Investigating the application of virtual
learning management systems as training aides for Nigerian Bank employees
proliferation of learning management systems (LMS) use in educational
institutions is on the rise with many Universities and Colleges in the UK and
other Western countries adopting some type of system to enhance the learning
experience (Bozkurt et al., 2015).
Apart from its purely learning goals, LMSs help to address other operational
problems such as high operational cost and needs of a distributed student
population. The functionality and
success of LMS adoption is dependent on how well it attains its objectives. As
the needs of individual students, courses and institutions may vary, LMSs
usefulness/efficiency is contextually determined by the aims of adoption by the
customer and perception/attitudes of ‘evaluators’ of the system i.e. students
and/or instructors (Taris et al.,
2003; Lameras et al., 2008). Learning
management systems may be used to achieve different learning goals and are
broadly classified as ancillary and integrated functions.
its ancillary uses include everyday uses of VLEs in these developed educational
systems include syllabus distribution, quizzes and learner collaboration. The
Higher education environment in developing countries such as Nigeria is less
sophisticated. University courses are largely classroom based and without
technological classroom aides. While a few private universities co-opt
technologically enhanced classroom teaching into their curricula; limited
funding, poor internet connectivity and necessary expertise limit their
adoption (Saleh et al., 2011). The
private financial institutions on the other hand are more technologically
savvy. Well developed human resource management units strategically identify
organizational learning needs and solutions to meet demand (Njuki et al., 2013). Identification of these
learning needs and preferring cost effective solutions with minimal disruption
to operations has encouraged them to adopt virtual learning management systems.
Mode of use/extent of LMS adoption differs from one institution to another.
Different models of use have been identified in studies with some of the most
common options being technologically enhanced tradition; hybrid and exclusive
online models (Arabasz et al. 2003;
Malikowski et al., 2007).
Learning Environments (VLEs)
A virtual learning environment is an online platform for students to
interact with tutors and learning materials. In order to equip learners with
the skills necessary to excel, most educational institutions provide a virtual
learning environment where learning materials in various formats like power
point slides, videos and audio are provided to learners. Though the concept
behind virtual learning environments is similar to computer aided instruction,
it is broader than computer aided instruction (CAI) because interaction/
improved communication has been added to the previously static computer aided
instruction thereby making it possible for flexibility. Virtual learning
environments do not only benefit the students but also assist tutors to get
their work done in a more organised way (Lingard, 2007). Virtual learning
environments have also been used to support more personalised learning
experience (Severance et al., 2008).
The resulting learning management systems utilised virtualization technology to
provide customised learning to their ‘students’. Examples of commercially
available LMSs are Blackboard and Moodle.
Behaviourist learning theory is premised on the assumption that a
learner is passive and will respond to external stimuli without recourse to
internal cognition. The original clean slate of the learner is moulded by
positive and negative reinforcements. This is to say positive outcomes will be
repeated while negatives will encourage resistance (Burton-Jones et al., 2005). Criticised for being
simplistic in Burton-Jones et al.
(2005), others argue that it applies to the simple form of VLE use observed in
transmitting course content. “Behaviorism is best
suited for tasks that require low cognitive processing and learners with low
levels of task knowledge” (Malikowsky et
This study attempts to conduct a balanced and exploratory inquiry into
how well Nigerian banks achieve both technical and learning management goals.
It investigates the use of a virtual learning management tools in transmitting
course content to employees. It also seeks to explore their other uses within
formal/official and unofficial contexts.
Aim and objectives
The discussion above informs the aim and objectives of the study.
Research aims to investigate the application of virtual learning management
systems by Nigerian bank employees