E-Learning Experiences of Hong Kong Students

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J. Lam, R. Chan
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E-Learning Experiences of Hong Kong Students
Abstract—The adoption of e-learning in Hong Kong has been increasing rapidly in the past decade. To understand the e-learning experiences of the students, the School of Professional and Continuing Education of The University of Hong Kong conducted a survey. The survey aimed to collect students’ experiences in using learning management system, their perceived e-learning advantages, barriers in e-learning and preferences in new e-learning development. A questionnaire with 84 questions was distributed in mid 2012 and 608 valid responds were received. The analysis results showed that the students found e-learning helpful to their study. They preferred interactive functions and mobile features. Blended learning mode, both face-to-face learning mode integrated with online learning and face-to-face learning mode supplemented with online resources, were preferred by the students. The results of experiences of Hong Kong students in e-learning provided a contemporary reference to the e-learning practitioners to understand the e-learning situation in Asia.

Keywords—e-learning, blended learning, learning experience, learning management system.

INTRODUCTION

T
HE School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) of The University of Hong Kong has been providing continuing education to Hong Kong and the region since 1956. Since 1999. HKU SPACE has been offering courses with e-learning support and an in-house built learning management system, SOUL, was provided to the students. In the first few years, e-learning was mainly used to provide supplementary support to students’ learning. In 2004, the School introduced a Blended Learning Policy that a blended approach to learning, which combined traditional face-to-face classroom learning with a certain minimum level of basic e-learning features, should be mad available to all learning of the School in award-bearing programmes. In 2009, the School established the Centre for Cyber Learning to provide all-rounded e-learning support to the students. In order to offer Web 2.0 online learning support to the students, the School performed an analysis of the major learning management systems [1] and adopted the open-source e-learning software, MOODLE, and developed the second generation of learning management system. The new system, named SOUL 2.0, was started serving the students in the academic year 2011/2012. SOUL 2.0 was a pedagogical driven learning management system. Online learning materials of the courses were placed and online learning activities were carried out in the system. At the end of the academic year 2011/2012, the School conducted a survey to collect data for analyzing students’ e-learning experiences. This paper aims at sharing the summarized and analyzed the result of the survey for the educational practitioners as a reference in understanding e-learning experiences of Hong Kong students.

E-Learning and E-learning in HKU SPACE

1 Definition of E-Learning

The definition of e-learning changed over time. In the last century, e-learning was commonly referred as computer-assisted instruction or computer-based instruction [2]. In late 1990s, the focus of e-learning has been changed to web-based learning and internet-based learning [3]. The contemporary definition of e-learning is associated with learning in the technological environment of Web 2.0 which originally coined by O’Reilly Media in 2003, refers to the observed new forms of application, interaction and communities in the Web [4]. Zhang summarized the development of e-learning in three generations based on the e-learning principles and practices [5]. The first generation of e-learning is a one-way transmission mode driven by technology in which e-learning is only a tool for delivering teaching and learning during 1990s. The second generation of e-learning is an interactive mode with learning pedagogy driven which learning...
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