Due to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, people all over the world are forced to stay home and try remote work. While the spread of the internet has made it possible to work remotely from home, we are struggling to carry out distance learning in the workplace.
Research on online training have existed since the internet began to spread, and it sought to find out the differences from face-to-face training, effective ways to conduct distance training and what challenges the new method faces (Nichols 2003). Challenges of online training include the transfer of tacit knowledge and skills. Since there is no direct interaction and participants do not share the same location, it has been pointed out that it is difficult to pass on the company-specific tacit knowledge that can be gained in the workplace (Haldin-Herrgard 2000). Due to COVID-19, companies are forced to change production and service systems such as avoiding dense assembly lines and face-to-face customer service. Saito (2020) is concerned that the so-called “new normal” forces companies to change the unique attributes of the company such as tacit knowledge and unique hospitality.
On the other hand, in developing countries, internet access itself is not generally widespread, and it is difficult to perform remote operations. An IMF web article reports that there is a gap in the access and distribution between developed and developing countries due to the distribution of internet access in the world and it will cause the economic gap to widen in the future (García-Escribano 2020). Various approaches have been proposed for remote training in areas where the internet is not widely used among individuals. In the case of Turkish rural area, providing training opportunities to farmers by using television programs was cost effective to disseminate training opportunities (Demiryürek and Atsan 2015). In addition, even if the internet is not owned by an individual, use of a shared PC at the training center can be an effective approach to conduct a dual (onsite and online) training system (Mtebe et al. 2020). It also reported that by conducting face-to-face evaluation, the quality of distance training can be ensured and it can contribute to training community care workers (Hay et al. 2013).
In developing countries, the lack of access to the internet is currently an urgent task to reduce the gap in online education, but on the other hand, even in developed countries, there are various challenges to conduct online training such as diffusion of tacit knowledge and company-specific hospitality. Given these situations, applying an online-onsite mixed approach can be one of the solutions for ensuring online training and transmitting tacit knowledge. Although the mixed approach has not yet been fully tested under this pandemic, it has a potential to enhance the effectiveness of online training.
Demiryürek, K. and Atsan, T. (2015) Distance Education through Television for Farmers in Developing Countries the Case of Turkey. Anthropologist, 21(3). Pp. 374-379.
García-Escribano, M. (2020) Low Internet Access Driving Inequality. IMF Blog. https://blogs.imf.org/2020/06/29/low-internet-access-driving-inequality/ (accessed on July, 2nd, 2020)
Hay, P. J., Engstrom. C., Greem, A. Friis, P. Dickens, S. and Macdnald, D. (2012). Promoting assessment efficacy through an integrated system for online clinical assessment of practical skills. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. Vol. 38. (5). Pp. 520-535.
Haldin-Herrgard, T (2000) Difficulties in diffusion of tacit knowledge in organizations. Journal of Intellectual Capital. Vol. 1 No. 4. pp. 357-365.
Mtebe, J., Kissaka, M., Raphael, C. and Stephen, J. K. (2020) Promoting Youth Employment through Information and Communication Technologies in Vocational Education in Tanzania. Journal of Learning for Development. Vol. 7 (1). Pp. 90-107.
Nichols, M. (2003). A theory for eLearning. Educational Technology & Society, Vol. 6(2), pp. 1-10.
Saito, J. (2020) Industrial implications of the reactions to covid-19. Japan Center for Economic Research. https://www.jcer.or.jp/english/industrial-implications-of-the-reactions-to-covid-19