Key Capabilities, Components, and Evolutionary Trends in Corporate E-Learning Systems

Key Capabilities, Components, and Evolutionary Trends in Corporate E-Learning Systems

Hyo-Joo Han (Georgia Southern University, USA), Geoffrey Dick (University of New South Wales, Australia), Tom Case (Georgia Southern University, USA) and Craig Van Slyke (Saint Louis University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-782-9.ch027


The chapter examines the development of online learning systems in corporations, corporate utilization of reusable learning modules, and the various forms of assessment and knowledge certification used to ensure and improve the quality of the learning outcomes. Corporations continue to embrace e-learning, at a dramatic rate. This is partly driven by a desire for cost reduction and partly to ensure that all staff to have the required skills and competencies for their jobs. Organizations are increasingly linking the e-learning/e-training systems with other modules of their human resource management systems and this chapter includes a case example to illustrate such linkages. Universities have demonstrated progress in e-learning but remain in a position to learn much from e-learning developments in the corporate world. In sum, the chapter provides an overview of corporate experiences with e-learning/e-training and how these might be transferred to the academic world; it also sounds a note of warning for the universities should they fail to observe the ongoing development of corporate e-learning systems.
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Development Of The Online Learning Platform

Technology and the changing workplace provide opportunities to approach employees’ learning and skill base development in new ways. E-learning/e-training technologies allow employees to take online course on an “as needed” basis at times that best suit them. E-learning/e-training can also be timed to suit workplace skill enhancement requirements. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet, multimedia and communications technologies allow learning and training to be delivered in new formats at a lower cost.

E-learning/e-training systems are increasingly important components of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) (also called HR modules, HRIT systems, HRMS) which support human resource management processes in organizations such as HR planning, recruiting and selection, training and development, performance management, and compensation and benefits (Bentley, 2007). E-learning/e-training solutions can be acquired by organizations as stand-alone HRIS applications, as components of integrated performance management solutions, or as components of integrated human capital management (HCM) systems linking learning management systems (LMS) with Talent Management Systems (TMS). Most e-learning/e-training solution vendors offer clients the option of implementing e-learning/e-training solutions in-house (self-hosting) or gaining access to customizable e-learning/e-training applications via a Web browser (i.e. as a hosted, application service provider – Application Service Provider(ASP) or Web services solution). The trend is toward hosted, ASP e-learning/e-training solutions such as that illustrated in Figure 1. Figure 1 illustrates that online training and development management is a key component in integrated Web-based TMS.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Software: encompasses a range of software systems that allow users to interact and share data.

Learning Outcomes: the desired objectives of providing the knowledge in the form of a course

Knowledge Certification: some evidence that a certain level of knowledge has been acquired

E-Learning, Online Learning: the use of computing and/or communications technologies to provide learning in the form of courses, training or skills acquisition

Podcasting: the method of distributing multi-media files over the Internet so they can be played on mobile devices

Constructivism: philosophy of learning founded on the premise that, by reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world we live in.

Blog: a Web site, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

Learning Management Systems: computer systems that allow learners to access educational content and management the ability to monitor performance in, and use of, such learning

Wiki: a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language

Learning Objects: focused, concise learning modules that can be deployed in various combinations to provide a body of knowledge

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