Impact of e-learning in the 21st century university
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This chapter will examine how and why the “Academy” in the 21st century has both deployed e-learning and adapted to the deployment of e-learning by the “other” (including its own students).
The paper's aim is to explain why the radical solutions beloved of visionaries have happened rarely and then have mostly failed, and yet how more moderate solutions are emerging that are sustainable and manageable within recognisable paradigms of university governance. The chapter will draw out links from the e-learning phenomenon to wider issues of privatisation, internationalisation, culture, research and funding.
The material is based on studies of the author and his colleagues in this area since his first e-learning study tour (of three weeks) to US universities in 1995. It takes particular advantage of his recent work on the Re.ViCa and CAPITAL projects 1 but also from his long experience in many departments of the Open University (UK) and a network of smaller projects and contacts straddling countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United States – together with the four home nations of the UK.