Generic e-learning cuts costs by adds little value

Making
generic e-learning products available to unsupported volunteer learners might
deliver training budget cost savings, but it does not advance learning in the
organisation, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development.

A
study of 10 organisations who are committed to e-learning by Martyn Sloman,
E-learning, The learning Curve, shows there is no universal blueprint for
e-learning and that every organisation needs to progress along its own learning
curve in order to make it work.

In
the CIPD study, six areas were identified as needing specific attention in the
design and implementation process:


strategic intent


introducing the system


blended learning


content


supporting the learner


measurement and monitoring

The
report’s authors Martyn Sloman and Jessica Rolph, said that if due attention is
not given to all these areas, organisations will not be able to implement
e-learning effectively. The report also says that e-learning is not ‘plug and
play’ and must be ‘reconfigured’ to meet the particular circumstances of the
organisation.

"So
far e-learning has demonstrated more potential than performance," said
Sloman. "Some organisations are achieving real efficiencies, reflected in
considerable cost savings, but these tend to be organisations where there is a
need to provide standardised information, often around product knowledge or
systems change, and which have a large workforce that is geographically widely
spread.

"We
all want e-learning to achieve its massive potential. The idea that a learner
can access up-to-date information instantaneously, anywhere, any time is
extremely powerful," he said.

"Progress,
however, is not helped by over-hype and over-promotion. Real progress will come
from the determined efforts of training professionals in organisations who are
working to overcome the demanding problems of e-learning implementation."

By Quentin Reade

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