The role of electronic commerce in the transformation of distance education

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

14 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-127
Journal / PublicationJournal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


The distance learning industry has served society well for the continued education of professionals on a part-time, flexible, and remote basis. However, with the explosive development and deployment of advanced information technology (IT) such as digital libraries and electronic publishing, distance education will undergo major changes in organizational design and structure and in the way courses are taught, grades are assigned, and degrees are certified. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) as a form of IT is not just a new technological means that can make the conventional business model of distance education more efficient; it will also induce the transformation of the existing educational processes and organizational structures, thus creating new and more effective learning environments. In this article, we discuss why e-commerce will reshape the entire distance learning sector and how this change might come about. We examine conventional distance learning models, investigate the potential of automating distance learning processes, discuss relevant economic mechanisms, and propose a novel theoretical model for an e-commerce-based, distributed distance education (distriducation). Finally, we present some empirical evidence supporting our theory.

Research Area(s)

  • Distance learning/education, Electronic commerce, IT impact, Networked education services, Online learning, Organization redesign, Process automation