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E-learning, Training and Education


Last week IT TrainingZONE wrote on 'The evolution of the IT training role alongside e-learning'.

In an attempt to ascertain just how much consideration trainers might need to pay to some of the issues of e-learning, TrainingZONE this week explores possible influences of e-learning on training and education as we know it.

In the face of using modern technology and distance learning, as opposed to classroom based tuition or training, a trainer may be confronted with a whole new set of teaching experiences. A point worth observing for a trainer who may be experiencing qualms about this unfamiliar environment is that ‘you still need to do what you do best’ – that is teach.

Should you resist the challenge of using e-learning you might, arguably, be left behind in the growing of the training and education media. There is no denying that e-learning’s popularity and practicality are rapidly gaining strength and momentum. You may challenge the issues involved in e-learning, but the proof is irrefutable, learning is in the embryo stages of vast reformation and progress will not be stopped. e-learning is here and it is not going away for along time yet.

Whilst, there is no cause for trainers, or facilitators of learning in general, to panic – traditional methods will continue for quite some time yet. Possibly though, it is worth giving some thought to just what extensive implications e-learning might really have. Nor, do we believe, it would be overdramatic to consider that we are probably experiencing one of the most significant steps in the reformation of education - within the recent history of mankind. Such radical changes may not have been experienced, at least in the UK, since the 1870s when Parliament, after long, acrimonious debates, passed an Elementary Education Act, the foundation upon which the English educational system has been built.

Just what impact it will have on the standard of education, in the long term, remains to be seen. Many advocates would say that it will improve learning, as with most things there are two sides to the coin. No doubt the theorists will be working hard to analyse the long term effects of this new teaching/learning* phenomena, hopefully guiding all educators on how to deliver training/teaching** in these virtually unchartered waters. Unquestionably the structure of the educational system as we know it will not disappear completely, at least within the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the changes and influences that e-learning is already generating, will undoubtedly shape the future of education worldwide.

Perhaps now is the time to consider how your role as a trainer is going to fit into the future of learning and education. At this point it is worth mentioning that, among other resources, The Institute of IT Training (IITT) have excellent guidelines relating to IT Training and E-learning, including 'Code of Practice for e-Learning Providers' and
'Standards for e-Learning', obtainable by clicking on 'standards' in left hand column of their home page. Also see TrainingZONE's e-learningzone
both are excellent sites for those wishing to start up their own online training practice.

* training and learning - one is redundant without the other, hence both should be included in references

** training and teaching - the underpinning theories have few fundamental differences. Delivery may vary in some cases.

A trainer or teacher are both facilitators of learning.

Comments welcome on any topics in this article.


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