On e-learning and effectiveness

My regular dose of Australian Policy Online has alerted me to the 2007 e-learning benchmarking project.

“The 2007 surveys show use of technology in vocational education and training (VET) has quadrupled in three years since the first benchmarking survey in 2005. The 2005 survey revealed 6-8% of VET activity involved technology, which rose to 17% in 2006 and now 29% in 2007”.

Another study, reported in the Australian Journal of Educational Technology, reports that the “analysis supports the proposition that the criteria of newness, complexity, compatibility and locus of control are associated with shaping the likelihood that vocational teachers will use online functionalities at least monthly. Newness, complexity and compatibility are described as a relationship between the teacher and the technology. Locus of control is described as focusing on the likely impact of online functionalities on the pedagogic relationship between the teacher and learners”.

Let’s hope e-learning is not just about the technology!

One important question to consider is how effective is e-learning when compared to traditional forms of learning, in both education and business settings? Kar-tin Lee has a nice summary of the literature in E-learning: the quest for effectiveness.

In another article, Lim, Nee and Lam offer another research perspective (subscription required) to “discover the determinants of effective online training and to reveal how those variables affect learning performance and transfer performance”. Finally, Judith Strother’s article has some interesting things to say on e-learning effectiveness in the business environment.

Perhaps e-learning still has some way to go to achieve greater acceptance and enthusiasm outside the education sector.

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2 responses to “On e-learning and effectiveness

  1. E-learning is a effective method of teaching if the student is self-motivated and has a less need to rely on others. Furthermore they must be able to work in their own pace, independently, using visual media as your input and have enough confidence to solve problems on their own. They are many good credible providers of distance education such as Thomson Education http://thomson.edu.au/ who provide comprehensive courses many can excel in.

  2. Having used e-learning tools at work and in post-graduate online studies, I certainly appreciate the value inherent in e-learning systems.

    You are quite right to highlight the need for personal motivation and commitment.

    However, I think that the provision of e-learning in many cases is a cost-cutting measure, rather than the focus on providing top rate organisational learning and development. I think e-learning can be better utilised than just as a cost-cutting strategy.

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