E-Learning has been a hot topic in higher education ever since the inception of web-based courses in the late 1990s. A survey conducted by the European University Association (EUA) between October and December 2013 shows practically all higher education institutions of those surveyed have started to embrace e-learning.
Most of the surveyed institutions are using blended learning (91%), integrating e-learning into conventional teaching, and 82% of institutions indicate that they offer an online learning course.
So what makes e-learning the buzz word today in education? The reason is simple –both the students and the organization benefit. For the students, e-learning opportunities mean greater access to courses, across geographical barriers, and the opportunity to learn anytime, anywhere. For higher education institutions, it means higher enrollments and consequently, increased revenue.
It’s a win-win situation for both – or so it seems. However, the EUA study shows that there is growing disconnect between what students want and what institutes provide. So what are these disconnects and how do they impact e-learning in higher education? Here, we focus on 4 growing concerns that the higher institutions face and need to overcome to benefit from e-learning.
1. Resistance to change:
The only constant is change – but this is just one side of the coin, the other is the resistance to change. Consider these facts – studies show that in higher education institutes, only 10% to 15% of faculty is open to adopt e-learning tools and techniques. Approximately 70% – 80% constitutes the reluctant majority who needs to be convinced that e-learning would benefit them also. Finally, the remaining 10% – 15%, the reluctant minority, have little or no desire to participate in such activities
2. Short-sighted policies:
Quality versus costs – it’s a tight rope walk for the academic leaders. And it’s easy to tilt and lose balance if you simply view e-learning as a medium to increase enrollment and revenue. A successful implementation of e-learning technology means that you need to select the right technology that ensures reliability, security of student data, ease of use for both faculty and students, and effectiveness. Any compromise here is a classic example of penny wise, pound foolish.
3. Budgetary limitations:
Money is a limited and valuable resource for higher education institutions. The technology, on the other hand, is a sea of moving targets, with each wave washing ashore new and exciting products and services. There are multiple paths for successful provision of e-learning, with selection and delivery depending on factors such as institution size, mission and priorities. Technology is as good as your ability to manage and exploit it.
4. Unqualified decision makers:
You stand to lose if those in charge of making e-learning decisions don’ t really have the background or knowledge of Instructional Design, compliance and intellectual property issues or the right experience to build and implement online courses for adult learners.You drive technology – or technology drives you! Be in the driving seat – select a qualified team of professionals with relevant experience and be prepared to put in hundreds of hours in research to understand and identify the e-learning best practice tools and services that would best meet the need of your higher education institution and differentiate you in the marketplace.Do you find this content useful? Send us your feedback or ask for an KITABOO Demo here
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