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E‐learning: vision to reality

Christina Mainka (Educational Development, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Angela Benzies (School of Engineering, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 1 May 2006



E‐learning offers many exciting opportunities for supporting a wide range of students to learn more effectively, but it has also created significant challenges for academic staff who feel increasingly strained to rethink teaching methodologies. This article seeks to explore the main barriers faced by academics in incorporating technology into their teaching and goes on to offer guidance and practical tips for a more successful and learner‐centred approach informed by the authors’ own e‐learning research, relevant publications and reflective analysis of their own practice. Awareness is also raised regarding survey findings and discussions with academics that confirm that successful implementation of an e‐learning strategy across an institution depends primarily on senior management’s recognition of the wide range of pedagogical, managerial and technological support needs of teaching staff and the workload implications if new student needs are to be met effectively. It is argued, furthermore, that institutions will only be in the position to draw on established benefits of teaching technologies if staff development programmes are redesigned to incorporate emerging technologies and electronic resources and show how these may be mapped on to pedagogical approaches. The paper aims to demonstrate how the lessons learnt have been applied to date and describes the ongoing activities in making the e‐learning vision a reality at Napier University. As such, the work has a predominately UK focus, rather than attempting to cover a wide range of international practice.



Mainka, C. and Benzies, A. (2006), "E‐learning: vision to reality", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 101-111.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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