It seemed like a good idea at the time

Document Type

Book Chapter


Kogan Page


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Communications and Multimedia




Oliver, R. G. (2001). It seemed like a good idea at the time. In Stephenson, J. (Eds.). Teaching & Learning Online: Pedagogies for New Technologies. (pp. 81-87). Kogan Page. Available here.


This book looks at the developing understanding of approaches to online teaching and the emergence of pedagogies that will ensure online teaching and learning materials are effective. Contributors to this volume were participants at an expert seminar held at the International Center for Learner Managed Learning at Middlesex University, London, and were asked to circulate a paper to all participants beforehand and to rewrite their paper following the seminar. This book is a selection of some of the items to emerge from this process. The chapters are arranged into six parts according to their general themes. Each author addresses the issue of online pedagogy from a different starting point. Part 1 begins with the academics whose main interest is the pedagogy itself. Part 2 contains two items focused on the growing volume of case study research and evaluations of particular systems, each of which draws on the research evidence in formulating observations on pedagogical issues. Part 3 presents the experience of practitioners with substantial experience of running online courses, and who are also able to discuss the pedagogical aspects of their work. Part 4 contains reports from practitioners describing the challenges of introducing online learning into traditional institutional environments. Part 5 presents the views of commercial designers and producers who have the job of converting educators' aspirations into practical and commercial reality, often without direct guidance on the pedagogical issues involved. The final section, Part 6, is more future oriented, containing a review of the emerging knowledge society and some of the new technical breakthroughs in broadcasting systems and software design that are certain to have an impact on the scope and style of online learning in the immediate future. The book concludes with an endpiece composed by the editor after a review of the full content of the seminar papers, looking for pointers on the pedagogical way forward.