e-Learning attracts considerable interest in contemporary corporate training curricula. As it concerns a considerable investment, organizations that tend to adopt and maintain it effectively and efficiently in the long term, need to learn from the pioneers. Authors’ experience and extensive literature review leaded to eleven critical success factors, which promise to increase the awareness towards the most common impediments. Those critical success factors include the alignment with business objectives, leadership, empowerment of the learning aspect, technological infrastructure, blended instruction, careful design, evaluation and feedback, time and space to learn, motivation to learn, usability, and complete knowledge of learners’ characteristics.
Key Terms in this Chapter
E-Learning Strategy: E-learning strategy is “a detailed plan which guides the corresponding operation up and running and retains it durable over the long term” (Rosenberg, 2000, p. 291).
Blended Learning: Blended learning is the effective integration of various learning techniques, technologies, and delivery modalities to meet specific communication, knowledge sharing, and informational needs (Finn & Bucceri, 2006).
Motivation to Learn: Motivation as a concept is intimately linked with learning (Schunk, 2000) and refers to what people will do rather than what people can do. It is closely related to arousal, attention, anxiety, and feedback/reinforcement (Keller, 1987; Wlodkowski, 1981). Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic (Schunk, 2000): Extrinsic motivation has external causes such as social approval/disapproval, rewards, or avoiding negative consequences. Intrinsically motivated action is that which occurs for its own sake, action for which the only rewards are the spontaneous affects and cognitions that accompany it (Wlodkowski, 1981). Intrinsically motivated behaviors require no external supports or reinforcements for their sustenance.
E-Learning Readiness: E-learning readiness is the “mental or physical preparedness of an organization for some e-learning experience or action” (Borotis & Poulymenakou, 2004, p. 1622).
Learning Design: A “learning design” is defined as the description of the teaching-learning process that takes place in the unit of learning. A “unit of learning” can be any instructional or learning event of any granularity, for example, a course, a workshop, a lesson, or an informal learning event. The key principle in learning design is that it represents the learning activities and the support activities that are performed by different persons (learners, teachers) in the context of a unit of learning. These activities can refer to different learning objects that are used during the performance of the activities (e.g., books, articles, software programmes, pictures), and it can refer to services (e.g., forums, chats, wiki’s) that are used to collaborate and to communicate in the teaching-learning process (Koper, 2006).