Special Issue "Information Systems, E-learning and Knowledge Management"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2021).
Interests: sustainability; education; ethics; privacy; open-source; information systems; guitar building; podcasting
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In 1995, back when I was finishing my CS Engineering degree, the Barcelona School of Informatics started to use an intranet application called "Racó"  (Corner in the Catalan language) that could download lecture notes, deliver files to professors, and publish the grades of every course—that months previous had been published on the office doors of the professors. "Racó" is still in use, I used it just before I wrote these lines. Some of the professionals who worked on that project went to work for the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya , a new distance education university, based fully on the online interaction between students and professors. With just a couple of days a year of de-virtualization for exams.
Online learning is not new. In my memory and involvement as a student and professor in these two institutions, I can trace it back 25 years.
I can even go even farther with the idea of information systems in academic processes, back in 1989 when I first enrolled in a course in the School of Informatics sitting in front of a VT100 terminal connected to a VAX-VMS mini-computer running the first—to my knowledge—self-enrollment software. A software that ported to new architectures and the mobile-web of the XXI century still works today.
Computerized information systems (academic information systems) have become omnipresent to the point of invisibility in the education system. However, online learning has been a promise running in the fringes of the education system. Special universities like UOC, the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), and the Open University (OU), and experimental plans to introduce laptops or tablets in education that function in the traditional classroom as the frame for reference and safety net if something goes wrong. Schools and colleges have been able to work fine without embracing online learning.
The crisis caused by the COVI19 pandemic has deeply affected the education system. Students, teachers, and managers have become suddenly confined at home. However, with varying degrees of success, classes have continued online.
All those experimental online learning technologies that we have kept on the sideline of education, have taken center stage. Any resistance to change that has been constraining the widespread adoption of online learning has been rendered pointless.
Online learning is being tested on the whole education system in the whole confined world. The lessons we learn during this period—still ongoing as I write these sentences—will be crucial for the future of education in what has been already referred to as the new normal.
UNESCO asserts that education is one of the objectives for sustainable development and, at the same time, education is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight for sustainable development. The use of ICT as a tool for democratizing and improving education is a big promise. Open education technologies, like open-source software, open standards for contents and interoperability, and open contents can be great assets for improving education, making it universal and accessible, while preserving cultural diversity. However, scale economies and perverse incentives may lead to scenarios where education is left in the hands of a few companies turning education into no more than big business. From there dystopic futures spring.
This Special Issue is seeking contributions that help us make sense of how academic information systems, e-learning, and knowledge management have helped in this difficult period and how it will become more relevant in the education system in the post-COVI19 era, especially concerning the application and development of open education technologies. Researchers and practitioners are welcome to submit your experiences, observations, and analysis.
Assoc. Prof. Marc Alier
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Mobile learning
- Academic information systems
- Open education technologies
- Learning analytics
- Adaptative learning