This form of education is rapidly becoming the most cost effective way to educate the world’s expanding work force and is also starting to make good on its promise to bring about a revolution in African education.
Dr. Herman Moolman, e-learning and Education Specialist, UTi Worldwide, South Africa, focussed on the success story of online learning in Africa at the recent annual SAPICS (the Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa) Conference and Exhibition which was hosted at Sun City in June. Says Moolman: “The workforce needs to be developed and up-skilled in order to accept and take care of the challenges a technology driven environment poses. It only makes sense that development should be with and via technology. Due to the use of modern, leading edge technology on a global scale, organisations increasingly investigate the option of making use of e-learning.” Dr. Moolman stated that although factors such as restricted access to the Internet and poor connectivity are still hampering e-learning on the continent, it is often elements such as business leadership, focus and relevance of training, and support and motivation that ultimately determine the success of this form of education.
In the publication Multimedia for Learning: Methods and Development, authors Alessi and Trollip indicate that the supply chain management (SCM) environment has found e-learning to be an ideal training alternative. Advantages of this form of education that appeal to the SCM environment, include the facts that online learning is an asynchronous, anywhere-anytime and own-tempo form of learning; that it promotes real-time interaction with co-students and instructors; and that the students have control over the learning process.
An annual event that seems to combine all these advantages is The Fresh Connection business simulation – an international, web-based learning tool for developing cross-functional partnerships with key stakeholders in the supply and value chain. Says Ken Titmuss, Director of SAPICS (local host of the event): “The Fresh Connection provides companies with numerous learning formats to ensure business objectives are met. It gives a real life supply chain experience within a simulated environment."
Appletiser was named the 2012 South African winner of the Competition and was ranked 5th globally. Appletiser recently quoted: “The Appletiser Lead Team highly recommends playing the Fresh Connection to any organisation wishing to bring about a culture of teamwork and close co-operation. We are highly impressed with the outcomes of the game and the potential business benefits. We intend entering more teams from employees across the organisation for future games.”