Last updated: 27.07.12

Universities 'will have to implement e-learning'

If universities do not invest in online learning, they will lose custom to institutions in other nations.

This is according to the Higher Education Academy, which penned an article in the Guardian pointing out that there is a huge amount of digital information available presently.

It argued there is "too much information and not enough knowledge" currently and suggested that academic centres have a role to play in helping their students understand this modern world.

People increasingly have to find their way through the "mass of information available via the internet" that is accessible through Twitter, Facebook, mobile phones and laptops until it becomes a "meaningful interaction", it continued.

E-learning and other combinations between education and technology are progressing rapidly.

The organisation referenced a speech made by keynote speaker Martin Bean at the Higher Education Academy's 2012 Conference, in which he contented that learning experiences are opened up through technology.

Open Educational Resources are therefore becoming a challenge to traditional higher educational services, it remarked.

With people increasingly able to engage in distance learning online when researching or studying, Mr Bean said universities will have to consider whether or not they can continue to use content to define their value proposition to students.

He argued students are increasingly wishing to get good value for money from their rising student debts and might be able to do this through e-learning courses.

The speaker stated that universities need to bring high-quality teaching to life, which could be supported through online learning tools and technologies.

Furthermore, he pointed out that young people typically do not separate the rest of their lives from their work or studies when utilising technology.

Online training course providers and other educators should therefore understand how their participants use these innovations, which Mr Bean said is likely to be part of a combined experience.

The Higher Education Academy intends to implement, shape and influence teaching practice by identifying best practice and encouraging research and collaboration.