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Strategic Deployment of E-Learning

Strategic Deployment of E-Learning
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Author(s): Pat Gannon-Leary (Bede Research & Consultancy, UK) and James Carr (University of Edinburgh Business School, UK)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 20
Source title: Critical Design and Effective Tools for E-Learning in Higher Education: Theory into Practice
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Roisin Donnelly (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland), Jen Harvey (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland) and Kevin O'Rourke (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-879-1.ch021

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Abstract

Changes in higher education (HE) have continued in response to, or indeed in anticipation of, an increasingly competitive environment, technological advances and shifting demands of users. Introducing new technologies into a Higher Education Institute (HEI) requires management of complex change processes to deliver their full potential. Innovative ideas for technology and practice may be constrained, and compromised by people and cultural reactions thereby reducing their effectiveness and limiting their potential for improving teaching and learning. The management of change in organisational practices therefore involves attention to three aspects: processes, people, and culture. This chapter presents a longitudinal study of one HEI through the lens of two active participants in a number of e-learning initiatives, and discusses process, people and cultural change challenges. It proposes that new evaluation frameworks are required to establish success in the implementation of new and emergent delivery modes mediated through the use of ICTs, and provides one example, the Learning Technology Practice Framework. The use of such frameworks may help with engaging academics in thinking about how to embed e-learning successfully within courses, and at a broader level within the organisation. The changes in the roles of lecturers/tutors and learners is particularly important in light of the disorientation faced by both of these user groups as a result of changing organisational culture and work practices. Lecturers and students have to adapt to their new roles and be allowed the opportunity, time, rewards and training to allow them to adapt the technology to meet their needs in their different and particular contexts of use. Overall it is found that the adoption and diffusion of e-learning in higher education is likely to develop more slowly than imagined by some educational visionaries owing to the complex nature of technology implementation that is common across all sectors, be it industry or education.

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