The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
For general enquiries email administrator@ejel.org
Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop

Information about the current European Conference on e-Learning is available here

For infomation on the International Conference on eLearning, click here

For infomation on the European Conference on Games Based Learning clickhere

 

Journal Article

Strategies for Embedding e‑Learning in Traditional Universities: Drivers and Barriers  pp147-154

Kay MacKeogh, Seamus Fox

© Jun 2009 Volume 7 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp85 - 190

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

This paper addresses the question: how can e‑learning be embedded in traditional universities so that it contributes to the transformation of the university? The paper examines e‑learning strategies in higher education, locating the institutional context within the broader framework of national and international policy drivers which link e‑learning with the achievement of strategic goals such as widening access to lifelong learning, and upskilling for the knowledge and information society. The focus will be on traditional universities i.e. universities whose main form of teaching is on‑campus and face‑to‑face, rather than on open and distance teaching universities, which face different strategic issues in implementing e‑learning. Reports on the adoption of e‑learning in traditional universities indicate extensive use of e‑learning to improve the quality of learning for on‑ campus students, but this has not yet translated into a significant increase in opportunities for lifelong learners in the workforce and those unable to attend on‑campus. One vision of the future of universities is that 'Virtualisation and remote working technologies will enable us to study at any university in the world, from home . However, this paper will point out that realisation of this vision of ubiquitous and lifelong access to higher education requires that a fully articulated e‑learning strategy aims to have a 'transformative' rather than just a 'sustaining' effect on teaching functions carried out in traditional universities. In order words, rather than just facilitating universities to improve their teaching, e‑learning should transform how universities currently teach. However, to achieve this transformation, universities will have to introduce strategies and policies which implement flexible academic frameworks, innovative pedagogical approaches, new forms of assessments, cross‑institutional accreditation and credit transfer agreements, institutional collaboration in development and delivery, and, most crucially, commitment to equivalence of access for students on and off‑campus. The insights in this paper are drawn from an action research case study involving both qualitative and quantitative approaches, utilising interviews, surveys and focus groups with stakeholders, in addition to comparative research on international best practice. The paper will review the drivers and rationales at international, national and institutional level which are leading to the development of e‑learning strategies, before outlining the outcomes of a case study of e‑learning strategy development in a traditional Irish university. This study examined the drivers and barriers which increase or decrease motivation to engage in e‑learning, and provides some insights into the challenges of embedding e‑ learning in higher education. While recognising the desirability of reaching out to new students and engaging in innovative pedagogical approaches, many academic staff continue to prefer traditional lectures, and are sceptical about the potential for student learning in online settings. Extrinsic factors in terms of lack of time and support serve to decrease motivation and there are also fears of loss of academic control to central administration. The paper concludes with some observations on how university e‑learning strategies must address staff concerns through capacity building, awareness raising and the establishment of effective support structures for embedding e‑learning.

 

Keywords: institutional strategies embedding e-learning academic preferences

 

Share |

Journal Article

Piloting a Process Maturity Model as an e‑Learning Benchmarking Method  pp49-58

Jim Petch, Gayle Calverley, Hilary Dexter, Tim Cappelli

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

As part of a national e‑learning benchmarking initiative of the UK Higher Education Academy, the University of Manchester is carrying out a pilot study of a method to benchmark e‑learning in an institution. The pilot was designed to evaluate the operational viability of a method based on the e‑Learning Maturity Model developed at the University of Wellington, New Zealand, which, in turn was derived from Carnegie Mellon's widely accepted Capability Maturity Model. The method is based on gathering evidence about the many and interdependent processes in the e‑learning and student lifecycles and takes a holistic view of maturity, addressing multiple aspects. This paper deals with the rationale for the selected method and explains the adoption of a process based approach. It describes the iterative refinement of the questionnaire used to elicit evidence for measures of five aspects of maturity in a range of e‑learning processes, in five process areas. The pilot study will produce a map of evidence of e‑learning practice across the processes matrix and a measure of the degree of embedding in a sample of faculties within the institution expressed as capability and maturity. To provide a useful measure of where an organisation is with respect to a particular aspect of e‑learning, it needs to be able to act on that measure, finding any new activities required or modifying current activities to improve its processes. The pilot study aims to evaluate the potential for improvement inherent in the capability maturity model and to examine the resource implications of obtaining useful evidence. A successful benchmarking effort should be able to inform an institution's planning and resourcing processes and the outcomes of this pilot should lead to an informed decision about a method for benchmarking the embedding of e‑learning, both for the particular institution and for the sector, which in turn can lead to operational suggestions for improvement.

 

Keywords: embedding, e-learning, process, maturity, benchmarking

 

Share |