Identifying Innovation and Success Factors in Higher Education eLearning Strategies

Aczel, James; Hardy, Pascale; Meiszner, Andreas; Staniland, Karen; Maillet, Katherine; Medina, Sara and Iggulden, Helen (2007). Identifying Innovation and Success Factors in Higher Education eLearning Strategies. In: Bernath, Ulrich and Sangrà, Albert eds. Research on competence development in online distance education and e-learning - Selected papers from the 4th EDEN Research Workshop in Castelldefels/Spain, October 25 - 28, 2006. Oldenburg: BIS-Verlag, pp. 141–156.



This chapter reports on a two-year research study of innovation in European higher education eLearning strategies. A mixed-method approach was adopted to the problem of identifying examples of innovation. A distinction is drawn between two kinds of innovation that require different methods of effective detection: innovation in standards-based institution-wide systems and innovation through personal technological exploration of end-user tools. The study built on and refined a number of existing instruments to help identify innovation and explain success at both institution and programme levels. Where possible the study estimated the impact of the implemented eLearning programmes, but the emphasis was on illuminating a range of innovative eLearning strategy cases, rather than necessarily determining best practice. The study provides some evidence of the factors that those who have implemented successful eLearning strategies consider to be critical, drawing on the innovators' diverse experiences of having to refine their strategies over time.

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