e-learning: the next day. Article by Stelios Lambropoulos co-founder of infolearn-TEST4U, for HR Professional Journal

e-learning: the next day

Bearing in mind the impact of the use of e-learning on the way that current enterprises function, it is worth mentioning the problems that have emerged as well as the new trends shaped on the International literature and practices.
By co-founder of infolearn-TEST4U

Why should organizations provide training?

Enterprises provide training because it has been proved by a series of researches that there is a close connection between job satisfaction, corporate training and organizational commitment (Top, Gider (2013), Kuznia (2006), Ozturan, Kutlu (2010), Yap, Holmes, Hannan, Cukier (2010)).

Moreover, the lower the employee turnover, the higher the productivity and profitability, while, on the contrary, the lack of training negatively affects the productivity and job satisfaction. So, the employees who have received better training, not only work better, but are also willing to stay at the company for a longer period (Dardar, Jusoh, Rasli, 2011).

E-learning or the usual way?

In this context, e-learning couldn’t remain indifferent for the enterprise world, because it constitutes a very tempting alternative for saving resources. However, the advantages of e-learning do not stop here (Prince, Kevin, 2014): factors such as increased flexibility and adjustability, the increased number of content providers e.tc., along with the instant evaluation of the result, have established the presence of e-learning at the contemporary business.

Besides, e-learning has been connected with supporting organizational goals (Chen, 2008): Applying e-learning on an organizational environment aims at increasing employee satisfaction and job performance. Along with that, it has been proved (Honey, 2000) that the vast majority of employees agree that e-learning has been useful.

Clouds on the digital heaven?

As it is expected, regardless of the obvious advantages, the success of e-learning depends on the way it is used by the company. Among other factors, senior management commitment seems to be contributing to the success of e-learning.

However, the international literature raises doubts about the effectiveness of the e-learning method, since the lack of motivation for learning and the relevant difficulty in locating each individual preferred learning style may compromise the results (Prince, Kuznia, 2014). While the employees maintain a positive attitude about e-learning (Newton, Donga, 2007), a reasonable question is raised about the extent of the lack of motives of certain employees that makes e-learning ineffective.

Although the increase in the use of e-learning has been proved to lead to increased productivity and product volume (Sarmento, 2010), employees find it difficult to find the happy medium between quality and e-learning growth (Moller, Foshay, Huett, 2008). Besides, a recent research of Carnegie Mellon University (2015) proves the ineffectiveness of the simple e-learning, as opposed to more interactive activities: the learners learn up to 6 times more.

A proper solution

The need for usage of proper assessment software for the evaluation of the quality of e-learning in any organization becomes obvious. Otherwise, the constant development of such services cannot be fully justified (Prince, Kuznia, 2014).

In this perspective adequate software has been developed in order to monitor the consolidation degree of the material that the learner has been taught. It all comes down to the famous Confucius saying “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I will learn.”.

The suitability of the software is connected, as expected, with the very nature of the subject to learn. The consolidation of subjects that fall into the broad category of hard skills, -and especially when it comes to knowledge workers-, computer skills, is practically assessed with the use of specially developed software that simulates actual working conditions as opposed to closed type questions.

The trend that is defined is that more and more enterprises turn to more measurable solutions. The evaluation before, during, and also after the training took place, so that we can have a clear image of the skills of the Human Resources, and subsequently map the skills in an organization, is imperative. Besides, the aim is to quantify the recorded trends within the organization, in order to systematically map efficiency indexes and measures for the Human Resources.

A research that will suggest a direct index for the measurement of the consolidation of the training provided, as opposed to an indirect one (i.e. the measurement of the satisfaction of the training), is expected with increased interest.

Such tools give accurate information, providing the HR department with a guide for taking thorough decisions and implementing policies related to human resources, thus contributing to the consolidation of the strategic role of the HR department.

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