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Education policy: Mapping the landscape and scope

Edited By Sandra Bohlinger, Thi Kim Anh Dang and Malgorzata Klatt

This book maps recent developments in the landscape of education policy in higher and vocational education, the returns of education, curriculum design and education reforms, driven by social, economic, political and cultural factors. Contributed by over twenty authors from five continents, this collection provides diverse, innovative and useful perspectives on the ways education policy is researched, implemented and enacted. It helps researchers, policy makers, students and practitioners to better understand processes of policy making, its theory, practice and outcomes. Despite national differences, many shared features and challenges emerge from this book as education systems face the common need to reinvent their existing systems and processes.

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Progress and prospects of the online revolution in higher education

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This chapter seeks to fill a gap between educational policy-making and educational practice in the implications of the online revolution for higher education teaching-learning. The claims that have been made for the revolutionary impact or potential of information and communication technologies for higher education teaching-learning are put in the context of claims for educational technologies since the late 19th century. The chapter examines pedagogy to understand why some new technologies are incorporated within higher education without changing fundamentally its structure or processes.

The chapter examines pedagogy from its first principles. It notes the characteristics of formal learning and argues that the need for individual learning support and feedback limits the extent to which teaching-learning may be automated and thus greatly increase its economy of scale. The chapter notes that face-to-face education is the first and dominant mode of formal learning and is thus familiar to learners who have been schooled in its demands and have accommodated its inflexibilities. Face-to-face education also combines text and oral communication, which can be highly interactive, provides multiple non-verbal cues which support affective interaction, and provides a social structure and discipline to support learning over extended periods. The chapter concludes that until the technology and pedagogy of mediated education improve, face-to-face education seems likely to continue being the dominant mode of formal education.

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