On 30th September 2009, an invited audience of over 300 leading thinkers from HR, skills, training and education joined eight eminent speakers at the inaugural E-learning Debate at the Oxford Union.
The motion for the debate was:
“This house believes that the e-learning of today is essential for the important skills of tomorrow.”
Eight speakers took to the floor:
Debating For The Motion:
- Prof. Diana Laurillard
- Maj Gen Tim Inshaw
- Andy McGovern, Reuters
- Kirstie Donnelly, learndirect
Arguing Against The Motion:
- Dr Marc Rosenberg
- Claire Little, SHL Group
- Wendy Cartwright, Olympic Development Authority
- David Wilson, Elearnity
Clive Shepherd summarizes the pro and contra speakers’ arguments here. In my view, Clive’s post is essential reading for anyone professionally interested in training, technology in education, HR, and organizational development.
I like Clive’s closing blog post remarks:
I agreed with every speaker, which was quite possible given the different ways in which the motion could be interpreted. I changed my mind eight times but ended up voting for the motion.
At the end, the motion was defeated: the participants voted 90 FOR and 144 AGAINST.
However, this is not the end of the debate, only the beginning. Whether you attended or not, there is still an opportunity to contribute. From 1st October 2009 the E-learning Debate continues online, and you can read a summary of the arguments, view the highlights on Flickr and YouTube, add your comments, and vote.