Open and Distance Education/E-learning Readiness/E-learning Frameworks

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Basak, Wotto, and Bélanger (2016) proposed a conceptual framework for e-learning based on eight factors as shown in figure 1.2: Technological, Institutional, Pedagogical, Management, Ethical, Evaluation, Resource, and Social Interaction factors. Each factor consists of sub-factors. This framework followed the technology acceptance model and consider the eight factors as external variables which have an influence on the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. Readiness was mentioned in four sub-factors under the institutional factor; cultural readiness, content readiness, infrastructure readiness and financial readiness.

Gradually, E-readiness started to appear as one of the main factors in the e-learning frameworks, as shown in fig. 1.3; one of the latest proposed models describing the success factors and dimensions in e-learning introduced e-readiness as one of the ten fundamental themes affecting the implementation of e-learning in higher education; planning, E-readiness, Management and Organization, Support, Pedagogy, Technology, Faculty, Institution, Evaluation, and Ethical. As shown in the figure below, E-readiness factor comes after planning and before any organization implementation. To assess and study the requirements that are necessary to establish it and what takes to deliver it.

In this model, Al-fraihat introduces twenty-one sub-factors under the factor of e-readiness as follows: 1. Law and regulation readiness; 2. Management readiness; 3. Supervision readiness, Communication network readiness, 5. Culture readiness, 6. Content readiness, 7. Support readiness, 8. Assessment readiness, 9. Human Resource readiness, 10.Education policy readiness, 11. Standards readiness; 12. Financial readiness; 13. Security Readiness; 14. Equipment readiness; 15. Psychological readiness; 16.Technology readiness, 17. Institution readiness, 18. Acceptance readiness, 19. Training readiness; 20. Infrastructure readiness; 21. Skill readiness; 22. Business readiness.

After reviewing the above models and their literature, although each researcher describes his own model in identifying and assessing the success outcomes of e-learning programs according to his own scope and that there is no one simple rule or recipe to follow (Garrison, 2011), however, we can relate how e-readiness contributes to the success of the educational programs since most of the models highlight it as main or sub factor, or even if it wasn’t mentioned in both main or sub-factor, most of the researchers recommend a comprehensive readiness assessment that should be conducted to each component of the framework in order to assure its feasibility and effectiveness. Policy makers and regulatory bodies have to be aware of the degree of e-readiness of a populace in order to design and implement efficient e-learning programmes (Kaur & Zoraini Wati, 2004).

The next chapter will identify and explore e-readiness as one of the main dimensions that are significant for the implementation of e-Learning in the context of higher education.