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E-learning is a type of learning that uses electronic tools and methods to teach learners different subjects. However, it differs from other forms of learning because learners are taught in a virtual learning environment where they interact with their fellow learners and teachers through technological tools. Electronic learning is one of the major forms of learning used to pass on vital skills to employees in various organizations.
The paper will discuss the extent to which e-learning in various firms is influenced by a positive change in organizational culture. The paper will focus on Centrax Corporation as an example to show why changes in organizational practices can help firms achieve positive results out of e-learning programs. Arguments advanced in the paper agree with the statement that a change in organizational culture is necessary for e-learning to succeed.
Organizational culture has a big influence on e-learning. There are several theories which have been used to uncover more information about e-learning. The behaviorist theory argues that learners’ attitudes towards e-learning programs are influenced by how the learning environment is designed. The theory emphasizes that learners have to achieve specific outcomes by showing how they have developed their cognitive skills by answering questions.
In this format, learning content is given to learners to help them explore what they want to study through interactions with their peers and instructors (Unit 1, 2013, p. 4).
The socio-cultural theory of e-learning emphasizes that learning programs must have practical designs to make it easy for learners to relate the knowledge they have acquired to theoretical content. These two theories are a clear testimony on how the e-learning environment in Centrax Corporation is structured. It enables employees in the firm to acquire vital skills through e-learning.
The adult learning theory can solve e-learning needs in the organization because most employees who work there are adults. Centrex’s e-learning models have made all workers adapt to new conditions of work, and this has made them more efficient. Workers in this organization are offered a good environment that makes them more interested in e-learning. The organizational learning theory encourages workers in the firm to change their perceptions towards e-learning.
The firm’s workers are encouraged to come up with better solutions for the various challenges they are facing. Through e-learning, Central has been able to transfer knowledge and skills to its workforce, and this has made the firm’s employees more competent in their duties (Unit 2, 2013, p. 5).
Business firms need to look at other professional activities which can be integrated with e-learning to ensure their internal processes are improved. It is also necessary for instructors and management to design e-learning methods that are suitable for various activities done in business organizations.
Traditional Vs. E-Learning Methods
Business firms need to try out a blended learning environment to find out if it will meet the needs of all workers in the firm. This learning environment makes instructors and their learners to collaborate to ensure they achieve positive learning outcomes. This will expose learners to cognitive and constructive support elements which are vital in making them achieve good performance (Unit, 3, 2013, p. 6).
The design of this environment can only achieve the desired objectives if learners are exposed to concepts that make them understand different subjects easily. This type of learning is suitable for these workers because it allows them to combine practical and theoretical aspects of learning to improve performance.
Centrax has exposed its workers to different technologies to help them build connections which are vital for their intellectual growth (Unit 4, 2013, p. 4). It has also instituted measures that allow it to create background knowledge sources for workers to make them have effective tools for learning.
Centrax has instituted an interactive learning process through which workers and their instructors exchange ideas on various subjects they are learning. Learners and their instructors need to interact to ensure they become comfortable. This will give both parties more confidence to work harder to achieve good results out of various activities they are doing (Boon, Rusman, Van Der Klink & Tattersall, 2005, p. 207). Time allocation is a crucial aspect of learning, which needs to be taken seriously in a blended learning environment.
Therefore, a firm needs to develop proper plans to make workers have favorable attitudes towards e-learning to stimulate their interest in various learning activities they will be exposed to. A learning environment that motivates learners makes them achieve better results. Centrex’s management team has developed systems that keep track of learners’ progress to ensure they are in line with overall organizational objectives. This makes learning programs used more effectively to ensure they conform to crucial workplace factors.
A firm needs to take note of social interactions within the learning environment because they have an impact on results obtained by learners. Instructors need to build positive engagements with learners to ensure they motivate them to participate effectively in learning. Hung and Cho (2008) reveal that organizations need to acquire appropriate technologies that make it possible for instructors to impart knowledge more effectively to learners (p. 177).
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Human resource systems need to be restructured to ensure e-learning is integrated into both internal and external processes done in the organization. A firm can only achieve a positive direction if e-learning programs used are made part of the change processes used to solve various problems. Therefore, workers will be able to achieve positive outcomes in various tasks they do. This will also save the firm a lot of costs associated with expensive training programs.
Cultural Influences on E-Learning
Workers’ cultural backgrounds influence how knowledge will be shared and transferred. As a result, the firm needs to initiate effective processes that will change both workers and instructors attitudes towards e-learning. Dominant cultures at the workplace play a crucial role in influencing workers and instructors attitudes towards e-learning. Since Central employs many part-time employees, it has developed systems that enable them to acquire necessary skills within a very short time.
The firm has implemented policies that use e-learning techniques to develop workers’ personal and professional skills, which they can use to perform different tasks. Processes of induction need to be integrated with e-learning procedures to ensure employees are introduced to crucial systems in a firm at the onset (Welsh, Wanberg, Brown & Simmering, 2003, p. 249). Employees need to appreciate the value of a learning culture in an organization to make them have a positive outlook on the objectives they need to achieve.
All workers at the firm need to be encouraged to respect cultural diversity to ensure they improve their performance in all activities they are involved in. Instructors need to be more involved in what they do to make all learners confident that they are following the correct procedure. Since the firm needs these workers on a short term basis, it needs to expose them to high-quality international working practices.
This will allow the firm to make e-learning programs suitable for internal work functions. Cultural values which influence some human resource systems require leaders to exhibit strong personality traits. Such leaders need to be self-driven to get the best results out of employees working under them.
The program developed needs to be in touch with cultural values that are observed by most workers (Welsh, Wanberg, Brown & Simmering, 2003, p. 249). Centrex’s management is attentive to employees’ cultural backgrounds, and this has helped instructors choose appropriate media of instruction.
Business organizations need to keep track of various trends associated with e-learning in the market. Organizations need to invest in programs that help them assess how e-learning programs will be used to develop their internal capacities in the future. Trend watching helps organizations understand various developments that are taking place in e-learning and how they need to take advantage of them.
This helps organizations gather more information regarding appropriate technologies they need to use to improve their workers’ exposure to different e-learning techniques. Business organizations need to understand their own needs and goals to come up with effective e-learning programs that are suitable for them (Newton & Ellis, 2005, p. 390).
They also need to deal with recognized e-learning service providers who are known for their high-quality standards. This will ensure their e-learning investments help them satisfy a wide variety of needs. This will also help them identify specific processes that need to be improved through e-learning programs.
It is evident that organizations face various difficulties when they initiate e-learning programs to transfer vital skills to workers. They need to understand the consequences they are likely to experience by using different types of technology for their e-learning programs. Therefore, it is difficult for some organizations to predict how various e-learning technologies will impact on their internal work processes.
Many organizations experience problems associated with poor forecasts of e-learning technologies and their contributions to various internal processes. Newton and Ellis (2005) argue that organizations need to monitor how e-learning technologies will work for them by seeking technical advice from different experts (p. 393).
They need to liaise with such experts to ensure they choose appropriate e-learning technologies that will make their operations more competitive. Centrax has models of future market behavior that help managers understand the impacts of various e-learning technologies in the industry. This has given the firm a chance to look at various opportunities that exist to ensure e-learning solutions implemented satisfy a variety of needs.
The development of e-learning in many organizations has experienced a lot of challenges. Some organizations are motivated by different reasons to adopt e-learning as part of their internal work systems. Organizations that do not seek long term engagements with their employees are less motivated to implement e-learning programs. Such organizations feel that e-learning programs do not offer them long term benefits that will help them improve their operations in the long run.
They also do not have appropriate structures that support the implementation of e-learning programs in their operations. This makes them unaware of the benefits they stand to gain by implementing effective e-learning programs to make their employees more skilled and knowledgeable. Some organizations also lack proper technical capacities to help them adopt various e-learning technologies effectively.
They use simplistic methods which do not satisfy their complex needs, thereby limiting the success of these programs in their operations (Hakkinen, 2002, p. 467). They fail to take time to alter various conditions in their working environments to make them suitable for the adoption of e-learning technologies. Therefore, such organizations are not able to make their operations more competitive.
Organizations need to create suitable environments that help them implement e-learning technologies effectively. They need to improve their workplace structures to make them more accommodating to different forms of training advanced through e-learning programs. Hakkinen (2002) reveals that some firms are not interested in investing in projects that do not offer them long term engagements with their clients (p. 470).
Such firms are not willing to develop long term e-learning programs because they do not intend to employ their workers on a long term basis. They feel that e-learning is not a potential source of growth in the future and does not fit in with the key goals of their business models.
Centrax has established networks with other firms that have developed successful e-learning programs. This has encouraged the firm’s management to implement good e-learning practices. This approach has helped the firm’s managers understand the value of these programs to their long term operations.
Organizations that have effective e-learning systems align their long term objectives to outcomes they expect to achieve out of specific e-learning technologies. They make comparisons between specific e-learning environments and tools they need to use to achieve positive outcomes. This helps them invest in appropriate e-learning technologies that allow their workers to acquire relevant skills to improve their performance.
Nicholson (2007) emphasizes that organizations have to carry out effective planning to ensure they choose proper programs that are suited to their internal working conditions (p. 3). They need to assess different e-learning technologies to understand how they affect the quality of output delivered by their employees. Therefore, organizations need to invest in effective e-learning tools that are responsive to unique attributes in the industry in which a firm operates.
Centrex’s managers have mobilized adequate resources to design effective e-learning programs that satisfy employees’ needs. Managers in different firms need to guide instructors to develop models that encourage learners to share with them the challenges they face in learning (Nicholson, 2007, p. 6). As a result, knowledge acquired through such programs can help a firm’s users improve how various production processes are done.
Organizations that have effective e-learning programs need to understand how they can apply different theories that shed more light on e-learning. E-learning theories make it possible for organizations to develop effective internal capacities that make their operations more competitive. Servage (2005) asserts business organizations need to develop toolkits that encourage learners and their instructors to plan effective actions that improve how they learn different ideas (p. 310).
This involves creating systems that make workers have a stronger belief in innovative e-learning programs. Most effective programs focus on the authenticity of the content used in training and other forms of practice. These programs shape how learners acquire crucial knowledge from their instructors.
Training programs that utilize theoretical arguments to design learning formats encourage social interactions between learners and their instructors. Such programs are likely to attain better results in different organizational settings they are implemented. These programs encourage all participants in a learning environment to have interpersonal collaborations that help them model various problem-solving techniques.
A learning model that shows different interrelationships between various concepts makes it possible for learners to increase their knowledge in topics they are learning. This learning approach makes it possible for a learner to focus on various characteristics that are unique to specific theories. Common characteristics obtained from different models can be compiled to come up with a unique model that takes note of individual learners’ attributes in the learning environment.
Proposals which are obtained from the learning model developed can be used to come up with learning programs that link various activities with theoretical knowledge acquired. This makes it possible for the learning program to be used to assess the level of progress learners are making. This model helps learners acquire different types of skills after going through various e-learning programs (Servage, 2005, p. 313).
Models that are developed from e-learning lessons help learners understand relationships which exist between different stages of learning. They help learners get different meanings from learning programs they are undertaking to understand specific needs which these programs satisfy. E-learning models are also used to apply specific theory descriptions to specific applications from which learners develop their knowledge.
This makes them understand how they can use different tools to solve different problems that manifest. The e-learning design needs to incorporate different techniques that address areas of weakness in an organization. This makes it possible for all participants to brainstorm and suggest improvements that need to be made to the program.
In effect, this ensures learners are given valuable time to internalize new content they have learned (Conole, Dyke, Oliver and Seale, 2004, p. 28). Learners can later be assessed to find out how they are coping with different aspects of the program and if they are making positive progress. Diversifying learning approaches in e-learning helps learners to understand how they can transfer theoretical knowledge acquired into practical use.
Rapid changes that are experienced in technological development result in big challenges to firms that have implemented e-learning programs. This has made people to misunderstand the general purpose of e-learning and functions it is meant to play in various organizational settings. Therefore, it is necessary for current e-learning frameworks to develop practices that make it possible for learners to experience more information on how e-learning approaches work.
Peer interactions and teamwork need to be integrated with technological tools used as media of instruction to ensure learning processes deliver quality results to all stakeholders. Efficient computer programs can be used to encourage all learners to solve different problems they face through group collaborations (Tynjala & Hakkinen, 2005, p. 326). This encourages them to share the information which they can use to explore other joint solutions to various challenges they are facing in their learning.
E-learning programs that are implemented in organizations need to be designed for adult learners. This will make such programs more suitable for adult learners to make them understand various concepts they are taught more effectively.
Adult learning theories need to be combined with the chosen e-learning model to enable targeted learners to acquire more knowledge in what they are being taught. This format takes note of various cognitive functions which play a crucial role in developing learners’ skills and knowledge.
Social functions are also included in learning designs to make users adapt to different techniques they are exposed to through the program. In Central, problem-based learning approaches are used to review different areas of learning that are relevant to the development of workers’ skills.
The learning process is made as a real-life case that needs to be resolved through a sample project (Tynjala & Hakkinen, 2005, p. 329). Therefore, this allows each learner to use what he or she has acquired to improve the quality of his output in the organization.
Blending virtual and physical learning environments has its challenges, which affect the way learning content is delivered. A blended learning format helps all members interact with each other to help them achieve individual and collective learning objectives. Learners can interact with their peers and instructors, which encourages them to collaborate and come up with effective solutions to various challenges they are facing.
This gives learners more time to improve their attitudes, which encourages them to participate in different types of events that are positive to their development. A blended learning environment should not have complex technological tools that make it difficult for learners to keep contact with each other (Mitchell & Honore, 2007, p. 145). It has been noted that limited technical ability may severely affect a learner’s contribution to learning, making him have a negative attitude towards the whole experience.
A blended learning environment that is well structured makes learners have positive perceptions of the learning experience and motivates them to perform better. Learners need to be taken through the basic elements of a learning program to make them have the required level of knowledge to help them handle various tasks competently.
Mitchell and Honore (2007) argue that learners need to have the technical know how to keep them updated on new information that will help them improve their performance and knowledge (p. 148). This helps instructors and learners to have a positive attitude towards learning. This gives them the necessary level of comfort to handle complex tasks associated with the programs they are undertaking.
The adoption of blended learning approaches in different economic sectors has led to a variety of results. These approaches have been used to make continuing professional development programs (CPD) more effective to a wide variety of professionals in different organizations. CPD programs that are delivered through e-learning programs allow employed professionals to acquire different types of skills that make them perform their duties more effectively.
Learners can take advantage of technologies integrated into learning to make them have a better understanding of what the learning program entails. This approach enables learners to communicate with their peers through interactive technological tools. Therefore, learners can discuss ideas related to what they are learning, which improves the overall learning experience (Wall & Ahmed, 2008, p. 193).
E-learning programs which are blended with CPD programs offer innovative solutions which differentiate an organization within a particular industry. Centrex’s managers encourage instructors to use blended learning environments to expose the firm’s employees to innovative ideas which have made them more competent in their duties.
Interactive technologies and other forms of e-learning tools have made it possible for e-learning solutions to be adopted in various organizational environments. Modern e-learning technologies take note of the time taken to cover specific programs, the number of people to be trained, and the work culture observed in a particular organization. Wall and Ahmed (2008) reveal that E-learning programs need to be combined with other learning programs that contribute to the attainment of positive results in an organization (p. 195).
Furthermore, training approaches implemented need to be within an organization’s budget to ensure they do not constrain its financial and human resources. Specific technical subjects that require a lot of resources can be given more priority to ensure learners benefit from both practical and theoretical learning approaches.
In conclusion, organizations need to identify effective e-learning programs that are well suited to their internal working environments. This will allow instructors to transfer vital skills to employees through training programs that effectively cater to their needs. Business firms also need to introduce technologies that are less costly, which can be easily integrated with other learning models. Learning packages used in a firm should be easily aligned with internal work practices.
This will help the firm create effective knowledge transfer programs that ensure workers can utilize skills acquired through e-learning. Centrax has changed its human resource practices, and this has given employees more time to adapt to its internal working systems. This approach has encouraged the employee to become committed to the firm, which has made them more competent in their duties. Business firms need to use effective e-learning programs to improve their external and internal operations.
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Unit 1 (2013). The development of e-learning. Leicester: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester.
Unit 2 (2013). Learning theories and their applicability to e-learning. Leicester: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester.
Unit 3 (2013). Blended learning. Leicester: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester.
Unit 4 (2013). The challenges of e-learning. Leicester: Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester.
Wall, J., & Ahmed, V. (2008). Lessons learned from a case study in deploying blended learning continuing professional development. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 15 (2), 185-202.
Welsh, E.T., Wanberg, C.R., Brown, K.G., & Simmering, M.J. (2003). E-learning: Emerging issues, empirical results and future directions. International Journal of Training and Development, 7 (4), 245-258.