Don Passey has undertaken research and evaluation work with local authorities over a period of many years, for example, with Wolverhampton Local Authority (LA) where he has completed a succession of research and evaluation studies to inform and influence the directions and strategy of e-learning in the LA, and to support teachers in schools with e-learning practices.
A learning platform is "a collection of tools brought together to improve a range of aspects of the workings of a school" (Passey & Higgins, 2011, p.329) and Passey's research has highlighted a range of ways in which a learning platform could support learning, actively involving both teachers and parents.
The research and evaluation work was used by key personnel in the LA to develop their e-learning strategies. As a former LA Headteacher Consultant for Learning Technologies said:
“The work of Don Passey in analysing our work and helping us to review impact has been absolutely crucial in providing robust feedback to schools and other partners in order to show improvement, value for money and to suggest directions for development. These reports have an academic rigour and standing that has allowed all partners in Wolverhampton to make informed strategy decisions, investments and infrastructure changes that have resulted in the significant change in the way in which technology is used in the city. The service has gone from being seen as Inadequate by OFSTED in 2000 to receiving the highest BECTA award in 2008 and a BETT award in 2010. The constant iterative nature of Don’s research assessment has been pivotal to that impact and the evidence is improvement in schools’ delivery of ICT.”
In 2007, a report about uses of the learning platform adopted in secondary schools was published, highlighting the role that this technology had in supporting ‘quiet’ learners in classrooms. The results of this work were later published in two separate book chapters, the first focusing on ‘Managing quality education – identifying the learning needs of the individual, then satisfying them’, and the second on ‘Real purpose, real audience and real value: researching contributions of digital literacy to learning’.
Primary schools in the LA adopted a separate learning platform, and reports about uses arising were later published, providing core evidence for a journal article and book chapter focusing on ‘Implementing learning platforms into schools: an architecture for wider involvement in learning’