E Learning the low cost good quality education Essay


E-learning has become a method of pick for presenting low cost good quality instruction to many, particularly where resources are scarce. In developed states, e-learning systems have succeeded mostly due a mature private sector and good substructure. However, in contrast many e-learning systems in developing states have either failed to kick start or died at foot phases. In this paper, we review the bing e-learning models in footings of developingand implementing sustainable e-learning systems. We find that the bing models, while they apply in the developed universe, where there is good substructure and trained forces, they have mostly failed to work in developing states where most of the infrastructural development is a primary function of authoritiess and where there is an acute deficit of trained work force. We so plan a intercrossed model from these models that is more applicable in developing states.

1.0 Introduction

Over the past decennary, Information and Communication Technologies ( ICTs ) have played a prima function in organisational efficiency. ICT is now a cardinal component for organisational endurance both in development and the developed universe. However, while the execution of these engineerings has succeeded in the developed universe, there is an alarming failure rate in developing states ( Mann, 2002 ) . To control down the tendency but with no touchable consequences as it is hard to set up the determiners for measuring Information Systems ( IS ) success or failure ( Galletta & A ; Lederer, 1989 ) . Nevertheless, Elder ( 2001 ) suggests that Information Systems provide of import anchor for service bringing in community and hence they require “constant, reliable operation in the face of assorted failures, whether natural catastrophes, and other riotous events that might do a loss of service” . This is in line with Galletta and Lederer ( 1989 ) who emphasize that there is a “critical” demand for the ability to objectively measure information systems ‘ failure or successes in order to enable system developers to construct better and more acceptable information systems.

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1.1 Background of the Study

The billowing Numberss of pupils inscribing for schools have left most developing states have caused terrible emphasis to the limited educational substructure ( Kisubi, 2008 ) . Consequently, e-earning has become arguably a engineering of pick in order to present quality instruction to multitudes remotely with small demand for category suites and instructors. Trucano ( 2005 ) urges that if good implemented, ICT based learning enterprises can significantly better motive, creativeness and alternate pedagogical attacks towards larning. However, this may non needfully be true as most e-learning systems have failed even before they complete execution. This leads to resource wastage, due to inappropriate context, uneffective execution and deficiency of sustained committedness to the undertaking by both the implementers and the e-learning system developers.

Mann ( 2002 ) urges that IT failures were ab initio high because the traditional computing machine scientists had jobs constructing acceptable information systems for the concern community and suggests that because of this, Information and communicating engineering classs were introduced in concern schools that would develop course of study aimed at increasing Information Systems credence. However, many old ages subsequently, the per centum of unsuccessful information systems failure is still alarmingly high hence reasoning that information systems research workers tended to concentrate more on undertaking degree issues and ignored the of all time turning struggle between terminal users and developers of information systems.

A batch of research has been carried out on the function of ICTs in turn toing educational challenges in the underdeveloped universe, notably Africa in recent old ages ( Keats 2007 and Stephenson 2003 ; Leach 2005 ) . However, Hollow and ICWE ( 2009 ) province that despite all these developments, there have been no deliberate attempts for research workers to affect e-learning practicians in the African continent. Therefore no important research accomplishments have been made in respect to set uping the success rate of e-learning information systems in the underdeveloped universe context. Mani ( 2002 ) urges that the IT-User spread is one of the chief causes of information systems failures. He notes that this spread is relentless and takes many different signifiers to the extent that several organisations are taking affairs into their ain custodies by making new intercrossed places such as relationship directors, IT-User Liaison officers among others to assist bridge the spread by assisting end-users trade with the IT forces and frailty versa.

Despite all the e-learning failure instances, many bookmans agree that engineering in instruction constitutes an inherent good which can non be ignored ( Unwin 2008 ) .This paper presents an appropriate model for developing sustainable e-learning information systems in developing states, done by transporting out a critical analysis of the bing e-learning models

1.2 Definition of cardinal footings

e-learningis a signifier of larning that takes topographic point between two or more parties i.e. a instructor and scholar over a long distance normally utilizing electronic agencies such as the cyberspace and telecommunication links.

An e-learning model is a construction for back uping the usage of telecommunication platforms and the cyberspace for distant instruction and other educational activities.

An e-learning information system is a set of inter-related constituents that work together in back uping acquisition that takes topographic point between two or more parties over a long distance via the cyberspace and telecommunication webs.

1.2 Justification

In a command to better literacy degrees, authoritiess in the underdeveloped universe chiefly Africa introduced Universal Primary Education ( UPE ) and Universal Secondary Education ( USE ) programmes, whereby all kids of school traveling age are facilitated to analyze for free. However these developments have led to a billowy addition in the figure of pupils inscribing to analyze ( Kisubi, 2008 ) . This force per unit area is presently being felt in higher establishments of larning where there is limited infinite and other resources such as facilitators ( MoE, 2009 ) . As a consequence, many kids have remained illiterate with literacy rates standing below 65 % in most African states ( Aguti, 2002 ) . Several authoritiess across Africa like Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania among others have started sing alternate agencies of run intoing the demand peculiarly of higher instruction. One of these enterprises is e-learning, which has been adapted particularly in higher establishments of larning. Subsequently, universities have tried to develop and implement e-learning systems but these have mostly failed due to among other issues, inappropriate e-learning execution models ( Mugaba, 2002 ) . The survey hence aimed at planing an appropriate e-learning execution model that can be used to plan and successfully implement e-learning information systems in developing states.

2.0 Research Methods used

The model presented in this paper is wholly based on literature reappraisal, though a few experts were consulted for sentiments. A systematic reappraisal of e-learning literature in the underdeveloped universe was carried out. We gathered a diverseness of positions on the subject of e-learning from a assortment of bookmans. Over a 100 documents were identified on this subject by seeking through Google Scholar and PDF Queen. Key words such as “e-learning frameworks” , “e-learning systems” , “e-learning in Africa” , AA “e-mail acquisition, ” and “online teaching” among others were searched. To formalize this model, we sought adept sentiment from selected experts in instruction, e-learning and information systems in Makerere University Business School and the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Republic of Uganda. Out of the over 100 documents gathered, we selected merely 10 for a deeper reappraisal and analysis if they met the following 3 conditions:

  1. The documents discussed the design and or execution of e-learning information systems.
  2. The paper was aimed at implementing e-learning in Africa or any other developing part or state.
  3. For documents that targeted developed states to be selected, they had to significantly lend to e-learning execution issues that could be replicated in a underdeveloped state scene.

2.1 Review of Existing e-learning Models

Broadley ( 2007 ) studied three schools in Australia and designed a model for implementing e-learning. In his model, he identified the instructor as an of import stakeholder in e-learning undertakings and suggested that for successful execution of e-learning, the instructors must be aware of the ICT substructure and leading needed to back up their teaching method, supply the resources and bringing schemes necessary. On the other manus, Fox and Trinidad ( 2006 ) developed a structural model for implementing e-learning, which they referred to as “technology-enhanced learning” . Based on the plants of Herrington et Al, ( 2001 ) , this model describes three constituents of the e-learning procedure. These constituents are resources, teaching methods and bringing schemes. Herrington et Al, ( 2001 ) ; Fox and Trinidad ( 2006 ) defined resources as the “learning content and signifiers of information that are provided to the learner” and suggested that these resources are presented in assorted signifiers and did non necessitate non to be all online. On the other manus, teaching methods are the activities used to prosecute the scholar and supply the scholar with chances to build their ain significance through coaction and a scholar centered environment. Fox and Trinidad ( 2006 ) further impulse that bringing schemes are those that promote handiness and dependability to and of the e-learning environment as Oliver and Herrington ( 2001 ) province that the ability to plan inclusive e-learning systems for scholars and facilitators located in distant geographical locations is critical. However, Fox and Trinidad ‘s ( 2006 ) model is considered to be extremely technological and lone considers resources, teaching method and bringing schemes, while disregarding outstanding e-learning execution issues.

Similarly, Khan ( 1997 ) developed an e-learning model with eight pillars i.e. he urges that the e-learning procedure is affected by pedagogical, technological, interface design, rating, direction, and resources support, ethical and institutional factors. Khan ‘s e-learning model is said to be utile because it considers e-learning from a “holistic perspective” . However Prestera ( 2006 ) refers to Khan ‘s e-learning model “coffin” as it places pedagogical issues at the same degree and with the same weight with all the other seven pillars, although it is really clear that teaching method should ever be figure one design issue for e-learning platforms. I his article, Prestera ( 2006 ) urged his readers to set the acquisition back into the category. However, critics to Pretera ‘s attack to e-learning hold discarded his attack towards e-learning and later branded him the “grave digger” for e-learning ( Hollow & A ; ICWE 2009 ) .

2.2 Summary of findings on bing e-learning Models

Hollow and ICWE ( 2009 ) suggest that the three most important effects of presenting eLearning are student motive, improved pupil attainment, and increased value of instruction in the community. While Broadley ( 2007 ) in his survey found out that e-learning enabled instructors to provide for their pupils ‘ single demands better than old efforts, CERI ( 2005 ) suggests that although e-learning is advantageous, there was a critical demand for a clear sustainable concern theoretical account and farther impulses that there is a demand to supply flexible teaching method and individualized stuffs to pupils for successful e-learning. Fox and Trinidad ‘s ( 2006 ) model is considered to be extremely technological and considers merely three factors ( resources, teaching method and bringing schemes ) of e-learning, while disregarding outstanding execution issues. Some models have been branded as “graves” while others considered wholly irrelevant in the underdeveloped state context.

By and large, we realize that above models while were relevant and worked to accomplish the ends for which they were designed, they do non for some grounds cover some really of import facets of successful e-learning design and execution in developing states. We find that most of e-learning execution duty has been placed on the school. Particularly, the functions of authorities, the private sector and the scholar are ignored ; moreover these are really critical stakeholders in e-learning undertakings in the underdeveloped universe.

3.0 The new e-learning Model for developing states

In this model, we indentify 5 cardinal participants in an e-learning environment in developing states ; 1 ) the authorities, 2 ) the school, 3 ) the private sector, 4 ) the instructor and 5 ) the scholar. The authorities is the policy shaper and primary beginning of support non merely for e-learning undertakings but besides for a cross subdivision of instruction programmes runing from substructure, preparation and capacity edifice, staff wages and course of study development. The school trades with pedagogical issues, interface design, staff motive, preparation, security and moralss, rating and care, direction and leading. While the chief function of the private sector is proviso of proficient support and advanced merchandises, the instructor ‘s function is to learn and measure pupils in add-on to monitoring and uninterrupted appraisal of scholars. The instructor besides provides guidance services to the scholar. On the other manus, the scholar is pupils who use the e-learning platforms with their instructors. They are expected to go to “lessons” on personal enterprise, do and subject their assignments in clip and last but non least conduct themselves ethically. Figure 1 below summarizes the function played by each one of these stakeholders and how they are interlinked:

3.1 Application of the new Model

This model is applied at three chief top degrees i.e. the authorities, the school and the private sector, although its success isAA influenced by the other two lower degrees i.e. the instructor and the scholar. By and large, we established that there are three support pillars and two user groups of e-learning in developing states. The support pillars include the authorities, the school and the private sector, while the two user groups include the instructors and scholars. The first three by and large provide support services such as substructure, equipment, staffing, policy issues, proficient support that facilitate the induction, execution and care of an e-learning system in a given school, while the last two guarantee proper use of the systems put in topographic point. The school takes a lead function in planing user interfaces and developing content with the aid of instructors and the private sector. The authorities is partly linked to instructors because of the employer-employee relationship i.e. although authoritiess do non straight supervise instructors ; authoritiess in most underdeveloped states are the chief employers of instructors through the public service. While the pupils have a partial linkage with the private sector because of the indirect support they get from the private sector such as preparation and internship.

4.0 Decision

For successful design, execution and care of e-learning systems, the assorted stakeholders and their several functions must be clearly identified. We have identified the five stakeholders and the functions and, or undertakings involved in an e-learning environment. We go in front and apportion these undertakings and functions to single stakeholders identified establishing on literature and what happens on land. We have besides shown that e-learning is non a 1 clip event but instead a uninterrupted procedure of monitoring and executing self-checks. We have identified the cardinal participants as the authorities for its infrastructural support, the school for leading function and the private sector for proficient support necessary for originating and running e-learning systems. We have besides shown the “influential” function that is played by the two take parting minor stakeholders i.e. the instructor and the scholars. We therefore can now reason that the new model, if good implemented can take to successful design and execution of e-learning information systems in developing states.

4.1 Recommendations

This model chiefly looks at stakeholder functions for successful design and execution of e-learning information systems. We have non looked at engineering transportation, diffusion and sustainability issues from the developed universe to the developing states. We have besides intentionally left out the function of givers because we assume that the authorities is the cardinal funder of e-learning systems. One might recognize nevertheless that most developing states to a great extent rely on donor support. There is hence a demand for farther research aimed at analysing the function of givers and besides placing the other stakeholders needed and the functions they play in prolonging e-learning information systems in developing states because sustainability of e-learning is a really combative issue.

4.2 Restrictions of the model

As have been suggested above, this model does non look at other issues that affect technological diffusion and transportation from the developed universe to developing states other than placing e-learning stakeholder functions and undertakings. We have non besides included the function played by the givers in sustainable execution of e-learning in developing states. It is hence on the footing of this that we recommended further research on the two countries.


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