Challenges and Achievements in Using E-learning in Open Education: A Case Study of Al-Quds Open University
This research aims to explore the current situation of e-learning at Al-Quds Open University (QOU), Palestine. The University has achieved significant growth in this new method of education. It has implemented various blended learning modes using Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle), video streaming technology, virtual classes technology, and a web conferencing programme called Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate Live and Wimba Classroom) after adopting the e-learning pattern for the first time from the first semester 2008/2009 (ID:1081). The present research is considered to be an exploratory and a descriptive one, collecting information about e-learning and exploring the challenges from the researcher’s point of view in open and distance education at QOU. The views of the experts collected for this study were appreciated by colleagues of the same university.
Al-Quds Open University was the first university among the Palestinian universities to adopt open and distance learning using different methods of e-learning. Therefore, the researcher assumes that it is very necessary to describe the experiment and throw light on the main challenges faced during the process and try to suggest some measurements to address these challenges.
While trying to achieve the goals and implement the strategy many challenges arise that threatened to hinder the educational process, such as, weak technological infrastructure, restrictions on the import of crucial technological equipment, necessary infrastructure in telecommunications, difficulties of sourcing funding finances, non-recognition of the official authorities in some neighboring countries and low incentives to teach e-learning courses. E-learning consumes more time and effort, therefore, the researcher tried to explore these challenges and suggest measures to help the University overcome these challenges, such as, organising training programmes for academic and administrative staff, coordinating with private companies to provide students computers and high speed Internet at affordable prices, building attractive intensive programmes to encourage university employees integrate technology with passion in the e-learning teaching programmes to improve the e-learning march towards achieving the primary goals and education plans of the University.