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Abstract

Despite the many challenges facing educators today, as well as the array of teaching paradigms on offer, the principal goals of higher education will always remain the same: higher education plays a central role in the development of human beings and modern societies alike, as it enhances social, cultural and economic development, active citizenship and ethical values (HEA, 2003).

Globalisation of higher education, increased initiatives aiming at internationalisation, the activities of ‘so-called’ new providers and various forms of ‘borderless’ higher education, challenge the higher-education community worldwide and call for new and imaginative strategies. To successfully fulfil their educational, research, and informational functions in the twenty-first century, higher education institutions need to be able to respond effectively to changing education and training needs, to adapt to a rapidly shifting higher education landscape, and to adopt more flexible modes of organisation and operation (World Bank et al., 2000). Europe, which enjoys one of the highest levels of education and has the necessary investment capacity, still lags far behind the US in the use of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Given the new technologies available to us, the question now is how best can educators accomplish the goals of higher education (Black, 2001). The continuing interest and emergent delving into e-learning by academic staff in DIT has been directed primarily towards getting to grips with the technology of WebCT. Whether it is to increase student numbers, widen access and meet the demands of lifelong learning, great demands are made on the time of academic staff to keep up-to-date with their training in this area. The cyberspace classroom, however, is quite different from that of the traditional face-to-face classroom, and substantial pedagogical shifts are required for successful online learning.

DOI

10.21427/D70N0R

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