Education Technology IT research can been seen and is a moving feast or an ever changing environment. IT technologies are forever evolving and Cox (2012) highlights the challenge of education research because of this shifting sands environment. The author outlines thirteen (13) elements to considered to achieve a greater reliability in research outcomes and most specifically that research “focuses on specific identifiable IT uses instead of trying to measure all of IT and its impact” (Cox, 2012, p. 17).
What is interesting is that in the VET sector the move to obtaining and accepting digital badges as evidence for Recognition of Prior Learning for ‘skill sets’. This is bridging that gap between the formal and informal world of learning using technology as part of the evidence trail. As technologies evolve the lines between formal and informal learning will blur further, which logically will impact on formal research into educational technologies. MOOCs and informal learning programs that give ‘just in time’ learning are fast becoming the norm. for workers wanting to up-skill quickly in a piece of software for example which often rely on a teacher taking on a ‘guide on the side’ role rather than the traditional ‘sage on the stage’.
Moving forward the evolution of informal online learning to augment more formal training will increase. The VET sector must become more agile to ensure that it engages in deep learning whether it is formal or informal..
Cox, M. (2012). Formal to informal learning with IT: research challenges and issues for e-learning. Journal Of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(1), 85-105. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00483.x
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium