Bottom line measures are becoming the standard gauge by which companies evaluate overall effectiveness. This presents a challenge in terms of evaluating levels of learning-training transfer which can provide measurable performance improvement as part of the ubiquitous business expectations. Technological tools are the most popular choice for obtaining this data more efficiently, but are not proven to directly impact levels of effectiveness (Stolovtich & Keeps, 2011).
Inarguably, online learning has seen rapid acceptance over the last decade, and is seen as a viable option for organizations needing to address both centralized training standards and globally dispersed learners. It responds to the “connected” lifestyles that individuals already maintain. While they are checking their email or latest media ping, it is easy to follow up on their company’s most recent learning update. Online connection is also viewed as a supportive tool for increasing global access to internal and external satellite locations, exposing employees to different perspectives, professional norms and better cross-border knowledge sharing. In example, online access helps Nutricia-Danone connect their six main R&D centers and 55 local research branches to collaborate with over 200 scientific research communities representing 1500 scientists of 48 nations worldwide (Danone, 2014).
However, recent research by Jaggars, Edgecombe, Stacey, & Columbia University (2013) has shown that the quality and level of interpersonal interaction, especially with online instruction, is directly linked to performance and engagement levels of learners. They found that “creating a meaningful instructor presence through the effective use of interactive technologies appears to be a particularly powerful strategy for enhancing student outcomes” (Jaggers et al., 2013). Thus, it makes sense to select supportive technological tools which optimize overall learning objectives, efficiency of delivery, consistency of content, instantaneous feedback and response, increased engagement, flexibility and accessibility (Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011).
Learning management systems (LMS) and mobile technology both serve to increase presence and accessibility. LMSs respond to the realities of dispersed trainees and the need for organizations to centralize learning and track human capital management (Noe, 2013). This type of software enables an enhanced instructor presence by monitoring performance and providing diverse feedback channels through multi-media, practice and evaluative tools. When integrated to HR management systems it creates a more systemic approach to meeting business strategies.
Moodle reigns as one of the top open source LMSs used by Shell, Microsoft and N.Y. State University and the London School of Economics. It is a secure integrated collaborative learning platform supported by 60 member worldwide partnerships which meets LTI™ certification global technical standards of integrating learning applications.
Mobile technology also augments accessibility further by allowing unlimited contact to learning platforms, tools and resources at the convenience of the learner. Effectiveness depends on facilitating simple and meaningful learning that is conducive to the physical and technical requirements of mobile devices (Noe, 2103). Blended learning environments utilize mobile learning as a supportive tool. It makes sense for organizations to develop mobile applications which can support and connect to their central training networks and LMSs. It also opens up a door to convenience learning that is not available otherwise. One popular mobile application is TED talks which opens the global door to innovated and inspired thinkers with 104 subtitled language options reviewed in an earlier post.
We can fine-tune access and support even further with electronic performance support systems (EEPSs) which enable worker independence through enhanced performance levels. Integrated as a support tool within the current organizational software, they act as a learning assistant or trouble-shooting device to increase overall results.
For example, L3 D.P. Associates offer ISO certified integrative EEPSs that works with the organizational infrastructure to support engineering instructional design, acquisition, productivity and exploration through multimedia training approaches. Noe (2013) notes that they are meant for augmenting learning and may be best utilized in conjunction with a more formal training program. “To improve students’ performance and persistence in their courses, research suggests that online instructors should focus on providing targeted support for students to reach rigorous instructional goals” (Jagger et al., 2013).
Danone (2014). Our research at a glance. http://staging.danone.com/en/for-all/research-innovation/our-research-at-a-glance/
Jaggars, S., Edgecombe, N., Stacey, G., & Columbia University, C. (2013). Creating an Effective Online Instructor Presence. Community College Research Center, Columbia University. Downloaded from the Walden Library. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED542146.pdf
L3 d.P Associates (2014). Training solutions for your workplace. http://www.l-3training.com/
Lee, J., (2014). 20 minutes of passion and panache. https://cybereduculture.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/20-minutes-of-passion-and-panache/
moodle certified services provider (2014). https://moodle.org/
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Stolovitch, H. D., & Keeps, E. J. (2011). Telling ain’t training (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.