Niigata 3: ICALT 2007 Notes, “Elearning fails”

False promises of the 70sI’m now back in the UK after an interesting visit to Japan. Although I’ve run out of steam after blogging several papers in previous posts, at least some mysterious ghost writer has kindly reported my own presentation, writing

KMi Chief Scientist Marc Eisenstadt delivered a stinging condemnation of elearning at his keynote address to the IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies on Friday in Niigata, Japan. The keynote, entitled “Does elearning have to be so awful? (Time to mashup or shutup)”, took objection to decades of false promises and research that had high intellectual merit but either failed to deliver in the real world at large scale, or alternatively delivered, but made for an awful end-user experience.


Although the intellectual content of the massive volume of papers (with only 23% acceptance rate, incidentally) was high, I was indeed disappointed at the lack of massive very large scale rollout experience, and even more so at the lack of take-up of social software [i.e. less than 10% of audience members actually using anything one might call ‘social software’].

A useful comment I received at the end of my presentation from Kinshuk was that I had not made the ironclad case for the use of social software from the viewpoint of the very practitioners I was addressing. This is a good point: the arguments were (too) self-evident to me, but it’s no good preaching to the converted — I need to make the case for an audience that is just as sceptical about the virtues of social software as I am about the virtues of elearning. TouchĂ©. I’ll be sure next time to include some more obvious links to relevant papers from an educator’s perspective such as “50 things to do with RSS“, etc.

Click on the ‘Slides‘ link at right for a copy of the actual presentation (and onward links to the supporting paper).

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One Response to “Niigata 3: ICALT 2007 Notes, “Elearning fails””

  1. EisenBlog - Marc Eisenstadt's Home Page Blog at The Open University's Knowledge Media Institute » Blog Archive » Mashable's social and elearning2.0 goodies Says:

    […] WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL (I hear you ask), especially since I’ve been so critical of elearning? The big deal is that most of the sites described in the Mashable listings above are ‘bottom […]

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