Saturday, October 03, 2009

The E-learning Debate - An Inside View

On the 30th September 2009, David was a main speaker in the E-learning Debate at the Oxford Union, alongside Professor Diana Laurillard, Marc Rosenberg and others. The motion: “This house believes that the elearning of today is essential for the important skills of tomorrow”.

It's already clear from many conversations after the event, and in the days since, that this event
has really captured the imagination of many people in the UK e-learning industry. And the result on the day was very interesting: 90 for the motion, 144 against.

Here are David's thoughts on the debate itself and its implications.


Research Writer said...
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Peter said...

Thanks for some interesting thoughts, David.
It seemed to me from your description of this debate that it was more about difference between the University view of e-learning and industry's view. From experience industry sees education (and therefore e-learning) as an efficient means of getting the required knolwedge into its workforce, Whereas, at a higher level at least, education sees its job as developing the capacity and willingness to learn.
Consideration of the essential nature of current e-learning provision might also be influenced by the level (in education terms) of the learning.
Perhaps the variation in votes derives from the audience online compared to in the Debating Chamber.
It all depends how you define "important skills".

David Wilson said...

Peter, I think you might be right. It does depend on what you consider important skills.

Re the online debate, though. If I was to be critical, I don't believe the arguments from the debate itself particularly figure in the online discussion at all. It seems to have effectively reduced it to a debate on whether is e-learning is useful or not ...