Open Access

Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced Learning: A Critical Assessment

  • Karl Steffens1Email author,
  • Brenda Bannan2,
  • Barney Dalgarno3,
  • Antonio R. Bartolome4,
  • Vanessa Esteve-González5 and
  • José María Cela-Ranilla5
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201512:12020073

https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v12i2.2453

Received: 15 November 2014

Accepted: 15 March 2015

Published: 15 April 2015

Abstract

Our societies are considered knowledge societies in which lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important. At the same time, digital technologies are entering almost every aspect of our lives and now play an important role in education. The last decade has seen numerous new developments in the field of technology-enhanced learning. In 2004, George Siemens presented connectivism as a learning theory for the digital age. His ideas inspired the creation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which have recently received a great deal of attention. Theoretical works on the use of digital devices for learning have focused on the affordances users perceive in these devices. Design research has also shown us that learning environments enriched by digital technologies are extremely complex and should be viewed as learning ecologies. The discussions on connectivism and MOOCs, affordances of digital devices, and design research have taken place in different discourses that have paid hardly any attention to each other. It is important to point out, however, that the developments in technology-enhanced learning not only can but need to be related to each other.

Keywords

affordances connectivism design research digital technologies MOOCs technology-enhanced learning