A case study of an international e-learning training division: Meeting objectives


  • Rory McGreal Athabasca University




distance education, open learning, e-learning, online learning, elearning management


This paper presents an evaluation of the work of the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) eLearning with International Organisations (eLIO) section. Participants in the investigation included a representative sample of the learners (N = 15), their supervisors (N = 5), and the COL staff, including all of the eLIO staff (N = 10). The methodology consisted of an examination of all relevant documents, interviews that formed a learning history, and a sample survey. The investigation concluded that the eLIO achieved its goal of developing a distance learning model, and it met or exceeded identified objectives, with a high degree of satisfaction expressed by all participants. This included teaching +2000 satisfied learners; partnering with eight international organizations; achieving a 62% female participation rate and a high completion rate (75%) in the courses provided; testing, piloting, and delivering two new elearning courses; conducting needs analyses; recruiting/training highly qualified tutors; monitoring; and using appropriate technologies. Shortcomings of the programmes include the lack of pre- and post-tests, little analysis of pricing structures, some unclear instructions (a need for plain English), unclear copyright licensing, only very limited use of available OER software, and the absence of a succession plan for the manager. Based on the high level of satisfaction among all participants, it was recommended that the section maintain its present work and address these shortcomings.

Author Biography

Rory McGreal, Athabasca University

Rory McGreal is a Professor and Associate Vice President, Research at Athabasca University – Canada’s Open University. Rory graduated from McGill University with a joint Honours in History and Russian. He has a Bachelor of Education from Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS in language teaching. His Master’s degree from Concordia University, Montreal was in Applied Linguistics. . His Ph.D. degree in Computer Technology in Education at Nova Southeastern University’s School for Computer and Information Science was taken at a distance using the Internet.

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How to Cite

McGreal, R. (2009). A case study of an international e-learning training division: Meeting objectives. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(6), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v10i6.619



Research Articles