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An Evaluation of the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) as used by AEGON UK Services

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Evaluation of the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) as used by AEGON UK Services Contents: Page 1) Introduction Page 2) Rationale Page 4) Background Page 7) Research Page 19) Analysis of Data Conclusions Appendices A) Project Proposal B) Questionnaire C) Completed Questionnaire References Bibliography 1. Introduction The research project includes the complete lifespan of the work from the rationale to the conclusion. I examine the reasons for conducting the research, how the Company might benefit from the experience and how trainers may reflect and add to their toolbox of skills and knowledge. The project also considers the background to the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) and how this came to AEGON UK Services, what role Workplace Training Services had to play and what part of strategy ECDL was designed to meet. The main body of the project, the research itself, sets out to consider a range of questions related to the evaluation of ECDL within a financial services setting which I believe is a valuable piece of research that is not presently widely available. The research considers the practical implications of the work and the justifications for following the particular actions undertaken. The conclusion draws the project together and provides answers to the questions considered above. Does ECDL add value within the business, have learners acquired new skills, what of the present learning methods and how might these be designed to suit the needs of future learners? I support my research findings with the results of my data collection exercises together with statistics relating to ECDL including its recent use outside of Europe. Finally, I present the detail of material used whilst working on the project as Reference and Bibliography. 2 Rationale AEGON UK Services (UKS) is the 'closed book' arm or Third Party Administration (TPA) operation for AEGON UK one of the world's top ten financial services companies. As a TPA no new business comes into the organisation and particularly in the present economic climate control of costs and expenses becomes paramount. ...read more.

Middle

Consideration however must be given to the school of thought that exists regarding problems with the interview as a method for gathering my research data. Mason (1997:42) suggests that 'good qualitative interviewing is hard, creative work. It is a much more complex and exhausting task to plan and carry out ... than, for example, to develop and use a structured questionnaire for asking a set of predetermined questions.' Tuckman (1972) set out a number of problems with the interview as a technique for gathering data, including the fact that a competent interviewer is required (which may involve payment), a limited number of respondents can be reached and the reliability is quite limited. Whilst acknowledging these concerns, as I have set out my competency earlier, I require interviews with a controlled group of 6 individuals only and have a great degree of confidence in the reliability of my data. Not to mention that this interviewer requires no additional payment for the work. My final information gathering technique is the focus group which Kreuger (1988:27) highlights as typically having 5 characteristics, '...a) people who, b) posses certain characteristics, c) provide data, d) of a qualitative nature, e) in a focussed discussion.' Cohen et al (2000:288) support my use of the focus group by suggesting that they '...might be useful to triangulate with more traditional forms of interviewing, questionnaires, observation etc.' Although observation is not necessary or appropriate for my research, Cohen et al do concur with my use of the interview and questionnaire. According to the December 2002 issue of Croner's A-Z Briefing (12/02:2), '...the main advantage of a focus group lies in its ability to collect subjective judgments where several, individual, judgments are better than just one. ...By using a focus group ...the researcher can see how and why individual judgments are supported ....' This aspect of the focus group is particularly useful to me as it enables a group of learners to come together and share their experiences of the ECDL programme including highs and lows. ...read more.

Conclusion

quicker Development of trouble-shooting skills through a better familiarity of programmes and applications Less paper-based Staff trained in new technology More scope to use applications not previously tried Customer Speeds up productivity/quicker/more efficient Provide higher/better levels of service Staff more confident towards customers Produce better quality letters Present information more professionally - good for customer confidence Familiarity of applications means more time to spend on customer queries Some old manual processes could become PC-based reducing turnaround times and costs Work more accurate 9. As a result of the course do you have any suggestions/advice you would like to share with future learners? Not difficult Support is good Enjoyable Focus more on test (use CD ROM if encounter problems) Use the CD ROM and mocks regularly Keep up to date with your learning Remain committed Share enthusiasm/knowledge with colleagues Always do the exercises before the tests Set time aside to study and stick with it Don't leave it until the weekend before Practice mocks (if possible with a friend) Don't tsress about learning the first module. The CD ROM goes into a lot of unnecessary detail. Do it at your own pace - it's one of the great benefits of the course, the flexibility The exams are very easy but it is still beneficial to do the CD ROM. It is in depth and you will learn much more than if you just do the mock exams. Useful to buddy up with someone to study with Practice the mock exams well 10. Any other comments? Raise awareness of timescale pressures for tests Everyone should have to do it Interested in courses of a similar nature Excellent initiative from the Company, thank you for the opportunity to improve my PC skills Could do with a couple of courses to go through the discs Excellent I definitely think that the ECDL programme broadens knowledge of different systems used across the industries The CD ROM is not very good. Sometimes it bears little relation to the actual exam. ...read more.

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