RETURN - Employability and E-Learning: Start Working Effectively After Parantal Leave

By Andreas Liening, Ewald Mittelstaedt and Claudia Wiepcke.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Doing business today means that one encounters new challenges: globalisation, mastery of advancements in information and communication technology, and adaptation to increasing buyer’s markets. For companies to compete in this environment, they must manage their knowledge and human capital effectively, which includes on-going on-the-job training for employee competency and skill mastery. Employees returning after parental leave are a special target group for this training: they need to quickly regain their employability. However, conventional corporate learning arrangements are often difficult for this target group, due to time and location restrictions. RETURN was developed as an answer to this problem - a human resources training program that aims to qualify employees at the end of parental leave to start working more effectively. Common goals of RETURN are to bring participants’ technical and computer skills up-to-date, obtain necessary competencies in information and communication technology (ICT), keep participants’ tuned into what is going on in the workplace and reduce training time requirements on the job, as well as to improve self-confidence, help participants’ balance work and family responsibilities, and to create a learning culture and a positve attitude towards life-long learning.
To test the extent to which RETURN can prove successful in these areas, an empirical survey (2004 - 2006) was implemented. It was revealed that participants exhibited a high rate of acceptance and satisfaction with the RETURN program, and that an average RETURN-course carries its own weight (costs) fivefold in terms of ROI.

Keywords: e-learning, Blended Learning, Employability, ICT, Gender Mainstreaming, Vocational Training, 360-degree Evaluation, Return on Investment

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp.63-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 745.370KB).

Prof. Dr. Andreas Liening

Pro-Dean, Faculty of Business Adminstration, Economcis and Social Sciences, Universitaet Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany

Dr. Andreas Liening, professor and head of the chair of business adminstration and economic education at Universitaet Dortmund, has had 20 years of experience in a range of research, lecturing and administrative positions in business management, economics, mathematics and ICT for learning. His doctoral studies were in the area of intelligent tutorial systems, his habilitation treatise about complex systems between order and chaos. He has been involved in some major research projects in recent years, e.g. supported by the European Commission. In 2006 he won the initiative award of the German Chamber of Commerce for his entrepreneurship education project “Junior Business School”. Dr. Liening publishes constantly in refereed journals. Currently he holds a significant leadership position as Sub-Dean for the department of business administration and economics at Universitaet Dortmund.

Prof. Ewald Mittelstaedt

Research Associate, Chair of Business Administration and Economic Education, Universitaet Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany

Ewald Mittelstaedt, Master of Science in Business Management, is a research fellow in business education at Universitaet Dortmund. Ewald currently lectures undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of applied business education and business gaming with focus on computer-based learning. His research interests lie in the areas of Educational Management, E-Learning and Self-Organization.

Dr. Claudia Wiepcke

Research associate, Chair of Business Administration and Economic Education, Universitaet Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany

Dr. Claudia Wiepcke is a research fellow in business education at Universitaet Dortmund. Her dissertation thesis was about ICT’s and their evaluation in further education with focus on gender mainstreaming. For the last three 3 years she has taught in the business teacher education program. Her lectures address case writing, cultural diversity and business German as a foreign language. In recent empirical studies Claudia investigates thoroughly diagnostics and development of business competences with emphasis on diversity management approaches.

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