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Paper on online training

  1. 1. EMERGING E-LEARNING PRACTICES IN THE ORGANIZATION Paper submitted By Amita Maxwell Assistant Professor, Joseph School of Business Studies SHIATS Deemed to be University [formerly AAI-DU], Naini Allahabad E mail Ph. 09889083511 Swami Shukdevanand International Seminar Swami Shukdevanand [PG] College, Shahjahanpur
  2. 2. EMERGING E-LEARNING PRACTICES IN THE ORGANIZATIONABSTRACTThis paper considers the increasing impact of information and communication technologies(ICT) and the associated rise in E learning which is now recognized world over for transformingtraining and learning. As with the other segments in the IT industry that have been greatlyimpacted by the revolutionary changes taking place in the areas of technology, the trainingmarket too is getting affected by some of the new developments. Advances in technology arealtering training delivery. Developments in hardware, intranets and the Internet, multimediasoftware and videoconferencing have created a tremendous potential for multiple-site deliveryand bringing training to people’s work sites. With the Internet, intranets and extranetsproliferating both at the level of the global and Indian domestic market, one is witnessing the riseof a new form of training delivery—online training. On-line learning is the next generation toolthat has already started developing its roots in India. It is expected to allow both corporates andthe Government to deliver state-of-the-art training to company personnel, students,academicians, researchers and home workers, and enable them to create the kind of skilledcomputer workforce required for the next millennium. This kind of virtual education is beingcatalyzed by the continuing decrease in costs related to technologies, particularly computerhardware. Technology based instruction represents a new recent pedagogical paradigm that isexcited about new technologies. Consequently, learning with technology has been realized byorganizations as an innovative form of training where corporates benefit from this cost effective,flexible and convenient form of training.Keywords: online training, online learning, web-based training/learning,online course, internet-based training, E-learning.INTRODUCTIONIn this era of globalization, organizations world wide are facing the challenge of managing amulticultural work force and so organizations must deal with the issues of training a far flungworkforce. This issue is sought by technology which in recent times has emerged as a powerful 2
  3. 3. tool. Technology now allows people to be trained afar. The World Wide Web has made possiblethis type of learning in this technology driven era.The internet boom has increased the demand for internet based products and services and this isgoing to be infinite in the coming years dominated by the IT tools. Everything is going to bedigitized. We are going to see the digitization, virtualization and automation of more and more ofeverything.The IT revolution has brought about sweeping and multifaceted changes and has enabled thedigital representation of all the important forms of expression; words, music, numeric data,maps, photographs and eventually voice, video and global exchange of all digital informationwith the advent of WWW, video conferencing, multimedia, CD-ROM’s training in organizationsis revolutionized and online training is no exception IT tools have made training automated anddigitized. There is a paradigm shift in the traditional mode of training. This type of training canbe addressed as; E-Learning/training, web-based training, online training, internet-basedtraining. In the most common parlance it can be referred to as internet training which leveragesthe unique attributes of internet such as chat rooms, interactivity, online discussions and e-mail.ONLINE TRAININGAs defined by American Society of Training and Development (ASTD)1:“E-learning refers to anything delivered, enabled or mediated by electronic technology for theexplicit purpose of learning.”“E- Learning is the automation of the processes of learning and training through the use of IT”2.Hence it can be said that E-learning is a process that facilitates education or learning using anetwork i.e. internet, intranet or extranet.Whereas online training means “a reference to E-learning over the internet and typically used inconjunction with corporations or professionals.”1 American Society of Training and Development. (2002). State of the industry report. Alexandria, VA: ASTDPublications.2 Robson, R. (2002). Explaining E-learning to a stranger. E-learning magazine. Retrieved March 1, 2002 from 3
  4. 4. Further web-based training refers to courses available on an intranet, internet or extranet and thatare linked to learning resources outside the course such as references, electronic mail,discussions and videoconferencing”3.It is clear that E-learning is a broad concept using network technology to design, deliver andadminister learning. In this regard online training, web-based training are sub-set of broaderframework of E-learning.A brief review can be made about the origin of online training which has existed in some form or theother in organizations. Earlier it was in the form of Programmed Learning/Programmed Instructionthis is a method where training is offered without the intervention of a trainer. Information is providedto the trainee in blocks either in a book form or through a teaching machine. After reading each blockof material, the learner must answer a question about it. Feedback in the form of correct answers isprovided after each response. The main advantage of PI is that it is self paced-trainees can progressthrough the programmes at their own speed also the training time is reduced by about one third 4. Thecame Computer Based Training/Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) which is an extension of the PImethod. The speed, memory and data-manipulation capabilities of the computer permit greaterutilization of basic PI concepts5. Computer Based Training (CBT).It can be defined as“Courses presented on a computer. The course does not provide links to learning resourcesoutside of the course. Often, learners take a computer-based training course on a computer that isnot connected to a network”6.Latest its online training which has become possible because of technology which has impactedal aspects of organizational functioning. IT has brought about a big change in the methods oftraining in corporates world wide, and there is little doubt that the fraction of services that can bedelivered electronically will grow7.3 Alexander Laurel, Online training, p. 26, ed. 2008, Jaico Publishing House.4 G.N. Nash, J.P Muczyk and F.L Vettori, “The role and practical effectiveness of programmed instruction”,Personnel Psychology, Vol. 24 (1971), pp. 397-4185 R. Wayne Mondy and Robert M. Noe 3, personnel: the management of human resources, Allyn and Bacon, 1981,p. 237.6 Alexander Laurel, Online training, p. 26, ed. 2008, Jaico Publishing House.7 Princeton University center for Economic policy studies working paper No. 119, December 2005. 4
  5. 5. THE WEB AS A TOOL FOR LEARNING DELIVERYOnline training uses supportive supportive resources that are available through a computer. Thebasic form involves text, simple graphics, and a limited amount of interaction. Complex trainingcan include simulations, example simulation of work situations. It can also consist of a coursethat includes regularly scheduled lectures/instructions by video conferencing on the internet, aweb page with several supplemental materials.The content can be kept more up to date and it is easier to measure results. Online training allowfor immediate updates to materials, keeping content fresh and accurate. The training can alsoinclude hyperlinks or other relevant websites. Further online training can be customized to theneeds of learner. It incorporates greater range of features, through online bulletin boards and livechat rooms, trainees can post messages and read messages from others or from content expert.Therefore, trainees should think of this technology not just as another form of training but aninnovative tool for delivering training over the internet. There are several positive factors infavour of this new training and learning technology: • Mobile locations • Trainees can participate at times that suits them • There is potential for international training and learning • Information can be speedily transferred • Training through technology can extend the trainees progress beyond the course boundaries and into self directed learningPROSPECTS OF ONLINE TRAININGAdvances in technology are altering training delivery the online training market is boomingworld over. Surveys, conducted by leading global market research firms have indicated thatonline training and learning will follow an upward moving graph and that more and moreorganizations will implement this mode of training. The key contributors to the growth of thissegment will be companies that will be spending increasing amounts on knowledge managementwithin their organizations. The other key drivers for growth would be training where mid-careerprofessionals would be re skilling themselves on the web. 5
  6. 6. 1. Corporate E-learning is one of the fastest growing markets. While the market is currently small and in a nascent stage it is poised to explode8. 2. Corporations’ world wide demand a comprehensive approach to meet training needs rather than a stand-alone training course. 3. Online training has given way to new partnership between corporate world and academia. The lines are blurring between traditional neutral delivery vehicles and those that have a stake in what’s being delivered9. Thus one can think of new co-operation between corporations and academia wherein we find the latter selling courses to academia.ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE TRAININGVarious surveys conducted show that internet based training training is highly recommended byHR managers world wide. Uptake of online training has progressed further and HR managers arecutting down heavily on traditional classroom training. HP, evaluated how customer service wasaffected by its focus on E-learning and blended instructions rather than classroom training. HPfound that sales representatives were able to answer questions more quickly and accuratelyenhancing customer-service provider relations10. In addition Unilever estimated the increase inproduct sales as a result of its online training for sales employees; the company found that salesincreased by millions dollars after E-learning.11 1. Online training is flexible, convenient and accessible 2. Location is not a constraint; users can get as much training as they need and when they need, no matter wherever they happen to be located. 3. Separate delivery system is not needed, keeping delivery costs to a minimum.8 Corporate E-learning: Exploring a new frontier, ( Alexander Laurel, Online training, p. 131, ed. 2008, Jaico Publishing House.10 O’ Leonard, K. 2004. HP case study: flexible solutions for multi-cultural learners. Oakland, CA: Bersin &Associates.11 Hoekstra, J. 2001. Three in one. Online learning, 5: 28-32. 6
  7. 7. 4. Online training brings major savings to companies by eliminating travel cost and time savings for their employees, they can be trained simply at their desktops rather than going to a distinct or far-off location for training or learning a new course. 5. Online training can easily be incorporated. Changes can be made in the course material on the server, and then everyone around the world who uses the system can access to these updates. 6. There is better instructional consistency when the material is taught the same way each time a trainee participates in the training program, any portion of the course material can be accessed any time.ISSUES IN ONLINE TRAININGCertain challenges pose problems for organization implementing online training. Some of theissues associated with online training are;COSTIn some organizations online training is easy and quick to develop b the use of text and simplegraphics. In some cases more time and expenditure is required, e.g. developing interaction,simulations, animations etc, depending on the purpose of the organization.INFRASTRUCTUREOnline training at times can be simple add-ons to the enterprise –wide internet. Someorganizations require powerful multimedia computers, company owned Intranet and webaccess.BANDWIDTH ISSUELimited bandwidth means slower performance for sound, video, and intensive graphics, causinglong waits for download that even affect the ease of the learning process. The problem is greaterover the public internet, where more traffic jams occur and is less of a consideration on acorporate internet. 7
  8. 8. SOFT SKILLS TRAININGNot all courses are delivered well by computers. Some topics simply require a more personaltouch. Teaching team building and dealing with emotional issues might serve as examples. Thereis a larger issue of effectiveness of online training for behaviorally targeted courses in the softskills/business skills arena. While some are using online training in this knowledge domain, thereis resistance about how to deeply impact trainees.Before companies decide to implement online training, certain questions need to be asked bythem according to Brandon Hall, a leading expert in technology based training industry.12 • Do you have management support for this initiative • Do you have enough potential users to justify the cost of purchase or development • Do you have a target audience who can use or learn or learn to use the computer • Will they accept a web-based training • Will they learn from this particular program • Will the program provide a method of instruction, that is easier, faster, cheaper, safer and more engaging than the alternativeCONCLUSIONSince the late 1980’s, there have been a series of technological advances that have enabled moreand more companies to embrace online training. It can be said that with the advent andadvancement in technology and most appropriately the internet has brought about a new form oftraining and learning. There have been philosophical changes in training.With the internet, intranet and extranets proliferating both at the level of global and domesticIndian market, one is witnessing the rise of a new form of training delivery. The internet-basedworker-training programs today are enormous from online training programs to in-house guidedtraining for different specialization. Every week brings technological breakthroughs that makethis easier and richer. The more life time learning opportunities companies provide, the morethey are widening the skill base of their workforce. In today’s competitive era “there is a need to12 Alexander Laurel, Online training, p. 147-148, ed. 2008, Jaico Publishing House. 8
  9. 9. train more people on more topics, to do it faster, to do it on a world wide basis and to do itcheaper” says Brandon Hall, editor and publisher of the Multimedia and internet trainingnewsletter and author of the web-based training cookbook13. Answer lies in internet, multimediasoftware and videoconferencing which have created a tremendous potential for multiple-sitedelivery by bringing training to people’s work site. Online training can make possible“knowledge Management”; that is using technology to leverage the intellectual capital of theentire company, which in turn, leads to increased productivity and superior competitiveadvantage. Finally Online training can be used and leveraged as a development and retention toolfor high potential employees. A number of companies have high potential programs that identifyfuture executives and focus development attention on this group. Companies can shop for newmodels for blending online training into their high potential employee programs and thus createhigh potential leaders.13 9
  10. 10. REFRENCES1. Agostinho, Shirley, Geraldine Lefoe, and John Hedberg. 1997. "Online Collaboration for Learning: A Case Study of a Post Graduate Course." AusWeb97 Conference2. Program and Papers. [Online]. Available: University3. Bagdon, Kerry and Halima Goss. 1997. "Teaching and Learning on the Internet: Developing a Resource for Academic Support." AusWeb97 Conference Program and Papers. [Online]. Available: [December 6, 1997].4. Hawkins, Donald T. 1997. "Web-based Training for Online Retrieval: Some Examples." Online 21(5): 73-.5. Hites, Jeanne M. and Keith Ewing. 1997. Designing and Implementing Instruction on the World Wide Web. [Online]. Available: {}6. McManus, Thomas Fox. 1997. Delivering Instruction on the World Wide Web. [Online].7. The benefits of E learning. (2002). EPAT/Leo Media. Retrieved April 29, 2002 from Burke, J. (2002, April 26). E-training’s growing appeal to business. Business Today, P.2.9. Van Dam, N. (2001, November 1). Where is the future of learning? E-Learning magazine, 160.10. Healy, Y. (2001) “Caution on e-Learning” available at Kearsley, G. (2001) “A guide to online education”, available at Abernathy, D.J. (1999). & Development, 53(9), 36-4213. Alexander Laurel, Online training, Ed.2008, Jaico Publishing House. 10