Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Money aside...What is e-learning costing academics?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura Delgaty


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Background: Distance learning (DL) is a ‘disruptive’ technology to the organisational culture of universities. Teaching contexts, traditional power structures and relationships have changed leaving lecturers potentially disenfranchised. DL has taken curriculum development from academics into the realm of strategic management whilst simultaneously usurping teacher-centred models of education. The uptake of DL has been marginal for most academics, and literature with a practice- based application is sparse. Unsurprisingly, the most cited article in Medical Teacher in 2010 was: ‘The Failure of e-Learning Research to Inform Educational Practice, and What We Can Do About It’. Methods: The aim was to inform clinical educational practice by exploring the complex processes of e-curricular development. Maintaining an action research methodology, two cycles were investigated: planning and then delivery of an e-module. Data collection included: documentary analysis of meetings, interviews with staff and students, student evaluations and web analytics. Data analysis incorporated both quantitative and qualitative methods for triangulation. Results and Conclusion: Sixteen staff hours (12 planning and 4 delivery) were required to support 1 hour of online activity. Over 75% of academic work occurred out of normal office hours. Technical responsibilities were essential throughout, but unpredictable. Explicit planning and working within communities were requisite to create a ‘sustaining’ technology. Universities struggle to engage staff with e-learning due to its unrecognized and (many academics believe) unsustainable workload. Avoiding traditional workload assumptions that are inaccurate, this study provides academics and managers involved in clinical education clear guidance and an increased understanding of workload with a goal to inform practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Delgaty LE

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Canadian Conference on Medical Education - Going for Gold (CCME 2013)

Year of Conference: 2013

Publisher: CCME