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The impact of e-learning on IT training – opinion


Richard Standen, Director, Connected Learning Limited gives his view on the impact e-learning is having on the delivery of IT training.

From my experience training staff in academic and corporate organisations on how to maximise the use of their VLE’s, I must admit that I am seeing a growing emphasis on the use of e-learning to support IT Training across all organisations.

Staff frequently comment on their preference for being able to study at their own pace in a way that is flexible enough to fit in with their busy work schedules. e-learning is the answer to this requirement. Not only does e-learning allow companies to make IT training easily available across an organisation using the corporate intranet or the internet in the office, we have even seen examples of staff using this method to study internal training materials at home over the Internet.

It is a recognised fact that we all learn better by taking an active role in the learning process. By following instructions in an e-learning environment the student can obtain a real knowledge of IT products and applications by actively “doing”. The flexibility of e-learning authoring tools, like courseGenie for example, now also allow you to make online training more interactive. Rather than just having training materials as a standard MS Word document exported to HTML, pop ups, audio/video/flash and special definitions can all be added to encourage user’s motivation to continue with the course. e-learning need no longer be isolated learning either, you can now easily attach collaborative features such as discussion boards to facilitate trainer/learner communication and peer support. Self test questions can be added to assess student’s understanding and these in turn can be used by the training department to understand the staff’s development.

Following on from this, another important factor when considering e-learning as a facility for IT training, is that that the maintenance and distribution of internal training resources within organisations can be revolutionised with new e-learning tools. On a fundamental level these tools allow more efficient use of IT Training resources. Using these tools for example you can maintain and update just one copy of the training notes in a Word format reducing duplication of efforts by training departments. To truly maximise IT training budgets, training departments are also using post and pre training online assessments to ensure that staff are following the most appropriate training development plans.

I would like to raise a final point! We are all aware that it is becoming more and more important to know and be able to demonstrate the success of the IT training offered. Part of the solution could lie in e-learning. The output of products like courseGenie can be used within your Learning Management System to track staff’s access to materials and their performance in testing exercises. This ability means that moving forward e-learning may be one of the best ways to support a full audit of IT Training delivery.


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