Perceived Usefulness and Outcomes of Intranet-Based Learning (IBL): Developing Asynchronous Knowledge Management Systems in Organizational Settings

Article excerpt

This article introduces two studies showing the perceived usefulness reported by the participants of Intranet Based Learning (IBL) (N=226) and the effectiveness of IBL measured by the outcomes of two instructional groups and the control group in a Korean private company (N=132). It is suggested that additional aspects of IBL need to be considered when instructional trainers design asynchronous knowledge management systems. Implications for utilizing IBL are further provided.

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Intranets, which originally grew out of industry, are widely used in learning communities where knowledge, skills, and learning experience need to be shared (Ali, 2001). As technological development progresses, industries have attempted to develop innovative knowledge management system using intranet portals. For example, organizational knowledge is shared through intranet portals as an organizational memory information system (Duncan & Weiss, 1979). As a result, developing innovative knowledge management practices has become important and essential in providing training.

In the area of human resource development, the role of knowledge management is related to providing training on skills to maximize work performance, and giving rewards or incentives to enhance motivation to work. With the advent of information technology, trainers and administrators in organizations have pursued alternative methods of providing training. In particular, providing training has been linked to the issues of (1) adopting innovative technologies, and (2) facilitating trainees to learn various skills to engage in organizational tasks. Using innovative technological infrastructure such as the Intranet has widely been acknowledged as a useful medium, facilitating trainees' learning processes (Ali, 2001). In many organizations and industries in Korea, considering alternative ways of delivering training has become essential because of the issues related to maximizing the effectiveness of organizational training and learning. Recently, the role of knowledge management in Korean industries has taken a shift in the format of delivering training from direct, and lecture-based learning (LBL) to indirect, asynchronous, and self-paced learning. Intranet-Based Learning (IBL) is frequently adopted by Korean industries in providing learning programs and training. Technological advances are used to provide solutions to innovative learning not only in school settings but also to training in corporate settings. As other researchers have suggested, an efficient way of providing learning involves providing just-in-time learning via the Internet or Intranet (Pan et al., 2003). For example, Korean students in K-16 settings are eager to learn foreign languages, computer skills, or other career related classes via online education media (eBizgroup, 2000). Likewise, IBLin industries is used to deliver skill management, foreign languages, and other work related training such as work ethics (e-Bizgroup, 2000). This wide and frequent application of IBL seems to indicate that IBL can be utilized and provided to diverse learners from K-16 to learners who are employees in private sectors in Korea. In this article, we introduce IBL, examine its effectiveness of delivering learning materials, and propose developing a knowledge management system in training employees in private sectors.

Trainees in private sectors are faced with a dual role. As employees, they need to fulfill various job-related tasks. As learners, they need to demonstrate that they have acquired organizational knowledge, skills, and abilities. In other words, they basically need to meet the needs of training criteria provided by their company both as learners and employees. Therefore, they need extra time and effort to engage in learning while engaging in job-related tasks. Using IBL, the learning environment can be facilitative for learners to utilize sufficient resources (ChanLin, Huang, & Chan. …

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