The Students' Perspectives of Online Training at Kuwait University

Article excerpt

Computers, the Internet, smartphones, and telecommunication technologies have all changed the way we live--how we think, socialize, entertain, work, teach, learn, and train as well. One of the modern ICT trends of organizations involve the integration of e-learning, in general, and online training systems, in particular, as new methods for delivering training programs/courses online. This longitudinal study aimed to scrutinize and assess the reaction-based satisfaction level, indeed the first level of Kirkpatrick's classic 4-level evaluation research model, of Kuwait University's (KU's) students regarding the online training system service provided by KU to its faculty, students, and employees alike. A total of 700 undergraduate students from the College of Education (COE) at KU participated in this study. Even though the majority of the participants, 97.4 percent, were not aware about the online training system service. However, the findings demonstrate that the reaction-based satisfaction level of KU's students is significantly high. Students' feelings, perceptions, and attitudes toward e-training courses are significantly encouraging. KU's students consider the contents/materials provided in the online training courses as being pertinent and useful to their work/study. They were satisfied with what they learn using the online training system. The majority of the participants, about 95 percent, asserted that they are eager to take more training courses offered online.

Keywords: Distance Learning, Online Learning, e-Learning, Online Training, e-Training

Introduction

Computers, the Internet, smartphones, and telecommunication technologies have all changed the way we live--how we think, socialize, entertain, work, teach, learn, and train as well. The current explosion of online training (i.e., Network-based training such as Internet-based, Intranet-based, Extranet-based, or Web-based training) in educational settings--for academic purposes--as well as work-related environments--for professional development purposes--is not a fad. Online training is changing the way PK-12 schools and higher education institutions teach, the way pupils approach learning, as well as the way organizations help keep their employees' skills and competencies abreast. The most common types of training courses offered online include computer software applications, professional development skills, technical skills, and job-related skills. Despite the widespread implementation of online training in educational and work-related environments. However, organizations and entities globally tend to rely on blended methods/approaches wherein traditional face-to-face instructor-led training settings are accompanied and enriched with online training environments (Bonk, 2002).

We live in a knowledge-driven society which entails the acquisition, usage, and sharing of knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, proficiencies, practices, and experiences. These knowledge management (KM) processes should be done effectively, efficiently, and rapidly. Therefore, utilizing information and communication technology (ICT) means, such as online training, as a KM tool and enabler in many organizations seems to be relevant. Hence, there is a great need for quality and accessible online training courses available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, and covering anything.

Objectives of the Study

ICT usage has a significant influence on organizations' effectiveness and efficiencies globally. The impact of ICT use is touching the organizations' infrastructures as well as their personnel (i.e., students, employees, and individuals). Modern ICT trends of organizations involve the integration of e-learning systems, in general, and more specifically e-training or online training systems, as new methods for delivering training programs/courses online. The State of Kuwait, since the beginning of the new millennium, is among these nations embracing and sustaining the implementation of online training in Kuwait's public and private sectors. …