Academic journal article Communications of the IIMA

Successful E-Learning in Corporations

Academic journal article Communications of the IIMA

Successful E-Learning in Corporations

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper seeks to explore the concepts and best practices of successful e-learning in corporations. It will first describe what e-learning is as well as its history in relation to educational models. A brief introduction will cover the variety types of e-learning. The paper will then provide information on e-learning limitations such as various standards, lack of infrastructure and architecture, and at length discuss employee motivation and cultural resistance to e-learning. Organizational advantages and benefits of e-learning will be outlined. Some of them include cost savings on travel, globalization, improved value-chain activities, and return on investment. Finally the paper will present some success stories and discuss the future implications of e-learning in corporations.

INTRODUCTION

Wikipedia defines "Electronic learning" (or e-Learning or eLearning) as "is a term where the student and the teacher use online technology to interact and participate." When you combine learning with technology the application is called e-learning. E-learning is delivered through information and communication technologies. E-learning in corporation can be defined as a type of training delivered on a computer that supports an individual learning as well as organizational goals. The key of e-learning in corporations is to reach the organizations strategic goals through reliable learning. In order to do so, companies need to provide high-quality training programs which potentially can create a greater return on investment to corporations within their current training plans. How they are able to do this is through an electronic medium, hence the "e" in e-learning. What they learn is derived from the content within the e-learning system. The purpose of an organization in using e-learning is to help the individual improve job performance and satisfaction, understand on the job skills and help the company create a competitive work force. It is not surprising that the concept of e-learning is growing rapidly.

Based on interviews with senior executives, Ettinger, Holton and Blass (2006a) report that the acceptance and practice of e-learning is rising, typically by forty percent and as many as seventy eight percent expect their company to start using e-learning in the near future. There are many motives that drive companies to start using e-learning for their training such as, cost-effectiveness, in the fact that it can be adopted across multiple sites taking the learning to the learner, its ability to be tailored to the organizations needs, and that it complements knowledge management approaches. The key reasons that are typical for most companies to use e-learning are outlined below (Ettinger, Holton & Blass, 2006a):

* Creating competitive advantage, by aligning workforce with company strategy

* Globalization, ability to reach anywhere in the world

* Information age, using highly developed tools to communicate

* Demand for post-secondary and life-long learning

* Budget constraints for both internal and external education

Although many companies have similar reasons to use e-learning, some have their own agenda for wanting to use e-learning. The ability to align e-learning with high-level business strategies along with the capacity to train entire workforces to support these strategies is one of the key reasons that attracts companies to e-learning (Clarke & Hermens, 2001). Using technology to deliver learning, such as CD-ROM, DVD, Internet and intranets, allows the company to completely train their workforce while potentially keeping costs down. One way that companies ensure that their employees have the right tools to execute strategy is by using the Internet as a vehicle for imparting knowledge. These ideas have been around for a while but with recent advances in technology they are now possible (Henry, 2002; Allen, 2008).

HISTORY OF E-LEARNING

When did the concept of e-learning start? …

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