E-learning: you don't always get what you hope for

Kirkwood, Adrian (2009). E-learning: you don't always get what you hope for. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 18(2) pp. 107–121.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14759390902992576


Despite substantial growth in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) throughout western societies, there is much evidence of technology-led innovations within Higher Education (HE) failing to achieve the anticipated transformations in learning and teaching. This paper reviews evidence from research and evaluation studies relating not only to e-learning, but also to wider HE practices. It argues that the use of ICT does not, in itself, result in improved educational outcomes and ways of working. It considers contextual factors that are of greater significance in determining how and why e-learning is used in HE. Students' engagement with e-learning relates to their expectations and conceptions of learning and to assessment demands. Academics need to re-assess their own beliefs and practices concerning teaching and assessment and their impact on the experience of learners. Both teachers and learners need to understand why e-learning activities are to be undertaken and the rewards expected to be derived.

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