E-Learning Implementation Plan Research Paper

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E-Learning Implementation Plan

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Over the last several years, the state of the American college system has continued to change. Where, an increasing number of students are seeking out some form of higher education, as a way to remain competitive in a world that is being affected by globalization. A good example of this can be seen by looking no further, than the fact that U.S. Department of Education statistics found, that nearly 50% of the students attending the various colleges / universities are: mature. These are students who have left school and are returning to become more marketable. As a result, because of this reality, it is estimated that by the year 2025 the number of people around the world who are seeking out higher education will increase by 150 million. (O'Neil, 2004) To keep up with these changes and the increasing amounts of demand that are placed on the educational system requires utilizing strategies that will improve the quality of education, while keeping the costs low. One way to accomplish this objective is through what is known as e-learning. This is when you are utilizing various technology (such as the internet) to effectively reach out both students and educators. The idea is that use of these different tools will improve the overall amounts of learning comprehension that is taking place. To effectively implement this type of a strategy requires that you consider a number of different factors to include: an understanding of the objectives / the organization, number of students / faculty involved, methods for implementing this strategy, the online environment and a syllabus of the e-learning module. Together these different elements will highlight how an effective e-learning solution can be successfully implemented in the modern day educational environment.

The purpose and type of organization for which the training / learning is designed

TOPIC: Research Paper on E-Learning Implementation Plan Assignment

The current strategy is being designed for a small publically funded university. The overall objective is to increase the quality of education that is being received by the student body. Where, the faculty and the students will use the different e-learning tools to effectively increase learning comprehension. It also helps the university to be able to adapt to changes that are occurring in enrollment. An example of this can be seen in a study conducted by the Sloan Consortium, where they found that in 2008 -- 2009 there were currently 4.6 million students enrolled in college. Out of this number about one in every four are attending classes online. The reason why this is occurring is: the larger amounts of traditional universities offering entire degree programs online and the flexibility that it provides students. ("Online College Enrollment Continues to Decline," 2010) What this shows, is how the university has a tremendous opportunity to size upon the growth that is taking place in online education. Where, there are increasing amounts of students who prefer to have a choice, as to how they would like to attend school. This can be used to help provide increased amounts of enrollment, as an effective presence will help attract a large and more diverse student body.

Number of employees / students involved

The total number of students would be 3,000 and the total number of faculty would be 300. However, in the future this number is more than likely going to increase, as an increasing amount of students will return to school. Part of the reason for this is a change in cultural attitudes towards education, where there is emphasis on more people receiving some form of specialized education to remain competitive in the work place. Evidence of this can be seen with observations made in a report from the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, where it said, "A system growing and responding to the needs of an increasingly heterogeneous group of students must work to actively maintain its diversity and offer choice to attending students." (O'Neil, 2004) This is significant because it underscores how the student body of 3,000 can become more diversified, by offering e-learning as a part of the overall educational choices that students have available to them.

Methods for implementing this strategy

In order to effectively implement any kind of e- learning strategy requires that you must first test a select number of courses, for any potential issues in delivering content to the various students and faculty. This means that you must be: realistic with how technology will be used, prepare for initial increases in budget expenditures, make the system user friendly and set various e-learning objectives. To most effectively utilize the current technology, means that the IT department must test a handful of programs. In this particular case, the university could start out by offering pieces of select courses online. This would take place for approximately one to two semesters, where the students and staff will slowly become acquainted with the new system. At the same time, this would allow for the delivery of online content to be perfected using current technology and it would establish various procedures for this program. ("Five Essentials for E-Learning Success," 2010)

After testing the system, the staff will know specifically what is needed to successfully implement this program around the university. This is helpful in creating accurate cost estimates for rolling out this system, as the first one to two years will see an initial increase. Then, the costs will begin to decline in the corresponding years, as the initial expenditures in the early years have created a change in the way educational services are delivered. ("Five Essentials for E-Learning Success," 2010)

Next, you must design the system to where it is user friendly and easy to navigate. In this case, you want to encourage all students / faculty to use the different e-learning tools as a part of the course. This will instill an atmosphere of using other methods to improve the overall quality of education. When you make the system easy to navigate, this is giving students more options as far as how they would like to go to school. This allows each student to determine what would work best for them and their lifestyle. ("Five Essentials for E-Learning Success," 2010)

When you are setting various learning objectives, means that you are creating measurable goals that will help advance e-learning at the university. In this particular case, you would create identifiable measurements that would define the overall levels of success of the program. This could include: having a certain amount of the student body / faculty using this option, ensuring that the program is cost effective for the university and monitoring the overall quality of education that is being received. ("Five Essentials for E-Learning Success," 2010)

Once you have these different objectives determined, you must then encourage the students / staff to begin utilizing this program. One way to do this is to offer dual programs, where students can attend class online or in person. Another option would be to have a series of training modules, where each class could spend about one hour being introduced to the new e-learning option and how it works. Then, at each new semester the university should encourage as many students as possible to sign up for various online classes. ("Five Essentials for E-Learning Success," 2010)

Together, these different elements will ensure that the overall costs for implementing an e-learning program remain small. While at the same time, they will help to successfully test and introduce the programs to the students / faculty. This is important because once such a system has been implemented, there must be a continuous emphasis from the administration that e-learning is another option that everyone has at their disposal. Over the course of time, this will allow the university to adapt to the different changes that are occurring. Where, both the traditional and e-learning programs will increase enrollment, along with the quality of education that is being provided.

Online environment that would best meet the needs of learning

To effectively meet the different requirements of the various students / staff requires that you have a number of different tools available the most notable would include: the use of a tutor, streaming video / blackboard / instant messaging and easy access / the ability to interact with professors. The use of tutor would work similar to a teacher's assistant, where they would work with the professor to create the various lesson plans and will set the discussion of the class. This is important because during the class and after class they can help to ensure, that there is not any kind of confusion or misunderstandings about what was covered. (Homes, 2006)

The use of various streaming videos / blackboards / instant messaging, is designed to help improve the overall amounts of interaction between the student and the faculty. In this particular case, there would need to be large amounts of bandwidth available. This is because the number of students using the various online tools will place increasing amounts of pressure on the various servers (commonly called… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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