Human Resource Development (HRD) practitioners have historically relied on instructional technologies such as classroom-based learning, but organizations are turning more and more to e-learning interventions with a focus on cost savings.
Human Resource Development Defined
Human Resource Development (HRD) is defined as a practice that combines training, organizational development, and career development efforts to encourage improvement of individual, group, and organizational performance. The purpose of HRD is to enhance employee performance and productivity, which leads to employee and customer satisfaction and an increase in the profitability of the organization. The roles of HRD practitioners within this definition vary depending on the organization for which they work.
Learning Organization Defined
A learning organization is defined as an organization that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself through various learning opportunities. Learning organizations develop as a result of the pressures to remain competitive in the business environment (Wang & Ahmed, 2003).
Creating E-Learning Content
When developing an instructional design plan to create e-learning content, pedagogical approaches need to be evaluated. Pedagogical elements help define modules or sections of educational material. Simple pedagogical approaches make it easy to create content, but they are often lacking in rich learning experiences for the learners. Although complex pedagogical approaches offer engaging learning experiences for learners, they can be difficult to structure and slow to develop. Discovering an ideal pedagogy will allow practitioners to create educational materials for e-learning effectively while at the same time provide engaging learning experience for learners.
Various pedagogical approaches that are helpful in content development (defining modules or sections of educational material) for e-learning include Laurillard’s Conversation Model, Gilly Salmon’s Five-Stage Model, and cognitive, emotional, contextual, and behavioral perspectives:
- Laurillard’s Conversation Model emphasizes the interactions that take place between teacher and learner, and between experience and theory.
- Gilly Salmon’s Five-Stage Model stresses greater interaction and group participation.
- Cognitive perspective focuses on how the brain works, emotional perspective focuses on the motivation of the learner, contextual perspective focuses on the environment and interaction with other people.
- Behavioral perspective focuses on the outcomes of the learning objectives.
The pressure is on HRD professionals to maximize training value by developing fast moving information. And although the push is on, e-learning is not always the best intervention. HRD professionals must decide when the emphasis on learning effectiveness through more traditional methods outweighs the demand for access and speed.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A. Human Resource Development