Emergent methods of unproven value
Papyrus scrolls have been knocking around for around 3000 years. The first
printed book dates from 1450. There have been schools in the the UK for the
last 1400 years or so. The internet has been around for twenty years or so and
our use of it, in terms of e-pedagogy, is firmly developmental.
Much has been spent, and will continue to be spent on IT, with a greater and
greater push towards e-pedagogies being adopted in the classroom (or outside
of it). Teacher’s can’t be observed in lessons without ‘use of ILT’ being one of
Presumably then, ILT has been well proven to bring big dividends in terms of enhancement of
Computer Assisted Instruction
Hattie gives us an effect size of d=0.37, based on nearly 5,000 studies including nearly four million
Hattie’s reported effect size covers a huge range of applications of ILT, in different contexts and using
different types of computer. The greatest reported effect size (d=0.71) is reported for computers used
in ‘tutorials’, defined as, “involving structured learning experiences”.
Interestingly, he provides an analysis of the effect size of ILT use over time, ranging from the 1970’s to
the 2007. There is no trend: the data do not show that we are getting better at using computers in
methods that lead to the enhancement of achievement.
This may surprise you- Hattie found an effect size of just d=0.18 for web based learning:
This suggests that the average effect for web-based learning approaches explored in the 45 studies
used to produce the meta-analyises is comparable to effects seen in the absence of schooling! Just as
you thought- ‘surfing the web’ doesn’t seem to be particularly high currency!
Hattie cites Olson and Wisher (2002)- already an ancient source in discussions about web-based
approaches. They described huge variability in the effect sizes seen between different studies, and
stated that the potential of web-based learning would increase as pedagogical practices improve.
You can explore some ideas about e-pedagogy here.
This story intrigues me- the UK eUniversity project.
The UKeU project was set up in 2001, with the aim of attracting 110,000 students to e-learning courses
within the first six years, rising to 250,000 students by 2010.
Ever heard of it? I doubt it- the UKeU project was wound up in 2004 by HEFCE after a spend of more
than £50 Million and a total enrolled student body of just 900. That gives a hefty price tag for each
degree of £56,000.
The story of the failed UKeU is worth a read. It’s a tale of high overheads for project managers, low
spend on marketing and an obsession with developing new technology rather than exploring pre-
existing platforms. (This seems to me to be the ongoing nature of e-learning in education- a churn of
new bits of software and gadgets). Only 200 of the 900 UKeU students ended up using the e-learning
platform. Oh- and the approach to using the learning platform- it’s e-pedagogy, was woefully
Use the word pedagogy in conversation?
If so, click here
So... examine the evidence
So... adopt evidence-based methods
So... enhance learning