What is e-learning?
e-learning definitions vary but generally it is considered to be an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through both computer and communications technology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-learning). As such, e-learning includes online learning but also the use of other non-web-based technologies, such as CD-ROMs and DVDs.
Many types of ‘learning’ incorporate e-learning: flexible learning, distance learning, open learning, web-based learning, networked learning...
What is driving e-learning?
- CDU policy/strategy
- Increased government drive and funding
- Greater spread and use of technologies in everyday life
- Ability to reach new and different students
- Increase market share
- Reduce costs
- Businesses wanting flexible programs with less staff down-time
The 2006 E-learning
Benchmarking Project conducted national surveys of the uptake and
use of e-learning by vocational educational training (VET)
providers, VET teachers and trainers, and VET students.
Attributes of e-learning
The four main benefits of e-learning as seen by students can be summarized as:
- Learner control – of both pace and content
- Accessibility – from anywhere at any time
- Availability – just-in-time
- Personalised – it meets their own individual requirements in terms of content and assignments.
E-learning and teaching
The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) plus changing educational contexts are leading to:
- Changes in what is learned,
- Changes in how students learn,
- Changes in when and where students learn,
- Changes in who is learning and who is
e-Primers - A series of documents developed by Ako Aotearoa, NZ’s National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, that look at the theory and the practice of implementing e-learning strategies. They bring together a large amount of information and research in easy-to-read documents and offer a very good crash-course in e-learning.
to social e-learning
- This resource was developed through the Australian Flexible Learning
Network and addresses the social side of e-learning. Whilst it is
primarily aimed at VET educators it may also be useful for those
working in Higher Education. It includes:
- Strategies, tools and activities for social e-learning
- Case studies from teachers who are using social e-learning in
quality e-learning environments in higher education - A paper by
Siragusa, Dixon & Dixon (2007) which highlights the decisions that
need to be made during the instructional analysis, design, delivery and
evaluation phases of e-learning in higher education in order to
optimise their pedagogical quality.
An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching - A good summary of a lot of what we know to be true about online learning.
Creating effective websites for University teaching From the University of Melbourne
Wiesenberg, F., & Stacey, E. (2005). Reflections on teaching and learning online: Quality program design, delivery and support issues from a cross-global perspective', Distance Education, 26:3, 385–404. (Available through the Academic Search Premier database.)
A paper that
issues that impact on quality program design, delivery methods and
MacDonald, J. (2006). Blended learning and online tutoring: A good practice guide. Gower: Burlington USA.
This book has practical tips about course design and developing effective communication and interventions within an online or blended learning environment.