Does E-Learning Actually Promote Employee Learning and Development?
On Wednesday, March 7, my Manhattan College students will be discussing the topic of E-learning, an important issue in the world of training and HR management. Specifically, we’ll be asking the following questions: How effective is E-learning? And how much do virtual learning platforms actually accelerate the training process and increase employee productivity?
Measuring the Value of E-Learning
This topic has far-reaching implications for the future of staffing and HR. We live in an increasingly digital age, one in which new online resources are appearing every day. But an age of marvels can also be an age of illusions and failed experiments. Just because a new platform is promoted as “technology” doesn’t mean it actually simplifies our lives, increases productivity, or makes the training process more effective.
In our class, we’ll focus the discussion on specific e-learning platforms like Moodle and Blackboard. These and other popular new digital resources are being embraced by HR departments in an effort to make the training process more streamlined, mobile, and affordable. Proponents of these platforms even suggest that e-learning is more effective that traditional learning, and may help employees gain a greater volume of information, retain it for a longer period, and apply it in the workplace in a way that raises general productivity. Are these claims legitimate? Or are they overly ambitious? Will these products help companies thrive? Or are they all flash and no substance?
A Discussion of E-learning: What Are the Stakes?
E-learning may benefit the corporate bottom line and it may not, but what are the stakes of the discussion? What do companies stand to gain or lose by investing in digital learning platforms? The answer will depend on three basic factors:
- The cost of the platform and the sacrifices made in pursuit of a new learning model
- A company’s philosophical approach to the training process
- The insights provided by neurological studies showing how our brains grasp and retain information.
To predict the future of E-learning, these three factors can be measured against the claims and capabilities of new training products.