Web-based Education in Japan: Myth and Reality

K. Aoki (Japan)


Web-Based Education, e-Learning, Japan


This paper discusses the status of web-based education implementation in Japanese higher education institutions. It discusses that web-based education has not been adopted by Japanese universities wholeheartedly despite the availability of a highly developed ICT infrastructure nationwide. The main reasons for such gap between technological availability and its actual implementation can be attributable to the lack of support systems to facilitate the utilization of ICT in instructional processes and the lack of long term strategic visions to utilize ICT to enhance teaching and learning in many higher education institutions in Japan. These dilemmas are evaluated from the cultural, societal and managerial perspectives. Cultural perspectives included shared values and customs among policy makers and practitioners. Societal considerations involve the university system itself, its funding structure, and the demand of web-based education among potential students. From the managerial point of view issues such as leadership of university governance and long-term strategic visions of the institution are examined. Finally future prospects of e learning in Japan are discussed.

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