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Dept of Educational Research,
County College South
Lancaster University
LA1 4YD,

Tel: +44 (0) 1524 592685

E-mail: Alice Jesmont

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Acting Director: Dr Julie-Ann Sime

What is CSALT?

CSALT is the Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology. Established in 1992 the Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology (CSALT) at Lancaster University is one of Europe's leading academic research groups in the field of technology enhanced learning (TEL) applied to adult education and training. The Centre carries out basic and applied research with an emphasis on the development of theory that can be used in authentic settings. Its members are also closely involved in the education and professional development of workers in the e-learning industry, and in consultancy.

Our research has a strong focus on adult education especially in higher education and industrial contexts. Our interest is not in the technology per se, but in the social, psychological and organisational issues which are thrown into sharp relief during the design and introduction of new technology-enhanced learning environments. CSALT is focussed on research into two key areas:


This site reflects primarily the interests of CSALT in the Department of Educational Research. Other members of the university wide CSALT are part of the Department of Management Learning, in particular the Networked Management Learning research group and the Learning Technology Group.

How does CSALT research connect with our teaching?

CSALT makes extensive use of technology enhanced learning in its own teaching work. Lancaster University has offered blended distance-taught Masters programmes making extensive use of virtual learning environments since the late 1980s. These programmes included Master of Science courses in Advanced Learning Technology, Networked Learning and Multimedia Courseware Engineering. We now run a taught doctoral programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning.

What has CSALT achieved?

CSALT staff have been involved in a large number of European R&D projects and networks in the area of ICT/Technology enhanced learning for Education and Training.

Since 1998, CSALT has been involved in the pedagogical design of simulated and virtual learning environments in professional learning contexts. Working with European industrail partners, we have designed, implemented and evaluated learning technologies for personalised learning, for example: providing support for learning to learn, (VirRAD - a VLE for radiopharmacy practitioners e-learners); team training (ETOILE - emergency response teams in transport nuclear power industry).

CSALT has also been involved in a number of networked of excellence funded by European Community eg Kaleidoscope a Framework 6 Network of Excellence, integrating 76 research teams across Europe engaged in technology enhanced learning, eChina-UK an intercultural Sino-UK project bringing together UK HE institutions and four Chinese HE institutions and MONET and MONET 2 networks on model based qualitative reasoning, linking academic and industrial partners.

From the mid-1990s, research has also focused on the areas: of collaborative networked learning (the MECPOL project), asynchronous multimedia conferencing (SHARP), and the use of the WWW in university teaching (LEARN-NET and TEST for ODL), group work in networked learning environments, EuroCompetance (defining competencies for e-learning), the development of an E-learning research practitioner network (as part of the LTSN generic centre) and the EU funded EQUEL project (equality in e-learning).

In the early1990s, work focused on advanced authoring tools projects, such as NAT*LAB, SAFE/Simulate and TOSKA. Later projects on advanced authoring and courseware engineering included Discourse, OSCAR and InDiOs. CSALT also played a major role in the ground-breaking JITOL project (Just in Time Open Learning, 1992-4), which produced and validated a number of innovative models for the use of networked learning in distributed communities of practice. We were also involved in consultancies to evaluate the potential of introducing networked learning into various public sector organisations.

In addition to these European projects, CSALT has been involved in large scale evaluations of projects (EDNER, IEE) providing digital resources for use in teaching and learning. In the European context CSALT has been involved in the evaluation of RECRE&SUP, LEARN-ETTE, EQUEL and ELAC. CSALT was involved in a major national study of networked learning at university level and projects linked to the national Learning and Teaching Centres. We have also been involved in running an ESRC research seminar series on Networked Learning in HE.

Wider CSALT involvements

CSALT staff have played a key role in the setting up of the UK Association for Learning Technology and the UK Evaluation Society and the series of Networked Learning Conferences.

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