Institutional Organization and Support


The effective implementation of e-learning in higher education requires the appropriate organizational structures and governance mechanisms to ensure that faculty and students get the support they need to use e-learning. Bates & Sangrà (2011) stress that the successful implementation of e-learning “requires daily and continuous attention throughout the organization…[and]…ongoing mechanisms in place to deal with technology issues as they arise” (p. 103).

There are five key dimensions to the organization and support of e-learning:

1. E-learning integration

How well is e-learning integrated into the organization?

2. Governance

What governance mechanisms are in place?

3. Organizational structure

Where does e-learning fit in the organizational structure and hierarchy of the institution?

4. Support

How are e-learning services organized and how is support provided?

5. Funding

How is e-learning funded?

However, it is important to remember that there are many different ways to organize e-learning in institutions and that the most appropriate approach will depend on the size of the organization, the type of organization, how e-learning will be used and how widely it will be implemented. It is helpful in this regard to understand at what stage of e-learning integration the institution is before deciding on the most appropriate way of organizing e-learning.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this unit you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the key factors related to the dimensions of the organization and support for e-learning;
  2. Discuss the five stages of e-learning integration;
  3. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of different support models for e-learning;
  4. Decide on appropriate e-learning support model in your institution.

Unit Schedule

Try to stick to the following schedule:

Week 6

  • Section 3.1: Stages of E-Learning Integration
  • Section 3.2: Organizational Structure & Governance
  • Discussion: Models of Support

Week 7

  • Discussion: Models of Support
  • Section 3.3: Models of Support
  • Section 3.4: Funding Models