Reading group: Talking back to theory: The missed opportunities in learning technology research
This will be a reading discussion group. The paper that we will discuss will be “Talking back to theory: The missed opportunities in learning technology research” by Sue Bennett and Martin Oliver (who did his PhD with us in IET many years ago and so an ex-member of the of the CALRG).
The abstract is below. You will see that the paper was published back in 2009 and so may want to consider whether you agree with the authors that theoretically-informed research in learning technology is sparse (and is learning technology the same as Ed Tech anyway?) and if so has that changed over the last 9 years? Read the paper, come to listen, to hear other views, and to tell us yours.
Research into learning technology has developed a reputation for being driven by rhetoric about the revolutionary nature of new developments, for paying scant attention to theories that might be used to frame and inform research, and for producing shallow analyses that do little to inform the practice of education. Although there is theoretically-informed research in learning technology, this is in the minority, and has been actively marginalised by calls for applied design work. This limits opportunities to advance knowledge in the field. Using three examples, alternative ways to engage with theory are identified. The paper concludes by calling for greater engagement with theory, and the development of a scholarship of learning technology, in order to enrich practice within the field and demonstrate its relevance to other fields of work.
Bennett, S. and Oliver, M. (2011) ‘Talking back to theory: The missed opportunities in learning technology research’, ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 19(3), pp. 179–189. doi: 10.1080/21567069.2011.624997