Below are listed organizations that provide support for the use of information and communications technologies in post-secondary education. Many have their own journals and organize annual conferences, and provide professional networking and support for those interested in and/or using e-learning.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. This is the major post-secondary organization in North America dealing with e-learning issues, with membership from all the leading universities and colleges within the region. Its conferences and publications focus on integrating IT and academic issues.
EDEN (European Distance Education and e-Learning Network). ‘exists to share knowledge and improve understanding for professionals in distance and e-learning across the whole of Europe and beyond, and to promote policy and practice for this field of endeavour’. This organization has membership from key institutions involved in e-learning from almost every country in Europe.
CNIE (the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education) is ‘a national organization of professionals committed to excellence in the provision of innovation in education in Canada. CNIE is a national, bilingual association committed to excellence in the development, promotion and use of technologies, practices and policies that foster enhanced access to learning for all students in all contexts, especially in K-12 and post-secondary education’. Created in 2007, CNIE is the result of a merger of the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE) and the Association for Media and Technology in Education (AMTEC).
ASCILITE (the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) is ‘a society for those involved in tertiary computer-based education and training, including educational interactive multimedia. It provides a forum to stimulate discussion of relevant issues in the educational use of technology, as well as promoting research and evaluation.’
COL (The Commonwealth of Learning) is ‘an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.’ It provides consultancy, resources and services for the use of ICTs in developing nations.
OBHE (the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education) conducts ‘state-of-the-art research, disseminates best practices, emerging trends, policy frameworks and assessment and quality assurance information; and develops strategic partnerships with public and private universities and organisations for the effective delivery of borderless higher education academic programmes and services. The Observatory’s primary purpose is to provide strategic information to enable policy-makers and institutional-organisational leaders to make informed decisions relevant to their existing and/or future transnational higher education initiatives.’ The work of this organization is particularly useful for those concerned about globalization issues surrounding the use of ICTs for education.
EFQUEL (The European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning)’s mission is ‘to enhance the quality of eLearning in Europe by providing services and support for all stakeholders. EFQUEL is built on principles of dialogue and inclusiveness to promote excellence and innovation to achieve Learning Europe’. This organization provides a very thoughtful and innovative approach to the issues of quality in e-learning.
NCAT (National Centre for Academic Transformation) is ‘an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the effective use of information technology to improve student learning outcomes and reduce the cost of higher education. NCAT provides expertise and support to institutions and organizations seeking proven methods for providing more students with the education they need to prosper in today’s economy.’ NCAT is headed by Dr. Carol A. Twigg, and works with universities and Boards of Regents across the USA.
Online Educa is a set of commercial conferences on e-learning, particularly but not exclusively focused on corporate training. Online Educa Berlin 2008 , with papers mainly in English, and Online Educa Madrid 2007, focused on Ibero-American and Spanish-speaking countries, were the most recent.