Innovation, Research and Practice: the State of (eLearning) Reasearch in Higher Education
Presented at the International Conference on Educational Research, 28 August 2013, Organized by the Educational Research Network of the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico by Dr. Mark Bullen, Commonwealth of Learning // I have bracketed eLearning in the title of my presentation because while I am going to be talking about research in that specific field – eLearning and educational technology, I think many of my comments will be applicable to other areas of educational research. // What I’m going to do in my presentation is take quite a critical look at the current state of eLearning research. While I will be quite critical, I plan to end on a positive note with some concrete suggestions for the way forward and some examples of the kind of research and publication endeavours we should be looking towards as the future. // As I mentioned, I spent seven years editing the Journal of Distance Education which was one of the first distance education journals. It began publication in 1986 and has since broadened its focus to include online learning and e-learning and, of course, there are now many other journals that have this focus. // I also serve on the editorial boards of several other international journals that have educational technology focus so I have had an excellent opportunity to see a lot of new research that is submitted for publication and my perspective on the state of e-Learning research is based largely on this experience, as well as my own reading of the research. // I have divided it up in three parts: first I’ll take a look at the current state of research, then I’ll talk about the way forward and I will conclude with some examples of what I consider good work in this field.