What’s in a name?

One of the characteristics of our area is that it’s constantly changing and this is reflected in the way in which the terminology we use changes too. Educational Technology, Learning Technology, Distance Learning, have all come and gone. “E-learning” has been around for a while and indeed when I was asked what title I wanted for my job at the OU when I started a year and a half ago this seemed the obvious choice, but in a number of arena recently I have heard people say that e-learning is on the out and just this morning I came across a link to this effect from Rosanna one of the students on our H809 course from a news article in the FT. Indeed the changing nature of our area, the tensions and discourses was a major theme of our book ‘Contemporary perspectives in e-learning research’. I guess its just something we have to live with, but how does this make us as a research community sit alongside more established areas? Reading the FT article there are comments about ‘distance’ being an inappropriate term - which is interesting because we are currently thinking about whether or not the title for our masters course - MA in Online and Distance Education - is still appropriate. The problem is if we change it, is there any guarantee that the new title will survive the test of time!

3 Responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. distance learning » Blog Archive » What’s in a name? Says:

    […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. Sarah Stewart Says:

    I have just started an open access course that is making me think about the term ‘flexible’ learning - would that suit your purposes?

    http://tinyurl.com/2pr59j

    (My blog post will link you to the whole course if you are interested in having a look.)

  3. Gráinne Says:

    flexible is certainly part of it but doesn’t capture the whole thing I think Sarah. It’s very difficult to find something that does to be honest!

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