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Abstract

The use of e-learning by corporate organisations as a means to deliver training to employees has grown significantly in recent years. Improvements in technology have meant that corporate Learning and Development (L&D) departments now have more options available to them and the use of web 2.0 technologies is increasingly being explored as a method of delivering training to employees both asynchronously and synchronously. Research into elearning in workplaces is limited and tends to consist of anecdotal accounts from organisations with a US focus (Newton & Ellis, 2005). This case study explores the implementation of web conferencing software as a means to deliver training both synchronously and asynchronously within an Irish insurance company. The case study was undertaken during an eight month period prior to the planned launch of the technology and it provides a perspective on the challenges encountered during implementation and how issues affecting the production of high quality e-learning content were overcome. The research was undertaken using an exploratory case study approach. Data was collected through direct observation, participant observation and interviews with trainers and managers who were directly or indirectly involved with the implementation of previous and current e-learning strategies. The research finds that the presence of the championing factors: leadership, learning culture, technology infrastructure and financial support, contributed towards the successful implementation of learning technology within the organisation. In addition the study illustrates that emphasises within the organisation has shifted from producing as much e-learning content as possible to producing high quality e-learning content. Further research is warranted to evaluate the transfer of knowledge and behavioural change achieved as a result of the content generated during the study. The study has relevance for corporate L&D departments considering the implementation of virtual classroom technology to deliver corporate training. It contributes to the knowledge base on the introduction of new learning technology within the workplace environment and the factors which should be considered when creating and designing content using new technology.

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