Topic and Construct Definition
E-learning is a rapidly growing human resource management training technique popularised by its efficiency and flexibility benefits (Schank 2002). E-learning is defined as an educational initiative which provides learning material in online repositories, where course interaction, communication and course delivery are technology mediated (Johnson, Hornik & Salas 2008). This training method can create value, reduce costs, save time and give fast feedback (Schriver & Giles 1999; Clarke & Hermens 2001; Strother 2002; Galagan 2000). It can provide flexibility in the delivery and the distribution of learning, enabling trainees to undertake customised training at any time and any place (Caudron 1999; Burgess & Russell 2003). In order to maintain competitiveness and adjust to the changing business environment, many companies are replacing traditional vocational training with e-learning to better manage their workforce. However, the increasing use of e-learning does not guarantee the quality of training and training effectiveness (Ju Joo, Yon Lim & Yeong Park 2011).
Training effectiveness in this construct is measured from employee behaviour, based on Kirkpatrick’s classical evaluation framework (Kirkpatrick 1979). The change in behaviour should reflect the skills learnt in training transferring to the job (Strother 2002). Transfer of training is defined as the effective and continuing application by learners of knowledge and skills gained in learning activities (Broad & Newstrom 1992; Tannenbaum & Yukl 1992). As transfer becomes an increasingly important product in both the academic and work-based environments, the need to attend to this ou...
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...fectiveness and benefit of e-learning to the organisation depends on its design, delivery and evaluation. There has been some research in the constructs of e-learning, however much remains to be learned about how to best design the e-learning environment. There arguments over the obvious advantages of e-learning, however, systematic research is needed to confirm that learners are actually acquiring and using the skills that are being taught online, and that e-learning is the method to achieve the outcomes in a corporate environment. Such research must be grounded in solid theoretical precepts to assure that meaningful results are obtained. Until such research exists and a method for measuring e-learning results is developed, we can only draw relationships between e-learning and training transfer through the qualitative feedback from corporations using this technique.
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