Saturday, December 02, 2006

Does eLearning Policy Influence its Adoption in Higher Education?

Ok, let us all dip our hands and make them dirty, as long as we have an eLearning programme at the end of the day. Oh no, let us first strategise and agree on what we can pull together to come up with an eLearning programme. What is the best approach - going different ways as long as we are doing eLearning - and then define a policy, or having an agreed policy to guiding policy and the start implementing eLearning? I am persuaded to believe that both approaches would succeed in different contexts in varying degrees. For example, most of the successful cases of eLearning in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Africa started as a passionate drive by individuals - using different approaches. After the success of these approaches, institutions leaders discover the need for eLearning, and for centralising and standardising its use. This arises because of among other things the cost involved. More often than not, I have heard lamentations from the HEIs which have long had an eLearning policy that the success rate - or use of eLearning is dismal.

In my opinion, it is good to have an eLearning policy, but an eLearning policy is not an end by itself. An eLearning policy is best in defining strategic objectives and position of HEIs - but in itself does not influence the adoption decision.

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