Does a University need a separate eLearning strategy?

Embedding TEL into the curriculum – rather than it being an add-on – seems obvious to us. Desigining the technology into the learning is the way to make the learning as effective as possible. Ann’s posted on this above. But even if we accept that hypothesis, there are two different views on the best way to handle it.

1 – a separate eLearning strategy is needed. This focuses people in the institution on desiging and integrating the right technologies into teaching and learning. It sets standards, which helps with economies of scale. Specific focus is important – and a separate strategy delivers this.

2 – a separate eLearning strategy is not needed. Instead, if you want to have TEL as an integrated part of learning, include references to TEL in your Teaching and Learning strategy. A separate document just makes TEL look separate.

Two coherent arguments. Which one do YOU support, and why?

3 thoughts on “Does a University need a separate eLearning strategy?

  1. The HE sector is moving towards meeting greater diversity of student needs. We accept that TEL /E-Learning is one way to reach a wide ranging diverse student population especially in light of globalisation of HE.

    E-learning is not about being technology led to provide materials to students, but it should focus on the learner and enabling students and other users to develop more independence in learning and to share resources.

    This requires recognition in pedagogy and the increasing need to support diversity and flexibility in higher education. Our primary rationale for advocating the design of an e-learning strategy is to help institutions and practitioners explore the possibilities of transforming the future learning experience and more than adequately manage change in approaches to learning and meet the needs of learners and their own aspirations for development.

    E-learning can also advance the flexibility and personalisation of learning, to support progression and lifelong learning and an explicit strategy will allow institutions to make decisions through learning research, innovation and development that begin with a focus on student learning rather than on developments in technology per se, enabling students to learn through and be supported by technology. It provides opportunities to advance professional learning, enabling connections between academic learning and experiential learning.

    The e-learning strategy needs to promote and support the diversity that encompasses the many benefits of TEL that individual universities and colleges decide to adopt in their learning and teaching vision/plan. Finding a suitable method of embedding the strategy may be tricky. The strategy needs to be balanced: One that is focused yet designed with sufficient margin of appreciation as there is a danger that a rigid, narrow and prescriptive strategy might impede exploration of the full potential of e-learning based on newer, modern understanding of the possibilities for using the technology. The aim of developing effective embedding strategies is to ensure that there is confident use of the full range of pedagogic opportunities provided by TEL.

  2. Literature: Petra Boezerooij , Marijk van der Wende & Jeroen Huisman (2007) The Need for E‐Learning Strategies: Higher Education Institutions and Their Responses to a Changing Environment, Tertiary Education and Management, 13:4, 313-330,
    Click here: 10.1080/13583880701535471

  3. I think any institution or business needs a clear strategy when moving to an online or virtual environment. I think that technology has actually changed what and how people work and in a university setting along with what the actual nature of knowledge and learning are. For academics there needs to be role clarification, administrative and technical support and above all protected time. I believe the responsibilities and competencies required when teaching in an online environment are dramatically different. Arguably, many academic skills are transferable from a f2f environment, but new skills are required including: leadership, management and administrative skills. I beleive these need to be clearly addressed and supported through a revolutionary, as opposed to evolutionary strategy.

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