Association for Learning Technology Online Newsletter
Issue 10 October 2007   Friday, October 19, 2007

ISSN 1748-3603

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Education: a revolutionary process @ Djanogly City Academy
Introducing e-portfolios across a paper dominated university
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E-learning: making it work
Becta's Harnessing Technology Research Forum
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What the learners say about e-learning
by Ros Smith

The benefits and challenges of e-learning have been hotly debated, but usually from the perspective of the practitioner. So how much do we know about the learners’ experience of e-learning?

A new publication from the JISC e-Learning Programme, In Their Own Words, opens up a window on learners’ beliefs, intentions and motivations when using technology in their learning. The publication was launched at ALT-C 2007 in Nottingham and is based on outputs from Phase 1 of the Learners’ Experiences of e-Learning theme, funded under the JISC e-Learning Programme.

Key among these outputs are two studies – the LEX and LXP reports – which were based on qualitative and quantitative research with e-learners in further, higher and adult education. Together with five video case studies of ‘learner voices’ and a series of guides summarising key messages for different roles and sectors, In Their Own Words provides a package of resources for staff development and a valuable starting point for those undertaking learner-centred research. But most of all, this new publication helps us to understand just what learners think and feel about studying in a digital age.

Here are two examples:

“No journey to university is complete without the iPod – this thing is glorious.”
Laura: The learner’s voice video case study, In Their Own Words (JISC, 2007)

“I use my laptop. I take it away, it’s attached to me. I couldn’t survive without it.”
Emma, undergraduate business student: LEX report, In their Own Words (JISC, 2007).

Further details of the studies in Phase 1 of the JISC Learner Experiences of e-Learning theme can be found at Information about projects currently underway in Phase 2 is available at

Copies of In Their Own Words may be ordered from or downloaded from

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