E-Learning continues to evolve and to facilitate access to education through both the fully online and blended modes of delivery. This has contributed in no small measure to widening participation in engineering and computing education anytime anywhere. This paper presents the many changes that have taken place in e-learning, the increase in blended learning and remote students, involving regular contacts with their lecturers by use of webcams, Second Life as well as email, teleconferencing and various other technologies. The range of courses and assessment methods will be discussed, such as the MSc course in e-Learning at the University of Ulster and the MSc in Six Sigma at Southampton Solent University. The paper reports on the range of activities of the British Computer Society e-Learning Specialist Group and its increasing influence in various countries around the world, both relating to academic training and personal continuous professional development. The increasing gap in the digital divide faced by learners in the technology driven society of the 21st century calls for creation of new opportunities for continuous education. We note the need to develop new curricula, appropriate pedagogy and tutor professional development in information technology literacy to prepare and help the tutor develop a critical process for implementing new tools and technologies in education. Engineering and computing educators face a lot of challenges in implementing e-learning. There must be clear understanding of if, how and when e-learning may be best employed in their courses to maximise learning experience. In the course of developing such a course the system must be fit for purpose. It is crucial that the educator possess the skills for developing the required system. In situation where this is not the case outside assistance could be employed.
- BCS E-Learning Specialist Group
- Blended learning
- Using Second Life
- Using web-conferencing for remote learners