Individual Preferences in E‐learning

Madely du Preez (University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




du Preez, M. (2004), "Individual Preferences in E‐learning", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 363-364.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Individual Preferences in E‐learning focuses on the process of e‐learning and emphasises learning and individual learning differences. Author Howard Hills has been applying technology to learning since 1972 and now applies these principles in Individual Preferences in E‐learning. His in‐depth knowledge of the MBTI™ functions means that he can provide practical advice and guidance on how to adapt the category types and incorporate them into Web design.

Hills gives designers and implementers of e‐learning a learning model that will allow them to design and implement for the preferences of individuals. The theory and concepts he thus provides should enable all e‐learning material to be in a form that enables each individual person to learn from his/her preferred activity.

The purpose of the book is to develop approaches that blend human nature with the Internet for productive learning. Attempts are made to answer some of the questions regularly asked by trainers and is based on practical observation of deploying electronically‐delivered learning in large organisations. It is also based on a theoretical understanding of learning and its implementation in organisations and with individuals.

Hills established the lessons that could be learnt from developments in training, learning and technology and the training methods that have responded to changes in society in the first part of the book. It becomes apparent in chapter 1 that training methods have responded to changes in society and technology while chapter 2 shows that the Internet heralds significant changes in both. Chapter 3 focuses on the emotional and social aspects of learning especially since these may be areas where e‐learning could have its weaknesses. This way the three themes (training, technology, and learning) form the first three chapters of the book.

The next part of the book focuses on the individual learner and is research‐ and observation‐based. Chapter 4 first summarises the research of Carroll in which he observed how people actually use computer systems when they are learning, while chapters 5 and 6 are based heavily on an understanding of MBTI preferences. Chapter 6 presents a learning model which Hills believes to be helpful to the designer and to the on‐line tutor as well as others who help in the learning process.

The final part of the book attempts to make sense of the preceding chapters and provides practical guidance on making e‐learning work in relation to individuals. Chapter 7 now revisits the functional learning model presented in the previous chapters from a practical viewpoint. It further describes examples of design solutions for specific topics that include exercises and activities that will appeal to some facet of every personality type, none of which requires advanced technology.

Individual Preferences in E‐learning is a valuable book for those interested in developing e‐learning programs due its practical approach and the sharing of personal experiences and observations. It concludes with a bibliography and a useful index.

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