Technological and Pedagogical Convergence between Work-based and Campus-based Learning

David F. Radcliff, Educational Technology & Society, May 20, 2002
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have slected three articles from the current issue of Educational Technology & Society, the IEEE Learning Technology Task Force journal (see here). The IEEE format does not lend itself to essays of this nature. Though many of them would have had something useful to say, the usefulness has been squeezed out by the format. About half of each essay is devoted to summarizing previous work. Most of the rest of each essay summarizes a specific project. Useful discussion is limited to one or two paragraphs.

CRLFThe current article is a case in point. It describes a project where a work-based cohort was merged with a university-based cohort for the final four weeks of a university course. The author concludes that "The different understandings (often tacit) of learning, training, competency and capability held by university and industry staff need to be made explicit." Yes, and an academic article, such as this, would be a great place to do that! Sadly, it turns out that this is no such forum and our curiosity remains unsated.

CRLFI do not blame the author for this. The same pattern is repeated in paper after paper. The guardians of Educational Technology & Society ought to consider again whether their format is furthering scholarship or hindering it.

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