Using Technology in Human Resource Development

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Technological advances around the globe have paved the way for the greater use of technology in the delivery of education and training.

Technology-Based Learning (TBL)

TBL strategies can be a powerful tool in efforts to expand access to education and training and to create an educated and skilled workforce. APEC economies have numerous innovative strategies for using technology in education and training programs.

TBL or e-learning can play a vital role in helping workers acquire the training they need to be successful in today's global economy and increasing a country's economic competitiveness and growth.

Examples of Technology Based Learning Initiatives:

Online Learning Trends

Online learning is a global trend that uses the Internet to create learning communities among students and instructors/tutors who may be very distant physically from each other. Over the past few years, online learning has grown dramatically in North America and Europe. Increasingly, traditional colleges and universities are offering online courses both as part of the traditional campus-based curriculum and to serve adult students at a distance. In 2004-05, according to a Sloan Consortium survey, the number of students taking online courses rose to 3.2 million, an annual growth of 18.2 percent over the previous year.

Online learning offers several advantages for workforce development. The first of these is access. Because online courses give students greater control over when and where they study, online learning is well-suited to the needs of the current workforce, allowing adult workers to study and develop new workplace skills without leaving their current jobs. Students need not be close to a campus in order to study; if only one institution is able to offer a critically needed specialty, that specialty can be made available online to adults anywhere.

Secondly, online learning facilitates a pedagogy that is uniquely suited to the needs of workers in a knowledge economy. In an information-based knowledge economy, many workers—not just top managers—need to be able to seek out information, validate it, and apply it to solve problems and to innovate. Knowledge industry professionals often work in virtual teams. These skills of inquiry, knowledge creation, problem solving, and teamwork in a virtual environment are inherently part of online learning environments. This is one reason why online learning is growing on campuses as well as in distance education programs.

Thirdly, the online learning environment eliminates geography as a barrier to institutional collaboration to meet workforce development needs. There are many examples of institutions that have joined forces to develop and deliver undergraduate and graduate programs online to meet the needs of dispersed workers in a variety of industries, from health care to telecommunications to energy. <span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1286995548693_751" />