Critical Analysis of Learners' Behaviors in e-Learning Environments


Online learning environments are designed with multimedia and using newest technologies and tools. However, Woodill [1] reports that there is a rapid increase in the literature reporting failures of e-learning practices. Researchers report that e-learning programmes fail as a result of poor design of the online learning content (e.g.[2];[3];[4]). This implies that the design of the learning content can influence the successfulness of the learning programme which is delivered through the online learning environment. Therefore, it is important to consider how we should design content in an online learning environment to make it successful.

An online course was designed and evaluated to find the successfulness of it in achieving learner satisfaction towards the OLE and how effective it is in supporting students to score high marks at the examinations of the course (learning effectiveness). Further, data were gathered and analyzed to find what design factors of the online course led to the learner satisfaction and learning effectiveness; in terms of students’ perceived learning. The results of the analysis were used to improve the set of instructional design guidelines that was followed to design the online course.


  1. G. Woodill, “Where is the Learning in E-learning? A Critical Analysis of the e-Learning Industry,” Operitel Corporation, 2004. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 22 August 2010].
  2. A. Bork, and D. R. Britton Jr., “The Web is not yet suitable for learning”. Computer, vol.31, no.6, pp. 115-116, 1998.
  3. A .A. Hamid, “E-Learning , is it the ‘e’ or the learning that matters? “, Internet and Higher Education, vol. 4, pp. 311-316, 2002.
  4. J. Ismail, “The design of an e-learning system beyond the hype”, Internet and Higher Education, vol.4, pp. 329-336, 2002.

List of publications

  1. Weerasinghe, T. A., Nishakumari, K. M. G. B., & Hewagamage, K. P. (2007). Gap between theory and practice: Human factors in designing and developing effective e-learning materials for a structured syllabus. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on eLearning for Knowledge-Based Society. [online] Retrieved January 20, 2009 from
  2. Weerasinghe, T. A., Ramberg, R. & Hewagamage, K. P (2008). Learners' satisfaction, learning style preferences and effective use of an OLE, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 3, pp. 77-85. [Abstract available from]
  3. Weerasinghe, T. A., Ramberg, R. & Hewagamage, K. P. (2009). Designing online learning environments for distance learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, vol.6, no. 3. [Online] Available from: