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30 August 2009 / erikduval

I’m not an oracle, but I liked these Delphi questions…

In the STELLAR network of excellence, a Delphi study on the Technology Enhanced Learning is underway. As a Good Boy, I responded to the questionnaire, even though I am not so convinced of the value of such studies. (Do you know one that has really led to a valuable outcome?)

Still, I had fun thinking about the questions, and would like to share my answers here:

Looking at the whole field of TEL in the last couple of years:

Which have been 2-3 prominent research themes and promising results?
– metadata and repositories
– mobile learning
– open educational resources
Which have been 2-3 important changes in education and advances in technology that have had an impact on TEL research?
– ubiquitous computing
– web2.0
Imagine a large international TEL research program to be carried out from 2014 till 2020 is planned:
What should be 2-3 central research themes and questions to be covered by this program?
– leveraging emotions
– scaleability and personalization
What future key technical developments (e.g. increasing use of mobile devices) should be accounted for in the research program? (please name 2-3)
– ambient computing, sensors (geo, time, emotion, other feedback)
– web3.0 (whatever that will mean)
What future key societal demands and challenges (e.g. aging society) should the research program live up to? (Please name 2-3)
– addressing key issues (aids, middle east, energy, war, …)
– making learning relevant again for learners in schools
Part III: Predicting the future of TEL
In this part of the questionnaire, we would like to collect some general, visionary and maybe also controversial statements about future developments in TEL, such as:
“Some day, microchips in our brain will help us process information, solve problems and memorize facts.”
“Some day, computers will diagnose the mood of the user and display content adaptively”
“Some day, students will be allowed to use technological devices (including internet access etc.) in all exams”
“Some day, informal learning will be more important than formal learning”
Please suggest two to three (or more…the more the better) interesting, visionary and/or controversial statements regarding future developments in TEL with a high potential impact.
Some day, most 18 year olds will still consider learning as much fun as when they were 6 year olds.
Some day, everybody will have immediate access to all the learning support she needs.
Some day, we will really understand how learning works.
Part IV: Opinions and Visions for TEL
One objective of STELLAR is to reduce the fragmentation of European TEL research. In this Delphi study, we would therefore like to collect opinions and visions of TEL researchers in order to identify common goals and visions.
Please share your personal opinions and visions on TEL research:
What is the fundamental purpose of TEL research?
To understand how technology can improve learning.
Which are the characteristics of “good” TEL research?
Relevant, in that it actually makes a difference.
Either evaluated in practice, or at least with a potential to be evaluated – much along the lines of Popper’s falsifiability.
What developments in TEL research would be undesirable?
More new terminology for old concepts.
More fuzzy research with unclear aims and unclear contributions.
Part V: General Feedback and Suggestions for Round 2
In this first Delphi round we not only want to test and elicit feedback on types of items to be employed in Round 2, but also ensure that all STELLAR partners can contribute ideas and suggestions for Round 2.
Are there any new questions, topics or sections that you would like to suggest for Round 2?
– What can we do to improve TEL research, also (but not exclusively) by applying some of the technologies that we leverage for learning in research.
Please feel free to share any additional ideas regarding Round 2:
Would it make sense to do this in a more open way, where one gets to see the input from others, maybe immediately after completing the survey?

Which have been 2-3 prominent research themes and promising results?

  • metadata and repositories
  • mobile learning
  • open educational resources
  • Which have been 2-3 important changes in education and advances in technology that have had an impact on TEL research?

    • ubiquitous computing
    • web2.0
    • Imagine a large international TEL research program to be carried out from 2014 till 2020 is planned:

      What should be 2-3 central research themes and questions to be covered by this program?

      • leveraging emotions
      • scaleability and personalization
      • What future key technical developments (e.g. increasing use of mobile devices) should be accounted for in the research program? (please name 2-3)

        • ambient computing, sensors (geo, time, emotion, other feedback)
        • web3.0 (whatever that will mean)
        • What future key societal demands and challenges (e.g. aging society) should the research program live up to? (Please name 2-3)

          • addressing key issues (aids, middle east, energy, war, …)
          • making learning relevant again for learners in schools
          • Please suggest two to three (or more…the more the better) interesting, visionary and/or controversial statements regarding future developments in TEL with a high potential impact.

            • Some day, most 18 year olds will still consider learning as much fun as when they were 6 year olds.
            • Some day, everybody will have immediate access to all the learning support she needs.
            • Some day, we will really understand how learning works.
            • What is the fundamental purpose of TEL research?

              • To understand how technology can improve learning.
              • Which are the characteristics of “good” TEL research?

                • Relevant, in that it actually makes a difference.
                • Either evaluated in practice, or at least with a potential to be evaluated – much along the lines of Popper’s falsifiability.
                • What developments in TEL research would be undesirable?

                  • More new terminology for old concepts.
                  • More fuzzy research with unclear aims and unclear contributions.
                  • Are there any new questions, topics or sections that you would like to suggest for Round 2?

                    • What can we do to improve TEL research, also (but not exclusively) by applying some of the technologies that we leverage for learning in research.
                    • Please feel free to share any additional ideas regarding Round 2:

                      • Would it make sense to do this in a more open way, where one gets to see the input from others, maybe immediately after completing the survey?
                      • Some of the answers may be a bit short, so let me know which ones you would like me to expand upon. More importantly, let me know which questions you would answer differently, or why you disagree… I will pass on the comments to the team that is organizing this study…

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