chapter  8
Hybrid spaces and the impact of new technologies
Pages 16

The recent concern with post-compulsory learning and teaching methods has been partly driven by a frustration with the perceived lack of impact of computing and networking on universities’ and colleges’ ways of working. A newish discipline – ‘learning technologies’ – has developed to better understand how changing information and communication technologies can support learning, based mainly on a social constructivist understanding of learning (Laurillard 2001; Conole and Oliver 2007; Beetham and Sharpe 2007) but this remains an under-resourced and often marginalised area in the post-compulsory education sector. Of course learning technologies have a longer history than just the recent exponential growth of personal computing, mobile devices and the internet. In the UK, for example, the Open University has built up a considerable expertise in distance learning design over the last 40 years, based fi rst on a mixture of course books and study guides supported by video and audio tapes, and TV programmes; and then pre and early web-based computer-based conference (CMC) capabilities such as First Class , which enabled online tutorial and seminar conversations, ‘e-moderated’ by a tutor (Salmon 2000).