E-learning : aging workforce versus technology-savvy generation
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide description and analysis of how a traditional industry is currently using e-learning, and to identify how the potential of e-learning can be realised whilst acknowledging the technological divide between younger and older workers.
Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory qualitative methodology was employed to analyse three key questions: How is the Australian rail industry currently using e-learning? Are there age-related issues with the current use of e-learning in the rail industry? How could e-learning be used in future to engage different generations of learners in the rail industry? Data were collected in five case organisations from across the Australian rail industry.
Findings – Of the rail organisations interviewed, none believed they were using e-learning to its full potential. The younger, more technologically literate employees are not having their expectations met and therefore retention of younger workers has become an issue. The challenge for learning and development practitioners is balancing the preferences of an aging workforce with these younger, more “technology-savvy”, learners and the findings highlight some potential ways to begin addressing this balance.
Practical implications – The findings identified the potential for organisations (even those in a traditional industry such as rail) to better utilise e-learning to attract and retain younger workers but also warns against making assumptions about technological competency based on age.
Originality/value – Data were gathered across an industry, and thus this paper takes an industry approach to considering the potential age-related issues with e-learning and the ways it may be used to meet the needs of different generations in the workplace.
Impact and interest:
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Australia, Computer Based Learning, Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives, E-learning, Rail Industry, Rail Transport, Technology|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School|
Current > Schools > School of Management
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.|
|Deposited On:||27 Jun 2012 09:56|
|Last Modified:||15 Aug 2012 04:14|
Repository Staff Only: item control page