The Transition from Distance to Online Education: Perspectives from the Educational Management Horizon

Tor Söderström [],
Jörgen From [],
Jeanette Lövqvist [],
Anette Törnquist [],
Department of Education, Umeå University, Sweden
In Sweden, higher education has moved away from distance education, including physical meetings, to online education with no physical meetings at all. This article focuses on the shift from distance to online education using an educational management perspective that is based on economic, staff, and student data collected between 1994 and 2010 (Department of Education, Umeå University). The results showed that in 2005, the number of distance education students increased significantly. In 2007, when all distance courses shifted to online courses, the number of students increased even further. The online courses attract many more students compared to traditional campus courses. Overall, the transition from distance to online courses has contributed to more students, an economy of scale that makes it possible to increase pedagogic development work. The online courses have also contributed to better working conditions for teachers. Without a deliberate educational management strategy, general educational courses might have been discontinued, a choice that would threaten the study of education as an academic discipline per se. As a result of these conditions, we believe ICT pedagogical development needs technical and pedagogical support as well as strategic leadership.
Full Text: European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning.

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