Last updated: 15.10.11

Consumer technology 'embraces e-learning'

The popularity of using e-learning to improve skills and qualifications will be affected by consumer technology, according to one industry body.

Online learning can provide a sense of job performance improvement and this idea could become even more popular thanks to increasingly in-demand products such as iPads and Kindles, as well as smartphone applications.

According to Dr David Guralnick, president of the International E-Learning Association, the consumer technology available on the market is likely to expand and improve, thus making way for the continued development of e-learning platforms, methods and ways of providing information.

Dr Guralnick said: "The possibilities are nearly endless and the philosophical shift in the business world should be away from traditional training and more towards just-in-time performance support uses. The continued availability of mobile technology should facilitate such a change, though companies need to be open to some new ideas, such as focusing on evaluating actual job performance rather than how well someone performed on a test."

He suggested that the ways in which mobile technologies are used may not always be available for certain courses, but rather for 'just-in-time' use that can improve the job performance of employees.

An example given by Dr Guralnick was of a salesperson out on a sales call who might want to look up product information or even show samples of a product he or she is selling.

He mentioned that mobile technology could be a great help in improving job performance and that the availability of just-in-time information through virtual portals would make industry services better all round.

Founded in 2007, the IELA aims to serve as a catalyst for the development and exchange of e-learning information among universities, educational institutions, government bodies, funding agencies, conferences and businesses.

Consumer electronics are intended for everyday use, most often in entertainment, communications and office productivity comma which could incorporate the use of mobile e-learning for easy-to-access and flexible problem solutions.

Trends in consumer products largely depend on falling prices, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. However, new and improved technologies can often be seen as the "must-have" thing, such as the new iPhone 4S, released on October 14th.