Book Reviews

Online Learning Today: Strategies That Work

Reviewed by Philip Knight
Superintendent, Alamogordo Public Schools, Alamogordo , N.M.

Online Learning Today provides the reader with a no-nonsense guide on why, how, when and where to incorporate electronic learning. Though the book is intended mainly for those who design and deliver online training and performance management systems, school administrators will find the book’s content exceedingly beneficial when articulating the importance of e-learning to their many constituencies.

Co-authors Heather Shea-Schultz and John Fogarty, both e-learning researchers, draw from their professional experiences and thousands of hours of interviews with the top e-learning gurus to arrive at the conclusion that nearly anything can be effectively taught online. Even so, few elementary and secondary schools have paid heed to the merits of e-learning, a situation the authors believe will soon change due to such pressures as home schooling and the emerging global economy.

Each chapter begins with an e-learning case study. The salient discussion points culled from each case study then are analyzed using real-world examples and current research findings. This approach not only offers a general background of e-learning, it also exposes the reader to the authors’ seven core strategies of e-learning: catering to the learner, achieving buy-in, saving time and money, taming the technology, orchestrating the three sides of design, thinking globally while learning locally and partnering with purpose and passion.

Online Learning Today will serve as a primer for the administrator who wishes to better understand e-learning.

(Online Learning Today: Strategies That Work by Heather Shea-Schultz and John Fogarty, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, Calif., 2002, 200 pp., $18.95 softcover)