Experts discuss getting the best out of e-learning

reason so many e-learning projects fail is because they do not relate
sufficiently to individual needs within the organisation and they are not
linked to key business objectives," says Nige Howarth, vice-president of
international marketing at e-learning provider NETg.

was speaking at a roundtable discussion which the company staged to discuss the
impact of e-learning on the individual.

panel – which included David Welham, director of learning technology at
KnowledgePool, Terry Goodison, research fellow at the Learning Lab, John May,
business consultant for e-learning at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and Mark
Chalmers, Cisco alliances director, enterprise at KPMG – discussed such issues
as how organisations should develop a learning culture and how to maximise the
investment in a learning programme.

is using the information gained from the discussion in an industry White Paper
which intends to outline how individuals can gain maximum benefit from their
e-learning experience.

e-learning is so much more than electronic courses on the company intranet. It
is about understanding individual requirements – what skills a person needs,
how he or she learns best and what motivates them," says Howarth.

need to take heed that e-learning cannot work if you don’t consider these
elements. E-learning can help companies to meet their business objectives, but
only if it also helps the individual to develop."

in relation to knowledge management was also discussed, with the panel
concluding that although companies understand how important it is to give
employees access to critical information, they don’t understand how they
assimilate this knowledge.

keeping with the current general consensus, the panel concluded that blended
learning, which combines conventionally taught training with e-learning, is
often the preferred option.

also revealed its vision for intelligent learning, which homes in on the
individual’s needs and learning styles. It is currently developing technology
which will allow organisations to collect information and and build individual
profiles on each learner.

NETg system dynamically learns about the learner and then delivers the
appropriate learning content, based on their individual preferences and
learning style.

need to find a way of harnessing the intellectual property they have internally
and using it to empower staff.

companies have tried to do this with knowledge management systems, but often
don’t succeed because their systems cannot take into account people’s
motivations and how they learn best," explains Howarth.

using the best of instructor-led training and the latest technologies in
e-learning, this level of personalisation is possible and looks set to shape
the future of learning."


panel also identified the following future trends:

Increased focus on the individual within the organisation through the use of
intelligent learning solutions

Increased take-up of new e-learning technologies through natural evolution

Increased number of government initiatives

Increased use of blended learning

Providers will need to be prepared to offer cost-effective and outsourced
solutions as the recession may slow down investment in training

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