Productivity and online learning redux

Tony Bates, Let's Talk About Tech, Dec 23, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Tony Bates concludes what has been a lengthy series on the topic of online learning and productivity (you can see the full list at the end of his post). He says we "need to set improved productivity as a key goal for investment in learning technologies." But "This means setting benchmarks and implementing means of measuring success." That's not nearly easy as it sounds, because it's not easy to measure success when everyone involves is seeking different, and individual, outcomes. That's part of the reason why, I think, that he advocates institutions focus on 'sustaining innovations', that is, innovations that are incremental and continue to support the institution's existing mission and goals. And I think he's right in the sense that the disruptive innovation will come from outside the system. Whether measuring producivity is a good response to it is, I think, open to question.

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