Evidence-based policy development in Learning Technology


On 9th Jan 2012, the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), the ESRC/EPSRC funded Technology Enhanced Learning programme (TEL) and Intellect (the UK trade association of the technology sector) held an invited event in London to discuss the issue of the title. Those taking in part included policy makers, technologists and researchers. The meeting was chaired by John Cook, Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning and Chair of ALT’s Research Committee. It was addressed by Jonathan Shepherd, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at the University of Cardiff; and Director of the Violence Research Group. A response followed from John Naughton, Vice-President of Wolfson College, Cambridge, Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University; and the Observer’s technology columnist. The aims of the day included sharing ideas on how to get more evidence-based policy making in Learning Technology, possibly drawing on parallels with medicine and policing where Professor Shepherd and colleagues have persuaded authorities to look at medical evidence in tackling crime leading to the University Police Science Institute in Wales. A further aim was the production of a checklist that Learning Technology Researchers (LTRs) should bear in mind when designing and conducting their research so as to give their work more chance of influencing policy and, as a result or otherwise, leading to greater uptake and hence impact. The report has six further sections covering: 1. Key points from the presentations of the two principal speakers 2. Models for evidence-based LT research 3. Methodologies for evidence-based LT research 4. Professional development of Teachers and LTRs 5. Conclusion 6. The LTR checklis

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