Change Management and Distance Education

Change Management and Distance Education

Parviz Partow-Navid (California State University, Los Angeles, USA) and Ludwig Slusky (California State University, Los Angeles, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-935-9.ch119
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E-learning is defined as the transmission of knowledge whereby the instructor and/or the student participate in the learning process from different places and/or different times (Henry, 2001). Many organizations have adopted e-learning as a way to make the learning process faster and better (Roshan, 2002). However, recent studies have revealed that about 85% of students participating in e-learning and distance education fall short of completing their program. Low completion leads to low retention, which leads to low performance (Land, 2002). The problem, exacerbated by rapid changes in information technology (IT), lies on the shoulder of the universities and the students. For universities, e-learning often is such a giant technological and managerial change that the faculty attempts to deal with it by scaling instructions down to merely automated text lectures with a primary focus on the delivery of instructional materials, rather than addressing the students’ needs. For students, e-learning is usually a short experience coupled with little-known technologies for which they need extra guidance and support that is more persistent. However, the challenge is how to employ this new technology and bring students the help they need when they need it (Gordon, 2003; Roberts, 2001).

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