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The evolution of the IT training role alongside e-learning


E-Learning is a subject for debate in all Training Sectors. TrainingZone is monitoring e-learning and we have news items and reviews which can be found at Training Trends.

The IT Training Page is seeking to report its own views and experiences of e-learning in relation to the IT Training and Education Sector.

As an IT trainer, it might be fair to assume that, at some point in time you might well have considered how and where your future will be as e-learning gains, what appears to be, increasing popularity. Any good Trainer or Teacher will also have given some consideration to the Students' role in e-learning, the benefits and possible pitfalls as opposed to traditional ‘Classroom Style – Trainer led’ instruction and tuition.

There are some forms of online learning which still require Instructor led tuition - the material is contained online but the trainer or teacher is still required to assist the students with traditional style tuition.

From America last week, came a report that colleges are trying Distance Learning off campus. One of the reasons quoted is a lack of IT trainers in schools, and one of the Universities pioneering the trend is New York University. Whilst here in the UK there is also growing evidence that more and more Universities, colleges, schools and businesses are using e-learning for students and employees. Nevertheless, the success of this electronic learning style is far from certain. It may take some years before we can even begin to ascertain whether the real life effects of this learning style on the student have been beneficial or not.

The impact of e-learning on the trainer appears to be marginally small to date, but is this really the case? Is e-learning perhaps more popular or less popular than originally anticipated. Its progress may not be as rapid as expected; on the surface it may not have affected many IT trainers or teachers at all. There are still many pros and cons attached to learning online as opposed to classroom, instructor led teaching. However, there is also much evidence that it is gaining popularity in considerable and diverse areas.

Many people are still unfamiliar with the Internet, it is not to be taken for granted that these are all 'computer illiterate', there are still many trainers and teachers who use a computer competently but have little or no Internet experience. Those IT trainers who are fairly comfortable with using the Internet may be surprised to learn this fact.

Some of the questions TrainingZone would like to consider are:-

  • How has the IT trainer’s role changed since the advent of e-learning?
  • Do you consider that for you it has not changed?
  • Do IT trainer’s feel that their career could be threatened by it?
  • Do IT trainer’s see a necessary adaptation of their role to be a facilitator of e-learning?

There is no doubt that some IT trainers are required to prepare, instruct, assess and mark e-learning material. E-learning students will need feedback, and from time-to-time they may feel the need to communicate with a tutor or trainer on a personal basis. But even in the acceptance of the need for trainers, the question might be – will the requisite numbers diminish and if so, by how many? None of these questions can be answered at such at premature stage of e-learning.

What the IT Training page is seeking to do is report and review how E-learning affects the IT trainer. In our quest to do so, we feel the project would hugely benefit by input and feedback from our IT training readers. We would like to hear about any experiences, opinions, ideas or thoughts you might have on e-learning and how it affects your role in training – both positive or negative, but constructive, feedback are required.

Some of the questions you might consider are:-

  • What are your experiences of e-learning to date?
  • How do you foresee the future of IT training and e-learning?
  • How do you see the students’ role in e-learning?
  • What are some of the advantages, disadvantages and possible pitfalls for students of e-learning?
  • Have you tried e-learning yourself?
  • If you so what are your thoughts, feelings and opinions of it – good, bad or both?
  • Do you use e-learning in your training packages?

    In the follow up article TrainingZONE will endeavour to provide some answers to the above questions. We would be very pleased to be able to include content from IT TrainingZONE readers.

    This page is really about you, the IT trainer, your views and feelings are most definitely required. Please send your comments to Kathleen Hopper IT Training Editor mailto:[email protected]


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