The perplexing role of learner control in e-learning: will learning and transfer benefit or suffer?
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
International Journal of Training and Development
Special Issue: E-Learning. Edited by Tanya Bondarouk and Huub Ruel
Volume 14, Issue 3, pages 180–197, September 2010
How to Cite
Granger, B. P. and Levine, E. L. (2010), The perplexing role of learner control in e-learning: will learning and transfer benefit or suffer?. International Journal of Training and Development, 14: 180–197. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2419.2010.00351.x
- Issue published online: 19 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
The appeal of e-learning is not surprising given its many proposed advantages (e.g. flexibility, responsiveness to trainees' individual needs, potential cost-effectiveness). However, as pointed out by Ruël et al., academic research in support of the proposed advantages of electronic human resource management systems is scarce. Although this is generally the case for technologically mediated training, the extant research on e-learning actually questions many of its proposed advantages. In this conceptual piece we (1) establish the link between e-learning and learner control, (2) summarize the advantages and disadvantages of learner-controlled e-learning, (3) briefly present the results of a recent study conducted in our research lab that addresses the disadvantages of learner-controlled e-learning for the training of complex material, and (4) discuss research-based recommendations for the application of learner-controlled e-learning in organizational settings.