Friday, 23 March 2007

And the winner is...

We asked the OU's educational research students to vote on our final shortlist of three titles. Their overwhelming recommendation was for "Practice-based research in educational technology".

Many of them also provided very useful comments and additional suggestions. The new ones that most caught my attention were:
"New technologies for educational research" and "Technology-rich methodologies for educational research".

We had been worried that "practice" was too academic-y a word, but this wasn't a concern expressed by our respondents. One commented:
'Practice' and 'practice-based' are very powerful words for people working outside academia: it provides reassurance that what you find is going to be some practical use – eventually. Also helps with employers, e.g. getting funding or at least time off from work or co-operation in access to data."
Some noted that the title doesn't mention the cutting-edge technologies that the course will draw on. This is a fair point, and perhaps indicates something to be highlighted in the blurb.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Title suggestions

Thanks for all the suggestions. Here's a selection of them, in no particular order:
  • Researching technology enhanced learning
  • Researching elearning [suggested three times!]
  • Researching ICT
  • Researching Practice in e-learning
  • e-learning: Researching Practice
  • Research and Practice in e-learning
  • Researching and Studying eLearning
  • New directions in practitioner inquiry using e-research
  • Practitioner Inquiry using e-research methodologies
  • Researching technology-rich practice
  • Technology enhanced research
  • Practitioner Research and technologically supported methodologies
  • Practice-based research in educational technology
  • Researching in eLearning
  • Foundations in eLearning Research
  • eLearning Research - a practitioner’s course
  • Using e-Research in e-Learning
  • The eLearning researcher
  • Prepare for research in eLearning
  • Thinking beyond the boundaries: eLearning research and evaluation
  • Methods of Practice-Based Research for Distance and E-Learning

The ubiquity of "e-learning" is quite a surprise, because it's not a word we've used in relation to the course very much. It's probably because the word appeared in a departmental email inviting suggestions. Friends with fingers on the pulse of the zeitgeist tell me that its days as a fashionable buzzword are numbered, so we'd be interested in views on this.

Friday, 2 March 2007

A rose by any other name?

We've been mulling over titles.

Our working title is accurate but not catchy: "Practice-based research and evaluation in technology-rich environments".

We know that titles matter: some of our older course titles have been said to be too wordy, or to tell you very little about the content of the course.

Some colleagues have suggested we put "eLearning" in the title, and that "practice" is a off-putting "academic-y" word. Others like the word "practice" because of its connotations of practitioner enquiry, practical reasoning, and social practices, and because it doesn't restrict the audience to teachers and lecturers.

Another issue for the title is that the course is supposed to be not just about researching technology-enhanced learning but also about the use of technology for educational research.

What would you call it? There's a small prize for the suggestion we like the best.