Beyond Models: Developing a University Strategy for Online Instruction

Ian C. Reid


Universities are being pressured from a range of forces to move into delivery of courses via online methods. While the literature is replete with promises for the use of information technology (IT) in the teaching and learning environment of higher education institutions, it is difficult for those institutions to take a strategic and informed approach to its implementation. This paper details the difficulties that can arise in selecting and implementing online delivery solutions and seeks to survey various approaches that universities can take to address these difficulties from an organizational perspective. Key questions are then proposed that must be answered if academic managers are to be strategic in their selection of IT resources for teaching and learning, in order to best add value to their teaching and learning environment by providing access for students to asynchronous learning networks. Amongst the critical issues that need to be addressed are scalability, interoperability, consistency and flexibility. A progress report of an implementation of a strategic institution-wide approach to online delivery at the University of South Australia that addresses these key questions is then presented.


Asynchronous Learning,Information Technology,Online Instruction

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