While the idea of using e-tools, and e-learning strategies have a definate attraction, one of the things I am always trying to consider is what best suits the students.
I've been exploring the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, which has some wonderful food for thought on the topic. A few examples of the options I've been investigating for our course are Cloze-type activities (potentially using Hot Potatoes or some other similar piece of software, although Blackboard does have this facility already), Web-based roleplays, and the use of Games in learning.
All compelling ideas, and potentially useful, however a large proportion of our students tend to have fairly under-developed computer skills. Is it reasonable to expect them to spend the time familiarising themselves with the on-line/computer environment, and upskilling themselves so that they can interact in this way? It all comes down to how much benefit will they get from this type of experience compared to the effort/time/money required for (our students to access it) + (our department to develop it).
I have no doubt that some types of electronic/on-line media provide much more potential for full emersion and engagement with material than a class-room lecture, but is it worth the cost?