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It is common to find that in most organizations, employee are willing to climb the corporate ladder in the best way they know how, to further on their educational credentials. Traditional modes of learning have essentially been inhibitory as they required face to face classroom or lecture hall interactions thus limiting the number of willing employees pursuing further education. E-learning is cow considered as one of the most innovative feature that has arisen in the education sector and many companies have embraced e-learning as a way of integrating new employees and improving the output of existing employees. E-learning has many advantages which include convenience, adaptability, and cost effectiveness. Among the disadvantages associated with e-learning are high drop out rate, lack of dedicated e-learning management oversights, poor motivation, technological challenges, poor student support, personal learning preferences, poorly structured course content and the lack of credible tutors.
This report seeks to critically look into what is e-learning, its advantages and disadvantages as well as making recommendation on how an organization can leverage itself to reap from the many benefits that are associated with e-learning. For an organization to realize the many benefits accruing from e-learning initiatives, the management must be willing to fully incorporate information technology as the backbone to better organizational efficiency. An organization has to design and introduce a working e-learning program structured to address the needs of different employee cadres which has to be continuously upgraded to conform to in-house policies as well as market expectations. Workers have to be allocated the necessary e-learning resources and motivation to enable them to study both at home and at work. An organization has to dedicate resources to ensuring that e-learning is supported by a proactive student support system that will address student needs conclusively.
Advantages of e-learning
There are a number of advantages associated with e-learning as many organizations the world over have come to realize. For instance, organizations which have embraced e-leaning such as General Motors, IBM and Home Depot have made it clear that e-learning is the most cost effective means with which to train human capital. IBM reported that it realized savings of up to 350 million dollars mostly due to the simple fact that online educational programs require no transportation costs. As such e-learning has been hailed as the most cost efficient means with which employees in an organization can be better educated and rained to suit organizational strategies both in the short term and long term.
Many working class adults consider conventional learning methods challenging given the fact that they have active roles as employees and have families to take care of. Juggling these two roles has made it difficult for the majority of workers seeking further education thus limiting on their ability to rise up the social ladder. In the US alone, adults aged above 25 years are in most instances employed in the many organizations operating in the country. As such, many of these American workers are in essence willing to further their education in an effort to advance their career prospects. E-learning has come at the right moment as many of the working Americans willing to further their education can now do so through online education programs which in some cases are tailor made to suit organizational needs. Workers are able to study at home or in the workplace enabling many willing workers to gain the education they so much desire. In a single year, IBM is said to have trained 200,000 of its workforce thanks to the advent of e-learning. This is indeed a phenomenal rate and other companies should emulate such an initiative to better improve of the efficiency and output of workers.
E-learning has been termed as the most effective means with which education can be provided to the masses. There has been a marked increase in the enrollment of online education courses among the American population with nearly 7 million students projected to enroll for online e-learning courses for post secondary education in 2014. Organizations have also embraced e-leaning as a convenient and more so cost effective means with which to motivate and have well educated employees in their workforce. Experts provide that e-learning is both convenient and cost effective as no commuter costs can be attributed to it and employees who are obligated to make regular travel arrangements can access course materials from any where in the world. E-learning is therefore a very convenient means with which an organization can have a better educated workforce.
There are a number of disadvantages associated with e-leaning. One of the major disadvantages associated with e-learning has been the high prevalence of drop out rates. As much as the national statistics to match these claims are lacking, an accredited report published in the Chronicle of Higher Educations provides that among institutions offering e-learning programs dropout rates have been relatively high. Dropout rates ranging from 20% to 50% have been reported among individuals who have registered and enrolled for online e-learning courses. It is important to point out that the report falls short explaining the reasons as to why the dropout rate as at these levels. However, a commonly accepted factor to these dropout rates has been attributed to time. Most e-learning students have reportedly been unable to apportion enough of their available time with others claiming it difficult to study in the workplace due to distractions from fellow employees.
Another disadvantage which has been highlighted with respect to e-learning has been the lack of motivation. Employees seeking to have better education credentials have to have some form of motivation to see them through their education programs. This has known to be lacking in most companies with others such as General Electric Capital finding it necessary to have managers supervise student attendance, look into employee grievances with regard to online learning as well as following up on student progress.
Poor oversight management is another disadvantage attributed to e-learning such that technological challenges which go unnoticed tend to derail a student’s endeavor to be better educated. E-learning calls for students to be proactive in ensuring they attain desired results and the lack of management in some of the institutions has led to a poor regard for e-learning.
Conclusion and recommendations
Organizations such as Sun Microsystems have invested in in-house e-learning programs which are interactive, only about 25% of e-learning students complete courses at their own pace. This has made it necessary for organizations to incorporate features such as online tutor access, online discussion forums, and the use of phones and emails in tutor student interactions. It is therefore critical that organizations invest in e-learning programs that that are as well supervised as in ordinary classrooms. Nearly 80% of organizations prefer to design their own e-learning course content tailor made to suite organizational strategies and though this is both time consuming and expensive the short term and long term prospects to e-learning are quite numerous. E learning is therefore a great way with which to train and educate new and existing labor force in an organization such as Paper Product Inc.