E-learning: The Promise and the Potential


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Presentation slides by John Biss and Erin Mills - Shaping Our Future live session

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E-learning: The Promise and the Potential

  1. 2. Presentation at the Shaping our Future: Toward a Pan-Canadian E-Learning Research Agenda May 20 th 2008 The Promise and the Potential
  2. 3. Learning To do To know To be To live together Delors’ Four Pillars of Learning
  3. 4. Definition of E-learning <ul><li>The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) defines e-learning as the : </li></ul><ul><li>“ development of knowledge and skills through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) </li></ul><ul><li>particularly to support interactions for learning—interactions with content, with learning activities and tools, and with other people”. [1] </li></ul><ul><li>[1] J. Rossiter, 2002; also 2005 in an address at the CCL Workshop on e-learning </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>To present an overview of the scope and complexity and capability of e-learning, nationally and internationally </li></ul><ul><li>2. To review the current state of policy related to </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning in Canada </li></ul><ul><li>3. To outline what challenges need to be addressed to position e-learning as a significant agent in the advancement of current public policy priorities </li></ul>Objectives of the report
  5. 6. Policy Dimensions of E-Learning CULTURE / CONFIDENCE CONNECTIONS / ACCESS CONTENT CONTENT LEARNERS LEARNERS PRACTITIONERS PRACTITIONERS USERS USERS PROVIDERS PROVIDERS POLICY MAKERS POLICY MAKERS Formal Formal ( ( credentialized credentialized ) ) Non Non - - formal formal (non (non - - credentialized credentialized ) ) Experiential Experiential ‘ ‘ Self Self - - directed directed ’ ’ Teachers, learning technologists, Teachers, learning technologists, instructional designers, counsellors instructional designers, counsellors Education Education And Training And Training Business Business Industry/ Industry/ Government Government Community Community and Culture and Culture Governments Governments Community Community Industry Industry Private Private Public Public
  6. 7. <ul><li>The report builds on work undertaken by CCL and the CMEC. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies sponsored by CCL were carried out by Rossiter (2006), Abrami et al (2006), Fournier (2006) and Charpentier et al (2006). </li></ul><ul><li>Expert Panel (2006) </li></ul>Background
  7. 8. <ul><li>Three Elements: </li></ul><ul><li>National/International Literature Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis of findings from existing CCL studies and initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>3. Survey of Current Policies </li></ul>Scope of the report
  8. 9. Policy Survey Methodology <ul><li>A total of 183 publicly available e-learning documents were located. </li></ul><ul><li>106 documents were reviewed using prescriptive and emergent coding techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>A series of interviews (32 in total) were conducted with policy makers, industry sector practitioners, experts and employers. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Literature Survey <ul><li>National </li></ul><ul><li>Canada pioneered building a national infrastructure and undertaking many exemplary initiatives in the 1990s. </li></ul><ul><li>Canada has developed the technical capacity of ICTs. </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs could play a significant role in achieving public policy priorities. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Literature review (cont’d) <ul><li>National </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs need to be seen as an integral element in the policy development and implementation process. </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs seen simply as an educational tool marginalizes their potential contribution. </li></ul><ul><li>Canada’s strong education sector and well-educated population consistently gives Canada a top ranking in terms of e-learning and e-economic readiness. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Literature Review (Cont’d) <ul><li>National </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the essential elements are in place to support e-learning. </li></ul><ul><li>There appears to be a lack of understanding amongst policy makers regarding the potential contribution e-learning could make. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Literature Survey (Cont’d) <ul><li>International </li></ul><ul><li>A growing number of nations recognize the role that e-learning can play in sustaining their economic, social and cultural development </li></ul><ul><li>Support the effective use of ICTs in support of learning as a strategic national priority </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that the ubiquitous nature of ICTs make it critical that citizens know how to use them effectively </li></ul>
  13. 14. Overarching Observations from the Literature <ul><li>Shift of focus and emphasis away from technology and more on users and learning approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of learning as a social/collaborative process involving interaction between users, the content with guidance from facilitators. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Observations (cont’d) <ul><li>E-Learning viewed more in terms of ‘Knowledge construction’ not simply ‘Knowledge transfer’. </li></ul><ul><li>Shift from concerns regarding ‘access’ to ‘impacts’. </li></ul><ul><li>Growing support to develop understandings based on research that can guide </li></ul><ul><li>policy formation. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Earlier Work: Key Observations/Synthesis <ul><li>Canada is starting to trail behind other countries. (Charpentier et al, Expert Panel) </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning is a fundamental tool for lifelong learning. (Rossiter, Fournier, Charpentier) </li></ul><ul><li>E-Learning can be adaptable to the diversity of learning needs and styles of learning. (Fournier, Expert Panel) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of a National Strategy (Rossiter, Charpentier et al) </li></ul>
  16. 17. Key Observations/Synthesis (Cont’d) <ul><li>Need for multi-jurisdictional cooperation and collaboration (CMEC, Expert Panel) </li></ul><ul><li>Need for relevant empirical and longitudinal research (Rossiter, Abrami et al) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of a portrait of e-Learning in provincial and Federal policies in Canada (Charpentier) </li></ul><ul><li>Need for mechanisms to disseminate research to policy makers and practitioners (Rossiter) </li></ul>
  17. 18. Key Observations/Synthesis (Cont’d) <ul><li>Need for a coordinating body that respects the province’s authority and responsibilities for education (Charpentier) </li></ul><ul><li>Need to address organizational change issues as e-learning is incorporated into traditional practice (Rossiter) </li></ul><ul><li>E-Learning needs to be user/learner-centered and results driven (Expert Panel) </li></ul>
  18. 19. Findings <ul><li>Policy Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Policy makers view the benefits of e-learning primarily in terms of: flexibility/accessibility, meeting social demand, interactivity/communication and learner achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of attention to using e-learning to teach basic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to connectivity to remote learners </li></ul>
  19. 20. Findings (Cont’d) <ul><li>Policy Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Types of learners (special needs, gifted, aboriginal) were addressed only minimally </li></ul><ul><li>Support for implementation - professional development, web-based resources and logistics support received a great deal of attention </li></ul><ul><li>Use of research to support implementation was limited </li></ul>
  20. 21. Findings (cont’d) <ul><li>Policy Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Intra-jurisdictional cooperation amongst providers was emphasised </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal attention paid to collaboration among provinces and at the federal level </li></ul><ul><li>Little attention paid to regulation </li></ul>
  21. 22. Findings (Cont’d) <ul><li>Policy Survey (Cont’d) </li></ul><ul><li>There appears to be little systematic data being gathered on users and non users </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning is just beginning to be seen in strategic terms within institutions </li></ul>
  22. 23. Findings (Cont’d) <ul><li>Interviews emphasized the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Increased collaboration, sharing resources and effective partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding the limits of jurisdictional boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Long term and sustainable funding </li></ul>
  23. 24. Findings(Cont’d) <ul><li>Interviews (Cont’d) </li></ul><ul><li>Development of e-learning standards </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership to manage efforts and costs </li></ul><ul><li>A dissemination plan to share information and research </li></ul>
  24. 25. Pathways Worth Exploring <ul><li>Developing a common framework </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulating a shared vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurturing shared leadership focused on creating mechanisms for effective policy and program coordination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing partnerships between government, institutions, private sector and community groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of a joint action plan </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Pathways Worth Exploring <ul><li>Forum on E-learning </li></ul><ul><li>Representatives from educational institutions, governments, business and industry and community based organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for articulating vision statement, liaising with stakeholders and creating knowledge exchange opportunities </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>Development of a data strategy and clearinghouse with a focus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Synthesizing existing research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generating new evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing high quality evidence as a basis for action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fostering knowledge exchange </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying core questions/issues </li></ul></ul>Pathways worth Exploring (cont’d)
  27. 28. Discussion Questions <ul><li>What challenges are seen to advancing along the pathways being proposed? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there means available using ICTs that could assist in moving along these pathways? </li></ul><ul><li>In moving forward where would you begin? </li></ul>