e-learning: facilitating learning through technology

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  • 1. e-Learning:Facilitating Learning through Technology Bob Bostrom Terry College of Business University of Georgia [email_address] Tutorial Resources available athttp://www.terry.uga.edu/people/rbostrom/Click on e-Learning under Resources

2. HOW LEARNING IS DELIVERED The evolution of training technologies 1800s-1980s

  • Correspondence Courses
  • Audio Tapes

Mid 1980s - mid 1990s

  • Video Conferencing
  • Satellite Broadcasts
  • Audio & Video Tapes
  • Computer-Based Train.

1996 to present

  • CDs
  • Web-basedTechnologies that support:
    • Asynchronous
    • Synchronous
    • Self-paced Learning

3. Ford Learning Network: e-Learning Example

  • Touches 125,000 employees, 30,000 on regular basis
  • One searchable portal; search capability critical (neural-net search system)
  • Contains:
    • 400,000 titles, including 1500 on-line courses, 800 classroom courses, and 1900 e-books, and internal resources
    • 48,000 20-minute learning objects in various media designed as just-in-time solutions or refreshers
  • Much of material is mapped to job-role competencies; employees self-assess skills, determine gaps, find training
  • Track value of training on the job
  • Reference:http://www.clomedia.com/content/templates/clo_cloprofile.asp?articleid=180&zoneid=4

4. Academic e-Learning Examples

  • Designed, implemented and taught in UGA PwC/IBM MBA program(both design of curriculum and technical infrastructure) [see web site for paper]
  • MITs OpenCourseWare Projecthttp://ocw.mit.edu/(virtually all of MITs course available free by 2007)
  • Michigan Virtual Universityhttp://www.mivu.org/(MVU founded by state government; cooperative effort with higher education and industry; see IT training initiative)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technologyhttp:// cpe.njit.edu / (a leader in e-Learning since 1978; degree and professional programs)
  • Sanford Center for Professional Developmenthttp://scpd.stanford.edu/
  • NYU Online: launched in 1998, closed it doors in late 2001 (Spent $25 million)


  • Reaches more people (Access)
    • Universal access via the Web
  • Improved Quality?
  • Time & money savings are obvious
    • travel costs, delivery delays
    • increase ROI from training expenditures
  • Offers new possibilities
    • Anytime, anyplace training (smaller modules) [Key value proposition: time and/or place independent]
    • Improving performance
  • Bottom Line: Continuous/Lifelong Learning

6. The biggest growth in the Internet, and the area that will prove to be one of the biggest agents of change, will be in on-line training, or e-learning . John Chambers, CEO, Cisco 7. e-Learning e-Learningrefers to the technology supporting learning activities in any of the following environments. TIME SAME (Synchronous) DIFFERENT (Asynchronous) AnyTime AnyWhere AnyOne PLACE Same Different CLASS Face To Face Interaction Ongoing Coordination Virtual Classroom (Centra, Interwise)Instant Messaging Simultaneous interaction across distances E-Mail, LMS, LCS (Blackboard) Interaction across time and distance Distance/Distributed Learning:learning in which the learner and learning resources are separated by time and/or space. 8. Can Technology Facilitate Learning? YES NO MAYBE 9. What technology do you use now in your classes?

  • Website
    • Static or Dynamic (interactivity)?
  • Course Management Systems
    • Blackboard
    • WebCT
    • Other
  • Collaboration tools
    • Email
    • Listserv (Group Email)
    • Instant Messaging
    • Audio/Video Conferencing
    • Virtual Classroom
    • Threaded discussions
    • Other (Groove, etc.)

10. Tutorial Outcomes

  • Purpose:provide an overview of e-learningtoencourage and facilitate IS professionalsteaching and research efforts.
  • The ultimate question is:Can technology really facilitate learning?If yes, how do we use technology effectively to help activate and challenge our learners? To answer these questions, this tutorial:
    • Provides a technology map of e-learningtechnologythat can be used to supportlearning in a classroom or from a distance;
    • Outlines key research issues in e-learningfocusing on those where IS research can add value;
    • Shares best practices for implementing and using technologyeffectively in IS learning situations; and
    • Discuss how instructor roles and skills need to change to be effective in technology-supported environments, particularly in distance learning situations..


  • Relevance of e-Learning to IS Field
  • (How I find myself presenting this tutorial?)
  • IT/IS artifact/technology is a core object of the field (LearningSystems are an emerging and important technology)
  • Relevant IS Contexts where Learning Systems are Embedded
    • Business Organizations
    • Academic Organizations (primarily Colleges)
    • Training and education in business knowledge and skills especially IS(my love for teaching and training)
  • IS Foundational Research Streams
    • Group Support Systems/Digital Collaboration
    • Computer Training (software, applications systems, end-users, etc.)
    • e-Learning/technology-mediated learning(my experience implementing an e-Learning MBA program)
  • Primary Reference Disciplines: Education, Computer Science, and Psychology


  • Information Systems Field/Community
  • Information System (IS) / Information Technology (IT) [IT Artifact]
  • System Development Process/Change Process
  • Context IT embedded: Organizational System (Process/Task,Roles/Structure, People, Outcomes)
  • Core Concept: Systems
  • Applied - Added Value (Technology Improves the System)
  • Contributions to Knowledge Domains
    • Technology Design
    • Technology Effects/Impacts on contexts embedded
    • Technology Adoption (Diffusion, Use)
  • Contributions to Other Fields
  • Benbasat and Zmud, The Identity Crisis (MISQ, June 2003)
  • NomologicalNet: IT Artifact, Usage, Impact, IT Capabilities and Practices
  • Too many research models include neither the IT artifact nor at least one elements of nomological net;need to focus on IT artifact and Net
  • Weneed to understand technologyas well as individual and organizational uses
  • Too much focus on adoption & impacts,instead of focus on technology design

13. Blended e-Learning

  • Online Anytime
  • Asynchronous
  • Primarily Diff. Time & Place
  • Database Centric (Shared information spaces)
  • Key Tools
    • Learning Management Systems (LMS, LCMS)
    • Learning Team Shared Spaces
    • Discussion Databases
    • Group and Individual email

Traditional Classroom ( Same Time & Place)

  • Online Live
  • Synchronous/Real Time
  • Primarily Same Time + Diff. Place
  • Communication Centric
  • Key Tools
    • Instant Messaging/Chat
    • Audio/video conferencing
    • Virtual Classrooms
    • Electronic Meeting Systems
  • Content
  • Creation Tools (Make, Have made)
  • Content (Buy, lots free)
  • Learning objects

14. e-Learning Aliases

  • Online learning/Training
  • Web-based learning/training
  • Virtual learning
  • Distributed learning
  • Distance learning
  • Asynchronous Learning Networks
  • Technology-Supported/Mediated/Facilitated Learning
  • Networked Learning
  • Electronic learning
  • Collaborative


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