My book

Online Education and Learning Management Systems

Global E-learning in a Scandinavian Perspective

Picture of the book: Online Education and Learning Management Systems - Global e-learning in a Scandinavian Perspective. A book written by Morten Flate Paulsen.
By Morten Flate Paulsen
Professor of Online Education, Doctor of Education and Master of Science in Engineering
With Contributions about Online Education in Denmark and Sweden by Søren Nipper and Carl Holmberg
European Forewords by Erwin Wagner and Ingeborg Bø
Canadian Postscript by Dominique Abrioux
ISBN: 82 562 5894 2 (printed version);
ISBN: 82 562 6048 3 (PDF version);
Pages: 337. Publisher: NKI Forlaget

Online Education: A Human Touch of Technology

International Book Reviews

It is a pleasure to welcome a major book on e-learning from a European author....This book should be of the greatest interest to the European Commission and steps should be taken at once to draw the attention of senior administrators within the Commission to it... (Desmond Keegan, Distance Education International, Ireland)
The book is interesting, important, innovative, international, and impressive. (Dr. Erwin Wagner, former President of the European Distance Education Network)
One is overwhelmed by the amount of material presented in the book - and impressed by the clear structure of its presentation. (Christian Dalsgaard, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
In short, it is a highly recommendable book. (Maria Victoria Martín, Institut of Educational Ciencies, University of Barcelona, Spain)
[It] is an interesting and important contribution to the growing literature on technology-enabled learning.... the scope of the book goes far beyond LMS, providing a very useful historical and international review and perspective of online education. (Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, eLearning Forum, U.S.A)
This book is a much welcomed addition to the literature on the development of online education. It is of great interest not just because the author reports and builds on the evolution of e-learning pedagogy and learning management systems in the Nordic countries, but because he does so from a comparatist's perspective. (Dominique Abrioux, President of Athabasca University, Canada
This book is designed for a broad, international audience and is a must-have for anybody in the business of running online education. (Sirje Virkus, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)
This is a "must have" resource for students, practitioners and policy-makers in the online education world. (Norine Wark, MDE, Athabasca University, Canada) is evident that this book is not only of great interest but also a kind of thesaurus of information on online education of very great value to distance educators and others who are interested in the status of online education today. (Börje Holmberg, Sweden)
In conclusion, this book provides a clear view of the field of online education and a general framework to help us understand and grasp the main trends taking place in the field... (Daniel Peraya, TECFA, University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Reviews and Recommendations of the book

List of contents with links to selected chapters and additional online resources


Introductory Part
Drawing illustrating that Online education is surpassing Old Traditional Universities. A picture from the book Online Education and Learning Management Systems
Part One: Online Education, Teaching, and Learning
Part Two: Commercial and Self-developed LMS Systems
Drawing illustrating that a Learning Management System (LMS) could be a troll with three heads


Part Three: Global E-learning in a Nordic Perspective
  • The Nordic Scene
  • Online Education and LMS Systems in the Nordic Countries
  • Online Learning in Denmark: A Personal Account
  • Anecdote 6. Nordic Virtual Universities
  • On the Move Towards Online Education in Sweden
  • Anecdote 7. The Swedish Challenges: A Provocative Statement. (Hear the author's statment recorded as an MP3 file)
  • Online Education Support Systems in Scandinavian and Australian Universities: A Comparative Study
  • Anecdote 8. NKI Fjernundervisning: Two Decades of Online Sustainability
Part Four: Trends and Future Developments
Drawing illustrating American educational imperialism: In the US, online educators tend to perceive the Internet as their home market. In the Nordic countries, educators regard it as an opportunity to study online courses from the United States. If these countries do not change their attitudes, they may soon experience a disturbing form of, American instructional imperialism. The Nordic countries are in several ways ahead of the US with regard to online education. Still, it is quite possible that American online tutors will dominate online education in the Nordic countries, just as American textbooks already dominate Nordic higher education.
List of Figures, Tables, Noteworthy Lists, and List of Photographies (pdf)
List 1. Seven interesting online teaching opportunities
List 2. Fourteen interventions to stimulate learner persistence and reduce dropouts
List 3. Five strategies to organize and improve online assessment
List 4. Eight strategies to reduce teacher workload
List 5. Eight strategic online education recommendations
List 6. Six strategic recommendations from the Web-edu project
List 7. Nine barriers to Scandinavian online education collaboration
List 8. Six important LMS findings related to Nordic issues
List 9. Twelve reasons for NKI's success
List 10. Thirteen important findings about LMS improvements

About the book

Prior to year 2000 Scandinavian universities offered selected online courses attracting a few pioneering students. Today, even primary schools offer online services to students, teachers and parents. Online education is becoming mainstream education in Scandinavia.
This book is intended for an international audience with an interest in education and the Internet. It will be of special value to students, teachers, course designers, administrators, decision makers and educational officers in public and private sectors. The book discusses major developments in online education, and provides illustrating examples from the author's Scandinavian and international research. It includes articles outlining a theory of online education, teaching techniques, learning management systems, recommendations for decision makers and terminology.
The author, Dr. Morten Flate Paulsen, has worked within the field of online education since 1985. In this book he combines theoretical articles with popular anecdotes and personal experiences. This untraditional approach has made the book comprehensive, interesting and enjoyable.
The book has an international perspective, which the author has developed through nearly 20 years of participation in the international online education arena. This includes his Adjunct Professorship at the Athabasca University in Canada, his doctoral studies at Pennsylvania State University, his work as editor of the Distance Education Online Symposium (DEOS), his research on online education in Australia, and his participation in nine European research projects.
The printed book is designed and developed with the intention of becoming an experimental, digital, online, multimedia publication.

Multimedia interview
The author is interviewed by Jane (a Voxit Budgie computerized voice) about the book. Here is one of the questions:
Jane: I understand that you are really concerned about the heavy workload reported by online teachers. Is this the most important challenge for online teachers?
Drawing illustrating the Online teacher workloadDr. Paulsen: Yes, online education will never become a large-scale success until we are able to limit the teacher workload. Therefore it is extremely important to consider the workload, especially during development of course assignments. Online education offers students excellent opportunities for individual communication with their tutors. They can be contacted via e-mail 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Few learning environments provide such opportunities for individual access to teachers. It is obvious that online students appreciate always having a personal tutor available. It is the students' dream, but it could soon become a nightmare for the tutors.
The complete interview is available as:
Multimedia interview with Morten Flate Paulsen about his book on e-learning, online education and learning management systems (LMS).
Quotes and pointed statements
With appropriate references you have permission to use, copy and reffer to these thirty quotes and pointed statements from the book. With appropriate references you may also use these manual and autorun PowerPoint slides in your presentations.

Test yourself with these example quizzes taken from the book content.

Glossary with definition of terms used in the book

Online education: There are many terms for online education. Some of them are: virtual education, Internet-based education, Web-based education, and education via computer-mediated communication (CMC). The following definition of online education is based on Desmond Keegan's (1988) definition of distance education. Hence, online education is characterized by:
  • the separation of teachers and learners which distinguishes it from face-to-face education
  • the influence of an educational organization which distinguishes it from self-study and private tutoring
  • the use of a computer network to present or distribute some educational content
  • the provision of two-way communication via a computer network so that students may benefit from communication with each other, teachers, and staff
Sustainable online education is characterized by its ability to persist when extraordinary internal or external funding stops. Unfortunately, it seems to be a rare phenomenon. In most cases online education is sustainable when it generates an economic surplus or reduces costs.

E-learning is here defined as interactive learning in which the learning content is available online and provides automatic feedback to the student's learning activities. Online communication with real people may or may not be included, but the focus of e-learning is usually more on the learning content than on communication between learners and tutors.

E-learning could be viewed as an online descendant of computer-based training (CBT) and computer-aided instruction (CAI).

Unfortunately, the term e-learning is often used as a more generic term and as a synonym for online education. Kaplan-Leiserson has developed an online e-learning glossary, which provides this definition:
E-learning covers a wide set of applications and processes, such as Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio-and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and CD-ROM.
The term e-learning is not very precise, and it should be pointed out that learning is just one element of education. So, the term online education should cover a much broader range of services than the term e-learning. One may also claim that e-learning companies often focus on course content, while online education institutions cover the whole range of educational services.

Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) focuses on socially oriented theories of learning using computer technologies to support collaborative methods of instruction.

Instructional design is characterized by a systematic and reflective process of applying principles of learning and instruction to develop instructional materials, activities, information resources, and evaluation.

Mobile learning (m-learning): The term m-learning is derived from the term e-learning. It is a form of online learning that can take place anytime, anywhere with the help of a mobile computer device. The device must be capable of presenting learning content and providing wireless two-way communication between teacher(s) and student(s).

Learning Management System (LMS) is a broad term that is used for a wide range of systems that organize and provide access to online learning services for students, teachers, and administrators. These services usually include access control, provision of learning content, communication tools, and administration of user groups. Another term that often is used as a synonym for LMS is learning platform.

Virtual learning environment (VLE) is a term that to some extent is used instead of LMS. The two terms have more or less the same meaning, but one may argue that VLE focusses less on the features related to the management of learning.

Read the complete glossary with definitions of e-learning terms such as content creation tools, authoring tools, assesment tools, learning content management system, learning object, synchronous communication and asynchronous communication.

International Reviews and Recommendations of the book

Reviews in English:
Recommendations in English:
The online version was used as readings for the Boldic International Online Conference, October 27 to November 21, 2003

Scandinavian Reviews of the book
Denne boka vil være til stor nytte for lærere, studieadministrativt personale og politiske myndigheter som planlegger satsning på nettbasert læring, det være seg institusjonelt, regionalt eller på landsbasis....(Anmeldelse i av Kjell Åge Bringsrud, Institutt. for Informatikk, Universitetet i Oslo)
Morten Flate Paulsen er en av pionerene på nettlæring her til lands. Boken er praktisk orientert og beskriver blant annet fordeler og ulemper med nettlæring, teknikker for undervisning på nett, erfaringer fra vellykkede prosjekter og trender og fremtidsutsikter på området. Boken er krydret med konkrete eksempler fra erfarne nettlærere. Kapitlet Online Teaching Techniques anbefales særlig for deg som har eller planlegger nettstøttet undervisning. (Universitetet i Oslo: Bokomtaler)
Denna bok är ett utomordentligt intressant arbete, tillgängligt dels på Nätet, dels i tryck. För information om praxis inom online-undervisningen är det en guldgruva....(Recention i Per Distans av Börje Holmberg)
Det vrimler med betegnelser som online uddannelse, fleksibel læring, teknologistøttet uddannelse og e-læring, der betyder mange forskellige ting for mange mennesker. Aktuelt er der et stort behov for at definere begreberne, så vi kan være nogenlunde enige om, hvad vi mener, når vi bruger dem. Morten Flate Paulsen har udgivet en væsentlig bog, som kan være med til at skabe øget klarhed over betydningen af de nye betegnelser....(Anmeldelse af anbefalelsesværdig bog i diskusjonsforumet til dansk Computerworld og Nordisk Pedagogik nr 2, 2004 av Bent B. Andresen, Danmarks Pedagogiske Universitet)
Bogens indhold er omfangsrigt og overvældende, men det er præsenteret i en klar og struktureret form. Bogen er et omfattende katalog over de mange facetter af netbaseret læring....(Anmeldelse av Online Education and LMS i Linqx av Christian Dalsgaard, Informations- og Medievidenskab, Aarhus Universitet)
[Boken] er et interessant og viktig bidrag til den voksende litteraturen innen teknologistøttet læring....[den presenterer] svært nyttige historiske og internasjonale oversikter og perspektiver på nettbasert utdanning...(Bokanmeldelse av Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, eLearning Forum, U.S.A.)

Scandinavian Recommendations of the book
  • Berlingske Tidende: Gør uddannelse til en eksportvare....I dag oplever vi nærmest en amerikansk uddannelsesimperialisme. De skandinaviske lande burde gøre langt mere for at markere sig internationalt som et alternativt uddannelsestilbud....
  • Computerworld Danmark: Danmark misser oplagt eksport af e-læ nordiske lande har alle forudsætninger for at stille sig i spidsen for den internationale udvikling på området - men de gør det ikke....
  • Insights@CBS, forskningsbulletin ved Copenhagen Business School: Utfordringer i dansk nettbasert utdanning....De skandinaviske landene ligger langt fremme når det gjelder nettbasert utdanning. Dette gjelder spesielt på områder som teknologisk infrastruktur, innføring av Learning Management Systemer (LMS), integrasjon mellom LMS systemer og studentadministrative systemer, og antall institusjoner med mange kurs....
  • Universiteternes efter- og videreuddannelse -
  • Fagbevægelsens Interne Uddannelser, Nyhedsbrev Uge 52 / 2003
  • Universitetsavisa: For mye teknikk, for lite pedagogikk. ... Noe annet som går igjen hos Paulsens informanter, er at det ligger en potensiell konflikt mellom administrasjon og ledelse på den ene siden, og de faglig ansatte på den andre....
  • Computerworld Norge: Norge best på elektronisk opplæring.... I elektronisk form leveres boken, Online Education and Learning Management Systems, som et PDF-dokument. Dermed er det mulig å gjøre fritekstsøk og klikke på aktive lenker i boken....
  • Norgesuniversitetet: Global e-læring i skandinavisk perspektiv...Det er ikke ofte det kommer viktige bøker om e-læring fra Europa. e-Læring er enda mer enn andre deler av utdanningssektoren dominert av inflytelsen fra Nord-Amerika. Et velkomment unntak er den nye boken til utviklingsleder ved NKI, Morten Flate Paulsen.
  • Frukostklubben: Spännande bok på gång i november: Vad ligger bakom Sveriges försprång vad gäller nätanvändning och vår höga datormognad? Och vad hände med alla vackra ord och initiativ?
  • Nätuniversitetet: Ny bok från Norge: ...tar upp frågan om e-learning som en global fråga. I Australien är det snart den största aktören på landets exportmarknad, medan Norden har en mera modest inställning till att globalisera utbildningsutbudet. Det är ett av ett flertal tema på IT-stödd distansutbildning som tas upp i boken. Den är intressant läsning för allt från studenter, lärare, till politiker.
  • Nationellt centrum för flexibelt lärande: Ny bok om e-lärande i Norden: Nu kan en internationell läsekrets ta del av nordiska erfarenheter av distansutbildning och lärplattformar....
  • Luleå tekniska universitet: Läsvärt om distansutbildning och lärplattformar ur ett skandinaviskt perspektiv



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