HR - the role and importance of e-learning in the modern business context
The challenges associated with introducing e-learning within organisations
1. Introduction: what is e-learning?
1E-learning is “the use of Internet and digital technologies to create experiences that educate fellow human beings” (Horton, 2001).Electronic learning is a term which is normally referred to computerised based learning. E-learning involves web-based teaching materials and often mobile learning via pocket PCs and MP3/4 recordings which many Universities use e.g. Hertfordshire (records lessons and uploads on their study net for students to download) and in general e-learning includes:
❖ Multimedia CD-ROMs
❖ Web sites with electronic discussion boards (forums) ❖ Combined software
❖ E-mail, blogs
❖ Computer aided assessment
❖ Educational animation simulations games
❖ Learning management software
E-learning is changing the way companies (Cisco systems, BAE Systems) gain competitive advantage through efficient use of funds and time with employees. SBUs enterprises have to face the problem that e-learning technologies, methods and strategies have mostly been developed for the needs of large enterprises and cannot be exactly transferred to their needs. There are many companies who provide e-learning courses some of them are: 3P Learning, Omniplex, Learnframe, Bright Wave and 2Epic group plc which is the UK’s largest e-learning provider. E-learning companies (e.g. Saba, DigitalThink, SmartForce) continue to sell on very strong revenue multiples. These high multiples, up to 25 times the current yearly revenue, are still holding firm, despite the downfall of dot.com companies in general (Alexander 2000).
Here is an abstract from the report of the ATA (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) this quotes from DfES and is basically saying how anyone using technology to learn is an e-learner without knowing it. 1The US Department of Labor estimates that corporate e-learning revenues are expected to increase from US$550 million to US$11.4 billion, a projected 83 per cent compound annual growth rate between 1998-2003 (Cisco Systems IQ Atlas, 2000).
2. Growth of e-learning
E-learning has been growing and is being accepted as a reliable and cost effective resource for training and learning. During 2003 more than 11.9 million students were participating in online learning at institutions of higher education in the United States, in Australia, Shane Hill former teacher founded eLearning Company 3P Learning. 2Just one of their products Mathletics has enabled over one million students across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US to go online and challenge other students at mental arithmetic. The explosive rate of growth -- now about 25 percent a year -- has made hard numbers a moving target. But according to Sloan, virtually all public higher education institutions, as well as a vast majority of private, for-profit institutions, now offer online classes. By contrast, only about half of private, nonprofits schools offer them. The Sloan report, based on a poll of academic leaders, says that students generally appear to be at least as satisfied with their online classes as they are with traditional ones. 3Compnies such as BAE Systems are also benefiting of e-learning as the company is benefiting from significant cost savings. In comparison to traditional instructor-led training, the use of e-learning is helping to achieve a 67 percent cost reduction per training intervention due to reduced travel, accommodation, room and tutor costs. Furthermore, with the integration of all its learning resources, BAE Systems is saving over £1.5 million per year. Nearly all universities now use e-learning as a part of any module within a course as Universities and other educational...
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