Unit 5 – Key Points

After completing this unit government planning for e-learning, we want you to come way with the following key points.

1. Government Planning Strategies

We find it useful to think about two categories of strategies that governments have at their disposal for planning e-learning.

Conservative Strategies

These include:

  • regulation;
  • supporting and promoting competition;
  • establishing the jurisdiction of public sector institutions;
  • supporting and enhancing the developing of partnerships and consortia.

Radical Strategies

These include:

  • creating new e-learning institutions;
  • encouraging the private sector and international providers;
  • using e-learning to transform post-secondary education.

2. Duplication

In order to minimize the potential for increased costs, governments should develop strategies to avoid the costly duplication of courses, programs and resources and to prevent institutional “mission creep”.

3. Funding Strategies

Governments also have a number of different funding strategies at their disposal. These include:

  • reallocating existing resources;
  • creating new institutions;
  • increasing tuition fees;
  • providing short term grants for e-learning initiatives;
  • increasing government funding for educational institutions;
  • using e-learning to absorb new enrollments;
  • encouraging the development of cost-recoverable e-learning programs;
  • allowing public institutions to create for-profit e-learning companies.

E-learning is not cheap and, in the short term, governments should expect to spend more to invest in the development of e-learning in order to pay for the technical and human resource infrastructure. In the medium to long term, e-learning does provide opportunities to increase the cost-effectiveness of higher education by improving access and quality.

4. Readiness for E-learning

A key role for government in helping to stimulate and support the use of e-learning in the post secondary sector is understanding how “e-learning ready” the jurisdiction is and identifying what steps need to be taken to improve readiness. A useful framework for examining e-learning readiness is “the four Cs”: Connectivity, Capability, Content and Culture.