Reviewing the past to imagine the future of elearning #ascilite

Cathy Gunn, Reviewing the past to imagine the future of elearning

The technologies that make a difference aren’t those that are hyped.

Comment: But example given of access to online journals is an example of the Web – the information superhighway. Perhaps even Vannevar Bush. It was/is hyped. But it wasn’t hyped as being specific to education.

1993 – the idea that “the fundamental nature of teaching and learning is shifting”. Link to constructivist etc. Hypertext, multimedia. The start of massification/diversification.

2013 – shift still happening. But now Connectivism – shifting to – collectivism and peer learning.

From review/recommend to collaborate/critique

Specialised use to mass engagement e.g. ride on a plane and see the use.

Comment: But the the type of “mass” engagement is still very unique/individual. The platform enables self-customisation. Not something that applies to institutional systems – is that a factor in their limited use?

50 years of learning technology research required to find that “the type of media has no reliable effect on learning”

So, what should we study and what methods should be used?

Links to Gunn & Steel (2012)

Sticky problems in 2013?

  • Most teachers still don’t make use of the potential.
  • Push to standardise, secure and control at odds with open access, free tools & experimentation
  • Research methods are not established enough to move field forward
  • Funding models don’t provide for sustainable development


  • LA + ability to exploring learning design intent will add a missing link to methodology
  • Discoverable OERs, MOOCs etc will realise the dream of a learning object economy
  • Imperatives for change & the affordances of technology will synergise developments.
  • Dominant designs will emerge and re-engineeer IT industries
  • Power of collective consciousness will transform education and knowledge creation.

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