Open and Distance Learning Tools and Strategies

Open and Distance Learning Tools and Strategies

Cristina Girona (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-759-1.ch003
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There exists nowadays an enormous variety of models of e-leaning, from the technological, methodological and management perspective. At the university level, but also in company-training, in schools and formal education institutions, the different educational models appear, moving in a continuum from those who use technology as a complement or support to traditional attended sessions, to those that base the teaching and learning process in completely online environments. They try a variety of teaching methods while using differing degrees of virtualisation in the organisation (Bates, 2005). Years ago, when ICT in education started to be widely used, the success of the e-learning experience and the institutions themselves depended on their technological means; the platform was the most important of the model adopted by e-learning institutions. Initial efforts were put in market analysis aiming at finding out which was the best platform developed by ICT providers. Major investments in economical terms were dedicated to the acquisition of what was considered “the best” platform. Some years later, it was seen that institutions were different from the rest, and that not all educational platforms could cover all their needs. They realised that the success of their educational offer could not only be based on technology but in the learning materials provided. At that moment, the industry of online resources and hypermedia materials for educational uses grew up quickly. For some years, the success of e-learning mainly depended on the quality of the online materials provided, and that distinguish one institution from others.

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