eLearning - Opportunities and Challenges

Deans and senior academics from all over Europe attended a seminar in DIT last week on the subject of e-learning. Held under the auspices of the Deans and European Academics Network, the two-day seminar looked at the key issues pertaining to the introduction of e-learning in universities today.

Dr. Ellen Hazelkorn, Director and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Arts, is a member of DEAN Executive Committee and Chair of the Seminar. Commenting that governments and universities around the world are promoting eLearning as a means of enriching the learning experience, Dr. Hazelkorn said "eLearning will play a significant role in widening participation in education and making the European economy knowledge-driven".

The two-day seminar looked at key issues pertaining to the introduction of e-learning in universities today. Keynote speakers discussed the opportunities and challenges of eLearning and the difference between eLearning and distance learning. Practically oriented, the seminar included a number of hands-on sessions to look at issues such as creating the appropriate learning environment, using either open source or proprietary software; designing eLearning resources linked to specific disciplines, and widening student participation. Issues such as infrastructure, staff training and intellectual property rights were also discussed.

Opening the conference, Professor Brian Norton welcomed the delegates to Dublin and spoke about DIT's commitment to e-learning. He said that although the process of moving towards e-learning starts out as a technical journey it quickly becomes clear that it becomes the engine for a whole range of other changes in teaching, learning, staffing, infrastructure, planning, and provision of student services.

Other DIT speakers at the Seminar included Dr. Jen Harvey, Head of Lifelong Learning; Dr. Mike Murphy, Director and Dean, Faculty of Engineering; and Professor Frank McMahon, Director of Academic Affairs.

Chairperson Dr. Hazelkorn said the seminar had been a good opportunity for Deans and other academic decision makers to understand at a deeper level what the introduction of eLearning involves for an institution, and allowed participants to share knowledge and experiences.

Click here to download the seminar programme (pdf)

Back to Top