E-Learning and Access: Some Issues and Implications

O'Fathaigh, Mairtin (2001) E-Learning and Access: Some Issues and Implications. In: Irish Institute of Training and Development National Conference. March 2, 2001., Dublin, Ireland.


The new e-learning technologies offer the rich promise and potential of learning delivery at any time, anywhere, on any topic. Without careful management of the learning process, application of best principles and practices in e-learning design strategies, effective attention to staff development, provision of extensive learner support services, and careful focus on a range of socio-educational issues, the promise may lead to a widening gap in access between rich and poor, young and old, employed and unemployed, and computer literate and illiterate persons. Access to e-learning may actually be made more difficult by the wider use of technology claimed to be able to improve it. Some aspects of this access-related agenda worth considering further are awareness, situation/location, user cost and perceptions, e-learning design strategies, and personal competence and skilling. Other access issues are: an organization's level of readiness for e-learning; faculty participation; convenience of access as an important factor influencing learner satisfaction with the system; and the extent of congruity/compatibility among adults' learning styles and e-learning. (Contains 39 references.) (YLB)

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