Effectiveness of Web-Based Training Essay Sample

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The worldwide economic recession has prompted companies everywhere to scour their business practices for opportunities to increase efficiency and cut costs. That includes how they train their employees and customers. Fortunately, when it comes to training, the pathway to meeting both objectives is clear. Companies of all sizes are discovering the benefits of Web-based training. This project is about the effectiveness of technology-based training and management in the organization with major focus on web-based training and record keeping.

This project shows that evaluating of training is a necessary exercise in any organization as it is an assessment of total value of a learning event and not just how far how far it achieves its learning objectives. The Web is a communication channel with the ability to use it with audio, video, graphics and text. Users can then communicate through one of these channels and keep in contact with one another, by groups and even in real time. Training programs benefit greatly from the use of the Web for several reasons. These pros consist of training being able to be distributed quickly and easily, graphically dispersed employees can communicate and learn effectively, and the update of materials can be a fraction of the cost of them being revised by other means.

Computers have simplified the task of analyzing vast amounts of data, and they can be invaluable aids in HR management, from payroll processing to record retention. With computer hardware, software, and databases, organizations can keep records and information better, as well as retrieve them with greater ease Organizations of all sizes have some dependence on Excel and manual reports for record keeping. Record keeping with the help of software has helped the companies to manage the record in the much more efficient manner and has also helped in decision making.


Purpose of the Study
The overall objective of Automated Training and Development study aims at investigating the effectiveness of technology – based training and management. Steps towards attainment of the Objective:

* Study the current training and development methodologies used in Syscom * Features and benefits provided by current training and development * Problems faced with the current methods
* Study the ongoing new developments
* Recommendations for improvement

Context of the Study

In Syscom Corporation Limited the survey conducted was intended to find out the areas where major thrust is needed for improving the workers as an important resources and where the results have been satisfactory. One of the important exercises of this survey was to find out the strength and weaknesses in the organization and understand the perception of the employees about the technology-based training and management. Also to assess the effectiveness of the present/existing training and development policies being carried out in this organization. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT


The principal objective of training and development division is to make sure the availability of a skilled and willing workforce to an organization. In addition to that, there are four other objectives: Individual, Organizational, Functional, and Societal.

Individual Objectives – help employees in achieving their personal goals, which in turn, enhances the individual contribution to an organization.

Organizational Objectives – assist the organization with its primary objective by bringing individual effectiveness.

Functional Objectives – maintain the department’s contribution at a level suitable to the organization’s needs.

Societal Objectives – ensure that an organization is ethically and socially responsible to the needs and challenges of the society. The Training Process
The model below traces the steps necessary in the training process:
* Organizational Objectives
* Needs Assessment
* Is There a Gap?
* Training Objectives
* Select the Trainees
* Select the Training Methods and Mode
* Choose a Means of Evaluating
* Administer Training
* Evaluate the Training


E-learning is defined as any use of technology for learning outside the boundaries of the physical classroom The growth of the Internet is bringing online education to people in corporations, institutes of higher learning, the government and other sectors. The challenge of technology today is capturing information and building useful and meaningful databases whose contents are retrievable when and where needed. Both information technology and telecommunications are driving the need for e-learning and at the same time creating the means to accomplish it. In the knowledge economy, corporate universities and learning organizations are playing mission-critical roles within the organization. While some learning organizations may take traditional classroom approaches, others are using the benefits of e-learning to meet corporate objectives. Examples of other e-learning implementations within the enterprise include using technology to train technology, new product introductions, tracking regulatory compliance, on-demand task or skill references, degree programs from online universities and IT certifications.

Enterprise-Wide E-Learning: Companies are creating enterprise- wide e-learning strategies now. They identify how the entire workforce can use e-learning. Strategic, enterprise-wide implementation of e-learning typically comprises one-third to one-half of the total training budget. Employees who need to learn new software solutions all at one time don’t have to be dragged, group by group, into packed classrooms. Rather, they can find training on their desktops when they need it. The infrastructure for e-learning gives managers the ability to track usage and scores, enable online registration, deliver courses and update calendars as needed. Courses can be created once, and then distributed to thousands of employees simultaneously using LANs, WANs or the Internet.

Training has played an integral role in overall organizational strategy. E-culture is the synergy among e-learning, knowledge management, and performance support and management practices. To implement e-learning effectively, organization has first develop or adapt a clear vision of optimizing learning, knowledge and performance and how current technology can activate this vision. The vision increases company’s openness to change. Change is the reason and the fuel for e-learning. Successful e-learning implementations confirm the need to combine the impact of standard enterprise-wide activities with flexible and quick local innovations and efforts. The best-practice organizations are using e-learning in all topic areas – new product training, management development, leadership, sales, service, and manufacturing. WEB-BASED TRAINING

Web-based training is receiving a great deal of interest in academia and private industry, and cost analysis has become increasingly important. WBT has spread rapidly in business organizations because of at least four reasons: First, it is generally believed that technology increases the effectiveness of training. Second, the cost of designing and delivering WBT is perceived to be less than traditional forms of training. Third, WBT is assumed to help organizations with the challenges of globalization among which one of the most pressing is the diversity of organizational workforce in terms of their geographical place, their preferred mode of learning, and the degree of comfort and experience with technology. And fourth, as technology has become socially associated with excellence and advancement, organizations adopt technology in several aspects of their structure including training programs to utilize the symbolic advantages of it. The advantage verses the disadvantages of Web-based Training- Advantages| Disadvantages| Easy access| Expensive|

Reduced travel time| It requires a substantial technical infrastructure| Reduced cost for print materials and CD-ROMs| It requires a substantial time and effort to develop

Since technology started to change how training is delivered, it has also changed how to evaluate its effectiveness. Although effectiveness is the most common indicator for distinguishing between a successful and a failing training program, this concept “remains a poorly explained concept” in both the general literature

of training and the more specific literature on WBT. Rather than learning outcomes, Researchers most often use a host of other variables as proxies for the effectiveness. The best definition implied from the recent business training literature is that effectiveness is a measure of how well the desired organizational learning goals have been attained.

Efficiency is a term coming from economic and business perspectives and stands for measuring how well the input resources are consumed to gain the desired output (Farrel, 1957). Based on this definition, an efficient system is either a system that proceeds with the minimum amount of resources (time, money, energy, etc.) or a system that produces the maximum gain for a given input and technology. An efficient training program then is a program which uses the minimum costly resources (such as implementation costs) but results in maximum gain or benefit (such as increase in sales). Thus, efficiency is a measure for evaluating profitability of a training program usually in a monetary scale, because for calculating it all the input and output should be converted to a single meaningful scale which for business organizations is usually money (Philips, 1997). Although efficiency is quite different from effectiveness, in the case of business training this measure has been included in higher levels of effectiveness evaluation in the most frequently used models of training (e.g. Kirkpatrick’s taxonomy).

Reasons to Employ Live Web-based Training

1. Avoidance of travel costs. As much as 40 cents of every dollar spent on in-person training goes to travel and lodging costs, studies show. Those and other fixed expenses are avoided entirely when Web-based training replaces classroom instruction. The result is dramatically lower costs per-person trained. That fact alone often justifies the switch to online training.

2. Convenience. Instead of mandatory travel to a single location to receive instruction, busy employees and others can participate in training and meeting sessions on their laptops at locations convenient to them. Online meeting products can be employed immediately to deliver and share important information.

3. Increased retention and productivity. Collaborative learning events increase participant retention and satisfaction, resulting in higher productivity. Factors include more time on the job with the elimination of instructional travel.

4. Security. Web-based meetings and training sessions can be held with complete assurance for the safeguard of valuable intellectual property with password-based user authentication, end-to-end encryption and other available security features.

5. Interactivity. Rich interaction capabilities with and among participants are a principal benefit of online training. Tools include dashboards, polls, and question/answer capability, enabling participants to interact and presenters to obtain instant feedback.

6. Flexibility. Presenters can conduct large and small meetings in user-friendly and appealing forums that run the gamut from formal presentations to the most impromptu brainstorming session or just-in-time training instruction. Events can be recorded and archived for on-demand viewing by interested parties including new hires and customers. Content is available around the clock.

7. Informal learning. The ease of launching spontaneous Web-based meetings corresponds with today’s emphasis on informal learning, a growing segment of corporate knowledge transfer within many organizations.

8. Ease of preparation. Some Web-based training applications can be easily mastered and immediately employed by subject matter experts without IT support. This will increase their motivation to consider online training when the need to communicate arises.

9. Ease of reporting and analysis. Live session registration identifies registrants for future communication, gathers feedback and assesses overall interest. Built-in reporting capabilities allow moderators to track attendees for each session including questions they ask and response to polls/Q&A. This is especially useful for student evaluation, as well as compliance and other mandatory training where specific reporting is required. 10. Accessible data. Readily available data also enables appropriate and timely followup, including evaluation and immediate contact of participants. That is especially valuable for customer training, and sessions where time-to-market urgency is important.

11. Enhanced organizational productivity. Busy executives and other SMEs can get multiple usage out of do-it-yourself Webinars and Web-based training applications. This means less time spent on planning and managing activities.

12. Measurable global impact. Even the smallest organizations can reach distant customers and representatives with valuable training, “leveling the playing field” with larger competitors. Data gathered from participating customers allows organizations to respond to ever-changing market conditions.

RECORD-KEEPING Best Practices vs. Common Practices

Where HR data resides?
The larger the organization, the more likely they are to store reporting in an HRMS or an MIS. The smaller the organization, the more likely they are to depend on manual reports and Excel™ spreadsheets. However, organizations of all sizes have some dependence on Excel™ and manual reports for record keeping. Common type of training informationare :

● Purpose and Content: This refers to how training helps fulfill critical agency performance requirements, supports specific agency initiatives, or is required by law, regulation, or agency policy included in agency strategic and training plans

● Details of Training: Details generally include cost, location, and duration of training. Training costs include all the expenses associated with designing, developing, implementing, evaluating the training (e.g., tuition, rental of training facilities, contractor payments, and travel for training purposes), the source of training funds, time spent taking training, and subcategories of time spent on duty and off duty

● Training Participants: This generally refers to information related to an employee’s grade, pay system, occupational series, organizational location, bargaining unit status and supervisory status. This information is available from agency Human Resources database/information systems.

While many solutions have been introduced in the past five to 10 years to capture human capital data on an enterprise-wide basis and use it to generate metrics relevant to both HR and the executive team, the continued underutilization of such systems is evident in both the HR marketplace at large and among the survey respondents. Most talent management solution providers have a standard set of metrics or outputs that they offer with the implementation of their systems. The organizations most likely to purchase such systems are those with the largest and most distributed workforces and thus have the greatest need for automation in the HR process.

As expected, a higher number of employee metrics and HR metrics are measured in larger enterprises than smaller ones (determined by number of employees). Microsoft Excel™ is the most common method for recording and reporting. This means that the most commonly measured and recorded HR metrics are only available within the HR department and are not part of a comprehensive reporting tool that can generate the human capital information executives desire. Thus, through the lack of technology utilization, HR professionals may be barring themselves from a strategic position and a seat at the executive table. It is also arguable that using non-enterprise technology like spreadsheets encourages silo behavior, providing


Robert A. Wisher and Tatana M. Olson, 2003
On the basis of a limited number of empirical studies, Web-based instruction shows an improvement over conventional classroom instruction. However, it is debatable whether Web-based instruction compares favorably to CBI. One objective of this article was to discuss the various roles that the Web plays in educational courses and the importance of identifying this factor when evaluating courses. Here, the analysis was limited to those applications involving direct instruction through the Web. There are many advantages that the Web offers (e.g. access, flexibility, enrollment, and management) that must be factored in when determining the overall value that the Web offers to a learning enterprise.

Gabriel Piccoli, 2001
This article is on the topic web-based virtual learning environment. This article provides three main contributions. First, it introduces and defines the concept of VLE, discussing how a VLE differs from the traditional classroom and differentiating it from the related, but narrower, concept of computer aided instructions. Second it presents a framework of VLE effectiveness, grounded in the technology-mediating learning literature, which frames the VLE research domain, and addresses the relationship between the main constructs. Finally, it focuses on one essential VLE design variable, learner control, and compares a web-based VLE to a traditional classroom through a longitudinal experimental design.

Tammy Whalen and David Wright, 1999

The research paper emphasizes on the cost-benefit analysis of web-based tele-learning. Educators, trainers, and business people need to be able to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Web-based training in order to make informed decisions about the extent to which this new media should be used in their organizations. The present study hypothesizes that there are several key design elements that should be considered in costing Web-based Training projects. The relative importance of these elements is examined using a case study approach. The methodology used in this case study can be employed in future cost benefit studies of Web-based training. This study also provides a detailed cost-benefit analysis, including the breakeven number of students required to recover Web-based course development costs and the return on investment over a five-year period.

Marzieh Saghafian

This paper critically reviews the recent literature on technology-based training in the business organizations. For doing so, the literature is examined from three main perspectives: effectiveness, efficiency, and technology affordances. Based on this examination, the paper identifies the lack of theoretically grounded models that distinctively address the issues of evaluating “technology-based” training programs. The paper then concludes by calling for an interdisciplinary approach to develop evaluation models that help instructional designers to understand which form of technology is effective under which specific circumstances.

VinzKoller ,Sandra Harvey and MichelineMagnotta
This paper is the result of a Quick Research Task Order to assist the Employment and Training Administration gain a better understanding of the concept and state of technology-based learning and the application of technology-based learning in government, industry, and education. The report provides an overview of recent trends in industry and media that have made technology-based learning such a rapidly growing phenomenon. The report then defines the term and compares and contrasts it with related terms, such as e-learning and distance learning, and next describes the benefits and challenges that are associated with providing learning via technology. The report also provides brief descriptions of the main delivery modes as well as methods and tools used in providing technology-based learning programs, and provide examples from government, industry, and education. The report concludes by describing the most common framework used today to measure the success of technology-based learning programs and looks at future questions for technology-based learning.

Neuhauser, C. (2002).
In this study the investigator compared two sections of the same course- one section was online and asynchronous; the other was face-to-face by examining gender, age, learning preferences and styles, media familiarity, effectiveness of tasks, course effectiveness, tests grades, and final grades. The two sections were taught by the same instructor and used the same instructional materials. The results revealed no significant differences in test scores, assignments, participation grades, and final grades, although the online group‘s averages were slightly higher. Ninety-six percent of the online students found the course to be either as effective as or more effective to their learning than their typical face-to-face course. There were no significant differences between learning preferences and styles and grades in either group. The study showed that equivalent learning activities can be equally effective for online and face-to-face learners.


Research Methodology
The methodology adopted in order to accomplish the objectives of this project report was through the collection of data from different sources. Primary Sources
* Questionnaire
* Direct interaction with employees
Secondary Sources
* Past projects
* Training manuals of Syscom.

Research Design
The Research conducted was descriptive in nature. It seeks to answer what is the training and development of the Syscom which needs to be increased in the organization and the steps which should be implemented for improvement of the employees. The design was kept flexible as possible where the research problem is define very broadly initially and is transform to a precise meaning.

Data Collection
Sampling may be defined as process of knowing the characteristic of the population by study few items from the population. Here it is assumed that the sample represents the entire population, or we can say that the sample reflects the characteristic of the entire population. Sample size is 20. The data is collected from the employees of the company.

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