E-Learning Readiness in Public Institutions

E-Learning Readiness in Public Institutions

Fayiz Munsher Aldhaferri (Kuwait University, Kuwait)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0466-5.ch013
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Abstract

This chapter reports on an e-Learning readiness study that was supported by Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) under project number (2013-11109-05) and carried out to assess the organizational and individual factors of the two major stakeholder groups (teachers and students) in the secondary education institutions to provide significant information to the policy makers and regulatory bodies for the development of successful e-Learning strategies. The chapter looks specifically at some factors at the initial stage of an e-Learning introduction that can have tremendous impact on the later stages of the process. Later on this chapter, discussion and suggestions are presented to be instrumental in implementing successful eLearning strategies for many countries, specifically Kuwait, and will also benefit e-Learning initiatives in similar institutions in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and beyond.
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Background

Learning is an ongoing process that takes place as knowledge is utilized, regardless of the place and time. Thus, ‘learning’ does not have to refer to taking formal instructional courses; many can learn without attending courses. Many learners prefer to share experiences and not constantly sit in classrooms. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught” (Waller, 2005).

In a globalized and knowledge-based information society, every community is trying to transform itself into an information society. Advancements in information technology have great potential for enhancing education and training. Academic institutions, corporations, and government agencies worldwide are increasing their use of the Internet and digital technologies to deliver instruction and training. At all levels in these institutions, individuals are being encouraged to participate in online learning activities that focus on real change in pedagogy and the promotion of life-long learning. New educational policies are being formulated in various communities worldwide to enable educational institutions to come to terms with new learning technologies and their implications.

Online open and distributed learning, commonly known as e-learning, increasingly enhanced by the availability of newer emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs), is growing globally. There is no doubt that the impact of technology use is dramatically changing traditional learning and teaching practices. However, it is necessary to define eLearning with a focus on learning, as does Khan (2005):

…e-learning can be viewed as an innovative approach for delivering well-designed, learner-centered, interactive, and facilitated learning environments to anyone, anyplace, anytime by utilizing the attributes and resources of various digital technologies along with other forms of learning materials suited for the open and distributed learning environment (p.9).

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