Online and eLearning platforms

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Post received from Roohi…

I recently saw my 11-year-old nephew (Year 7) whilst visiting relatives.

When I walked into the living room, he was on his mobile phone, had his laptop open, and also had an iPad next to the laptop.

I said to him “your Daddy told me that you are supposed to be doing homework!”

To my surprise, he answered “I am Auntie Roohi! My friend is on the phone, the other one is Skyping me on my iPad and we are all working together on a piece of work on the laptop”.

My nephew, I repeat, is 11-years-old. I was flabbergasted.

Perhaps others will not be, but I was amazed at how he was multi-tasking, whilst at the same time expertly using the technology to facilitate his groupwork.

These very technologically savvy children will be our students in less than 7 years, at which point they will be even more technologically advanced than today.

Are we ready for them?

I speak purely for myself when I say, I honestly don’t think so and I myself currently work in eLearning…..

For me, the big conversation needs to be dominated by online and eLearning platforms.

In this increasingly competitive environment, we must also fully engage with social media platforms to invite these students from Year 7 onwards to our University.

5 thoughts on “Online and eLearning platforms”

  1. While I agree with you, adding also that distance learning programmes are important at this and even more at a later stage, I am 100% convinced that nothing can replace face-to-face (not-on-screen!) contact between teachers and students.

  2. From my perspective, I am convinced that looking ahead to 2026, we need to consider some radical ideas about the most effective balance between online and face-to-face learning. I can imagine that much of what we currently do face-to-face could be made available online. This should mean that our (even more valuable) face-to-face time with students could be so much more interesting and stimulating for both staff and students. I wonder how we can best achieve that ambition?


    1. Aspects of the ‘flipped classroom’ model are now adopted by a number of HE institutions. By implementing straight forward steps, such as pre-recording your lecture using Panopto to enable students to access and listen to the recording before attending class. Whilst in class the face-to-face sessions could embrace aspects of technology to deliver more active/engaging discussions and activities which reinforce knowledge of the topic and help identify problematic areas. This then provides valuable interactions for students with increased dialogue and hands-on activities, plus much more ..

  3. For me, one of the key advantages that online / digital learning offers is adaptive learning – the ability to serve up content in a way that best suits a particular learner thus making it more of a personalised learning experience. This coupled with the opportunity to employ assessments to ensure desired outcomes have been achieved (efficacy) and if they haven’t, to employ feedback loops serving up the learning content in a different way or focusing on areas that require deeper understanding (content > learn > assess > content…) in order to aid learner progress.

    I believe that it is where these approaches are employed as follow-up learning activities and alongside more traditional approaches that we really start to see the benefits of digital learning. I’m not sure if we are doing much of that at present, however, and fully utilising the tools at our disposal.

  4. While Francesca’s comment is certainly true of current technology, and may be true in 10 years’ time, it surely won’t be true in 30.

    Currently when I meet someone in person we can write together on a whiteboard or pore over an article, pointing and gesticulating, seeing facial expressions and hearing subtle intonations. We can go for a meal together and carry on the discussion as we annotate the article and sketch new ideas. In 30 years’ time, and probably sooner, this rich experience will be replicated remotely in meetings between people located in several different countries. The technology will exist and be affordable. I say this because the financial incentive clearly exists for companies to develop it.

    So I just can’t see what value would be added by face-to-face contact.

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