2009

The second keynote yesterday was by the ever-reliable Helen Beetham and Rhona Sharpe on “Responding to learners “. Their main question was how we can address needs without a ‘consumerist’ model (basically find out what learners want and deliver it)? As they rightly pointed out students may know what they want but not what they need.
Research shows students’ study practices are very diverse, as are their attitudes to technology. The ‘digital natives/digital immigrants’ dichotomy is pretty meaningless. Students are familiar with technology from social and leisure lives, but while learners do have high expectations for their educational institutions to provide information that is easily accessibly online, there is no evidence they want more cutting edge technology for learning: in fact they are often more conservative than their tutors. As Helen and Rhona point out, sometimes we have to positively challenge learners and push them to develop their use of technology in ways that are supportive of deep learning. Have developed a ‘pyramid’ model


I thought this was pretty good, though similar ideas have been floating about for ages. But could use this to track where we are and guide where we are going. The big conundrum for me is as skills development in these areas are dispersed across the institution (library, subject disciplines, IT training etc), how can we hope to develop a coherent framework. What we really need are models of implementation.

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