OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

Innovating in e-learning is worth it

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 27 May 2011, 21:12

E-learning projects/initiatives of 2000/2001 that cost £120,000 + and went nowhere. Dot.com start-ups that went bust.

Not quite first-hand experience as it wasn't my money or job on the line, but I was involved'sharing an office with the creators of 'Doki' an idea for an immersive language learning experience.

Pioneers of innovation are just that - brave people who go out in the cold with no clothes on.

It is this that I admire so much form the Open University ... 42 years of distance learning (pioneers at the time) and as Professor Jonathan Silvertown says in a video clip on the OU website 'It's as if the Open University was waiting for the Internet to happen - distance no longer matters'.

In terms of initiatives I'm familiar with away from the OU I like what corporate e-learning company Epic have done with the BBC Guidelines.

From my TV days I got a copy of these hefty manual every time a new edition came out - think of a Filofax so densely packed with printed pages that it is has the density (and about as much appeal) as a breeze-block. It was indigestible, however much you had to chew on it. Epic used narrative to create what I can only describe as an engaging tale that for its own sake draws you into the content.

The job is profiled on their website with a quote from someone in BBC Training saying that something that was costing X per head to train in was now a fraction of this for the 16,000 people expected to follow the guidelines.

Can it be costed if it is free?

Open Learn is free.

Or is it? 

As a tool to attract learners, as a duty or desire to support and share with the community (which is glogal now). To use Open Learn you still need a computer, broadband access ... and electricity.

It must work.

It must be worth it. (cash cost, time spent, time given up) It is pointless if a no or low cost none e-learning solution is better. i.e. can you teach someone to ride a bike online?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post