It’s important to understand the difference between learning and training. Of course they are inextricably linked, but they are unique aspects of any educational process. Training is the giving of information and knowledge, through speech, the written word or other methods of demonstration in a manner that instructs the trainee. Learning is the process of absorbing that information in order to increase skills and abilities and make use of it under a variety of contexts. Whatever the goals, the quality of the learning will rely largely on the quality of the training, and so the role of trainer is very important as it can have a huge effect on the outcome of a course for the learner.
Ideally, every company should have a plan in place for each of their employees. This plan should set out career development paths and the required learning programs that will enable the employees to develop the necessary knowledge and skills.
Online-delivered learning, within a context of continuous improvement education matrix, is considered strategic because it:
- Keeps the personnel appraised of their job functions’ developing requirements, enabling them to make a positive impact within their Organization and help that Organization achieve its aims and goals
- Aids succession planning, helping personnel (ashore & onboard) to acquire the knowledge and skills to help them progress within their Organization
- Allows Organizations to keep training budgets under tighter control and develop and retain existing employees.
This system of Learning management – often referred to as a Learning Management System (LMS) – is a key element of an effective professional development plan as well as being a key element of an Organization’s human resources strategy.
In mature markets, large companies are making the most impact despite the long buying cycle. They can be early adopters since their content and related learning programs cover such subjects as Management and Compliance a, as well as specific industry-related courses.
General budget constraints appear to be the main drivers of the shift towards using E-Learning. Efforts to reduce travel costs and reduce the cost of training per employee point to key economic benefits arising from using E-Learning materials. However, there is another key driver: E-Learning tackles time constraints. In other words, E-Learning is not merely a solution which is attractive during an economic downturn but it is also an efficient and cost-effective solution when employees – especially those in Organizations with a widely geographically distributed workforce – need to be brought up-to-speed quickly on relevant knowledge and skills.
Part 2 of a series of posts about Maritime e-learning from:
Capt. Ioannis Theodorakas, Theta Marine Consulting
Dr Antonis Frigas, COO, SQLearn