e-learning champions

The Federal Government’s Australian Flexible Learning Framework‘s Flex e-news has an interesting article about e-learning.

New research:  A ‘champion’ model for organisational change

The unpredictable economic environment is forcing business and industry to become more resourceful and efficient in the way they train and retrain staff, with many organisations turning to e-learning as a solution.

A new report highlights the importance of e-learning champions for organisations looking to successfully adopt and embed e-learning.

The report, The impact of e-learning champions on embedding e-learning, has been released by the national training system’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (Framework), and looks at the use of e-learning champions as a change management strategy.

It confirms that successful e-learning champions possess a defined set of characteristics, including:

  • Credibility – A champion is skilled in e-learning; shares knowledge, skills and resources; is passionate and tenacious; communicates well; is client focused; and problem solves.
  • Support – A champion provides tailored, educationally sound solutions; encourages teachers and trainers to explore e-learning; supports teachers and trainers one-on-one; and reviews and adapts as required.
  • Influence – A champion builds capable e-learning teams; creates communities of practice; facilitates peer-to-peer learning; recognises and showcases achievements; and nurtures influential advocates.
  • Commitment – A champion makes e-learning part of the strategic plan; ensures e-learning is appropriately resourced; makes e-learning part of teacher and trainer performance plans; and provides opportunities and time to learn, experiment and review e-learning tools and products.

The report also outlines common activities and guidelines adopted by e-learning champions to successfully facilitate the uptake of e-learning within their organisation.

The study has a firm message for employers looking to benefit from e-learning, warning:

  • E-learning champions are often better recognised for their work outside of their organisation than within it.
  • Champions of e-learning cannot alone embed e-learning in their organisation, industry or community. To sustain e-learning, managers and policy makers must assist and build organisational cultures and work processes that support innovation and the work of e-learning champions.

The Framework’s Benchmarking and ResearchBusiness Manager, Annie Fergusson, said there was clear evidence that e-learning champions are a significant component of an e-learning strategy.

“The champions provide a clear focus for sustaining e-learning within an organisation, acting as advocates, building staff capability and modelling approaches that provide engaging and positive experiences for learners.”

The study focuses on three e-learning champion case studies:

  • Integrating e-learning into the dual diagnosis mental health services industry, GippsTAFE, Victoria.
  • Impacting on Indigenous communities, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Mankungthjatjara APY TAFE, South Australia.
  • Engaging the heads, hearts and hands of staff, Tasmanian Polytechnic, Tasmania.

To view the executive summary, report and case studies, visit the Benchmarking and Research web page at: http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/flx/go/home/pid/602

Are you an e-learning champion? Please leave a comment if you are.