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E-learning – not just a cost cutter


Companies who view e-learning as a quick fix to savings during times of financial uncertainty should think again, according to one of the speakers at this week's CIPD conference in Harrogate.

Martyn Sloman, an adviser with the CIPD, says many organisations are viewing e-learning as an attractive alternative to asking staff to travel, following the attacks in the USA last month, but aren't seriously considering the impact of withdrawing staff from classroom-based learning. Sloman cites a number of issues which he says it's important to consider before using e-learning across the board, despite the 'enormous potential' he says e-learning has: "Make no mistake, e-learning has enormous potential, not just as an individual learning tool, but as a major business driver. Successful organisations are increasingly using e-learning to support mission-critical activities: they are adapting e-learning techniques to communicate with customers and across the supply chain."

Organisations do however need to consider the problems learners encounter when trying to study at their desks, Sloman says, and organisational culture can also have a major impact on the effectiveness of e-learning, language being a potential barrier. He goes on to stress the importance of not rejecting classroom training out of turn, and turns to what is currently a popular topic - that of blended learning, although he does acknowledge that "in a sense we have been there before. We should learn from the over-promotion and over-reliance on the CDROM as a means of training delivery."


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