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《China Distance Education》 2003-11
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Barriers to e-Learning: Literature Review and Analysis

Jiang Chengfeng et al.  
In recent years, there has been much research into methods of enhancing the quality and learning outcome of e-e-ducation, and researchers have looked at this issue from different perspectives. With an extensive literature review of research outcomes and methodologies in both China and other countries as well as survey data provided by the various e-schools and institutions offering distance education, this paper gives a classification of the barriers to e-learning and attempts to examine the factors behind these barriers. In general, there are four barriers originating from: (1) the learners themselves: the financial barrier, student motivation, control over learning activities, loneliness due to separation from other students and a lack of a feeling of belonging, inadequate skills and experience in distance learning, and insufficient computer skills; (2) teachers: inadequate understanding of what constitutes e-learning and what learners need, a lack of training and e-learning professionals; (3) curriculum: ambiguity, poor quality, problems in accessing e-learning resources, insufficient evaluation; and (4) the e-school: organizational and structural factors. To better overcome these barriers, this paper suggests that e-schools should: offer a PRS or AAT inventory for e-learners so that they understand where their weaknesses lie; provide well-formulated learning support, and a counseling and guidance system; make computer training available to new students so that they realize what e-learning is about and how to participate in e-learning; improve curriculum development, for example by designing curriculum and teaching materials that might better cater for students' self learning needs; construct a virtual learning community to nurture students' ability to participate in autonomous learning.
【CateGory Index】: G434
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