Talking back to theory: the missed opportunities in learning technology research

Sue Bennett, Martin Oliver


Research into learning technology has developed a reputation for being drivenby rhetoric about the revolutionary nature of new developments, for payingscant attention to theories that might be used to frame and inform research, andfor producing shallow analyses that do little to inform the practice of education.Although there is theoretically-informed research in learning technology, this isin the minority, and has been actively marginalised by calls for applied designwork. This limits opportunities to advance knowledge in the field. Using threeexamples, alternative ways to engage with theory are identified. The paper concludesby calling for greater engagement with theory, and the development of ascholarship of learning technology, in order to enrich practice within the fieldand demonstrate its relevance to other fields of work.


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