By Daniela & Lourdes

The greatest challenges related to the adoption of e-Learning systems

Challenge 1:

Another barrier to OER is the lack of human interaction between teachers and students. As OER material can be accessed anywhere, at any time outside the classroom environment, students are likely to miss the discussions and instructor feedback characteristics which are useful and valuable in the learning process. Thus, this will lead to another issue, as learners are not guided or supported by a teacher may not know what is available or how to access it

Possible Policy 1:

The teacher in charge should be responsible in making the resources discoverable by tools that students use and are familiar with. For example, using social software such as twitter or Edmodo. Students will still need the support and guidance to use resources effectively. Thus the teacher should provide options to engage students in a discussion taking place online such as discussion forums and make opportunities for collaborative learning. In this way, the teacher would be encouraging both peer support and interaction as well as encouraging dialogue and therefore enhancing learning opportunities.

Challenge 2:

Another barrier to OER may be the technological aspect. Some students may have problems in using some OERs due to slow connection or bad Internet connection. Other OERs may require the installation on software that students may not have. Also, not all learners can have access to computers or to the Internet

Possible Policy 2:

Teachers should make sure to use fully open resources that can be accessed by everyone without needing any further installation or fees. One should also ensure that the materials can be accessed on alternative technologies such as mobiles so that students will have an alternative access to view the resources available.

Challenge 3:

Participation can also lead to an issue in integrating OERs. There can be the case, for example, that only the same students post and publish their resources online and contribute to the OERs. Thus, other students may use these resources, published by other students and in turn, they never or rarely publish their own work and material. This can create a disadvantage on those students who work hard to posting and contributing to these OERs.

Possible Policy 3:

This issue can be overcome by having some type of assessment schemes. The teacher may give marks to students depending on the number of posts and the amount of contribution given to these OERs. In this way, students who post regularly are ensured that their contribution is being assessed and rewarded. The quality of work published is also ensured as it has to be assessed.

Challenge 4:

Since 2-way communication is possible, the teacher has to allocate specific time to respond to entries by the students. This might lead to students not paying so much attention during the lesson because they know that the teacher is available at other times apart from the classroom through the e-Learning site (EDUCASE, 2003, p.40). Apart from having to reply to students’ questions, it also requires extra management, design skills, technical skills and re-thinking the course delivery from scratch (Dargham et al. 2012, p.4).

Challenge 5:

(added by Abigail Enriquez)

Students may also feel isolated from their fellow students due to learning usually being an individual process. A lack of student interaction has been known to result in a decrease in motivation and perceptions of the course being of a higher difficulty. The lack of collaboration between students has been found out to be one of the factors leading to dropouts and a discouraging element when it comes to students choosing whether or not to continue studying via e-learning.

Possible Policy 5:

Inter-Student communication may be fostered and facilitated by the use of discussion boards and chatting facilities, either on the e-learning interface or with the use of popular social networks, such as Facebook groups and chats, Skype conferences and more. Collaboration may also be encouraged by the training program itself, where students would have groupwork tasks.

(2003). Impact and challenges of E-Learning. Supporting e-Learning in Higher Education.
Dargham, J., Saeed, D., Mcheik, H. (2012). E-Learning at school level: Challenges and Benefits. The 13th International Arab Conference on Information Technology.