Ethics, Globalization and Information Technology in Higher Education

By Glenn Russell.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The increased use of virtual learning environments (VLEs) in Higher Education is inextricably associated with the pressures of globalization. The pressures of international competition, supported by the widespread availability of online courses in which the traditional physical face-to-face contact between lecturers and students is not the predominant learning mode creates a dilemma for administrators. The distancing effect caused by the physical and temporal separation of lecturers and students creates an ethical problem in that the financial needs of corporations and institutions can be valorized at the expense of humanistic concerns such as interpersonal relationships and the contribution of such relationships to a harmonious society. A solution to this problem is proposed. This involves the active consideration of ethical concerns before any online course is offered. In addition, a four-step process is outlined in which the social and ethical effects of VLEs are considered. Such procedures and processes ask management and individual lecturers to consider the long-term effects of the tools and pedagogies used on society, in addition to the immediate objective such as students’ achievement of knowledge objectives or course completion.

Keywords: Globalization, ICT, Virtual Learning Environments, Ethics, Higher Education

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 8, pp.29-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 542.472KB).

Glenn Russell

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Frankston, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Glenn Russell spent nearly twenty years teaching in country and suburban schools in Victoria, Australia before joining Griffith University, Queensland, where he received his doctorate in1998. He has developed an international reputation in virtual schooling, cyberspace, educational uses of hypertext, and ethics in distance education. Since 1999 he has been part of the Faculty of Education at Monash University, in Victoria, Australia, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in ICTE. His current research involves ethical uses of information and communications technology in school and university education, educational futures in globalized environments, and responsibilities in online schools. He is particularly interested in ways that schooling may change in response to new uses of Information and Computer Technologies in Education (ICTE). He is one of the joint authors of Finger, Russell, Jamieson-Proctor , and Russell, . (2007) Transforming Learning with ICTs - Make IT Happen! French’s Forest: Pearsons Australia.

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