Learning for Development

Various authors, Commonwealth of Learning, Feb 15, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Commonwealth of Learning's draft Strategic Plan for the next three years is available and open for comments. It is interesting to note that while the authors comment, "disappointing track record of pure eLearning (i.e., online learning) in the industrialised world risks creating doubts about the effectiveness of ODL (open and distance learning) generally," they also note that, "must engage resolutely with eLearning because in the longer term it holds great promise for developing countries." Which, I think, is right, on both counts. The report also interesting notes that COL should "focus on implementing its own programme and cease bidding for contracts from development banks." It's pretty easy to get caught up in that whole 'competition for scarce resources' thing, and to lose sight of what you are doing, and so I would say that this is probably the correct approach (and that funding agencies should turn their attention to finding, for themselves, the best projects, rather than to listening to the best marketers).
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