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Workshop 7 (half day)

Building and Managing Effective E-Learning Systems: How to Build a World-Class Technology-Based Training System in Which Employees Really Learn

Presenters:       Kurt Kraiger, Colorado State University
                          Kenneth G. Brown, University of Iowa
Coordinator:      Joan Gutkowski, KPMG

Yearly surveys of corporate training functions show that many organizations are increasingly relying on e-learning or Web-based training programs to broaden training outreach, provide just-in-time learning, and control training costs.  Unfortunately, many organizations simply translate an older lecture-style training program to an online version, creating dry, uninspiring Web-based training programs and turning the computer into an “electronic page turner.”  By taking full advantage of networked computers, however, Web-based training programs can instead be developed to be highly interactive and powerful learning tools that create learning environments that are at once highly individualized and embedded within a community of learning peers. This workshop will include (a) a review of research on instructional and contextual characteristics that optimize individual learning; (b) guidelines for designing effective and interactive learning environments; (c) guidelines for deciding whether or not to contract course development and management to e-learning vendors; (d) emerging media and methods for engaging learners (e.g., wikis, blogs, podcasts, interactive whiteboards, tagging, and social networking sites); and (e) an overview of strategies for evaluating e-learning effectiveness. This workshop will be of interest to practitioners responsible for planning, developing, upgrading, or maintaining e-learning systems.

This workshop is designed to help participants:

  • List characteristics of effective e-learning systems;
  • Decide on appropriate instructional characteristics for e-learning systems in their organizations;
  • Decide whether or not to contract with external vendors to provide e-learning systems for their organization; 
  • Know potential applications and value added for emerging e-learning methods;
  • Develop effective e-learning evaluation instruments.

Kurt Kraiger has over 20 years of experience designing and evaluating effective instructional systems. He currently works at Colorado State University. He has a half-time appointment in the Department of Psychology where he conducts research on computer-based and Web-based training systems. He also has a half-time appointment in Continuing Education where he is designing an online master’s program and developing a university-based consulting practice centered on the delivery and evaluation of training and leadership development programs.  He is the editor of the 2002 SIOP practice series book on Creating, Implementing, and Managing Effective Training and Development Systems in Organizations: State-of-the-Art Lessons for Practice, and coedited a second book on training.

Kenneth G. Brown (PhD, Michigan State University) has been researching e-learning systems for almost 10 years. His consulting work includes training evaluation projects for Ford Motor Company, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, and the University of Iowa, and training needs assessment projects at Tenneco Automotive, AegonUSA, Toyota Financial Services, and the Iowa Health Care System.  Ken’s published research includes chapters in several edited books and articles in numerous journals including Human Resource Management, Human Resource Planning, International Journal of Training and Development, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Personnel Psychology.  Ken has received a number of awards for his e-learning research, including the annual research awards by the American Society of Training and Development (2001) and the Society of Human Resource Management (2003).

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