INTRODUCTION teaching – has also proven relatively expensive.

INTRODUCTION

Regardless
if it is e-learning or traditional on-campus education, education has a large
and vital role to play for people living in developing countries. Learning and
knowledge are key factors, linked to people’s perceptions of economic as well
as social development. Groups of people who are categorized as highly educated
have a higher competitiveness in relation to receiving skilled jobs and
therefore, better possibilities to improve their lives. In recent decades, a
technological revolution has taken place in large parts of the modern world.
Society has moved from a society characterized by the living conditions of
industrialism to the present knowledge society where creativity and ingenuity
stimulates and drives the society. Earlier societies were characterized almost
exclusively by an educational system where teachers and students physically
interacted in the classroom. Major technological developments characterizing
society – especially during the last 20 years and mostly because of the
Internet. Today, for example, we are talking about concepts such as “the
flipped classroom” (Knewton, n.d.). This concept refers, among other things, to
the way that teachers and students in today’s educational systems use different
information and communication technologies (ICTs) for teaching and learning
activities in classrooms.

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 Another concept that has emerged during the
last 15 to 20 years is “e-learning or interactive module”. According to
Laurillard (2004), e-learning describes the interaction in which students use
several types of ICTs in their learning process. Education in a knowledge
society context is given a key role for developing latest ideas in learning and
teaching through e-learning. Many research studies demonstrate that ICTs and
e-learning are important for teachers and students in higher education. One
reason is that utilization of such technologies creates more flexible solutions
for students that mainly can study online – regardless of the student’s
geographical location. Current research also suggests that another important
change that ICT and e-learning brings is increased flexibility, making it
possible for universities around the world to enroll an increased number of
students, an aspect beneficial to the universities. In this thesis, the term
“higher education” describes educational activities at universities and
colleges from an economic point of view. However, another element of interactive
module to be mentioned here is that its implementation in teaching – at the
shift between traditional teaching and e-learning based teaching – has also
proven relatively expensive. There seems though to be a mutual understanding
among researchers that the use of e-learning in higher education, in the long
run, is far more cost effective compared to education being conducted in a more
traditional way. For example, Sanderson (2002) explained that this cost
decrease is a result of reductions in various operational costs. One reason
traditional teaching costs more than e-learning is because it involves more
staff expenses.

For
a university to be able to adopt and use interactive module in educational
activities, it is preferable that sufficient resources and conditions within
the organization already exist. Developing countries spend more money on higher
education, based on their assets and income, compared to more developed
countries. Despite that, developing countries spend considerably less resources
per student compared with developed countries and, thus, the fact remains that
the quality of higher education, to a significant extent, is dependent on
government grants.