Assignment 1: Analysis and Comparison of Rationales for E-learning

The purpose of this assignment is for you to start the process of examining institutional or organizational planning for e-learning. Your task is to compare and analyze e-learning strategies from two different organizations or institutions. Your analysis should focus specifically on the explicit and implicit rationales for using e-learning contained in the strategies. The strategies must be for the entire institution or organization and not for a specific program. You can also use national/state/provincial e-learning strategies or policies for this assignment if you prefer.

The strategies chosen for analysis should be relatively recent, certainly no more than 10 years old, preferably no more than 5 years, unless there is a compelling reason.

This assignment draws primarily on Unit 1: Understanding E-learning but you may want to look ahead to Unit 4: Institutional Planning which deals with the elements of a strategic plan and what an e-learning strategy looks like.

Consider the following questions as you analyze the rationale for e-learning in each strategy.:

  1. What is the stated rationale for e-learning?
  2. What is the unstated rationale or hidden agenda? What evidence do you have for this?
  3. How defensible are the rationales?
  4. How is is e-learning defined or understood, explicitly or implicitly, in the strategy or policy and what is your assessment of this definition/understanding? For example, does it portray e-learning has a range of possibilities as shown on the e-learning continuum or is e-learning defined more narrowly?

The assignment should consist of three parts:

  1. A brief overview of the two strategies that describes the institutional or organizational context.
  2. An analysis of the rationales for e-learning. This should form the bulk of the assignment.
  3. A brief summary and conclusion.

Be sure to provide evidence from the strategies to support your analysis of the rationales.

Primary documents (e.g., strategic plans or, preferably, e-learning strategies) must be consulted for this assignment. You may refer to secondary documents, (e.g., another analysis) but that is not sufficient. You also need to clearly explain which specific documents you consulted.

Note also that this assignment is NOT meant to be an analysis of how the institution or organization is using e-learning (e.g., a description of its online programs) but an examination of the strategic plan for e-learning and the rationale. A rationale is about the WHY, not the HOW.

Since the focus of this assignment is on the rationales for using e-learning, it would not be appropriate to attempt an analysis of an online/distance institution such as an open university or an online university unless that organization had recently made a transition to e-learning.

In assessing your assignment your instructor will be applying the following criteria:

  1. How well have you described the institutional or organizational context for the two strategies?
  2. Have you provided direct evidence of your analysis and conclusions about the rationales for e-learning?
  3. How well does the assignment draw on material in Units 1?

Submitting the Assignment

Maximum length for the assignment is 2,500 words.

Upload your assignment to the Blackboard Connect assignment dropbox. It should be in Word format.