CORE has been involved in projects where workplace training and development has taken advantage of e-learning initiatives alongside face-to-face experience.
Why workplace e-learning?
E-learning in the workplace has the potential to reduce organisations’ spending on training and development by reducing the need for travel and accommodation for learners. It has the potential to offer ‘anywhere, anytime’ learning, and allows widely dispersed workforces to receive essential material.
Meat inspector supervisor training — retrospective evaluation
CORE became involved this area of work by carrying out a retrospective evaluation of an online course designed to lead to the National Certificate in First Line Management (NCFLM), an NZQA level 4 qualification. This course was a blended course developed by Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) and Asure, the statutory meat-inspecting organisation, to provide training to meat inspector supervisors.
The learner group was predominately male, and distributed throughout the country in meat works from Lorneville, near Invercargill to Kaitaia – a truly dispersed group! These folk tended to have had little formal education after leaving school, in some cases with no formal qualifications. They had limited computer skills.
The course material was delivered through the Blackboard learning management system (LMS). Delivery had to take account of the limitations of the computer infrastructure that the learners could access.
Lessons learned from the delivery of this programme included the need for training sessions to help learners become familiar with the infrastructure and with the LMS, and the need to simplify procedures for printing off content and for submitting assignments.
Public sector training
The lessons from the evaluation above informed the development of the course for delivery to people in supervisory or junior management positions in public sector organisations.
This learner group was more heterogeneous in terms of workplace culture – learners came from organisations that included the Fire Service, the Department of Internal Affairs, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and Corrections Department. There were also a few folk from local government. However, the group was less widely geographically distributed than the Asure workers, mostly being located in Wellington and Auckland.
This project, like the Asure group, confirmed the value of the blended approach, and the need for infrastructure issues to be resolved well before the course starts.