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From flowers to palms: 40 years of policy for online learning

Smith, Janice (2005) From flowers to palms: 40 years of policy for online learning. Research in Learning Technology, 13 (2). pp. 93-108. ISSN 0968-7769

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Abstract

This year sees the 40th anniversary of the first policy paper regarding the use of computers in higher education in the United Kingdom. The publication of this paper represented the beginning of the field of learning technology research and practice in higher education. In the past 40 years, policy has at various points drawn from different communities and provided the roots for a diverse field of learning technology researchers and practitioners. This paper presents a review of learning technology-related policy over the past 40 years. The purpose of the review is to make sense of the current position in which the field finds itself, and to highlight lessons that can be learned from the implementation of previous policies. Conclusions drawn from the review of 40 years of learning technology policy suggest that there are few challenges that have not been faced before as well as a potential return to individual innovation.