Differing Challenges and Different Achievements: The Case for a Separate Classification for Qualifications Undertaken by E-Learning

Differing Challenges and Different Achievements: The Case for a Separate Classification for Qualifications Undertaken by E-Learning

Eddie Blass (Ashridge Business School, UK), Andrew Ettinger (Ashridge Business School, UK) and Viki Holton (Ashridge Business School, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-056-1.ch099
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Abstract

Higher education has traditionally been provided in universities through lectures, seminars and tutorials, and other social mechanisms of learning where students interact in less formal settings. This chapter highlights some of the differences that occur when higher education is provided by e-learning provisions and argues that the challenges that students face and the differences in student-tutor and student-student interactions are sufficiently different to warrant that such degrees be awarded under a separate qualification classification. Drawing on research carried out at Ashridge Business School, UK, into the realities of getting started in e-learning, and a literature review of e-student and e-tutor issues, the argument is made that actually succeeding at this form of learning requires additional skills, motivation and discipline that should be more widely recognized, and that this would be best achieved through a separate qualifications classification. Such a classification would also ensure that e-learning degrees are equivalent to their more traditionally earned counterparts.

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