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recent years, the focus of organizational learning and training has shifted
from traditional, new employee orientation and personal development seminars
to continuous learning and development programs designed and implemented to
provide employees with the knowledge resources necessary to successfully
fulfill their roles and responsibilities. The goal of the new knowledge
economy is to channel knowledge into ideas and use those ideas to create
business solutions and competitive advantage. These ideas can then be
channeled and used by the organization to thrive in an environment of
intense competition, relentless change, and highly educated customers.
are burdened with channeling knowledge and ideas in the form of training and
learning to employees more rapidly, more effectively, and in an even more
efficient manner than ever. In an effort to meet these objectives,
organizations are seeking to consolidate disparate knowledge and learning
technologies into a centralized point of access and management, while
leveraging existing investments (legacy systems, resources, etc.) in
enterprise infrastructure in order to provide employees with simple,
seamless access to knowledge, training and learning.
and intense competition is forcing organizations to implement collaborative
solutions that integrate internal systems and leverage existing (legacy)
technology to harness the knowledge and intellectual capital that exists in
the public domain, while utilizing knowledge and intellectual capital that
resides across the organization and among suppliers, partners and customers.
new economy is fueled by knowledge. Organizations possess incredible
intellectual capital. The challenge has been, and continues to be, providing
access to that capital and assembling it for development of best practices
and collective learning. Once defined marketplaces are melding into one
global marketplace. Human capital is now an asset to be scrupulously
managed. Learning is a strategic advantage and weapon. Workforce supply is
in flux - everyone's a free agent. The world is in a state of rapid-growth
and hyper-efficiency - and its all beginning to blur at Internet speed.
a recent IDC and eWorld survey (www.idc.com, IDC #24788, June
2001), training and education was rated in the top three applications
integrated with U.S. organization Web sites. Nearly one-third of U.S.
organizations have their training and education integrated with their Web
sites. Training and education ranks third in priority (behind customer
service and support and customer relationship management.) Over
sixty-percent of large organizations are leading the way in integrating
education and training with their Web sites - roughly the same as those who
planned to integrate knowledge management and materials management into
their Web sites.
and training processes are becoming increasingly integrated into strategic
organizational processes. Industries rapidly moving to integrate their
training and education include: healthcare, government, education, banking,
transportation, media, telecommunications, and utilities.
training and learning comes in the form of e-learning. e-Learning portals
offer customization, 24/7 accessibility, convenience and flexibility, cost
effectiveness, just-in-time user-centric learning, and centralized
management of knowledge
e-learning industry is comprised of three vendor segments: technology,
content and services.
though many vendors are "pure-players," some offer
"hybrid" solutions. Several vendors market themselves as e-learning
portals, end-to-end solutions, blended e-learning solutions, best-of-breed
technology, global learning management solutions, integrated learning and
management systems, and e-Learning infrastructure technology.
components include: learning management system (LMS) or learning content
management system (LCMS), content, collaboration, testing and assessment,
skills and competency, e-commerce, and Internet video-based learning. A
complete e-learning portal represents the total integration of multimedia,
instructor-led, and real-time training - in a human, collaborative
implemented correctly, e-learning portals can help organizations develop and
maintain a competitive advantage in the following areas:
are basically two types of e-learning portals: external and internal. The
first focuses on providing access to external learning services. The second
focuses on providing access to all learning within the organization. Of
course the internal portal may also include use and management of external
learning and providers.
an e-learning portal is a virtual environment set up by an organization to
give users access to knowledge. These portals have also been called
e-learning centers, online education centers, internal portals, corporate
universities and virtual universities.
portal is merely a vessel, framework, or infrastructure for training,
learning and assessment of knowledge and competency. With the advent of e-learning
portals, organizations now have tools to help knowledge workers aggregate,
access and navigate through full or bite-sized "learning chunks"
or "learning objects" from internal databases, repositories,
courses and Web sites. The complete e-learning portal supports the learning
cycle with various components of e-learning.
e-learning portal is an intelligent portal. The portal advises users on what
skills and experience they need to advance to other levels in the
organization, provide competency maps and assessment, and discussion forums
related to essential learning themes - online learning communities. It
recognizes what the user knows, certifications earned, experiences, and his
ideal learning style.
e-learning portal technology has evolved, navigation has become more
sophisticated, content more relevant, and interfaces more user-friendly and
intuitive. Until most recently, e-learning was offered only in the form of
full, off-the-shelf, or customized courseware. However, users also need a
way to efficiently turn their proprietary knowledge into effective
e-learning content through content authoring tools. While general knowledge
provides a necessary foundation, proprietary knowledge provides
organizations with competitive advantage.
complete or full-service e-learning portal supports the learning cycle with
different components of e-learning. Many of these components are
foundational to the learning process and are critical in creating a
full-service e-learning portal. All components of a full-service e-learning
portal are fully integrated with seamless transition from one component to
full-service e-learning portal is comprised of three stages: assessment,
competency and learning evaluation. The assessment phase is composed of
components for knowledge assessment, competency assessment, and learning
evaluation. The preparation stage contains learning catalog, e-commerce, and
enrollment components. The learning phase is comprised of learning activity,
expert forum, and community components.
learning cycle revolution is accomplished when increased competency is
verified through user evaluation. Underpinning a successful, full-service
learning portal is the inclusion of a learning management system (LMS).
technologies supporting open standards can be easily integrated into an
organization's existing infrastructure. The portal needs to be operating
system - and web server-neutral so that enterprises can host it on the
platform of choice. The portal
solution should be deployable and accessible across a variety of platforms
and devices. With a platform, application, and device independent
architecture, the e-learning portal provides optimal flexibility.
modular approach provides the greatest flexibility and efficiency for
building content, collaboration and commerce functionality. Moreover,
current business climate and economies demand that enterprise technology
have the capability to adapt to changes in the user base, and integrate with
the most demanding applications. Many
e-learning portals have been built from the ground up to be a true
enterprise strength solution. This allows organizations to implement with
confidence, knowing that their portal server can accommodate not only
thousands, but also hundreds of thousands of users if required.
ability to provide mobile, distributed workers organized access to the
applications, knowledge, and information they need for sound decision-making
has become vitally important for businesses striving to be productive, agile
and profitable. The attractiveness of Web-based computing, combined with the
need to expedite information access and learning, has fueled adoption of e-learning
technology architecture will enable application access on virtually any
device, including wireless and handheld communication devices and
information appliances, platform independent. Mobile users will be able to
move seamlessly from one device to another and receive consistent,
personalized learning and knowledge.
e-learning portal features coming to market include better process
integration, cascading portals, federated portals, business intelligence
(BI), and knowledge management (KM). e-learning portals will connect
directly and seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP), business
intelligence, customer relationship management (CRM) and other
mission-critical enterprise systems.
Internet and Web have marshaled in an unprecedented business and knowledge
revolution. A revolution that represents a fundamental shift in the way
business is conducted and managed. Over the last quarter century or so, the
industrial world has transitioned from being deprived of data to being
besieged by it.
the Internet came speed, connectivity and intangible value - and the ability
to "e-enable" all facets of business, including learning,
knowledge and performance management. But with the e-enabled organization
comes stockpiles of data and information - overwhelming the organization and
portals will drive the evolution from the information economy to the
knowledge economy. Moreover, new technologies and the power and connectivity
of the Internet will enable e-learning technology, content and service
companies to develop critical learning resources - revolutionizing the way
we mentor, train and learn. e-Learning portals will be portable.
learning portal will be positioned as an integration and development
platform - not a separate standalone application. The continued knowledge
revolution will allow the e-learning portal to bring all information into a
distinct, consistent, easily used interface while being fully integrated
with other enterprise systems.
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