Sustaining eLearning Innovations: A Research Study Report

Cathy Gunn & Rhiannon Herrick (Nov 2011)
The study explored issues of sustainability for elearning innovations that begin as funded projects in Australasian universities, and develop outside of an enterprise learning management system. It builds on earlier research conducted by the principal investigator, and features a literature review, and collection and analysis of data from 22 case studies by an independent researcher.
One outcome of the study is this report, identifying issues and recommending strategies to promote sustainable elearning innovations. The literature review will be made available as a separate document.
The independent researcher played a key role in avoiding potential bias from a principal investigator whose experience has shaped strong opinions on the topic being studied. While this ensured the integrity of the research process, it also led to conclusions and recommendations that some stakeholders do not consider to be definitive strategies to support sustainable innovations. The recommendations are logical conclusions from the data collected, and offer some obvious advances.
However, it must be accepted that they are not exhaustive answers to some of the more complex questions around how to sustain innovations. For this, a different mindset and organizational structures may be required. In keeping with the qualitative research tradition, all perspectives are presented for readers to peruse.

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