Students' Experiences of e-Learning in Higher Education : The Ecology of Sustainable Innovation book cover
1st Edition

Students' Experiences of e-Learning in Higher Education
The Ecology of Sustainable Innovation

ISBN 9780415989367
Published September 28, 2009 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

Students’ Experiences of e-learning in Higher Education helps higher education instructors and university managers understand how e-learning relates to, and can be integrated with, other student experiences of learning. Grounded in relevant international research, the book is distinctive in that it foregrounds students’ experiences of learning, emphasizing the importance of how students interpret the challenges set before them, along with their conceptions of learning and their approaches to learning. The way students interpret task requirements greatly affects learning outcomes, and those interpretations are in turn influenced by how students read the larger environment in which they study. The authors argue that a systemic understanding is necessary for the effective design and management of modern learning environments, whether lectures, seminars, laboratories or private study. This ecological understanding must also acknowledge, though, the agency of learners as active interpreters of their environment and its culture, values and challenges.

Students’ Experiences of e-learning in Higher Education reports research outcomes that locate e-learning within the broader ecology of higher education and:

  • Offers a holistic treatment of e-learning in higher education, reflecting the need for integrating e-learning and other aspects of the student learning experience
  • Reports research on students’ experiences with e-learning conducted by authors in the United States, Europe, and Australia
  • Synthesizes key themes in recent international research and summarizes their implications for teachers and managers.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



Acknowledgement of Copyright Permissions

1. Introduction

2. Thinking Ecologically About E-learning

3. New Students, New Technology

4. Student Experiences of E-learning in Higher Education: Learning through Discussion

5. Student Experiences of E-learning in Higher Education: Learning through Inquiry

6. University Teachers’ Experiences of E-learning in an Ecology

7. An Ecology of Learning: Practical Theory for Leadership, Management and Educational Design

8. Teaching-as-Design and the Ecology of University Learning

9. Leadership for Learning: Perspectives on Learning Spaces

10. Relating the Idea of an Ecology of Learning to Campus Planning

11. Concluding Comments: The Ecological Perspective, Balance and Change




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Robert Ellis is Associate Professor and Director of eLearning at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Peter Goodyear is Professor of Education and co-director of the CoCo Research Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia.


"At a time when universities face the consequences of the recent economic crises, and when climate change demands adaptation on a large scale soon, does e-learning have something special to offer to students? Read this book to find out. The authors are sane: they don’t exaggerate. They look forward as well as telling the story so far. University teachers and administrators have reason to bless them for their lucid analysis and clear vision."--British Journal of Educational Technology

"The authors produce informative and thought-provoking chapters that add a refreshing and holistic perspective on the diffusion of e-learning in HE. The topics covered in their book relate to the current debates in the field, yet break away from the trend…. Their book is a useful consideration for university and professional development teacher courses as it raises the issues associated with the infrastructural aspects, pedagogic considerations and the need to associate the practical uses of technology to enhance the learning experience."--Teachers College Record