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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This is the first in a series of three papers about online pedagogy and educational practice as part of the JISE "Online Education Forum." This paper deals with the question: Why is the shift toward online education happening? This is a complex issue that involves questions of educational access, paradigms for teaching and learning, competition and globalization among universities, the development of new and better online technologies, and the financial pressures facing higher education. A huge transition is underway. The same networking and computing technology that has revolutionized global commerce, and many other facets of modem life, is now being targeted at education. Partnering the Internet with modem course management systems makes it possible for universities to offer online coursework on a global basis. The critical task that lies ahead is to create and disseminate curricula of high quality that students can embrace and educators can sustain. The overall objective of JISE's Online Education Forum is to examine the realities of college and university online teaching, and the processes of education using today's information technologies. Collectively, the authors of this paper have taught over a hundred different university-level courses online, both graduate and undergraduate, mostly using the Internet. The issues and insights discussed in this Forum will provide educators with important tools and the understanding needed to effectively embrace the world of online education.

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