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Employees' attitude toward e-learning: Implications for policy in industry environments

Posted on:2008-08-29Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:University of ArkansasCandidate:Hairston, Nancy RogersFull Text:PDF
E-learning is becoming an important learning format in corporate America to provide training and development to industry workers. The use of e-learning offers the learner many opportunities to control and make decisions on his own, anytime or anywhere, affording a much more flexible training schedule. For the employer, the use of e-learning can impact the bottom line for training and development; it may more efficiently trains employees by cutting down on time away from the office, and it can reduce costs associated with traveling to training programs. While it appears on the surface that e-learning as a training strategy has many benefits, a number of studies have reported mixed results with e-learning practices. Currently, a limited number of empirical studies exist that examine learner satisfaction among adult learners in an industry setting taking e-learning courses. Consequently, guidance to industry leaders and practitioners who wish to employ e-learning for training purposes is also limited.; This research analyzes the relationship between change in attitude toward computers, overall course satisfaction, and performance of participants' from six mid-western industries located in the United States. From the six industries, 262 employees were enrolled in the study comparing e-learning with traditional teaching methods. Of the 262 participants, 168 completed the study for a 64% completion rate. The data for the study were drawn from four instruments: the Barsch Learning Style Inventory, the Attitudes toward Computers questionnaire, pre/post Coaching and Communication tests, and an end-of-course satisfaction rating survey. Results of the paired samples t-test indicated that there was a statistically significant difference in overall course satisfaction between the e-learning group and the control group. The traditional group was more satisfied with their course than the e-learning group on the general program construct and the overall course satisfaction index. Results of the t-tests indicated that overall, the e-learning group liked computers more than the traditional group prior to treatment, and remained with this attitude after treatment, consequently, not changing their attitude toward computers. On the other hand, the control group had a statistically significant change in attitude toward computers after the treatment to reflect a less favorable attitude toward computers after the treatment. No statistically significant difference in change of attitude was found between the groups. In examining the data on performance, the t-tests revealed that instruction made a difference in the performance of both groups, yet there were no statistically significant differences in mean performance scores between the groups. Multiple regression analyses were used for the three dependent variables, change in attitude toward computers, overall course satisfaction, and performance. Results of the regression model were not statistically significant for the dependent variable, change in attitude toward computers. Of the independent variables entered into the model, only auditory learning was statistically significant at the .05 alpha levels. The results of the regression model for participants' overall course satisfaction were statistically significant explaining 95% of the variance in the dependent variable. Of the independent variables which entered into the model, only the variables method of instruction and gender were statistically significant at the .05 alpha levels. The regression model with performance was not statistically significant. Finally, based on the results, additional research to examine attitude toward the use of computers and satisfaction with the e-learning method is needed in an industry setting using outcome measures that address levels three and four of evaluation.
Keywords/Search Tags:E-learning, Industry, Attitude, Overall course satisfaction, Training
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