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Forces bring in merit pay to aid retention

first_imgForces bring in merit pay to aid retentionOn 20 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Performance-relatedpay is to be introduced in the armed forces across all three services in a bidto improve retention and recruitment.Pay2000 for lower ranking officers is to be introduced from April this year andthe performance management and pay system for senior officers will take effectfrom April 2002.AnMoD spokesman commented, “The idea for both schemes, particularly Pay 2000, isto make the whole pay system more transparent. If you join as a private you canlook and see the training choices and how they affect your salary to enable youto plan your own career path more effectively.“Itis intended to clarify the salary structure and it is essential for recruitmentand retention.”Performance-relatedpay will depend on an individual’s role. If a member of staff is in charge of abattalion then the pay would be affected by factors such as management andfinancial skills. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Speeding up rehabilitation

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article A move by UK insurance companies to employ case managers to help facilitateearly treatment for accident victims, could help firms speed up therehabilitation of employees. Helen Merfield, managing director of the Case Management Society of the UK,said case management was relatively new to the UK, although it has beenestablished in the US for more than 10 years. The insurance industry is about 50 years behind everybody else, she claimed,but is now becoming aware of the social and financial benefits ofrehabilitating employees. She emphasised that the role of the case manager was not to interfere withoccupational health, but to support its work, perhaps by providing funding fortreatment that would otherwise be unavailable. Comments are closed. Speeding up rehabilitationOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Managing to attend

first_img Comments are closed. Having a clear attendance management strategy will  help managers and OH staff to deal effectively with the problemof sickness absence and ensure employees are treated fairly and consistentlyTo err is human, to forgive divine. However, what is the position whenorganisations are faced with high levels of sickness absence? Managers may consider that the level of non-attendance in their work area isunacceptably high, but lack the skills or confidence to work towards reducingit. They may try to “pass the buck”, perhaps of the opinion that itis an occupational health rather than a management problem. It is for thisreason that occupational health nurses may be expected to take a role inattendance management. Occupational health nurses can play a valuable part in an attendancemanagement strategy1. However, they must clarify their role as there is thepotential for conflict between their responsibility to management and theirimpartial role as employee advocate. This article explores the roles ofmanagement and the OHN in attendance management. Sickness absence is absence from work that is attributed to sickness by theemployee and accepted as such by the employer. It is both disruptive and costlyto organisations and impacts on the country’s economy. Indeed, Whitaker assertsthat attendance management remains high on the agenda for governments in theEuropean Union2. The costs incurred through non-attendance have implications on work outputand are not confined to those directly related to the financial costs of a sickpay scheme3. Sickness absence levels and health and safety OHNs have a vested interest in attendance management on two counts. Firstly,in the current climate of downsizing, making a positive contribution to thereduction of the costs related to absences may justify their continuedexistence within their organisation. Secondly, there may well be a relationshipbetween absence levels and employee health and safety. Not only may absences be the result of workplace accidents, but accidentlevels may be further elevated in areas with high levels of non-attendance,possibly due to the employment of less experienced and temporary staff coveringreduced staffing levels. The mismanagement of non-attendance could result in fatigue and stress amongstaff covering the workload of their absent colleagues. Employers have a duty of care under legislation to ensure the health, safetyand welfare of their staff. It is also in their financial interest to reduceabsences due to work-related ill health. OHNs are suitably positioned to workcollaboratively with workers, their representatives and management to improveworker health. However, OHNs are urged to proceed with caution. Theirs shouldbe an advisory role; management “own” the problem. It is theresponsibility of managers to grasp the nettle and manage it effectively. Non-attendance should be dealt with fairly and consistently; compliance withthe requirements of employment and other legislation should be demonstrated. The findings of Harriss suggest that not all managers appear confident inmanaging attendance. Perhaps some do not fully appreciate the variety offactors underpinning absences1. They may have anxieties about a possible claimfor unfair treatment resulting in their appearance at an industrial tribunal.Others appear to take an “ostrich stance” burying their head in thesand in the hope that if ignored long enough the problem will go away.Unfortunately this is unlikely. The underpinning causes of high absence levels within an organisation arecomplex, but seem to be related to factors about the job, the individual andthe organisation. They are not always directly related to health status, eventhough illness may be the reason that the worker gives for non-attendance. Forexample workplace stress is currently very topical. Organisations may offerstress management sessions. Paternalistic organisations may even fundcomplementary therapies and ask the OH service to assist in this. Althoughemployees may perceive these as added benefits, if used in isolation suchmeasures are open to criticism; if the root causes of organisational stress arenot resolved, such measures can be dismissed as a mere panacea. A strategic rather than “sticking plaster” approach by managementand the OH service may impact on the organisational factors that precipitateunacceptable levels of non-attendance. The roles of management and the OHN There are several facets to the role of managers in managing attendance. Thefoundation of attendance management is knowing the extent of the problem bymaintaining sickness absence statistics and the formulation of a robust policycommunicated to managers and employees. The constituents of such a policy, includingthe manager’s responsibilities, are detailed later. Managers should receive training in dealing with ill health and absenceissues in order that they treat all staff fairly and consistently. Thistraining should include referral procedures to the OH service and the need tomake reasonable adjustments including a temporary or permanent reduction inwork hours, alterations to work processes, re-training or re-deployment. Policy development Many OHNs participate in the formulation of a range of health and safetypolicies such as those covering moving and handling, facilitating theemployment of people with a disability, stress, and alcohol and substancemisuse. As highlighted above, if the management of attendance is to be undertakenfairly and consistently an attendance policy is essential and OHNs should beinvolved in its formulation as this avoids them being coerced into workingwithin the requirements of a policy with which they do not agree. The policy should define what constitutes sickness absence and state theprocedure employees should follow for reporting absences. It should alsoindicate how attendance is managed. It is usual to distinguish betweenlong-term and short-term absence and an OH referral may be required as a resultof either of these patterns of non-attendance. A period of long-term absence of say six weeks may be the result of majorsurgery. It is important to assess whether the employee is indeed fit enough toresume the requirements of his or her post. The employee’s general practitionermay have indicated to the patient that a good recovery has been made butwithout appreciating the patient’s job requirements. The OHN is able to makerecommendations regarding fitness, or otherwise, to return to work. Repeated short-term absences are the most disruptive as making suitablearrangements for cover poses difficulties. Advice from the OHN may be soughtregarding possible underlying health issues leading to this pattern ofnon-attendance. Although this is not part of a disciplinary process itself, ifno serious health problems have been identified the manager may then decide toinitiate disciplinary action. No matter what the absence pattern the managerhas an important part to play. This includes undertaking return to work interviews(RTWIs) and, if considered appropriate, then making a written referral to theOH service. The manager must explain why a referral is necessary and gain theemployee’s consent to this. The employee cannot be forced to attend such anappointment and has the right to withhold consent. However, without OH inputthe manager is unaware of the work implications of the employee’s healthstatus. Managers have to manage their staff and they can still initiate furtherdisciplinary action with or without OH advice. RTWIs should be detailed in the attendance policy. These meetings offer theopportunity for both parties to discuss any problems that may be affecting workperformance or attendance. It should demonstrate to employees the manager’sconcern about their welfare. Furthermore it indicates to staff members thattheir attendance at work is important and that their absence has been noted.This may influence their decision to withdraw from work in the future. Data collection The compilation of accurate data is the first step in promoting attendanceand is key to successful attendance management. If the extent of non-attendancewithin a workplace is unknown it cannot be managed successfully. Buchan suggests that interventions can only be effective if they follow thecollection of appropriate sickness absence data4. Accurate record keeping isessential in identifying attendance patterns. These records should indicate thefrequency and duration of spells of absence in a given time period, usually thefinancial year. Managers find it helpful to see how periods of absence relate to days of theworking week – particularly if absences repeatedly seem to fall either side ofa weekend or on days that precede, or follow, annual leave. Triggers for management action Repeated short-term absences should trigger further management intervention.Silcox notes that 61 per cent of organisations utilise a trigger system basedon length or number of spells of absence or a combination of both. The use oftriggers facilitates the review of an individual’s attendance record and mayresult in a referral to the OH service5. Although the use of triggers iscommon, an Industrial Relations Services study suggests that there is nopreferred system6. Organisations may choose to initiate interventions following a stated numberof episodes in a given time period. Alternatively they may use an index such asthe Bradford Factor (BF). The BF is a simple formula indicating thesignificance of a worker’s absence pattern and facilitates the recognition ofrepeated short-term absences. The BF is calculated by multiplying the number ofdays lost from work by the square of the number of episodes of non-attendance. The following scenario illustrates how the BF can be used: A manager has twoemployees who have both been absent from work for 20 days within a period ofthree months. The first employee has been absent for 20 consecutive workingdays as the result of a hospital admission. The Bradford Factor for this personwould be 20 days multiplied by the square of one episode, i.e. 20 x 12 = 20. The second employee had absences totalling 20 working days on five occasionswithin the same three-month period. The BF for this person would be 20 x 52=500. This highlights the significance of the absences of the second employee.Management may choose to initiate action based on the use of this factor. OHNs should not be directly involved in any disciplinary processes as thiswould lead to an ethical conflict. Their role is advisory and supportive ratherthan policing; this should be made clear to both line managers and the referredemployee. OHNs are able to assess any underlying health problems linked to theemployee’s absences. They are then in a position to give impartial advice toboth employee and employer. The advice to these parties may serve different purposes. The employee mayappreciate advice on how he or she can deal with a health problem. The advicegiven to management will usually explain the implications of the employee’shealth status in relation to the job requirements and performance at workwithout breaching client confidentiality. Absences may be work related. Reduced morale, perhaps the result of poorworking conditions or an aggressive management style, could be reflected inelevated absence levels. Concerns regarding working conditions require afurther risk assessment, perhaps resulting in modifications to work processesor control measures. It is appropriate that the OHN is asked for an opinion on the health ofemployees with a tendency to repeated short-term absences as well as those whohave had a long-term absence. These may or may not be work related. An automatic client review by the OH service is advisable following a periodof long-term sickness absence, of say three weeks’ duration, or following areportable workplace accident. This offers the opportunity to decide whetherthe person is now fit enough to carry out the requirements of the job orwhether a return to work programme should be negotiated with both the clientand the manager. This is appropriate whether the absence was the result ofphysical or mental illness. The use of the term recovery programme is used in some organisations tostress the positive aspects of such an initiative. OHNs have the specialist clinical knowledge and skills to devise andinitiate a phased recovery programme and this should be an important aspect oftheir role. Assessment of fitness A competent assessment of fitness to return to work involves considerationof the extent of fitness or degree of impairment and the employee’s jobdemands. It requires an appreciation of the work processes and materials. Thefitness to work (FTW) model proposed by Murugiah, Thornbory and Harriss7(Figure 1) may prove useful in considering whether an employee with asignificant health deficit is fit to return to work on restricted orunrestricted duties. This model provides a framework to match a person’sattributes with specific work requirements, as well as a framework for the documentationof the decision-making process. This model may prove invaluable to OHNs duringtheir consultations with employees. There may be an added benefit to the OHN ifmanagement decide to terminate the employment of the member of staff on thegrounds of non-attendance. If this individual feels he or she has a case forunfair dismissal the OHN may have to justify to an industrial tribunal anyrecommendations made to management. The OHN can make effective links with a range of practitioners, such as doctors,disability advisers, ergonomists, and physical and occupational therapists inorder to give the best possible advice to both worker and manager. Althoughemployees may be fit to undertake work of some description, a multitude offactors, not least continuing health problems, may preclude them from returningto their previous post. Redeployment may be possible and should beinvestigated. Termination of employment Unfortunately the occasion may arise when a manager has no option but toterminate the employment of a staff member who may be either a frequentnon-attender or have a significant health problem leading to long-term absence.An industrial tribunal may find dismissal on the grounds of non-attendanceappropriate, provided that the individual concerned has been treated fairly andthat the organisation has demonstrated compliance with both company policiesand the requirements of employment legislation. Dismissal would be considered fair under the following circumstances: – If an employee has an unacceptable level of repeated short-term absencesand has been issued with formal warnings that failure to improve will result indismissal. The employer must demonstrate that employment was terminated on thegrounds of conduct, capability or some other substantial reason – If the employee’s ill-health results in an incapacity to return to his orher job, despite reasonable adjustments having been made, dismissal on thegrounds of incapacity may be considered fair. The employer must demonstratecompliance with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Employees with a long-standing health problem resulting in their incapacityto carry out the requirements of their post should be dealt with sensitively. Issuing warnings would be too harsh under these circumstances – payment inlieu of notice is a more appropriate route to take. If the employee is a memberof a company pension scheme retirement on the grounds of ill health should beconsidered. Conclusion Although managers and OHNs have different roles they both have the potentialto reduce non-attendance. Managers should assess the extent of the problem bykeeping accurate records; if they are aware of the extent of the problem theyare then more likely to be able to manage it. They may decide to pursue adisciplinary route if an employee consistently has an unacceptable level ofnon-attendance. However they would be ill advised to do this without firsthaving fully investigated the facts. The OHN can advise on work-related health conditions, workplace hazards andcontrol measures. They may facilitate a return to work following an employee’speriod of sickness absence by recommending adaptations to the work tasks,process or environment in order to match worker capabilities. This is to everyone’sbenefit. References 1. Harriss A (2001) Attending to sickness absence. The experience of OHnursing degree students. Occupational Health Review, 92: 24-27. 2. Whitaker S (2001) The Management of Sickness Absence. Occupational & EnvironmentalMedicine, 58 (6): 420-424. 3. Harriss A (2001) Sick of absenteeism. Occupational Health, 53(10): 14-16.4. Buchan J (1994) Attendance management. Nursing Management, 1: 18-19. 5. Silcox S (1999) Sickness absence survey. Occupational Health Review, 77:19. 6. Industrial Relations Services (1994) Industrial Relations Review andReport 569 October. 7. Murugiah S, Thornbory G, Harriss A (2002) Assessment of fitness.Occupational Health, 54 (4): 26-29. Anne Harriss is Programme Director, Occupational Health Nursing, RCNDevelopment Centre, South Bank University Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Managing to attendOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Women put the Tube back on track

first_imgWomen put the Tube back on trackOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article A successful drive to increase the number of women train drivers by LondonUnderground (LU) has contributed to a much more reliable service for commuters.For the first time, more than 5,000 rush hour trains have run without asingle cancellation due to driver absence and much of this success has beenattributed to the increase in women drivers. The number of female drivers has jumped from 75 to 167 following an 18-monthrecruitment drive, which included an advertisement in Cosmopolitan magazine andled to 6,000 applications. The initiative was launched because there was a shortage of drivers to coverfor sickness, holiday leave and essential training, resulting in a growingnumber of train cancellations. Angela Johnson, head of resourcing at LU believes that a combination ofextra female drivers as well as a 1.5 per cent reduction in sickness absencethrough more efficient management have improved the service. “The new female recruits have greatly contributed to the reliability ofthe underground. It’s part of an all round strategy, as well as recruiting morestaff we’ve been improving the monitoring of sickness absence. Johnson said LU was now looking at new ideas to attract more women to theservice. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Agency fails to hit absence targets

first_img Previous Article Next Article The government department responsible for helping to reduceabsenteeism in the public sector has missed its own targets for sicknessabsence. Related posts:No related photos. Agency fails to hit absence targetsOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today But its annual report reveals that sickness absence levelsin 2000 were 13.4 days per member of staff against its target of 10.9 days.center_img The Benefits Agency, which is part of the Department forWork and Pensions, had planned to cut absenteeism by 10 per cent as part of theGovernment’s drive to help tackle high public sector sickness rates. A spokesman for the Benefits Agency told Personnel Todaythat it has brought in a manager, who has a specific responsibility forsickness levels, and has introduced a number of initiatives to try and reduceabsenteeism. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Organisations ignore threats of strike action at their peril

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Organisations ignore threats of strike action at their perilOn 5 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. With the apparent resurgence of industrial action battles, HR professionalsneed to ensure their negotiation skills are up to scratchThe grizzled veterans of the unions’ seemingly non-stop battle against thebosses in the late 1970s and early 80s must be feeling a warm glow right now:are the ‘good times’ returning? Left-leaning Derek Simpson is the new general secretary of Amicus-AEEU; theRMT’s Bob Crow and ASLEF’s Mick Rix are head-to-head with London Underground;and the Fire Brigade’s union boss, Andy Gilchrist, while hardly a classwarrior, is challenging the Government to dust off its Green Goddesses. Inshort, the unions are on a roll. The rights and wrongs of the current crop of labour disputes are for othersto argue. But what no one would deny is that the unions are taking centre stageafter a long period of comparative silence. And this resurgence requires anappropriate response from employers. By response, I don’t mean the old ‘them against us’ confrontation – today’sunion leaders are constrained by legislation which has effectively killed offthe ‘Red Robbo’ approach to solving labour disputes. For the past 15 years, the huge majority of organisations have not requiredthe strong negotiation skills of an industrial relations (IR) specialist withintheir HR division. But all that is changing. Individuals with IR expertise arenow very much in demand. The worry is that today’s HR professionals don’t havethe experience of negotiating with unions, while many unions, including Amicusand CWU, have developed training colleges for their officials and representativesand improved their skills. If the threat of industrial action does mature, the credibility of HR couldbe called into question if the skills needed to tackle strike action aremissing. HR should not take its responsibility lightly – a breakdown innegotiations can be devastating for an organisation, both in financial terms,but also in respect of the resentment. The skills necessary for IR can be learned or developed. HR professionalscan attend negotiation-training workshops and learn about IR at a variety ofacademic institutions, but there is nothing like real-life negotiationexperience – the experience that was honed by HR professionals during the 70sand early 80s. Many of those HR professionals with experience of tough bargaining duringthe 80s are now in senior positions, often board level HR roles. The experienceand training they developed has stood them in good stead for their career. Many unions now offer joint training for HR professionals and unionofficials on how to avoid confrontation around a boardroom table. However, areal relationship should extend far beyond this. Late-night manoeuvres in smoke-filled rooms should be the stuff of history.To be truly effective, HR professionals need to develop a strong and trustingrelationships. They should be able to pick up the phone at any time to discussproposals rather than wait for the ‘crunch’ meeting. These relationships should extend beyond the office environs. Historically,much of the relationship building with the union officials is not done duringoffice hours but socially. During recent interviews to recruit industrialrelations and employee relations experts, Penna Consulting interviewed manyprofessionals who placed great value in a pint down the pub to build betterrelationships. A new militancy could develop with a younger generation of radical unionleaders coming through, who are not afraid to speak up, when necessary, tothose in authority. They have few memories of the 1979 Winter of Discontentthat ushered in the Thatcher years. If this translates into the hard threat of strike action, IR expertise willbe critical and companies that ignore it will suffer. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Porter: skills and innovation key to productivity

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Employers need to invest more in labour force skills, innovation, and goodsand services that provide companies with sustainable competitive advantages,according to Professor Michael Porter. US management guru Porter, who was commissioned by the DTI to look at thelink between management and productivity, presented his initial findings at theLondon School of Economics last week. He said business leaders should be given a key role in heading up nationalcompetitiveness initiatives, and that modern-management techniques must betaken up by more low and middle level managers. Contrary to the view of many HR professionals, Porter describes regulatoryintrusion on business as ‘very low’ although he accepts that some legislationfrom the EU has undermined UK strengths. Porter: skills and innovation key to productivityOn 28 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Professional dilemma

first_imgDo you have an e-learning problem? Then ask our experts to find a solution.E-mail it to the address at the bottom of the page Q I need to implement a learning management system (LMS) for 500 staff –and quickly. How long should it take? A There are some guidelines within which you can work. If it is a straightforward implementation where you need the LMS toadminister and offer courses, it can take as little as a few hours. It reallyis that simple if the software is designed well enough. Incidentally, itshouldn’t matter whether you need the LMS for 500 or 50,000 employees. Integrating the LMS with existing HR software gets a little morecomplicated. This can take just a few weeks if both the internal and supplier’steams are committed. However, BUPA recently integrated its new LMS withexisting HR software (PeopleSoft) in just two and a half weeks. Choosing the courseware can also be quick. It depends on whether the classesrequired can be sourced ‘off-the-shelf’ from the thousands available. If youneed bespoke classes, however, it is a different matter. Getting thespecification right is the most important aspect, as changing things laterslows down the process. You too can help the implementation go smoothly. Understand your company’snetworks and technology. Know the goals of the new training programme, and makesure you abide by agreed project times. Ensure the supplier gets access to theinternal project team, as it will be in touch frequently. The supplier needs to contribute an enormous amount. At first, it shouldoffer good experience and reference-able customers. It should also be able tosource the right courses from a huge range of providers. It may survey some ofyour staff so that it understands the culture, and should also supply a specialaccount consultant to ease you through the process. E-learning is a cultural leap, so your supplier should be able to create andmanage strategies for communication and mentoring to ensure the systems providea strong ROI. Remember, it should be simple for you and the users. Response by Spencer Cohen, head of sales at Futuremedia Plc Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Professional dilemmaOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Better public services hinges on leadership

Comments are closed. Effectivepeople management must be at the centre of the drive for continuing serviceimprovement in the public sector, says an Audit Commission report. Thestudy, Managing People, is compiled from findings of local authorities’ firstround of comprehensive performance assessments (CPAs). It shows high- scoringcouncils link people strategies to corporate objectives to achieve highperformance.Thecommission identifies six factors critical to successful people management:empowering leadership, people management strategies, managing performance,capacity building, workforce diversity and recruitment and retention.Thereport finds that developing and motivating staff is the responsibility ofmanagers at all levels in an organisation and is not the sole prerogative of HR.TraceyDenison, chair of the task team for CPA run by the Society of PersonnelOfficers’ (Socpo), which was consulted on the research, agreed with thecritical success factors highlighted by the commission. However,she warned processes must not become more important than outcomes. “Wehave to  make sure authorities modernisetheir people and management procedures and create policy and proceduralframeworks to support innovation,” she said. “We must keep an eye onthe outcome. The process should not be an end in itself.”KenDavies, senior specialist at the Audit Commission, said the report shows thecorrect application of people policies is critical to improving services andwould form a key component of future assessment frameworks.Examplesof good practice in the report included Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’sdiversity policy, which uses scrutiny committees and internal and externalinterest groups to promote the policy.TheLondon Borough of Ealing was singled out over recruitment and retention, afterestablishing its own employment bureau to address shortages of teachers, socialworkers and IT specialists. Better public services hinges on leadershipOn 8 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. read more

Rules of engagement

first_imgRules of engagementOn 1 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Don’t let a bad experience with e-learning put you off, says Kenneth Fee.Instead, take the time re-evaluate its benefitsHow often do we hear the claim “e-learning doesn’t suit my learningstyle”. Yet, if we understand e-learning fully, this claim makes no moresense than saying we don’t like to read books.If a trainee given a new product manual protests they don’tlike reading books, we wouldn’t regard that as a valid objection. Employershave the right to expect learners to make use of whatever resources areavailable. The corollary is that learners have the right to expect learningresources to be of the highest quality.It’s true, too, that some early implementations of e-learninglacked imagination. Simply providing text with illustrations on-screen doesn’tusually make for a good learning experience. That’s just e-reading. But this is no longer an accurate characterisation ofe-learning. Increasingly, we are finding imaginative applications offeringlearners opportunities they never had before, and in new and exciting ways.A lot of e-learning content now frequently includes clevergraphics, animation, games and simulations. Video is spoilt for many users bybandwidth problems, but corporate schemes still find ways to distribute video,which remains a powerful tool – and the bandwidth issues are bound to beresolved soon. Audio is more commonplace, and represents less of a bandwidthconcern. New software applications mean online assessment is becomingincreasingly sophisticated, extending even to the capacity to mark free text.Digitally animated characters act as avatars, and panoramic imaging offersvirtual learning environments. E-learning is becoming a highly interactive, asopposed to just a passive, experience.E-learning offers unique and unprecedented ways for people tocommunicate. Learners in virtual classroom can access their personal recordsand references while taking part in an online discussion. Learners can shareideas via audio, text and images. Tutorials can take place regardless of thelocations of the various participants.Some of this may sound unlike any experience of e-learning thereader has had. The potential for using computer networks to enhance learningis far from exhausted. One of most exciting aspects of e-learning is that wehave yet to see anything like its full potential. The challenge for learners isto engage with this now, and not be a Luddite. Just as the business hype has died down, to be replaced bycommon-sense assessments of the real benefits, so learners too need tore-evaluate the advantages of e-learning for them. If you’ve had a badexperience of e-learning,  forget aboutit, and try again. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.Kenneth Fee is chief executive ofthe e-Learning Alliance, Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more