KSEF Emerging Ideas: An Investigation to Enhance the Effectiveness of Information Technology Transfer Via E-Learning Training Methods

  • Santhanam, Radhika (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Information Technology (IT) training is utilized to develop users' knowledge of various technology applications, such as, databases, spreadsheets and graphics, etc. Elearning is a new form of training that can be described as software or a computer-based method for delivering the training program. Once the e-Iearning software is developed, it can be reused many times and therefore, it can provide substantial amount of cost savings over traditional forms of classroom based training. Because it is cost-effective and can be used to transfer IT knowledge to large numbers of people, educational institutions and business organizations invested extensive amounts of resources into e-Iearning courses. Unfortunately, experiences of the last few years indicate that e-Iearning courses have not provided the anticipated benefits. Observations from practice indicate that users are not obtaining the deep level of IT knowledge that was expected and importantly, do not seem to have the motivation to attend these courses. It is therefore critically important to conduct research that identifies methods to enhance the effectiveness of e-Iearning . training methods, because, not only do educational institutions and business organizations want to obtain returns from investments in e-Iearning courses, but they would also like to continue to use them. This proposal deals with the first study in a program of research that will address issues relating to the design and development of e-Iearning courses that are effective in transferring IT knowledge to people of differing ages, professions and background. The goal of this first research study are to obtain initial results on what could be appropriate forms of evaluation, deign and format of e-Iearning courses that could improve its effectiveness. This study will focus on e-Iearning software that deals with the IT application of database design and development. This study will first develop a theorybased framework that can help evaluate e-Iearning outcomes using a multidimensional perspective. Then, using the web-based e-Iearning facilities (namely, NETg) available at the University of Kentucky, laboratory experiments will be conducted. These experiments will determine the extent to which various individual differences and preferences oflearners affect the outcomes ofE-learning. It will also determine the value and role of instructor intervention in the training session. Based on these results, guidelines to improve the design and delivery format of e-Iearning will be developed. Future research plans call for extending the study to organizational employees and to use the results to design, develop and test improved e-Iearning courses in IT. Results from this research will advance knowledge specifically in the area oflT knowledge transfer via e-Iearning, and more generally, in the area of information technology training. From a practical perspective it will provide some immediate guidelines and information on how to effectively deliver e-Iearning and distance learning courses in information technology.
Effective start/end date1/1/0412/31/04


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