This article captured my attention as I’ve just finished writing a paper on the failure of an elearning initiative between my university and a post-primary school. (In fact, many of the articles have hit a sore point since I finished writing, as I grimace when I read the criticism of papers with flimsy premises or so-small-it’s-meaningless test groups!)
I agree with Laurillard’s assertion that the ability of elaerning to improve learning is pretty much beyond discussion at this stage. In fact, the term ‘elearning’ itself is pretty redundant. Is it not just ‘learning’ at this stage? Aren’t books technology? She laments the inability to build an ‘optimal infrastructure’ that ultimately restrains educators/innovators to be able to report success. There is a certain sense of frustration in her article that if only we could accept the obvious, that elearning works, then we might take the ‘leap of faith’ to provide proper infrastructure.
The word ‘improve’ rather than ‘support’ or ‘change’ implies that it is already well-established that elearning enhances learning. The author provides a comprehensive survey of the ways in which elearning appears to improve learning in various contexts. The suggestion is that the topic is not in question, but her point is about how the inability to support this successful endeavor is letting the whole project down.