Educational Innovation through ICT Use in the Large
Knowledge Resources Learning Community
Takashi Sakamoto, Prof. Dr.
Chairperson, AEN Promotion committee
President, Japan Association for Promotion of Educational Technology
Professor emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology and
National Institute of Multimedia Education
should be re-constructed. The new paradigm is that teaching
and learning in the wired environment represents the true
The main activities of the AEN include interoperability of
nature of education, but traditional face-to-face lessons in
technology, international standards and certification, e-
universities and schools are conceptually considered as just
learning professional development, quality assurance,
one set of all kinds of educational components. Any
management, validation, portal site development and research
educational provider can freely participate in the learning
trends analysis. A survey was conducted on the present state
of e-learning in ASEAN+3 countries. In Japan, e-Japan
In this context, the important issues seem to be quality
Strategy Statement I & II, e-Japan Priority Policy Program
assurance of educational systems, tools and contents, setting
2003&2004, and IT Policy Package 2005 also promote IT use
up national and international standards, copyrights, user
in education intensively.
protection, and blended learning. There is also a global need
In the background of these trends, changes have occurred
for collaboration within each sector as well as across different
in the use of ICT and the large knowledge resources in
sectors such as academia, industry, government, culture,
education and e-learning: changes of human resources
languages, countries, and ethnic groups. Advances of recent
requested, need for expertise to deal with the solutions for the
learning technologies could solve some of these problems.
sustainable development for saving the environment and the
human race, cultivating employment, emphasis on active self-
1. Structure of Asia E-Learning Network
learning in the networked environment, expansion of learning
activities in the social context, advances of learning
technologies, emphasis on cost-effectiveness and the wide
METI, Japan proposed an Asia e-Learning Initiative at the
introduction of quality assurance of all kinds of educational
AEM + 3 meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia in May 2001 and
components with national and international standards.
the proposal was approved as an AEM + 3 project by many
Following these recent changes in the learning
counties at the meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam in August. In FY
environment, the conceptual framework for dealing with
2002 Asia e-Learning Network was established and the first
teaching and learning in the networked learning community
international conference was held in Tokyo.
th n As
A ia R
r ng Netwo
Human network for promoting e-Learning in the region.
(a) Sharing information on the latest e-Learning trends and technologies
(b) Promoting interoperability of e-Learning systems and contents
(c) Promoting the spread of knowledge and effective use of e-Learning
Asia e-Learning Network
Then AEN Experimental Projects with 6 countries started.
The task of the WG3 was to enhance e-Leaning
In FY 2003 when Second international conference was also
Professionals. In this year the WG3 reconstructed
held in Tokyo, AEN four working groups were organized and
instructional design process models for reflecting
ALIVE (AEN LMS & contents Interoperability Validation
characteristics of e-learning approaches, defined a framework
Experiment) started. In 2004 the outcomes of the 4 working
of e-Learning professional classification in Asia, including
groups, results of ALIVE Experiment, and present state of
references and glossary, also defined the skill sets required
Asian countries were reported in the third international
for e-Learning Professionals, and conducted a questionnaire
conference in Singapore in December 2004.
survey on the state of e-Learning Professionals in AEN
The aim of the Asia e-Learning Initiative is to promote
countries. The results by 10 respondents from 11 AEN
Asian collaboration to facilitate the enhancement of e-
countries showed that instructional designers were highly
Learning through improving access to high-quality
evaluated, the Course Operation Supporters were also
education / training, standardization of e-learning system and
recognized as expecting high potential and having vague
technologies, and knowledge sharing among member
image, and Course Mentors were clearly needed, but
countries, and also to establish the Asia e-Learning Network.
unfortunately recognized as poor qualification.
The member countries are ASEAN +3 countries. These 13
Based on the survey, AEN countries were divided as four
countries selected respectively 2 delegates representing each
category groups as shown in the Table.
country. Most of the delegates belong to the related
Government sections, foundations, research institutions or
corporations. Many other specialists also participated the
activities such as information sharing, standardization,
Specialist Diploma course in e-Learning ID by
promotion, and implementation nationally and internationally.
NIE (National Institute of Education) (Singapore)
－ Many ID courses in Universities (Korea)
2. Activities of AEN in 2004 and 2005
• Well Developed
Main activities of AEN in 2004 were to implement research
－ IDer and other e-learning professionals are not so
and development activities of four working groups , to hold
popular. However, visibility is increasing, and
the third AEN international conference in Singapore, and to
there is a certain demand (Japan, Malaysia,
conduct the research survey on e-learning trends in Asian
Topics of four working groups are (1) Interoperability
Technology in WG1, (2) Standards Qualification in WG2,
－ In many cases, teacher/trainer carry all the burden.
(3)e-learning Professionals in WG3, and (4)e-Learning
However, there are some advanced cases like
Quality Assurance / Management in WG4.
UPOU (Univ. of the Philippines Open Univ.)
The tasks of the WG1 are to share technical information
and issues about platform and content in terms of e-learning
standards and to collaborate with US and Europe based
• Primary Stage
communities by exchanging information and requirements on
－ High demand for training course for e-learning
standards. As a standard platform for interoperability, the
SCORM (Sharable Courseware Object Reference Model) was
professionals and best practices from other
selected and promoted, and the validation experiment for
countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.)
LMS and content produced in participating countries was
conducted twice in 2004; one in Tokyo and another in
Moreover, maps of organizations were summarized
Singapore. In the ALIVE (AEN LMS and content
related to Quality Assurance activities in AEN countries The
Interoperability Validation Experiment) data was collected
Quality Check Tool was also developed for e-Learning
form 58 Japanese venders. 21 of them were never operated
contents and service.
with multiple LMS, but the 37 were operated with multiple
These outcomes of four WG are shown in the Portal Site
LMS, among them 19 had no interoperability problems and
of AEN (http://www.asia-elearning.net/.)
18 had some minor problems. 6 out of 11 contents provided
In December 2005 the final AEN conference of the 5
by Asian countries showed some interoperability problems.
years project was held in Tokyo and explicit outcomes were
The tasks of the WG2 were to examine SCORM
summarized. Through main activities such as establishment of
compliance qualification programs for maintenance of
interoperability among SCORM 2004 Compliant LMS and
interoperability, to review SCORM ASSESSOR qualification
content for e-learning, development of multilingual contents
programs and their deployment in participating countries, to
and system, enhancement of e-learning professionals,
share information with AEN participating countries on
preparation of quality assurance for e-learning contents and
interoperability technologies and the qualification programs,
services, preparation of portal site, significant achievement
and to find the problems in each country. The questionnaire
such as a formation of human network among participating
survey on the current state of operation was carried out and
countries, sharing information and knowledge among
the SCORM ASSESSOR training programs were reviewed.
countries, survey results for e-learning in ASEAN +three
60% of respondents answered the SCORM conformant
countries, and so on.
qualification programs as effective, 32% pointed that
In order to promote the Priority Policy Programs for
programs were effective for early solution of problems and
enhancing e-Learning in each country, continuous
promotion of distribution.
collaboration within AEN will be more and more needed
based upon each country’s efforts.
Map of ASEAN+3 (PRC,ROK,Japan) Countries
N/ N/ N/ N/
23 25 46 36 43
SCORM Certification System
Gradual increase of
Still in early stage
Still not in practical
Collaboration with ADL etc.
Gradual increase of professionals
Still not in practical stage.
Still not in practical
Lack of professionals
Needs for education
E-Learning Professional education program
Still not in practical
Stil in early stage. Lack
of QA activities
early stage. early stage.
Lack of QA
Lack of QA Lack of QA
Certification on National level Assurance
AWARD related to e-Learning
*Rank: “The e-Learning Readiness Rankings” , Economist Intel igent Unit & IBM Corp., 2004
3. E-Japan Strategy
value on the key word “e-Learning” along with other key
concepts such as electronic government (e-Gov), electronic
In July 2003, the Japanese Government announced its e-Japan
local government, electronic commerce, and electronic loans
Strategy Statement II. The IT Strategy Headquarters’ e-Japan
collection. According to e-Japan Priority Policy Program
Priority Policy Program-2003 was made public in August
2004 and IT Policy Package 2006, main activities such as
2003. The program is part of the Government’s strategy to
advancement of HRD and promotion of teaching and learning
raise Japan into the top of group of advanced IT nations by
in the fields of IT professionals, content creators and
2005 and to foster continued innovation to sustain this status
international standardization of IT performance skills and also
promotion of e-learning were implemented.
The program stressed the importance of “Advancement of
Human Resource Development, and the Promotion of
4. Major reversal of educational philosophy
Education and Learning”, the second policy area of five areas
given priority. With this policy, the Government places high
due to growth of e-Learning
P resen t S tag e
M ain C on cep t
S u p p lem en tary
F ace to F ace
F u tu re S ta ge
M ain C on cep t
F ace to F ace
Change of Main Concept in Learning
In the background there are major changes in the use of ICT
3. Changes of research focus in educational technology
and the large knowledge resources in education and e-
4. Emphasis of education in the field closer to the real
1. Changes of human resources required in a networked
5. Development of advanced media
6. Introduction of cost mind into education
2. Enhancing human resources with problem solving
7. Development of education supporting technology.
abilities for sustainable development to save the earth
8. Emphasis of evaluation, assessment, validation, and
and human resources
R & D
Outcome Pres entation
R & D Support
Collaborati ve Research
Competenc y Anal ysis Accreditation
Learni ng Technology
Educ ation Ins titute
Gov. Educ . Policy
Aff ectiv e
Problem-sol ving Ability
Communic ations Ability
IT Literac y
Help des k
Corresponding to those changes the following problems
to e-Learning, at most it is seen as one of many tools that
should be widely and deeply investigated.
support classroom lessons.
1. Analysis and enhancement of network related
In the past, lack of advanced communication networks
meant, aside from distance education by post, traditional face-
2. E-learning and CSCL
to-face lessons were the only learning method available. For
3. Network learning resources in the form of leader, media
this reason, the traditional face-to-face lesson was considered
and real world.
the bedrock of education, a belief which has now been rocked
4. Network related support and collaboration.
by the advent of e-Learning.
Research and development on e-educational
The new paradigm is that e-Learning represents the true
methodology, e-competency analysis, advanced
nature of education and traditional face-to-face lessons in
technology, evaluation, validation, e-assessment,
universities and schools are, so to speak, exceptional practices.
accreditation, collaboration, e- portfolio and so on.
Put simply, the spread of e-Learning is causing a major, if
As computerization, networking, and the application of
somewhat belated, shift in educational philosophy. However,
information technology have not yet been integrated into the
adopting this new paradigm will take considerable time as
education sector, many people concerned still believe that
there is a great deal of inertia in educational communities that
mainstream education must be school education based on
have always practiced traditional face-to-face education.
traditional face-to-face lessons as a matter of course. In regard
not restricted to children or students; Teachers, experts, civil
5. Structure of e-Learning
servants, politicians, indeed, all members of society can be
learners. The relationship between learners and sources
should allow for synchronous and asynchronous learning in
terms of time; a multiplicity of environments in terms of
place; and a variety of methods, encompassing lectures, drills,
experiments, observation, individual practices, small-group
activities, and distributed and collaborative activities.
Education is the state of affairs where learning objectives are
achieved through learning, pursued in a variety of conditions
yet always aimed at these objectives, and realized in the
interaction between learners and learning information sources.
Therefore the collective learning which takes place between
teachers and students in traditional face-to-face education at
universities and schools can be considered a special or
exceptional situation. Previously, due to the late introduction
of information technology into education, other learning
methods other than traditional face-to-face lessons were
generally unavailable, causing educational communities to
Mechanism of Education
believe the traditional lesson to be the only possible learning
method. On the other hand, it may be very difficult to
Education consists of interaction between learners and
imagine that everybody will be able to learn anyplace
information sources. Information sources for learning include
anytime through any means in a fully networked society. Of
not only teachers, students, peers, experts, civil servants,
course, it goes without saying that traditional face-to-face
politicians, and other members of society, but also sources
education is still important at universities or other schools.
such as educational materials, textbooks, other books, videos,
The traditional method can be regarded as a kind of pure
TV, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, educational Web sites, as well
situation, and as such it offers certain advantages, including a
as the social and natural worlds. Anything can be a source for
number of principles and basic understandings it delivers
learning. Additionally, anybody can be a learner. Learning is
which can be applied effectively to education in general.
Any member of our society
children, pupils, students,
teachers, experts, civil servants
knowledge, skills, attitude,
Teachers, students, peers, experts,
Any member of our society
civil servants, politicians, Othe r
members of society
Educational materials, textbooks,
books, videos, CD-ROMs, DVD-
ROMs, Educational Web site of
e ducational providers
Social and natural world
Artificial obje cts
Anytime ; Synchronous, Asynchronous
Anywhere ; Same site, Remote site
Lecture, Seminar, Workshop,
Individual, Small group,
Collective learning, Distributed learning
Detail of Components
The strengths and limitations of education and the
traditional face-to-face method are clarified in this context.
Information communication technologies such as OHPs,
videos, projectors, and computers are the face of e-Learning
In this context, it would become more and more important to
in traditional face-to-face education. For distance education,
evaluate the quality of education and training courses,
e-Learning takes the form of content connected to a network.
contents, instruction and also related organizations. The
Networks make available knowledge from all over the world,
global standard of systems, and platform also should
enabling the learner to take the initiative in selecting and
explicitly be defined. Each database in portal sites should
studying necessary content from anywhere at anytime
have its own independent and qualified characteristics for
Yet while traditional face-to-face education cannot fully
their own products, and their own culture and languages.
offer such advantages, distance education does not
Specially maintaining and deepening independent
sufficiently enable visual communication such as facial
characteristic of each knowledge site, multi-collaboration
expression, gesture, enthusiasm, and emotional contacts
across different component sectors within and among
between teacher and student, which constitute extremely
universities, IHEs, companies, disciplines, specialties,
enjoyable aspects of traditional face-to-face education. In
countries, districts, culture, gender, age religion, ethnic
order to effectively promote education, the need to
groups, social position and profession.
incorporate these factors as important components of
The AEN is one of these knowledge networks and
education should not be underestimated. Distance education
gradually will grow to construct AEEN(Asia Europe E-
needs to show improvement in this area, for example by
Learning Network), APEN(Asia Pacific E-Learning Network)
including bringing in mentors or actively using images and
and finally global world e-Learning network using large
arranging off-line meetings. Teachers also need to be
knowledge resources. Cultivating qualified leaders based on
prepared in face-to-face lessons and should pre-download
knowledge and skill standards is now urgent problem.
content when using the Internet in the classroom. This kind
of care will effectively improve education aimed at imparting
knowledge, yet education which aims to discover or create
Sakamoto, T., “Educational Reform Based on E-Learning:
new knowledge further needs to provide occasions in which
The Establishment of an International Web-Based
learners can gain experience and solve problems in a
Learning Community”, Journal of Studies in
simulating environment, all of which are necessary for
International Education, Vol.6 No.2 15-171, 2002.
effective intellectual learning.
Sakamoto, T., “Development of Information and
Communication Technology use in School Education in
6. Influtence of e-Learning on
Japan”, Information and Systems in Education, Vol.1
No.1, 5-14, 2002.
Sakamoto, T., “E-learning and educational innovation in
The spread of e-Learning will significantly influence
higher education in Japan”, Educational Media
university education. In an aging society with a diminishing
International, No.1, 9-16, 2002.
youth demographic, thirty percent of universities and fifty
Sakamoto, T., “E-Learning in Japanese Universities”, Industry
percent of junior colleges cannot meet their quotas. In
and Higher Education, December, 397-404, 2003.
addition to this severe situation, the introduction of e-
Learning makes it more difficult for even prestigious schools
to secure students both in Japan and abroad. A number of
renowned foreign universities now confer master degrees on
students who study solely via e-Learning. This matter will
become more pressing as Japanese students improve their
Takashi Sakamoto, Prof. Dr.
English and foreign universities offer courses in Japanese.
After his retirement as a professor of Tokyo Institute of
Universities are engaged in a variety of activities in the
Technology, he became a Vice President of the National
reorganization of national universities into independent
Center for University Entrance Examinations. He later became
corporations. Nevertheless, major threats are on the horizon
the Director General of the National Institute of Multimedia
that various corporations, organizations, and education
Education and is now the President of the Japan Association
businesses are expected to offer educational courses which
for Promotion of Educational Technology as well as the
match those provided in universities, though some of this
President of the Accreditation Council for Practical Abilities.
planning has already been implemented. These new
He is also the president of the Japanese Association of
competitors will award diplomas and qualifications that may
Educational Technology Societies and Japan Society of Media
be highly valued by society, thus conferring on their
and Information Science and the chairperson of Asia E-
universality and legitimacy.
learning Network Promotion Committee.
In such situation important problems to be solved will be
He has written and edited extensively over 400 books and
quality assurance, establishment of global standards in system,
published many academic and professional papers and articles.
platform, and content, copyright treatment, use of local
Dr. Sakamoto has also worked as a member on various
languages, user protection, building portal sites, blended
governmental social activity committees nationally and
learning, and specially collaboration across all kinds of
different sectors and among sectors.