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June 2, 2011

Quality in e-Learning from a Learner's Perspective

More than 6 years after this interesting paper by Ulf Ehlers what (if anything) has changed in the way online courses are delivered by universities around the World? Is quality in e-learning from a learner's perspective really taken into account, or are online courses just a cash cow, specially useful in recession times?

Amplify’d from www.eurodl.org

Quality in e-Learning from a Learner's Perspective

(Best Paper Award at the Third EDEN Research Workshop 2004,
Oldenburg, Germany)

Ulf-D. Ehlers (uehlers@wi-inf.uni-essen.de)

University of Duisburg-Essen (http://wip.wi-inf.uni-essen.de)

Campus Essen; Universitaetsstr. 9; 45141 Essen; Germany

When you really get down to analysing it, the promises of E-Learning often
have yet to materialize. The question how e-learning can be successful becomes
more urgent as we move from an 'early adopter' stage to a more general offering.
In the discussion about the best strategy for e-learning it becomes more an
more clear that e-learning has to be based on the learner. This includes the
necessity to postulate in a clear way that the needs of the learners have to
be determined in a concrete manner before starting the project. Important aspects
are therefore the awareness of the learning biography, of individual learning
preferences and of social needs.

It is important to acknowledge that quality of a learning process is not something
that is delivered to a learner by an e-learning provider but rather constitutes
a process of co-production between the learner and the learning-environment.
That means that the product/ outcome of an educational process is not exclusively
a result of the production process of an educational institution. Quality therefore
has to do with empowering and enabling the learner. It has to be defined at
the final position of the provision of the learning-services: the learner. The
article describes learners preferences in e-learning based on empirical results
of today's largest survey in this field [1]. It thus facilitates
the construction of learner oriented services portfolios in e-learning.

Conclusion

This leads to the conclusion that future quality development in e-learning
has to be oriented at the learners needs and situation. No longer general criteria
or the same guidelines for all learners can be applied but individual learning
services are needed that support learners according to their subjective preference
profile.

Read more at www.eurodl.org
 

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