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Q&A Feature: Reg Ruffle on E-learning

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Reg Ruffle

Reg Ruffle of HRD & Payroll solutions talks frankly to HRZone about the emergence of e-learning, what it is and how it can help benefit business.



Q1: How do you define e-learning and what is its scope?

A: We define e-learning as harvesting the vast knowledge and skills of professional tutors. Blending it with the latest exciting web-based technology, enhancing it with appealing graphic, audio and video tools and delivering an easy-to-use cost effective package directly to the students desktop. The service is 24-7 and can be supported by traditional hard copy workbooks and individual tutor support.

Our approach to e-learning is to ‘enhance’ traditional face-to-face training, or at least provide an attractive alternative.

To do that we needed to add to the benefits of traditional training methods without losing the ‘personal’ tutor approach.

Q2: What are the business benefits of e-learning?

A: Adopting an e-learning approach has many benefits for both the employer and employee.

1. At the forefront is the knowledge that payroll will be more accurate having been prepared by a fully trained and qualified employee

2. The course content has added value when compared to hard copy manuals

It involves:

  • video and powerpoint presentations

  • interactive on-screen exercises

  • collaborative learning modules getting the students to submit projects on a team work basis thereby replicating what happens in most organisations

  • web based assignment submission

  • desktop delivery

3. Changes in legislation can be quickly and easily made to course materials, thereby ensuring students have access to the latest and most up to date material.

4. Flexible access to learning – 24 hours a day, 7days a week. This means that e-learning programmes are fully flexible for all students being accessible from both home and the office, enabling students to fit their education in with their work and lifestyle commitments.

5. It can help to identify training needs

6. E-learning may eliminate costs normally associated with training including travel and subsistence

Q3: What are the pitfalls of e-learning?

A: The biggest problem is bogus e-learning programmes. Often they are little more than ‘text’ delivered online, or a ‘CD’ with little or no interaction or support.

Q4: How can HR practitioners choose the right e-learning product/solution?

A: E-learning solutions should be tested. Not only by decision-makers but by the students for whom they are aimed at.

Q5: How can you appraise the performance of e-learning?

A: The only way to test the appropriateness and effectiveness of an e-learning solution is to gather the learners’ responses. What did they learn? Was the learning useful and most importantly can it be transferred to the workplace?

An online training record can also be created to track progress.

Q 6: What is the future of e-learning?

A: Employers are increasingly discovering the rewards of e-learning. It provides quality training at affordable prices.

E-learning can be used successfully in areas were only home study courses for qualifications have been available in the past. As technology progresses, it will be possible to use this medium to a greater extent.

Access to e-learning from virtually any country in the world will ensure the continuing success and expansion of e-learning.

Q 7: Will it replace more traditional learning practices?

A: Unlikely, but it can be a very good supplement to traditional training methods.

Q8: Is the government supporting the move towards e-learning?

A: They are talking about it but are doing very little, if any, funding for main stream training.


Q9: What can HR do to fully embrace e-learning opportunities?

A: Good e-learning programmes enhance the learning process at considerably less cost than conventional study methods; therefore access is available to a much greater number of personnel. It would be a tragedy to pass this method by without testing it by enrolling some students to evaluate the success.

HRD & Payroll Solutions has been providing training for over 10 years at various locations throughout the United Kingdom. These training sessions are held on a daily basis covering all aspects of payroll training.

HRD & Payroll Solutions are the winners of the very first Institute of Payroll & Pension Management (IPPM) Innovation Award for their blended e-learning training and qualification programme. The innovation award is awarded by the IPPM to the company which has furthered the progress of payroll or pensions through technical innovation for 2004.

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