What is technology-enhanced learning?
Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research aims to improve the quality of formal and informal learning, and to make accessible forms of knowledge that were simply inaccessible before. But research does not translate easily into practice, at school, in higher education or in the workplace. The forms of pedagogy that characterise learning in these settings have remained more or less invariant even when radical technologies have been introduced.
Technology of itself doesn’t enhance learning! It depends how the technology is designed and implemented; how teachers are supported to use it; how outcomes are measured; what communities are in place to support it.
What is the TEL research programme?
- TEL is a UK £12m ESRC/EPSRC funded programme running from 2007-2012 led by Professor Richard Noss at the London Knowledge Lab.
- TEL’s 8 projects are looking at ways in which technology can be used to improve learner outcomes.
- 7 pilot projects were funded in 2007.
- TEL is the fifth phase of the UK Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) which began in 2000.
The TEL programme seeks to:
- encourage communication and collaboration between the projects and between TEL partners and co-workers throughout the UK.
- identify common themes that address current issues in Technology Enhanced Learning as they evolve from the projects and elsewhere: key themes include flexibility, inclusion, personalisation and productivity.
- maximise impact for project findings and take-up of technology as it is developed.
- foster an interdisciplinary focus that takes forward research in both the social and computing sciences.
- provide support and resources for newer career researchers and develop a community of researchers in the TEL field.
TLRP-TEL seeks to make research progress on a level that transcends – and adds value to – the findings of specific projects. The TLRP-TEL funding call identified four challenges that seek to identify how technology enhanced learning can contribute to: Personalisation, Inclusion, Flexibility and Productivity. This list is not exclusive, and one aim of the programme will be to elaborate and expand them.
TEL consultation with UK Department of Business Industry and Skills (October 2011)
Richard Noss on the Grand Challenges for TEL Research (January 2010)