Technological Approaches for E-Content Development and Deployment: A Qualitative Analysis From Experts' Perspective

Technological Approaches for E-Content Development and Deployment: A Qualitative Analysis From Experts' Perspective

Rakshak Jain, Akhilesh K. Singh
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2020070107
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Success of any web product and application relies upon how thoughtfully and wisely technology has been implemented for developing and deploying that product – be it e-commerce product or e-learning product. Alongside pedagogy, application of appropriate technology is the important determinant for an effective and engrossing learning experience of any e-content or e-learning system. To understand the proper utilization of IT strategies for e-content development, the qualitative method of research has been used in this study by which content analysis has been done on the interviewed data, gathered from the IT professionals, with the help of Atlas.Ti software. The findings of this study suggest how web technology can be deployed for e-content in the five identified stages, namely – programming language, web application framework, presentation/design, content creation and server-side technology including cloud storage. For this, a comprehensive technical guideline along framework for e-content development and deployment has been formulated.
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1. Introduction

Due to the emergence of new media and digital devices along with their value-added fascinating applications, today’s education and learning seems to be expanding beyond the walls of the classroom. This educational scenario, which is a result of combining the educational contents with information technologies or ICT (Information and Communication Technology), has come up with different forms of e-contents and e-learning applications. Online learning, web-based learning, networked learning, digital learning, technology-based learning, technology enhanced learning, technology assisted learning, technology mediated learning, ICT enabled learning, virtual learning and mobile learning are some of the different notions for e-learning. Similarly, multimedia based interactive tutorial, web based lectures, learning objects, simulation and virtual reality based learning systems, open course ware (OCW), open educational resources (OER), massive open online courses (MOOCs) are some of the major examples of different e-learning applications based on their approaches for e-content development. Due to such diversities in e-learning concept, coming up with a well-accepted single definition of e-learning is a very challenging task which is also observed by many authors e.g. Arkorful and Abaidoo (2015); Oblinger and Hawkins (2005); Sangra, Vlachopoulos, and Cabrera (2012). Therefore, in simple terms e-learning can be defined as instruction delivered on a digital device (such as a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, or smart phone) that is intended to support learning (Clark & Mayer, 2016). Basically, all the e-learning applications are meant to offer educational contents therefore they may be considered as e-content, and both the terms will be used, interchangeably, in this paper.

e-learning unites two main areas, learning and technology. Learning is a cognitive process for achieving knowledge, and technology is an enabler of the learning process (Aparicio, Bacao, & Oliveira, 2016). Therefore, technology, besides pedagogy, is also the basic prerequisite and essential part of all these e-learning applications because without it no application or e-content can be created. The role of technology becomes more critical when it is applied for shifting the learning from traditional didactic or expository learning to active and interactive learning (Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones, 2009). Basically, in e-learning systems, technology is the only interface or window which facilitates interaction between instructor/content and learners therefore it can make or mar the whole e-learning experience. Thus, according to Eom, Ashill, Arbaugh, and Stapleton (2012), technological conceptualization and deployment are two important factors for the success of e-learning systems. Technology has always been with us until it is used rationally and wisely, and if not so, any attempt to develop technology-based learning application may become futile.

Before going to further sections, it would be nice to have an idea about the structure of the paper. The paper is structured as follows: having introduced the main topic, the next section is going to set the background of study i.e. role and importance of technology in education and e-learning by reviewing the recent literature which also rationalizes the undertaken study. Thereafter, methodology section explains about sample selection, tool preparation, procedure of data collection and data analysis. After this, results and findings section comes up with the description of the three stages crucial for e-content development and deployment: system architecture; web and server technologies; CMS, LMS and standards. In the next section, guidelines and technical framework are formulated and described based on the findings. In the last section, paper gets concluded by stating the scope, significance, implication, recommendation and limitation of the study along with future suggestion.

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