Implementing eLearning Programmes for Higher Education: A Review of the Literature
Kayte O’Neill, Gurmak Singh, John O’Donoghue, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
JITE-Research Volume 3, Number 1, ISSN 1539-3585 Publisher: Informing Science Institute
This paper is a consideration of the issues associated with the infrastructural aspects, pedagogic considerations and the need to associate the usefulness of technology to enhance the learning experience. This technological path will potentially enhance the learning process, not replace the lecturer or tutor. For lecturers and students, the implications of eLearning are extensive. Increasingly universities must provide quality and flexibility to meet the diverse needs of students – this will inevitably involve tailoring courses to suit differing educational needs and aspirations. Lecturers will be forced to fundamentally change their approach to teaching to accommodate the shift in student learning styles. The associated implication of increased workload requires proactive and effective management. Alongside this, eLearning threatens the fundamental structure of the university itself, as research forecasts that institutions cannot retain their traditional structure, in facilities and delivery via formal lectures and class based activity. It is clear that universities must change to accommadate demand and in response to new competition from global, giant corporate and virtual universities, however the problems associated with the change must be fully understood and taken into account prior to the transition taking place. Whilst the benefits of eLearning are highly prophesised, the many implications of implementing an eLearning programme require careful consideration. Getting it ‘right’ the first time will ensure long term success in a highly competitive market. Most, if not all the UK university sector are utilising technology to develop what they consider to be eLearning. Many of these implementations are costly and yet superficial, in terms of learner engagement and activity. They provide a content repository and in many cases limited active learner participation. For many students this results in endless reading of screen based text. When staff are ‘forced’ down the eLearning route as a consequence of management directives and mission statements the creation of sound pedagogic practice is often flawed or missing completely and activities constructed service the technology rather than student or learner progression or association.
O’Neill, K., Singh, G. & O’Donoghue, J. (2004). Implementing eLearning Programmes for Higher Education: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 3(1), 313-323. Informing Science Institute.
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