Introduction

 

Educational institutions and organizations take decisions on the application of e-learning with the convergence of technology in teaching and learning. E-learning is the acquisition and use of knowledge distributed and facilitated primarily by electronic means.  (Mercado, 2008) This form of learning currently depends on networks and computers but will likely evolve into systems consisting of a variety of channels (e.g., wireless, satellite), and technologies (e.g., cellular phones, PDAs) as they are developed and adopted. E-learning can take the form of courses as well as modules and smaller learning objects. E-learning may incorporate synchronous or asynchronous access and may be distributed geographically with varied limits of time (Wentling, et al., 2000).  The term online learning in its broadest form refers to all types of learning that takes place via the computer (Marcial, Caballero, Rendal, & Patrimonio, 2015). Online learning is an education in which instruction and content are delivered primarily over the internet technology. Learning has already extended beyond the four walls of the classroom and now takes place wherever you go, whatever you do.

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All schools are expected to implement e-learning. However successful implementation of e-learning relies on the level of ICT infrastructure readiness and user’s readiness. To adopt e-learning, schools should attain the expected level of physical infrastructure development and e-learning users should also acquire necessary technical competency blended with positive attitudes and perceptions towards e-learning. E-learning implementation requires physical infrastructure, technical expertise and psychological readiness.  E-learning platform can only be managed and used by people with some level of technical skills.  In addition to teachers’ ICT capacity, Broadley (2007) affirms that teachers’ perception and attitude towards e-learning play a critical role in e-learning implementation (Red, Borlongan, Briagas, & Mendoza, 2013).  However, for some students, and teachers, e-learning is too easygoing and foreign, and a number of teachers feel that technology takes a lot of control off their hands (Mansour & Mupinga, 2007). To successfully adopt e-learning, it is necessary to examine users’ technical capacity and perception towards technology as well as the readiness of the organization to uncover the potentials of the virtual classrooms and online learning.

 

In the Philippines, the online learning phenomenon has moved educational institutions to a big leap from the traditional way of instruction. As information and communication technologies traverse its way, Filipinos way of learning has crossed borders making them non-existent. However, in general, the Philippines struggles to level-up to its fullest the utilization of online learning systems and strategies to educational institutions at all academic levels, especially in the countryside. In fact in the recent report of Barbour, et. al, of the 23 reported countries, Philippines indicated no government funding for blended or online learning. The Philippines’ Education for All (EFA 2015) program which is aligned with the Millennium Development Goals (MGAs) has been silent on online education. Seemingly, online learning in public education is concentrated at the tertiary level. Some of the known universities have paved the way to embracing e-learning anchored to their degree programs: the University of the Philippines Open University known of its MODEL, De La Salle University, Ateneo De Manila University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and EDIS of the St. Paul University Philippines which promotes online learning.

 

Notwithstanding the major barriers to educators and organization leaders (i.e. lack of required ICT skills, ICT-related pedagogical skills, the presence of IT infrastructure) in developing countries, like Philippines, educational systems are looking to e-learning programs to help address these challenges and to substantially improve the quality, delivery, and content of education. (Olson, et al., 2011). Teacher’s success in handling e-learning program depends on their prior technical experience in information technology. E-learning is too demanding to let teachers learn to use these tools only by experience. It is generally accepted that the e-learning competencies for teachers require a longer course about the technical use of the virtual learning environment. (Eslaminejad, Masood, & Ngah, 2009). Educators should take advantage of computer networks to improve the methods and technologies deployed for distance education and to foster the growth of learning communities (Esteves, 2012).

 

The Cagayan State University, 37 years after having been established in 1978 through PD 1494, is the largest state university in Cagayan Valley region offering more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs catering almost 38 thousand students from across the 8 satellite campuses namely, Aparri, Andrews, Carig, Gonzaga, Lal-lo, Lasam, Piat, and Sanchez Mira. The University brags to be the credible and distinguished higher education institution for having excelled in various discipline, topping board examinations in medicine, criminology, engineering, health sciences, and education. The Information Technology program, first opened in 1998, was offered in almost all campuses of the university except at Andrews. For more than 3 decades, Cagayan State University has not yet established a learning management system for the students. Although there was a tie-up as a delivery institution of the University of the Philippines Open University, CSU has not jump start into integrating fully educational technologies like LMS into its system. Though some undocumented learning management system has been utilized by some ITE faculty, there was no evidence in the University of a Learning Management System available for use by the students and teachers to further enhance delivery of quality instruction. Hence, the study looks into the readiness of the IT educators of Cagayan State University as the basis for policy development, instructional development, and administrative initiative.

 

The readiness on getting online is recognizing as one of the most critical aspects for achieving successful implementation of E-Learning programs in higher education. Understanding the role of the factors that could help university management to implement effective and efficient e-learning project (Hetty Rohayani.AH, Kurniabudi, & Sharipuddin, 2015). Assessing the readiness of an educational institution includes its stakeholders, governing policies and procedures, processes, and infrastructure would provide decision-makers to make necessary improvements. This study examines the organizational readiness along online learning among a substantial percentage of the faculty members of the Cagayan State University or CSU at Aparri.  In particular, the study took into account the key profile of the faculty members, their 21st-century competencies towards online learning, and the perceived assessment of the organizational e-learning readiness.  In addition, while the readiness of the faculty members will partially assess the readiness of the organization, the study further evaluate the organizational readiness considering such factors to ascertain possible institutionalization of online learning. From these, the study extracted the gaps for possible training towards online learning. The self-perceived challenges prior the institutionalization of online learning were obtained as part of this survey. It is hoped that the findings of the study will provide a concrete view for CSU administrators to make necessary development towards instructional quality, cost-effectiveness in ICT infrastructure, and policy development for students’ development.

 

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