Previously published as: Training Strategies for Tomorrow
Online from: 2003
Subject Area: Learning and Development
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Article citation: A. Tzikopoulos, (2012) "An online information system to support blended training of rural SMEs on e-government", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 26 Iss: 4, pp. -
Tzikopoulos A., Manouselis N., Kastrantas K. and Costopoulou C.
Program: electronic library and information systems, 2012, Vol. 46 No. 1, Start page: 123, No. of pages: 21
Purpose – Away from central public authorities, regional (also called rural) enterprises do not have direct, physical access to all the services that governmental or public agencies offer. Very often, these services are essential for enterprises, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in such areas, in order to perform their business operations. This paper aims to present an example of how such types of information management and use took place in the case of familiarizing rural SMEs with the use of e-government. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is a case study of how a practical application is designed and developed for the blended training of rural SMEs. First of all, an identification of the main information resources that will be stored, annotated, shared and accessed through the system took place. Then, an outline of the general architecture and user roles involved was developed. System analysis and specification using Unified Modelling Language (UML) then took place. This was accompanied by design and specification of the database, based on appropriate metadata schemas for describing the information resources. The whole process was completed by the design and prototype development of the interface, which was put into public operation and testing with a sample set of real users. Findings – Although there are several information management systems focusing on the education and training of rural stakeholders, their learning resources are not directly relevant to SMEs’ needs. The main finding of this paper is that it shows a complete case study of designing, developing and evaluating an information technology application for rural businesses. Originality/value – The value of the approach presented here is the combination of training resources in an information system with a blended training approach, so that it better matches the learning needs of SMEs. Through this web-based environment, rural SMEs are able to find information on the e-government services offered in their region, as well as gaining access to e-learning content on how they can use such services.
Article type: Research paper
Keywords: Distance learning, Electronic government, Learning repository, Small to medium-sized enterprises, Software engineering