Challenges of E-Learning in Institutions of Higher Learning in Ghana. the Case of Presbyterian University College, Ghana.

Topics: E-learning, Virtual learning environment, Moodle Pages: 24 (8277 words) Published: April 21, 2011
Challenges of the Implementation of E-learning in Ghana: The Case of Presbyterian University College, Ghana

ASIEDU K. Eric & KEVOR Mark-Oliver
(Department of Information and Communication Technology, Abetifi, Ghana) Abstract: Tremendous advances in computer technology and the evolution of the Internet have led to new approaches in learning and training which are summarized under the term e-Learning. With technology evolving at such a rapid rate, it is imperative that educational institutions equip students with technological skills that are essential for coping in the wider community. These skills are most effectively gained by learning with technology, rather than about technology. This paper examines the requirements for e-Learning environments: pedagogical, functional and non functional requirements. E-learning implementation comes with several challenges which depend on the governance structure, top management commitment, stakeholders (teachers and students) involvement and the ICT Infrastructure. A structure that will define the concept for the e-Learning courses to be developed at the Presbyterian University College, Ghana was created; this structure served as a model to follow, being the core concept for future developments of e-Learning courses. A system prototype was developed to support the internal teaching process and its role in a technology-supported learning experience was evaluated. The results indicated that an e-Learning system must adequately meet the needs of the instructional process and support learners’ behaviours and actions. These results also show that successful implementation of the e-Learning environment is dependent on four key factors: ICT infrastructure, ICT leadership, support and training initiatives and the teachers’ ICT capacity. Ideas for further developments are sketched in this paper. The paper recommends the study into using financial analytic tools like ROI to justify the value of e-learning systems. The possibility of e-learning increasing plagiarism is also left for further research. Keywords: e-Learning; pedagogy; ICT Leadership, teachers’ ICT capacity; open source

1.0 Introduction
Web Based Training and its newer and more general synonymous term e-Learning are two of today’s buzz-words in the academic and business worlds. Decision-makers associate with them new ways of learning that are more cost effective than traditional learning strategies, e-Learning allows students to better control the process of learning because they can decide when, where and how fast to learn. However two questions immediately arise: 1. What exactly does e-Learning mean?

2. Is it really the best way of education?
The first question can only be answered partly and vaguely because it is still under heavy discussion what exactly e-Learning should look like, and different opinions even exist about what components it consists of. E-Learning consists of an e-Learning environment which works as an interface between the students and their learning objectives and provides different means to achieve the learning goal. Usually the e-Learning environment can be accessed using a Web browser over the Internet or Intranet and supports several learning strategies and different ways of interaction, communication and collaboration. Additionally e-Learning environments often include administration and management utilities and interfaces to other systems to support the organizational part of learning as well. Other terms for e-Learning environments, which are often used as synonyms or with slight variations in its feature-set, are e.g. (among many others): * Computer Managed Instruction System (CMI-System)

* Learning Content Management System (LCMS)
* Learning Management Platform (LMP)
* Learning Management System (LMS)
* Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
* Web Based Training System (WBT-System)
These terms would be used interchangeably, as they represent...

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