Does eLearning Improve as More People are Able to Create it?
I don’t think it necessarily does. The profusion of content and authoring systems do mean that it is easier to put together quality content, but they also make it easier to put together poor quality content. In my experience with teachers and multimedia/interactive content, it is quite difficult to get them even to evaluate it for their own use, let alone suggest useful modifications to suit their students (you can’t skim or scan a SCORM package, or even a Powerpoint presentation!). A lot of the material we have been trying to put together has been based around Study and Life Skills and the challenge is to make these engaging whilst still providing a valuable learning experience.
When talking about the gap between using social networking for pleasure compared to using similar tools inside a VLE (or even a different area of Facebook) it is easy to overestimate how well students will understand the need to transfer or translate academic and other critical skills. So again there is more opportunity to collaborate, but they often lack an understanding of how to do it appropriately.
In our college we have always tried to use a range of ‘market research’ to find what students like and want including the use of student rep type projects (eMentors) which both tried to foster 2 way idea sharing between us as eLearning and pedagogical professionals and the ‘digital native’ students. Unfortunately we have always been hampered slightly by users who ‘don’t know what they don’t know’. Despite extensive use of Social Networking and Mobile technology few students would know how effective these technologies may be for learning.