Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Excerpt

In writing this book the primary concern of the authors is how technology can be applied to learning, rather than the use of the technology itself. The focus we have chosen is to examine the role online learning has in higher education rather than e-learning. E-learning is deemed to include any technology that can assist learning; therefore it must include radio, television, digital projectors, computers, and so on. Online learning is more concerned with the medium of communication that technology creates, rather than the technological products themselves, for example the networking of computer-based communication. Nevertheless there is some overlap between the concept of e-learning and online learning, and this is where the authors believe this book can assist academics in evaluating, for their own teaching and learning purposes, the role technology can play in planning and delivering courses and programmes relevant to their distinctive subject areas.

There are many books about e-learning and online learning, so why did the authors decide to write another one? What makes this book different is its synthesis of online leaning and an attempt to locate online learning alongside the wider evolution of higher education policy and practice. It is our view that online learning cannot be seen in isolation from these wider important transitions. This book seeks to locate online learning and its arrival in the wider context of what is happening in higher education and practice. It deals with the entanglement of online learning and technological change with other major social changes and already-existing important developments in learning theory.

The book provides an assessment of where online leaning has got to, given that it is now over a decade old. It evaluates the vision and 'hype' of the early days of online learning and the predictions that it would close university buildings and campuses and convert much learning to distancebased approaches. Clearly this has not happened on a grand scale, although there have been some significant additions and improvements to distance learning in certain niche markets. One key aim of this book is to attempt a timely . . .

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