The role and effectiveness of e-learning: key issues in an industrial context.
In, The First International Conference in the United Nations Information Society, 8-10 December 2003, Geneva, Switzerland,
08 - 10 Dec 2003.
This paper identifies the current role and effectiveness of e-learning and its key issues in an industrial context. The first objective is to identify the role of e-learning, particularly in staff training and executive education, where e-learning (online, computer-based or videoconferencing learning) has made significant impacts and contributions to several organisations such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Cisco and Cap Gemini Earnst Young. With e-learning, staff train-ing and executive education provides more benefits and better efficiency than traditional means. The second objective of this research is to understand the effectiveness of e-learning. This can be classified into two key issues: (1) methods of e-learning implementations; and (2) factors influencing effective and ineffective e-learning implementations. One learning point from (1) is that centralized e-learning implementations may prevail for big organizations. How-ever, more organizations adopt decentralized e-learning implementations due to various reasons, which will be dis-cussed in this paper. From the research results, a proposed way is to retain the decentralized way. The second learning point is about interactive learning (IL), the combination of both e-learning and face-to-face learning. IL has been making contributions to several organizations, including the increase in motivation, learning interests and also effi-ciency. The popular issues about IL are (a) how to mini-mize the disadvantages of IL and (b) the degree of interac-tivity for maximizing learning efficiency. One learning point from (2) is to analyze the factors influ-encing effective and ineffective implementations, which reflect the different focuses between industrialists and aca-demics. In terms of effective e-learning implementations, factors identified by both groups can map to particular cases in industry. In contrast, factors causing ineffective implementations rely more on primary source data. In or-der to find out these factors and analyze the rationale be-hind, case studies and interviews were used as research methodology that matched the objective of the research.
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