Making a difference: How can we demonstrate the impact of learning technology research?

20 March 2012
London Metropolitan University, Tower Building TM2-35 (reception will give you directions)

Slides available see link below Twitter backchannel use #ltrimpact

Cloudscape created by:

John Cook
7 February 2012

With Jane Seale, member of the REF Education sub panel

In the learning technology field there is no shortage of research questions- but there is a shortage of research funding. Learning technology researchers are increasingly being required to address issues of impact in order to attract funding.  At the beginning of the project, they must anticipate the potential impact of their research on end users, beyond the realms of scholarly citations, and put in place measures to demonstrate that impact. This is a particular challenge, especially in a field that in its infancy was prone to adopt a non-critical ‘evangelical’ stance to learning technology. The field is maturing however, both in its methodological and theoretical approaches, and it would seem pertinent (if not imperative!) that learning technology researchers be proactive rather than reactive with regards to mapping out what impact means in the context of learning technology research. In this session Jane Seale will:

  • provide an overview of the different ways that funders such as ESRC and HEFCE define and conceptualise “impact” and “users of research”;
  • offer her personal interpretations, with examples, of how learning technology research might demonstrate impact;
  • facilitate debate and reflection regarding how well placed current UK learning technology research is to meet the challenges of demonstrating impact.

Jane Seale joined the Faculty of Education as Professor of Education in September 2010 and was appointed as a member of the Education sub panel for REF 2014 in March 2011.  She has undertaken a number of key national co-ordination and leadership roles in the field of e-learning and research including President of the Association for Learning Technology and Co-Director of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods. Jane’s research operates at the intersection of education, technology and disability and she has over 20 years of experience examining the role of technology in promoting inclusion, particularly for those with learning disabilities. Her 2006 book “E-learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice” is in over 450 libraries world-wide. Currently Jane is convenor of the TLRP Technology Enhanced Learning Digital Inclusion Forum. 

To enable us to offer this event for free, lunch will not be provided but tea/coffee/water will be available. The booking deadline for this event is 14 March 2012: Bookings link, Organised by LTRI (London Metropolitan University) with Association for Learning Technology

The hashtag for this event is #ltrimpact.

Slides from talk

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