Online Learning Management and Learners’ Behavior: A Case Study of Online Learning in Japan

Online Learning Management and Learners’ Behavior: A Case Study of Online Learning in Japan

Minoru Nakayama (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan), Hiroh Yamamoto (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan) and Rowena Santiago (California State University, San Bernardino, USA)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-791-2.ch009
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Online learning has been playing a major role in university teaching across the world. For three consecutive years, the authors have surveyed bachelors and masters students who were enrolled in online courses at a Japanese university, in order to study learners‘ behavior while they are engaged in online courses. It was also their goal in this study to identify learning strategies and instructional design techniques that can contribute to the development of e-learning standards and can be applied to online course design and management. This book chapter will discuss how these issues were addressed using the survey data collected over three years, and based on the results of data analyses, provide a discussion of some guiding principles for the design and implementation of online learning.
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In Japan, e-learning (including distance learning) has been used mainly as a supplementary learning activity in combination with, or based on, regular face-to-face instruction, because only synchronous face-to-face courses are accredited in Japanese universities. Therefore the role of online courses was limited to supporting extended learning or for self-study. Asynchronous learning, in particular, has not been encouraged until 2000 when the Japanese University Council of the Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) approved the use of online courses as an accredited way of teaching and learning in higher education (Japanese University Council, 2000). To date, the use of online courses is gradually becoming integrated in university teaching.

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