Mandatory online training: transmissive learning, issues of abuse and hidden agendas

Llandis G. Barratt-Pugh, Edith Cowan University
Susanne T. Bahn, Edith Cowan University
Alex C. Scholz, Edith Cowan University

This article was originally published as: Barratt-Pugh, L. G., Bahn, S. T., & Scholz, A. C. (2011). Mandatory online training: transmissive learning, issues of abuse and hidden agendas. Industry and Higher Education, 25(3), 193-203. Original article available here

Abstract

This paper is based on two studies of mandatory online learning which although unrelated and conducted eight years apart nevertheless provide an illuminating comparison of mandatory training delivered online. The first study was carried out in 2002 in a state government department and the second in 2010 with the commercial construction industry, both in Western Australia. The key findings from both studies are that learning outcomes mirror the learning goals that are imposed and legitimized by the organization or industry. Mandatory learning is often transmissive learning that may not have transformative effects and online training may be open to abuse because it lacks the controls necessary to ensure that those registering actually are the ones that complete the training.