Following last quarter’s Learning Seat’s Insights survey, you said you wanted to be kept up-to-date with eLearning news. We hear you so read more to see the recent happenings in the industry
We’ve gone through the news archives over the last three months and are proud to bring to you the biggest topics in eLearning, from which industries are quickly embracing eLearning, to the latest technologies available to training and development managers and finally how social media plays a role.
New industries are quickly adopting eLearning; how access to social media in workplaces will help while new technologies to help improve the function are continually being introduced.
How eLearning is helping schools
High schools are quickly recognising the significant benefits of online as a medium to foster student education with Sydney grammar school, Redlands creating an online learning platform that would allow students to connect to each other and existing learning materials.
An advantage of their learning platform is that students can to access the learning materials when they are at home without having to download additional software.
Similarly, universities are now making a solid push for delivering online degrees with Swinburne University of Technology signing a partnership with SEEK called Swinburne Direct.
Swinburne University of Technology cites a recent report by Britain’s Online Learning Taskforce concluding that online learning provides real opportunity for institutions to develop responsive, engaging and interactive provision which, if offered to scale, can deliver quality and cost-effectiveness and meet demands for flexible teaching.
The latest industries embracing eLearning
The Federal Government has allocated $14.4 million over five years for the establishment of a single e-mental health online portal in an effort to make services easier to access for users.
The portal, outlined in the 2011 federal budget and part of the government’s National Mental Health Reform initiative, will provide online training and support to general practitioners, indigenous health workers and other clinicians working in the mental health field.
Another industry looking to expand eLearning services is the optical industry. In December last year, professional development was made mandatory for the registration of optometrists. They must now complete 40 hours of continuing professional development each year.
Luxottica, which includes brands OPSM and Sunglasses Hut, wanted a system that could help it deal with the changes. They have since implemented an eLearning system to help them reach all optometrists, particularly those in regional areas.
The latest trend in eLearning
The latest trend to develop in the eLearning space is eye tracker technology. Central Queensland University has set up a world-class eye tracking facility to undertake the projects and other eLearning research.
The eye tracker works by directing an infrared beam into the eyes of a user to collect data on their gaze.
It detects gaze duration, position, movement and frequency, while software then maps and plots the data, depending on a researcher’s needs. And the researchers believe the technology could dramatically change how educators approached production of learning materials.
Social media in the workplace
Like us, Qunnivation founder, Karl Quinn believes that companies that prohibit employees from accessing social networking sites in the workplace could be missing out on valuable opportunities to stimulate social and informal learning.
The article, which unfortunately isn’t available online but appeared in a special executive training feature in The Australian (19 April 2011), quotes a study conducted by the University of Melbourne in 2009 that found staff who occasionally broke focus from their work to surf the net for leisure purposes (less than 20 per cent of their time in the office being reasonable usage) demonstrated increased productivity and concentration of up to 9 per cent.
The article then goes on to outline the best ways to manage employee usage:
‘Considering that social media is as much a part of modern life as the world wide web, some companies are taking steps to introduce internal social networking to encourage colleagues to talk to each other. This can be an effective tool, maximising information sharing while fostering a strong sense of being part of a team.
Other businesses are embracing the idea of site-monitoring software, allowing employers to monitor online usage at work.
Software companies are developing programs that will allow businesses to monitor individual web surfing as well as calculating average internet usage by department.’
As a learning company, we can’t stress enough the importance of allowing access to social media networks.