E-Learning as Organizational Strategy

E-Learning as Organizational Strategy

Rosemary Du Mont (Kent State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch116
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

The global knowledge-driven economy is characterized by both structural and personnel changes that are driving new models of teaching and learning. Today’s workforce has to learn and process more information in a shorter amount of time. New products and services are emerging with accelerating speed. As production cycles and life spans of products continue to shorten, skills quickly become obsolete, leading to the need for almost constant re-training. Managers feel the urgency to have new knowledge delivered to workers rapidly and efficiently so that skill levels can be maintained. Just-in-time training is becoming a critical element of organizational success. Learning is becoming a continual process rather than a distinct event (Urden & Weggen, 2000). The rapid deployment of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education is facilitating broad-based responses to the need for new knowledge to support learning. Teaching and learning for education and training are taking place outside traditional institutional and workplace venues. Universities and for-profit companies are both responding to the need for technological approaches to teaching and learning, sometimes as partners and sometimes as competitors (Barron, 2002; Brint, Paxton-Jorgenson, & Vega, 2003; Harley, 2004). They are both included in models of transnational education, borderless education, distributed learning, online learning, Web-based learning, distance learning, and global e-learning (Rocket, 2002; van der Wende, 2002).
Chapter Preview
Top

Understanding The Context Of E-Learning

The global knowledge-driven economy is characterized by both structural and personnel changes that are driving new models of teaching and learning. Today’s workforce has to learn and process more information in a shorter amount of time. New products and services are emerging with accelerating speed. As production cycles and life spans of products continue to shorten, skills quickly become obsolete, leading to the need for almost constant re-training. Managers feel the urgency to have new knowledge delivered to workers rapidly and efficiently so that skill levels can be maintained. Just-in-time training is becoming a critical element of organizational success. Learning is becoming a continual process rather than a distinct event (Urden & Weggen, 2000).

The rapid deployment of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education is facilitating broad-based responses to the need for new knowledge to support learning. Teaching and learning for education and training are taking place outside traditional institutional and workplace venues. Universities and for-profit companies are both responding to the need for technological approaches to teaching and learning, sometimes as partners and sometimes as competitors (Barron, 2002; Brint, Paxton-Jorgenson, & Vega, 2003; Harley, 2004). They are both included in models of transnational education, borderless education, distributed learning, online learning, Web-based learning, distance learning, and global e-learning (Rocket, 2002; van der Wende, 2002).

The Growth of E-Learning

According to PriceWaterhouseCooper, the worldwide e-learning market was predicted to exceed $23 billion in 2003, out of which North America accounts for two-thirds. PriceWaterhouseCooper predicts that the Western European market will grow at the fastest rate over the coming years (Focus: E-Learning, 2003). In the year 2000, 11% (55% of the Fortune 500) had a Chief Knowledge Officer to respond to the need for corporate training including e-learning, up from virtually none in the previous five years (Learnframe, 2000).

Forces supporting the growth of e-learning include:

  • 1.

    Development of innovations in the information and communication technology market broadens e-learning’s appeal to those seeking ways to develop human capital.

  • 2.

    Enhancement of practice by educators, trainers, and human-resource managers allows them to strategically manage both classroom training and the growing body of e-learning content through the use of learning management systems.

  • 3.

    Corporations and higher education are able to offer flexible access to learning opportunities from distributed venues such as home, workplace, the community learning center, as well as from campus locations.

  • 4.

    Corporations and higher education can offer equitable learning opportunities for independent and isolated learners.

  • 5.

    E-learning providers perceive that e-learning offers a potentially less expensive way of delivering content.

  • 6.

    Those that offer e-learning believe that e-learning can challenge the larger traditional market for higher education in niche elements of the market, especially in information technology itself.

  • 7.

    Higher education institutions and employers are adopting “cutting-edge” technologies in order to be competitive.

  • 8.

    Higher education institutions and employers are adopting e-learning as a matter of survival (Barron, 2002; Dickinson, 2001; Learnframe, 2000; Naidu, 2003, Sommerich, 2002; Stokes, 1999).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaborative Learning: A style of teaching and learning in which students work in teams toward a common goal. In some online courses, collaborative learning teams are used to encourage students to work cooperatively with each other. The idea is that students learn from each other while participating in teams (Florida Community College at Jacksonville).

Chief Knowledge Officer: An organizational leader who helps to create, develop, and sustain an organization-wide information infrastructure to facilitate knowledge management (KM). Examples of responsibilities: defines the KM vision; develops common definitions to facilitate understanding of KM; provides guidance and policy on overall direction of KM; creates policy and direction on IT security issues evolving through the development and use of KM systems; promotes a culture that will facilitate knowledge sharing and organizational learning; champions cross-organizational communities of practice; develops incentives to encourage knowledge sharing; develops measures of effectiveness for contribution to mission; defines the roles, skills-sets, and career opportunities of knowledge workers; leverages the virtual knowledge resources of the organization across the enterprise; shares information about KM and searches for enterprise-wide opportunities for KM tools (Earl & Scott, 1999).

Deep Knowledge: Knowledge that is concerned with underlying meanings and principles; integration of facts and feelings with previously acquired knowledge. For deep knowledge to be acquired, a series of learning activities needs to be set in place (see Weigel, 2002).

Intellectual Property: Any product of the human intellect that is unique, novel, and unobvious (and has some value in the marketplace), that is, an idea, invention, expression or literary creation, unique name, business method, industrial process, chemical formula, computer program process, or presentation.

Digital Divide: There are people who do and people who don’t have access to—and/or the capability to use—modern information technologies. The digital divide exists between those in cities and those in rural areas. The digital divide also exists between the educated and the uneducated, between economic classes and globally, between the more and less industrially developed nations.

Virtual University: The term virtual/college university (VCU) is used today to describe a broad range of entities and activities: corporate training centers, distance learning efforts of individual institutions, nonprofit and governmental education activities, and multi-state and international learning collaboratives. Aside from institutional programs, most of these initiatives are not true “universities” in the degree-granting sense of the word. Virtual universities supply infrastructure for providing students with learning experiences and related support services partially or totally online (Aoki & Pogroszewski, 1998; Epper & Garn, 2004).

Learning Objects: Digital resources, modular in nature, that are used to support learning. They include but are not limited to simulations, electronic calculators, animations, tutorials, text entries, Web sites, bibliographies, audio and video clips, quizzes, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, graphs, maps, charts, and assessments. They vary in size, scope, and level of granularity, ranging from a small chunk of instruction to a series of resources combined to provide a more complex learning experience (National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, 2003).

Learning Management System (LMS): Software designed to help administer the teaching/training environment. The LMS registers users, tracks courses, records data from learners, and provides reports to the instructor. The focus is on managing courses, not on content creation.

Content Management System: Software that enables one to add and/or manipulate content on a Web site.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset