The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

A Web Based Intelligent Training System for SMEs  pp39-48

Roisin Mullins, Yanqing Duan

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECEL 2006, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp1 - 86

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Abstract

It is widely accepted that employees in small business suffer from a lack of knowledge and skills. This lack of skills means that small companies will miss out on new business opportunities. This is even more evident with respect to the adoption of Internet marketing in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This paper reports a pilot research project TRIMAR, which aims to develop a web‑based intelligent training system to aid small business employees in their learning and decision‑making regarding the use of the Internet as a new marketing medium. TRIMAR attempts to contribute to the wider debate on the content and style of training most suitable to small businesses. It aims to identify the training needs of small businesses for Internet marketing at a pan‑European level and to seek the most effective ways to address training and support needs with web‑based systems. Based on training needs analysis carried out within five European countries: UK, Germany, Poland, Slovak Republic and Portugal, a web based system for gaining Internet marketing knowledge and skills was constructed. The system consists of three major subsystems: Self Assessment Tool (SAT), Training Modules (TM), and a Case Retrieval System (CRS). Various users through an online questionnaire tested the system. The initial feedback revealed that the case base training approach delivered on the Internet provided a highly appropriate training medium for SMEs.

 

Keywords: intelligent web-based training, Internet marketing, SMEs, training needs analysis, case based reasoning

 

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Journal Article

Meeting the Training Needs of SMEs: Is e‑Learning a Solution?  pp173-182

Andrée Roy, Louis Raymond

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp99 - 182

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Abstract

Training is one of the basic means of human resources development in business organizations, aiming to motivate employees, to develop their potential and to help them perform better. The end of the 20th century has seen the advent of globalisation and the diffusion of new information and communication technologies. Businesses have to change and adapt to the requirements of the new knowledge‑based and skill‑based economy. Facing pressures from an increasingly competitive business environment, small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) are called upon to implement strategies that are enabled and supported by information technologies and e‑business applications in order to compete with others' organizations. One of these applications is e‑Learning, whose aim is to enable the continuous assimilation of knowledge and skills by managers and employees, and thus support organisational training and development efforts through the use of the Internet and Web technologies. Little is known however as to the level of awareness of e‑Learning in SMEs and as to the actual role played by e‑Learning with regard to these firms' training needs. A multiple case study of sixteen SMEs in the Atlantic region of Canada, including twelve that use e‑Learning with varying degrees of intensity, was designed to explore this question. We observed the firms' training process, identifying to what extent the SMEs know and use e‑Learning, and to what extent e‑Learning meets their training needs.

 

Keywords: e-Learning, training, SMEs, training needs analysis, learning, workplace learning

 

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