Harnessing the power of technologies to manage collaborative e-learning projects in dispersed environments

Maree V. Gosper, Margot A. McNeill, Karen Woo

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    ‘The impact of web-based lecture technologies on current and future practice in learning and teaching’ was a collaborative project across four Australian universities, funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). The project was both exploratory and developmental in nature and according to the project’s external evaluator, was successful in achieving its aims to explore how the technologies are integrated into the curriculum to support learning and teaching in different context; and the educational implications of their use for the design of curricula, teaching, learning and academic policies and practices including professional development. The targeted end users were teachers, researchers and developers in the higher education sector. Key deliverables were a report on issues and implications, research papers and a set of guidelines for staff and students in the use of these technologies to enhance learning and teaching. A particular feature of the project design was the embedding of strategies to enable capacity building across the sector through the ongoing dissemination of findings to stakeholders throughout the life of the project, not just at the end. Key to the development and management of the project was the use of a range of technologies to engage the range of stakeholders and manage day-to-day operations in a dispersed environment. This paper draws on elements of existing project management frameworks to discuss the critical factors contributing to the project’s success. Challenges threatening the success of the project are also examined along with suggestions for other collaborative projects being developed in dispersed environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)167-186
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of distance education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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