U.S. Entering ‘Golden Age of E-Learning’: Southeast Professor

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 15, 2011 — It is possible we are entering a “golden age of e-learning,” according to a Southeast Missouri State University business professor in a recently published book.

“In the United States, 4.6 million students took at least one online course during fall 2008, a 17 percent increase from the previous year,” writes Dr. Sean Eom, Southeast professor of accounting and management information systems, along with co-author J.B. Arbaugh of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the preface to their new book.

Eom says research by Dr. I Elaine Allen and Dr. Jeff Seaman, co-directors of the Babson Survey Research Group at Babson College, shows the impact of the recent economic downturn has been greatest on demand for online courses, with 66 percent of institutions reporting increased demand for new courses and programs and 73 percent seeing increased demand for existing online courses and programs. Similar reactions to e-learning are occurring across the globe, according to Eom.

In the recently published book, “Student Satisfaction and Learning Outcomes in E-Learning,” the authors discuss different forms of measuring the success of students in the real world who are taught with e-learning methods.

As the use of e-learning technologies increases, it becomes important to assess how electronic-based teaching methods can best serve students, Eom and Arbaugh write.

“Empirical studies suggest that online education is not a universal innovation applicable to all types of instructional situations,” according to the authors. Online education can be “a superior mode of instruction,” they write, when targeted to specific learning styles and combined with appropriate instructor feedback.

Eom is the author/editor of eight books in e-learning, decision support systems, and inter-organizational information systems. He has published more than 50 refereed journal articles and more than 80 articles in encyclopedia, book chapters, and proceedings. The Decision Sciences Institute honored him with the 2006 Best Paper in Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education (DSJIE).  Google Scholar Database citation statistics indicate that his 2006 DSJIE article is the most frequently cited article among all of the articles in DSJIE as of July 2011. 

The book is published by IGI Global, which provides comprehensive research materials on computer science and information technology management, focusing on the ways in which information technology affects human activities and interactions across disciplines.

To learn more about “Student Satisfaction and Learning Outcomes in E-Learning: An Introduction to Empirical Research,” visit: http://www.igi-global.com/bookstore/titledetails.aspx?TitleId=47445. To order the book, call (717) 533-8845, ext. 110.