The time is e-right: just as e-mail has transformed the way we communicate, e-learning will transform the way we develop professionally.
The Internet has revolutionized the way we do business in countless ways since the early 90s. The incalculable in·cal·cu·la·ble
a. Impossible to calculate: a mass of incalculable figures.
b. Too great to be calculated or reckoned: incalculable wealth. amount of information available via the Internet and computer technology has also revolutionized the way we learn.
Now, more than ever, the speed, low cost, flexibility and omnipresent om·ni·pres·ent
Present everywhere simultaneously.
[Medieval Latin omnipres nature of the Internet is causing a major paradigm shift A dramatic change in methodology or practice. It often refers to a major change in thinking and planning, which ultimately changes the way projects are implemented. For example, accessing applications and data from the Web instead of from local servers is a paradigm shift. See paradigm. in the way we deliver and receive education from the campus to the corporation. This phenomenon has been coined e-learning.
Training delivered in a classroom with an instructor still represents the majority of all training in Corporate America, but when you consider the fact that over 50 percent of the traditional corporate training budget is spent on travel-related costs, it becomes clear there must be a better way. Travel costs include airline tickets, hotel rooms and meals for each training participant.
Classroom facility costs, instructor and participant wages, and lost productivity while participating in a training event must also be factored into the equation.
It is estimated that over time, 90 percent of overall costs for a traditional classroom course can be attributed to delivery. Delivery costs include all the above-mentioned costs of getting trainers together with trainees, plus workbook and manual printing, revisions and distribution.
Understanding the value of e-learning in helping businesses to become more effective begins with knowing its many forms, as well as its many benefits and limitations.
E-learning is available in many modalities such as: Internet or Web-based training (WBT See Windows-based terminal. ), CD-ROM CD-ROM: see compact disc.
in full compact disc read-only memory
Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser). or DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. computer-based training See CBT.
(application) Computer-Based Training - (CBT) Training (of humans) done by interaction with a computer. The programs and data used in CBT are known as "courseware." (CBT (Computer-Based Training) Using the computer for training and instruction. CBT programs are called "courseware" and provide interactive training sessions for all disciplines. ) and job aids or electronic performance support systems (EPSS (Electronic Performance Support System) A computer system that provides quick assistance and information without requiring prior training to use it. It may incorporate all forms of multimedia delivery as well as AI techniques such as expert systems and natural ). Additionally, corporations can benefit from a customized blend of WBT, CBT and instructor-led training (ILT ILT
infectious laryngotracheitis. ) to best meet the needs of the training audience.
Most Web-based and computer-based e-learning is designed for self-paced (asynchronous Refers to events that are not synchronized, or coordinated, in time. The following are considered asynchronous operations. The interval between transmitting A and B is not the same as between B and C. The ability to initiate a transmission at either end. ) instruction. This puts the student in control of when the instruction is delivered and how quickly he or she progresses through the content.
Self-paced instruction allows the student to go back and review portions of the course or skip portions as needed as needed prn. See prn order. , and training can be taken anytime it is convenient for the student, as compared to a scheduled classroom event where the pace of instruction is determined by the instructor and the class group as a whole. Total training time (seat time) for self-paced Web-based training is typically 50 percent less than instructor-led training. What used to take all day in a classroom can be done in about three hours on your computer.
While retention and test scores compare favorably between traditional classroom instruction and e-learning, a common complaint about self-paced e-learning is its higher than normal "departure"--or non-completion--rate as compared to instructor-led training. Students don't always complete the entire course.
A high departure rate can indicate "just enough training" where the student took only those modules that were needed. More commonly, a low course completion rate can indicate poor instructional design resulting in what is referred to as a "page turner" course. Since an instructor is not present to facilitate and stimulate the learning process, it is more critical than ever for content to be engaging and even entertaining.
One increasingly popular form of e-learning is live (synchronous) Internet-based training. Students and instructor gather in a virtual classroom that simulates a traditional classroom, such as allowing participants to raise their hand to ask a question, pass notes back and forth to other classmates Classmates can refer to either:
So, is e-learning the panacea for all training ills in the business world? Will traditional classroom instruction go the way of the printed memo? Not exactly, but, just as e-mail has transformed the way we communicate, e-learning will transform the way we learn. Given the world we live in today, the time couldn't be more right to take advantage of the Internet and computer technology to get the right training and information to the right people at the right time.
5 key advantages of Web-based training
1. Standardized instruction 2. On-demand availability 24/7 3. Less training time = more productive time 4. No travel expenses 5. Continuous learning support (rapid content updating, convenient Web access)
Bob Sheridan is director of business development for O/E O/E On Examination
O/E Operator Error
O/E Observed to Expected ratio (environmental & medical research)
O/E Optical/Electrical Converter
O/E Optic to Electric Learning in Troy, a member of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
e-learning: User-friendly? How does your organization measure the success of e-learning? Employee feedback 72% Improved job performance 46% Tracking number of employees using online offerings 46% Bottom-line results 37% What are the major challenges to e-learning? Lack of bandwidth 53% Cultural resistance 51% Lack of interaction 39% What are the primary benefits of e-learning over traditional classroom learning? Availability anytime, anywhere 79% Cost savings 59% Allows for self-paced learning 59% Source: e-Learning Magazine 2001 user survey