Mike Trucano’s ten worst practices in e-learning

I have always admired Mike Trucano‘s work, and so it was great to hear him speaking this morning at Online Educa Berlin.  His theme was understanding failures in e-learning, especially in the countries where the World Bank is working.

This was his list of the ten worst practices in e-learning:

  1. Dump hardware in schools, hope for magic to happen
  2. Design for OECD learning environments, implement elsewhere
  3. Think about educational content only after you have rolled out your hardware
  4. Assume you can just import content from someone else
  5. Don’t monitor, don’t evaluate
  6. Make a big bet on an unproven technology (especially one based on a closed/proprietary standard) or single vendor, don’t plan for how to avoid ‘lock in’
  7. Don’t think about or acknowledge total costs of ownership/operation issues or calculations
  8. Assume away equity issues
  9. Don’t train your teachers (nor your school headmasters, for that matter)
  10. ….for your own worst practice

The really sad thing is that all of these known worst practices continue to be replicated across the world.  Hopefully, more people will listen to Mike, and then we can develop much better ways through which technology can really be used effectively to enhance learning!



Filed under Education, ICT4D

8 responses to “Mike Trucano’s ten worst practices in e-learning

  1. Thanks Tim, Its is absolutely true how most of those points work across ideas such as edu tech. Is there a video of this talk that might be up somewhere?

  2. Tim, thanks for sharing, E-learning seems to run down education standards in some countries. In Ethiopia kids apparently refer to teachers as “DJ”s. You could wonder if, after some lessons, anyone including the teacher knows or understands what is going on?

    • unwin

      Hi Tom
      Thanks for this. I guess one could interpret DJ in various ways! I would be quite flattered if my students called me “DJ Tim”!
      Best seasonal wishes

  3. Sam

    DJ Tim I am running a vedio based virtual learning project that betrays some of Mike’s failure factors, except #5. Been capturing quantitative data which I invite e-learning expert to collaborate with me on. Could you please refer the to stjnr1@gmail.com

  4. RDale

    Hi all, I still cannot find the specific video of Mike’s talk – just a series of videos of the conference in general. Could someone direct me to the video of him? Thanks very much

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