Managing differences in stakeholder relationships and organizational cultures in e-learning development: lessons from the UK eUniversity experience

Conole, Grainne; Carusi, Annamaria; de Laat, Maarten; Wilcox, Pauline and Darby, Jonathan (2006). Managing differences in stakeholder relationships and organizational cultures in e-learning development: lessons from the UK eUniversity experience. Studies in Continuing Education, 28(2) pp. 135–150.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01580370600751054

Abstract

In 2000 the UK Government launched a major new initiative, the UK eUniversity (UKeU), to capitalize on the potential of e-learning. With over £60 million of investment the UKeU was created to act as a broker between existing universities in terms of marketing online degrees from British universities. The UKeU represented the most important foray into e-learning yet undertaken in the UK and was also certainly one of the most significant internationally. As Conole et al. quoted:At its launch the then secretary of state proudly announced that: ‘… it is clear that virtual learning is an industry which is striding forward all around us …’ (Blunkett, 2000). When it collapsed only five years later, Sheerman suggested the investment had been ‘… a disgraceful waste of public money …’ (Sheerman, 2005).
Its early demise sounds a warning note to all of us involved in e-learning. It is important that we learn from this experience so as not to replicate its mistakes, but also not to allow its failure on some levels to drown out the enormous potential and good practice which it instituted on other levels.

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