Open Access

Contributions to e-Learning from a Best Practices Study at Andalusian Universities

  • Julio Cabero Almenara1Email author,
  • M.a del Carmen Llorente Cejudo1 and
  • Juan Antonio Morales Lozano1
International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201310:10010226

DOI: 10.7238/rusc.v10i1.1159

Received: 15 May 2011

Accepted: 15 January 2012

Published: 15 January 2013

Abstract

The presence and development of ICTs in higher education is ever greater, and so are the efforts that universities everywhere have been making to incorporate them into areas such as management, research and teaching. It is within this context that the study presented in this article falls. The main objectives of the study were stated in the following terms: a) To identify how lecturers who were recognised for their best practices in e-learning made use of such practices; b) To ascertain the technical, didactic and organisational problems that they found when incorporating this teaching-learning modality; and c) To analyse the characteristics of the materials that were designed for that purpose.

To do that, several data collection strategies were used, such as lecturer bios, individual lecturer interviews, an analysis of materials, and a group student interview.

The results allowed a number of conclusions to be drawn, such as positive lecturer and student attitudes towards e-learning in general and towards blended learning in particular. Both the lecturers and the students highlighted their usefulness, the flexibility they allow, and the increase in student involvement and participation. Likewise, the need for both the lecturers and the students to have didactic training was identified, as was the urgent need to set up units and services to assist teaching staff with the use of tools, with the design of materials and with the resources available. Finally, the implementation of blended learning was found to increase the students’ academic performance.

Keywords

distance education blended learning best practices higher education