The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Issue
Volume 7 Issue 2 / Jun 2009  pp85‑190

Editor: Shirley Williams

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Mobile City and Language Guides — New Links Between Formal and Informal Learning Environments  pp85‑92

Mads Bo-Kristensen, Niels Ole Ankerstjerne, Chresteria Neutzsky-Wulff, Herluf Schelde

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Some Factors to Consider When Designing Semi‑Autonomous Learning Environments  pp93‑100

Paul Bouchard

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Game Inspired Tool Support for e‑Learning Processes  pp101‑110

Marie-Thérèse Charles, David Bustard, Michaela Black

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Web 2.0‑Mediated Competence — Implicit Educational Demands on Learners  pp111‑118

Nina Bonderup Dohn

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Listening to the Learners' Voices in HE: how do Students Reflect on their use of Technology for Learning?  pp119‑126

Amanda Jefferies, Ruth Hyde

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Learning Objects and Virtual Learning Environments Technical Evaluation Criteria  pp127‑136

Eugenijus Kurilovas, Valentina Dagiene

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The Enhancement of Reusability of Course Content and Scenarios in Unified e‑Learning Environment for Schools  pp137‑146

Virginija Limanauskiene, Vytautas Stuikys

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

Kay MacKeogh, Seamus Fox

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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

 

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The Identification of Key Issues in the Development of Sustainable e‑Learning and Virtual Campus Initiatives  pp155‑164

Mark Stansfield, Thomas Connolly, Antonio Cartelli, Athanassios Jimoyiannis, Hugo Magalhães, Katherine Maillet

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Adoption of Web 2.0 Technologies in Education for Health Professionals in the UK: Where are we and why?  pp165‑172

Rod Ward, Pam Moule, Lesley Lockyer

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How Reproducible Research Leads to Non‑Rote Learning Within Socially Constructivist Statistics Education  pp173‑182

Patrick Wessa

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The Implications of SCORM Conformance for Workplace e‑Learning  pp183‑190

Gabrielle Witthaus

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