Elearning's contribution to workforce development
20 Jun 2013
Recent WRC research has found that e-learning can help to integrate training into the workplace, providing benefits for workers, enterprises and industry. Building on research undertaken in 2010 to 2011, case studies were conducted of e-learning projects in three industries funded by the National VET E-learning Strategy Industry System Change business activity in 2012-13: aged care and community services, renewable energy, and glass and glazing manufacturing.
The research explored how e-learning contributes to the uptake of workplace training and skills growth, as well as broader impacts on of e-learning on productivity. The findings also identify key supports and design features required for effective e-learning, and updates the matrix developed in previous research. The matrix identifies factors that either hinder workplace training or that e-learning can enhance.
Key messages are as follows.
- E-learning can promote flexibility in delivery, currency of training, and connection to the workplace.
- However, deep learning requires an investment of additional resources, particularly for learning design and support.
- E-learning has significant opportunities in the future due to expanding internet access and use of mobile technologies, especially for workers such as tradespeople who are not desk-based.
Anecdotal evidence identified the following effects on productivity in workplaces utilising e-learning.
- Less disruption of work schedules in the delivery of e-learning.
- Deeper learner outcomes and application of learning, with a consequent reduction of mistakes and injuries across the sectors studied.
- Broader diffusion of learning and a learning culture.
- Faster integration of new technology into work processes.
Research findings and reports are available on the National VET E-learning Strategy website.