Bridging the gap between policy and practice: A reflective review and looking forward to the future.
Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, 6(1) pp. 13–27.
Without a doubt e-learning is now truly embedded in all educational institutions; from the provision of an appropriate technological infrastructure to support teaching, research and administrative activities in the institutions through to the innovative use of technologies for learning. National and international policies in the area reflect this and are filled with rhetoric about the potential technologies offer for education – personalisation, flexibility, adaptively, lifelong learning and engaging authentic and immersive environment. However, closer inspection suggests that there is still a gap between the promises inherent in the policy rhetoric and actual use in practice. This paper will focus on a e-learning timeline, mapping the shifting directions of policy perspectives and their subsequent impact on practice. It will reflect on implications for the future. It will then present a new framework for ensuring that e-learning interventions are effective that emphasises the relationship between e-learning policy, research and practice. The paper argues that use of such a framework can help ensure that e-learning research informs and helps shape both policy and practice and vice versa that activities in practice can in turn inform further policy directions and suggestions for areas which need further research investigation.
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