“E” is for “Ecology”: An Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable E-Learning

“E” is for “Ecology”: An Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable E-Learning

M. Banu Gundogan (Middle East Technical University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5162-3.ch008
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Abstract

A promising e-learning system needs to be sustainable; resources should not be damaged or depleted and must continue to serve. Sustainability is not limited to the efficient use of resources; it defines how systems would remain diverse and productive over time. The ecosystem concept, a nature model for sustainability, has been associated with e-learning in recent years. Definitions and models have been presented; however, provisions for permanence and sustainability have not been studied specifically. This chapter presents the results of a study aiming to define sustainable e-learning ecosystems by emphasizing a “no waste” motto. Contributors from different disciplines were asked to define an e-learning ecosystem and analyze waste with reference to sustainability principles. Results denoted some wastes to be inevitable, but provisions with reference to green design methodologies were found to be assistive for e-learning developers to reach the best “no waste” solutions.
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Studies On E-Learning Ecosystems

In recent years, various researchers have associated the concept of ecosystem with e-learning and have presented definitions and models for creating better learning environments (Zachry, 2000:434, McCalla, 2004: 1, Farzan and Brusilovsky, 2005: 4, Frielick, 2004: 328, Chang, 2007: 442, Pata, 2011:3, Reyna, 2011: 1083, Nasr, 2011:137). According to their approaches, these definitions and models can be grouped as:

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