The Challenges Facing French Business Schools in Implementing E-Learning

Topics: Education, E-learning, Virtual learning environment Pages: 17 (5530 words) Published: November 15, 2009
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

2006, Volume 18, Number 2, 89-96 ISSN 1812-9129

The Pedagogical Challenges Facing French Business Schools in the Implementation of E-learning Initiatives Peter Daly
EDHEC Business School, Lille-Nice
This paper will reflect on the pedagogical challenges facing French Business Schools in the implementation of e-learning initiatives. I will show that the top French Business Schools are not the main providers of e-learning in business education, as the task is mainly assigned to private companies or government-subsidized organizations. Some fragmented e-learning initiatives do exist but the usefulness of this technology to enhance the learning and teaching experience is often overlooked in a drive to provide e-learning at all costs. I will argue that elearning development should be grounded in a comprehensive pedagogical framework. The various challenges facing educators will be analyzed, such as their epistemological beliefs, their roles as teachers, their ability to create a community of inquiry, and their ability to choose pertinent knowledge. In order to put learning on the agenda in French higher education and help the educator understand how students learn, a more detailed understanding of the generational characteristics of student cohorts, their epistemological beliefs and conceptions of learning, as well as their learning styles and preferences is advocated.

E-learning in France For some, e-learning means a fully online course; for others, it means the use of a course management system. For the purpose of this paper, the European Union definition of e-learning will be employed: “Elearning means using new multimedia technologies and the Internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to facilities and services as well as remote exchanges and collaboration” (EC Publication, 2003, p. 3). While this definition is quite broad, it does contain some key concepts such as quality of learning, facilitation, exchange, and collaboration. Therefore, this definition presupposes that the learner is at the center of the learning event facilitated by an educator in an exchange of knowledge that is acquired via collaboration. Ledru (2002) set out four dimensions of e-learning: pedagogical and psychological; technological; economic and legal; and organizational and change management issues. If we apply these four dimensions to e-learning implementation at French Business Schools, we can see that the technological dimension is the only one to have received any serious consideration with business schools investing massively in learning platforms such as Blackboard®, WebCT, or Crossknowledge. While they may purport to be involved in e-learning, a closer look at the French e-learning market tells a different story. At the moment, the main provision of e-learning in France is divided between: (a) e-learning in firms, offering customized content developed internally or by large companies and then outsourced to private suppliers and (b) e-learning provided by the central government or by regional and local authorities or associations receiving government subsidies. In the first sector, termed here as the private elearning market segment, Gil (2003) provides an impressive list of the major players such as software

editors (e.g. Sybase, Lotus, Oracle); publishing houses (Foucher Editions d’Organisation, McGraw Hill, Ziff Davis); consultancy firms (Arthur Anderson); TV channels (M6, France 5); and startups (SABA, Centra, Online Formapro), all of whom are vying for a slice of the e-learning market. However, many of these providers lack credibility as they are not attached to a reputable business school or university. In France, e-learning in business education will not be successful unless the major players (Grande Ecoles, i.e. public or private higher education institutions that admit students by competitive examination...

References: Allinson, C., & Hayes, J. (1996). The cognitive style index. Journal of Management Studies, 33, 119135. Bates, A. W., & Poole, G. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Baudouin, P. (2005). E-user public online services and user orientation country brief: France. Euser. Retrieved September 23, 2005, from CaseID=1790&CaseTitleID=740&MenuID=83. Berge, Z. (2000). New roles for learners and teachers in higher education. Global Educator. Retrieved September 23, 2005, from 00.pdf. Biggs, J. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university (2nd ed.). Buckingham, UK: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) & Open University Press. Boudon, S. (2004). Devenire e-enseignant [Becoming an E-teacher]. UniversitySurf.
Pedagogical Challenges
Retrieved September 23, 2005, from Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Ecclestone, K. (2004). Should we be using learning styles: What research has to say to practice. London: Learning & Skills Research Centre. EC Publication. (2003). E-learning: Better e-learning for Europe. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Commission (NC52-03-207-EN-C). Garrison, D. R., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-learning in the 21st Century: A framework for research and practice. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Gil, P. (2003). E-formation: NTIC et reengineering de la formation professionnelle [E-learning: ICT and the re-engineering of professional training]. (2nd ed.). Paris: Dunod. Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1986). The manual of learning styles. London: Peter Honey. Howe, N., & Strauss, W. (2000). Millenials rising. New York: Vintage Books. Kolb, D. A. (1999). The Kolb Learning Style Inventory. Boston: Experience Based Learning Systems Inc. Hay Resources Direct. Laulliard, D. (2000). New technologies, students and the curriculum: The impact of communications and information technology on higher education. In P. Scott (Ed.), Higher education re-formed, (pp. 133-153). London: Routledge Falmer. Laulliard, D. (2002). Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFarmer. Lazuech, G. (1999). L’exception Française: Le modèle des grandes ecoles à l’épreuve de la mondialisation [The French exception: The business school model tested by globalization]. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes. Ledru, M. (2002). Le e-learning, projet d’entreprise, Une approche stratégique du processus competences [E-learning: A company project: A strategic approach of the skills process]. RueilMalmaison, France: Editions Liaisons. Lewandowski, J-C. (2003). Les nouvelles façons de former: Le e-learning, enjeux et outils [The new ways to train: E-learning, risks and methods]. Paris: Editions d’organisation. Myers, I. B., & McCaulley, M. H. (1985). Manual: A guide to the development and use of the MyersBriggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education. (1997). Higher education in the learning society. London: NCIHE. Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. (2005). Is it age or IT: First steps towards understanding the net generation. Boulder, CO: Educause. Retrieved September 23, 2005, from B.pdf Paulsen, M. F. (1995). The online report on pedagogical techniques for computer-mediated communication. Oslo, Norway: NKI. Retrieved October 10, 2005, from d=123. Pelz, B. (2004). Three principles of effective online pedagogy. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8(3), 33-46. Pincas, A. (2000). Features of online discourse for education. Learning Technology Newsletter, 2(1), 8-16. Raines, C. (2002). Connecting generations: The sourcebook for a new workplace. Menlo Park, California: Crisp. Ryan, M., & Hall, L. (2001, June). E-learning, teaching and training: A first look at principles, issues and implications. In P. Kommers & G. Richards (Eds.), Proceedings of world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications 2001 (pp. 1603-1609). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Salmon, G. (2002). Future learning encounters. Keynote Lecture, EUROCALL 2002. Retrieved November 17, 2005, from ounters.pdf Salmon, G. (2003). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Salmon, G. (2005). E-tivities, The key to active online learning (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Vasquez-Bronfman, S. (2003). Linking pedagogical innovation and information technology to enhance business education. In R. Ottewill, L. Borredon, L. Falque, B. Macfarlane, & A. Wall (Eds.), Educational innovation in economics and business: Pedagogy, technology and innovation VIII (pp.77-91). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. _____________________ PETER DALY is Head of Business Communication & Language Studies at EDHEC Business School, Lille-Nice where he teaches Managerial Communication. He also teaches Literature and Celtic Civilisation with the Department of Culture and Society. Having worked in Managerial Communication education since 1995, mainly in Germany and France, his primary teaching and research interests revolve around language learning, the case study method in education and teaching and learning in business education. He has presented papers at international conferences on these research
Pedagogical Challenges
areas. He is currently undertaking Doctoral Studies in Higher Education at the University of Sheffield. Acknowledgments I would like to thank Prof. Gareth Parry and his colleagues at the Education Department, University of Sheffield, UK for their invaluable support and advice.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • E-Learning in Business Essay
  • E Learning Essay
  • Essay on Use of e-learning in imparting basic financial knowledge for sustainable growth of small Business
  • E-Learning Essay
  • challenges and barriers of e-government Essay
  • Essay about e learning
  • Essay on e learning
  • e-learning Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free