DISTANCE LEARNING FOR MANAGERS – DOES IT MAKE SENSE? ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF STUDYING – CASE STUDY
Dom Szkolen i Doradztwa (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In Poland, e-learning is applied mainly in big companies and international corporations, however, there are some projects aiming at other social and professional groups, financed also by European Union funds. Most of them offer just simple and uninteresting presentations, that is why people regard e-learning as a boring learning tool. Attempts at implementing e-learning projects have mostly failed or the expected project performance indicators were reduced. Currently, we are carrying out some research to examine the opinion of human resources representatives on e-learning.
As e-learning usually involves considerable investment, each investor would like to know its effectiveness. To evaluate it, advanced methods are required and even using them, it is difficult to assess the training ROI.
Our company prepared e-learning training for managers from small and medium enterprises. The training included 10 courses (23 lessons each). To complete the lessons and tests, the managers were spending 17-20 hours. Half of them took part in a complex blended learning project while the others were provided only with distance training. Both groups (140 people each) were evaluated in accordance with Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model.
The conclusions are:
1. Reaction level
In both groups, the level of satisfaction was high but it was higher in the e-learning group. Its members were more pleased with the quality of the obtained information and its usefulness etc. In both groups, the training participation rate was high. In the e-learning group, 90,9% of participants completed e-learning fully (100%) while in the blended learning group only 48%.
2. Knowlage level
In the e-learning group the level of knowledge, after the training, increased by 16% while in the blended learning group - by 28%. It is understandable as the blended learning group was subject to stronger didactic influence.
2. Level of attitudes
Before and after the training, the managers were asked to complete attitudes questionnaire. Four types of attitude were examined:
• Attitude towards development of employees and towards learning for the whole life
• Attitude towards independence of employees and managements through delegating tasks and entrusting responsibility
• Democratic and consultative management style
• Direct declaration of willingness to invest in training
In both groups two first attitudes had changed but an effect significant in management style was obtained only in the blended learning group. The last of the attitudes has not changed in any of the groups.
Although a change in the attitudes of the participants of e-learning training was not obtained within all the aspects, the fact that they were modified through distance learning is extremely interesting. Also the changes in the behavior were subject to research but at this stage methodological problems appeared. Thus, the obtained results are not completely reliable.
To sum up, it should be said that the e-learning training gave significant results, similar to the ones obtained by the participants who attended full-time courses and development centre. The described case study can be used by HR departments in the process of taking decisions concerning investing in e-learning courses.
Keywords: Distance learning, managers, effects, case study.