Last updated: 04.01.12

Teachers 'need help to implement e-learning methods'

Academic staff and organisation leaders need support and careful guidance to help them implement e-learning technologies into their day-to-day teaching practises.

This is according to an expert who suggested that despite the potential benefits of the virtual classroom, not enough is currently being done to successfully include systems in existing methods.

Grainne Conole, director of the Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester, which brings together teachers and researchers interested in the field of innovation in teaching, said that funding from the government and the input of online learning specialists could encourage teachers to re-think ways of educating pupils and also help them to understand issues surrounding the modern learning technology.

"[Teachers and learners] need support and guidance in terms of how they reconceptualise the ways in which they design learning interventions that make good use of these technologies," Ms Conole commented.

She added that there was initially a naive assumption that teachers would immediately begin using e-learning systems.

Furthermore, Ms Conole suggested there is still some work to be done to develop the ways in which online education is promoted to those who are based within the brick-and-mortar classroom setting, particularly in higher education fields.

She explained: "There is a kind of standardisation and we are shifting to a position where it's recognised that students have a right to have material available electronically - to have access to and ways of communicating to their tutors online and through email."

There is slowly beginning to be a richer understanding of how e-learning and traditional teaching methods can be combined to make for a more modern and flexible experience, the expert added.

Neil Richards, European mainframe director at Compuware, recently suggested that the development of online learning programs is crucial to gaining new talent in future job markets.