E-learning in initial teacher education: A solution looking for a problem?

Adrian Mee

Abstract


This article describes the development of e-learning as an integral element of a course of initial teacher training.

In seeking to embed the use of e-learning tools within an existing course structure and to accommodate a range of external and contextual constraints the study uncovers a number of tensions which must be addressed if the use of such tools is to meet the needs of a range of stakeholders. It is suggested that this theme of conflicting stakeholder needs and the broader context within which course development must take place is often relatively neglected in favour of a focus on the technology and techniques of e-learning.

This article focuses on the factors which promote and inhibit the successful embedding of e-learning as a tool for meeting various stakeholder needs and suggests that planning to deploy e-learning can frequently consist of looking for a "problem to fit a technological solution?วจ In contrast the article takes a critical, non-techno-advocate stance and suggests that the uncritical deployment of e-learning has the potential to diminish quality, efficiency and effectiveness unless planning is informed by clear guidelines focussing on and balancing the needs of course stakeholders. It is further suggested that the range of e-learning tools made available to those designing and delivering courses is frequently provider rather than client led.

Finally the article suggests that the effective articulation of e-learning research and course development would benefit from adopting more a commercial research and development model in which identification of a need to improve or develop a new product precedes and triggers research activity rather than a model which seeks to find applications for research which has been undertaken for other purposes.

Full Text: PDF

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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