Thursday, February 17, 2011

e-Learning & Web forums - The diabolic duo!

Innovators or immediate users of a product are identified by software developing firms and they are offered to work on the beta versions of the softwares developed. This creates a win-win situation where the organiation uses technical skills of enthusiastic learners free of cost and the learners get the experience of using the tool before it is out in the market. The OPEN SOURCE revolution that has been making waves in the past decade with the success of LINUX must owe its success to the e-learning approach. Without that, continuous work & improvements on open source technologies would have remained only a dream.

In addition to this, the online technical forums serve as a medium where employees across organizations share their views and issues related to a technology and this enables a seamless interaction among technologists paving the way for a technically better equipped software world.

For example, consider the following scenario which almost everyday happens in every other IT organization:
  • An employee working at Microsoft might have some difficulties in learning the usage of a particular software he is not familiar with.
  • He might post his problem in an online forum like, or other such sites/ technical blogs.
  • An employee of an organization that serves Microsoft, say Infosys , might have had years of expertise on the software and might provide a solution to the microsoft employee and might even suggest a change to the software that might help everyone in the long run.
  • The suggestion might reach the developing team at Microsoft and they might come up with a new software update on that product with the suggestion incorporated into it.
As another elucidation to this point, we bring out an experience of one of the bloggers of our team:

When the Internet Explorer 8 was launched, the beta version of it was required to be tested. Training on testing techniques were offered online and the Microsoft technical forum got around 30 'high pri' bugs which they rectified before launching the product. This is a classic example of how electronic learning can transcend boundaries to give way for e-support too. Imagine how bad the reputation of IE would have suffered had they launched without this user feedback initiative.

The various forums that Microsoft make use of to train and then tap the potential of the very many techies are:
  • Microsoft e-Learning forum
  • Tech Support Forums
  • Partner Support Forums
  • Social MSDN Forums (MSDN is an earlybird  success story of managing e-learning effectively in the IT domain)
  • MS Newsgroups
  • MS Blogs
In this way, e-learning has been quietly demonstrating its prowess through online forums in not only leveraging technology but also improvising and altering it for the world's good.

No comments:

Post a Comment