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Learning refers to the cognitive process of acquiring skills and knowledge. Through education, people are able to influence growth because they pass their knowledge through subsequent generations (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). The birth of the internet and development of technological devices such as computers played a crucial role in the emergence of e-learning. This educational approach has existed in Australia for quite some time.
The education technology uses electronic media as well as numerous information and communication technology concepts to teach people. This approach has greatly influenced the process of education in terms of the way people learn, pass their knowledge, and access educational materials (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). E-learning is technology enhanced and uses various types of digital devices that can transmit information as a text, audio clip, graphical image, or a video clip.
The concept involves learning over the internet using a privately created network of computers, which are developed using advanced software. The computer network can be extended to authorized external users at their request (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). The federal government, state governments, and the commonwealth fund education in Australia. The pace of e learning depends on the kind of approach applied. Learning through the instructional approach is unique because things happen in a constant pace and at the same time.
E-learning in Australia is best suited for long distance learners, working individuals, and any other group of people with schedules that cannot allow them to attend regular classes. Organizations in Australia are increasingly adapting this educational approach. Employers use e-learning as a strategy for increasing the capacity of their employees in order to remain competitive (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). E-learning is economical and allows employees to continue working as they advance their education.
Studies have shown that the gap between organizations using this concept and those not using it is growing at a high rate. Organizations have developed numerous strategies for incorporating e learning into their corporate cultures, as they have discovered the value of having a highly skilled workforce (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). Reports indicate that the demand for e learning in Australia has led to the development of numerous companies providing the service to organizations that want to develop their own programs.
A report on the state of e-learning in Australia shows that the concept is applied in a biased manner across the country, as organizations do it for various reasons (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). Many organizations in Australia apply the concept of e-learning for compliance purposes. This is shameful of these organizations because it compromises their ability to achieve their goals, gaining a competitive advantage, meeting the needs of their customers, and retaining their best employees.
Experts argue that organizations should apply e learning as a strategy to prepare their employees for the dynamic work environment. E-learning is a strategy for developing the capacity of employees to have maximum productivity and remain highly competitive (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). The lack of e learning specialists has slowed down the development of this educational approach in Australia.
Education programs in the country do not offer enough support to the development of e learning (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). E-learning specialists in Australia have limited opportunities and resources for sharing their knowledge with others. When an expert stops working at a certain organization, the e learning programs at their former employers are crippled. Reports indicate that there is a high demand for e learning experts in the country.
The few organizations providing e learning services have formed their own professional body that monitors the application of this concept. However, the professional body has failed to bring professionalism and accountability in the application of e-learning, especially among organizations (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). Organizations providing e learning services do not have a set code of practice.
This has made them to have trouble providing quality and affordable services for the wide range of clientele. Most organizations introduced to the concept find it very expensive to pay for the services, while those who have already applied the concept are struggling to get quality service. There is a need for increased interaction between e learning service providers and the people using it to meet their various needs (Williams & Jacobs, 2004).
Advancement of e-learning in Australia
Australia has an impressive record of promoting e learning through its universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning. Australia ranks among the top countries that offer distance learning courses for most students across the world (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). The contemporary working and learning environments are very dynamic, thus creating demand for new advancements in the application of e-learning.
There is a need to ensure that people graduating from institutions of higher learning in Australia are well prepared to deal with the demands of the modern work environment. This means that the burden of ensuring a highly skilled workforce is shared between organizations and the institutions of higher learning (Wilson & Stacey, 2004). Graduates from universities do not have all the essential skills needed for the contemporary workplace. Therefore, it is good for organizations to invest in e learning initiatives. Numerous advancements have taken place over the last couple of years towards promoting e-learning in Australia.
First, the government has developed a flexible development framework that focuses on setting standards for e learning in the country, as well as providing funds to organizations willing to adopt the agenda. The Framework for open learning programme has been in existence for a couple of years, and experts say that it is already yielding good results (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). It focuses on ensuring that the strategies applied are cost effective and future oriented. Second, the government has engaged employers in developing content for e-learning programs.
The engagement aimed at improving the capacity of universities and technical institutions to produce highly skilled graduates who can meet the demands of the contemporary workplace. The dynamic nature of the modern workplace environment means that employees have to be trained on a regular basis. This helps them in achieving high productivity and maintaining a competitive advantage for their organizations in the market (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). Third, the government has shown commitment towards identifying emerging trends in e learning through research. The trends observed include increased use digital devices in learning and regular updates for e-learning databases (Wilson & Stacey, 2004).
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Education plays a crucial role in Australia’s national development agenda. Through e learning, the country has managed to produce highly skilled individuals who have served the country in various capacities. Organizations in the country have also learned the value of e learning in terms of increasing the capacity of their employees.
The government has made numerous efforts to engage all the relevant stakeholders in to ensure that e learning improves the human resource capacity of the country. The rate of globalization continues to increase the pressure on employees and organizations to deliver better results. The Australian government should invest more towards promoting e learning because it has more benefits compared to the traditional classroom system of education.
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