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Corporate eLearning In Continuing Vocational Training

Reading below will give you the answer to a research question regarding eLearning used for training purposes.

1. Introduction

The company BECOM is specialized in a highly sensitive area of electrical engineering. Due to these sensitive products and high-quality demands, special care is necessary. This is the reason why all employees in the company have to undergo special training on a regular basis. A major problem at present is shift operation in the production area. This results in a great financial and organizational effort.

1.1. Initial Situation

Now measures are to be taken to handle the training more efficiently and cost-effectively. The new procedure requires a sensitive approach on the part of the company management. It is essential that the company management and the department heads are fully behind the new training method.

1.2. Objective

This paper deals with the topic of eLearning in the field of continuing vocational training. In the course of this research work and the practical project in the 3rd semester of the Master's programme "Applied Knowledge Management" at the FH-Burgenland, the following research question shall be answered:

"Which points must be considered when introducing an eLearning further education concept in an electrical engineering company in order to guarantee sustainable success?"

The aim of the practical project is the conception of an eLearning training course implemented in a learning platform, which is also to be created. The training area ESD training (Electrostatic Discharge) should be available digitally for all employees. The course is designed in such a way that this training can be carried out independently of the position and task in the company. The online training must be responsive so that the training content can be accessed via mobile devices as well as laptops, tablets or stand computers.

In the context of this article, eLearning forms, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, are presented at the beginning. With reference to current research results from three relevant studies, various factors for the sustainable and successful introduction of eLearning scenarios are discussed. This approach is intended to answer the research question.

2. eLearning

2.1. General Definitions

"Multimedia", "Learning Communities", "interactive", "virtual" - this is how learning presents itself today. The fact is that the way knowledge is taught in schools, in the tertiary education sector and also in companies has changed and offers many different approaches to personal education and further training. Here the most important forms of eLearning are highlighted and the advantages and disadvantages are also pointed out.

2.2. Advantages And Disadvantages Of eLearning

The advantage of eLearning is undoubtedly the possibility of time- and location-independent learning. Learning content—embedded in videos or audio files—is often individually available for all employees. Documentations and repetitions are saved. This individualizes learning. Depending on the previous knowledge of the learners, the sequence and speed of the contents can be varied.
It should also be noted at this point that in the event of a company audit, all employees can provide proof of positive completion of the training at the touch of a button.

On the other hand, online learning requires a great deal of self-discipline. Very few pedagogues and company training officers work in the eLearning sector because there are hardly any training and further training opportunities for these people. The experts are not so quick and easy to grasp and the knowledge has to be acquired by everyone themselves. Long preparation times are inevitable. The comparison of hardware and software for all participants is often difficult, and the didactic implementation of the individual courses often suffers as a result. Learners must first familiarize themselves with the various media.

Nevertheless, eLearning offers a multitude of possibilities for knowledge transfer. Interactive learning is varied, individual and every type of learner can benefit from it.

3. State Of Knowledge

The following chapter examines 4 studies on the subject of eLearning and continuing vocational training in enterprises. These studies were selected with a view to the practical goal of implementing learning software in a renowned company.

3.1. Study 1: eLearning In Continuing Vocational Training In Enterprises

The acquisition of new knowledge builds on the known knowledge. Adults can, therefore, fall back on much more knowledge that children and adolescents and can structure and expand their existing knowledge well. Younger learners are not yet able to network their known knowledge so well, which is much easier for older, experienced learners. An essential point is that the training sector is much more differentiated and comprehensive for adults than it is for children and young people in secondary education. (Cf. Mayer, et al., 2008, online)

3.2. Study 2: Acceptance Of eLearning In Companies

This study provides information on possible causes of the lack of acceptance of eLearning training by employees. Usually, the existing course program of a company is only extended by the online offer. It would be better for the company to reform the training system from the ground up. This requires a precise analysis of the company situation, the framework conditions and the demands on the employees.

CBT refers to "computer-based training", i.e. training using a program installed on the computer. WBT refers to "web-based training", i.e. learning via the World Wide Web. At the organisational level, the implementation of eLearning courses must take place with the creation of the appropriate infrastructure and the local freedom to handle the online training of employees. (Bürg & Mandl, 2005, online)

3.3. Study 3: eLearning In Organizations. Sustainable Introduction Of Educational Innovation

The starting situations for the implementation of eLearning are very different depending on the company. The spectrum ranges from a supportive supplement to classroom training to pure courses on an online basis.

In order to implement eLearning courses, it is advisable to pursue a target strategy and an implementation strategy. The target strategy focuses on the user. The qualifications achieved are determined, and the personnel's development is kept in mind.

The implementation strategy is about the "how". The implementation process and time planning are just as important here as the distribution of rights and tasks. The use of online materials requires computer or digital media skills. Essential is competence in self-organization, intrinsic motivation and the joy of learning. If one of these abilities and skills is only inadequately developed, it often happens that the result of digital learning deviates from expectations.

It is important to implement eLearning in a sustainable way. It is important that management and executives stand behind this project. In the absence of support, the motivation for online training courses is much lower. The exemplary effect on the employee is missing. (Seufert & Meier, 2014, online)

4. Results And Conclusions

A closer look at these three studies reveals how important continuing training is for employees and what role the company plays in continuing training. There is a need for new learning arrangements for learners in enterprises. The observance of didactic principles is essential for success in the use of eLearning tools and formats. On the one hand, motivation can be extrinsic, i.e. controlled by the company, or intrinsic, i.e. the learner is willing to learn. Managers play an essential role in the implementation of eLearning training courses. If they are committed to the implementation of sustainable eLearning training in their own company or at their own location and support this innovation, the employees also identify themselves with the new training measure. Sustainability is, therefore, an important buzzword that is increasingly becoming the focus of discussion when it comes to the use of eLearning units.

5. Summary

Coming back to the research question described at the beginning:

"What points must be considered when introducing an eLearning further training concept in an electrical engineering company in order to ensure sustainable success?"

It can be stated that the top priority is the approval of the company management level. This endorsement must be supported and carried by the management. The role model effect is the first priority here. The training must be planned and prepared with the greatest care so that the participants of the respective company can complete the online course in the best possible way.

Didactic knowledge for course creation is an essential advantage here. The course contents should be varied in order to maintain the attention of the participants. Additionally, motivating in the implementation of an online training course can be incentives of financial or temporal nature (time compensation, overtime) on the part of the company for the employees.

The cost/benefit balance in BECOM can be positive through the use of eLearning training. This must be compared in evaluation with the articles discussed in point 3 (cf. Seufert & Meier, 2014, online.). The implementation of this online training can lead to a more intensive examination of the contents by the employees. A further positive effect may be a lower proportion of rejects in production.

Literature:

Bürg, O. & Mandl, H. (2005). Acceptance of e-learning in companies. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/33027097_Acceptance_of_E-Learning_in_Companies on 28.10.2018

Mayer, H., O., Weber, F., & Weber, H. (2008). eLearning in continuing vocational training. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/216613657 on 13.11.2018

Seufert, S., Hasanbegovic, J., Euler, D. (2007). Learning culture as a starting point for the implementation of educational innovations. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/36395432_Lernkultur_as_start_ point_of_a_change_process_fur_the_implementation_of_educational_innovations on_28.10. 2018

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