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The internet has made it impossible for higher education institutions to ignore technology in fulfilling their strategic mission and respond to the expectations of a diverse student body. In the Republic of Ireland, as elsewhere, the use of online technologies has become an increasingly important challenge in academic staff development, and on the surface, eLearning has been moderately successful in the teaching and learning environment. However, given the rapid rate of change in both technology and the increasing diversity in academic staff and students, to describe accurately the nature of eLearning for academic staff development is near impossible. There has been a constant balancing and rebalancing of the pedagogical and technical elements in teaching and learning online, and while much of the talk has been about pedagogy, many of the problems have been technical in nature. Furthermore, the issue of transferability of innovative approaches and developing the capacity to respond to innovation and rapid change remains a key area. This paper asks whether the technologies are being used in the best possible way. Calls for innovation within teaching and learning suggest eLearning, and as a result it is important to consider what influences staff engagement and participation in eLearning. In this way, a better understanding may emerge of the conceptions and practical approaches to their practice used by academic staff and eLearning developers.
Donnelly, R., O'Rourke, K.: What Now?: Evaluating eLearning CPD Practice in Irish Third-Level Education. Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol.31, 1, 2007,pp.31-40.