The competencies required for effective performance in a university e-learning environment

Mitchell Parkes, Christine Reading, Sarah Stein


The aim of this study was to identify and rate the importance of the competencies required by students for effective performance in a university e-learning environment mediated by a learning management system. Two expert panels identified 58 e-learning competencies considered to be essential for e-learning. Of these competencies, 22 were related to the use of technology. The remaining 36 competencies encapsulated a range of practices considered to be essential for learning within a social constructivist framework. Six of the competencies identified were either new or substantially different from what had been previously identified in the literature. A survey of e-learning stakeholders rating the importance of the e-learning competencies indicated that the competencies were not of equal importance. Critically, a number of key competencies from a social constructivist perspective that dealt with interacting and working with others were rated as being unimportant. This suggests that there is a disconnect between what the literature says about the importance of social constructivism to e-learning environments in theory and what e-learning stakeholders perceive its importance to be in practice.

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