Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

National Program for E-Learning in Taiwan

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

National Program for E-Learning in Taiwan

Article excerpt

Introduction

Many developed and developing countries have currently allocated funds and resources to encourage researches in elearning with a view to gaining profits it can bring (Hwang, 2003). In Europe, the Commission of the European Communities (2001) announced the guideline of e-learning policy, The e-Learning Action Plan-Designing tomorrow's education; the Secretary of Commerce in the United States (2002) published "2020 Visions-Transforming Education and Training through Advanced Technologies" report; and, Taiwan government has also planned a five-year national program for e-learning in 2002 National Science & Technology Program for e-Learning, 2002).

The national program, National Science and Technology Program for e-Learning, started from 2003. The major objective of the national program is to increase happiness among common citizens via e-learning, for example, students may feel happy if they get good grades or get permission from their favorite universities; parents may feel happy if their children have good performances at school; business managers may feel happy if they cut down the cost of human resource training; workers may feel happy if they get promotion and raise of salary; moreover, learners may feel happy if they can study the topics they're interested in. There are still two goals for the program to accomplish: broaden knowledge among people and enhance national competitiveness.

Thirteen government agencies have joined the national program, each in charge of different aspects of promoting e-learning, for example, e-learning can be applied to business and enhance competitiveness; improve public welfare; help develop new learning technologies, methodologies, systems, and tools. Regarding enhancing commercial' competitiveness, the national program assigns Industrial Development Bureau of Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Industrial Technology Department of MOEA to the conduction; improving public welfare, the national program has Council of Labor Affairs, Ministry of Education, Council for Culture Affairs, Council of Indigenous Peoples (joined since 2005), Council for Hakka Affairs (joined since 2005), Bureau of Health, and National Palace Museum (is considered one of world's great museum; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 2005) perform the conduction; doing e-learning related research in both industry and academia, Industrial Technology Department of MOEA and National Science Council are involved.

Currently, there is no national e-learning program promoted by government around the world. Most large e-learning programs are supported by research organizations, non-profit organizations, and corporations; furthermore, it is rare that an e-learning program involves so many government agencies as the national program for e-learning in Taiwan does. This report reveals the way of promoting e-learning from the viewpoint of the government. Moreover, it reveals how such kind of national program succeeds in helping corporations enhance competitiveness, improving public welfare in Taiwan, and stimulating the research outputs in both industry and academia. However, there are still some issues for the government to solve when promoting e-learning; different participating government agencies may have different viewpoints and expectations to e-learning, and the government needs to sort out the best way for agencies to work together. This paper will be a good reference and source for other countries when trying to promote e-learning.

This paper first describes the details of the national program for e-learning in Taiwan in Section 2. Section 3 shows how the five-year national program improves public welfare. Furthermore, the program has enhanced competitiveness of not only the industry in e-learning but also many other industries. Section 4 gives the examples of how the national program has enhanced economical competitiveness in different industries. Section 5 illustrates the research results in two ways: the industrial patents and the academic papers. …

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